(Warning: This post contains spoilers through the finale of FX on Hulu’s “A Teacher.”)
FX on Hulu limited series “A Teacher” ended with a 10th and final episode that saw Eric (played by Nick Robinson) have a final confrontation with his former high school teacher Claire (Kate Mara), a decade after their inappropriate sexual relationship came to an end.
We learn that during those 10 years, Claire, now registered as a sex offender, found a new husband and had two children, while Eric is working as a youth counselor. The two happen to meet by accident in a grocery store while Eric is visiting home to attend his high school reunion. Later, Claire texts him to request a sitdown at a coffee shop to apologize for her abuse of power over him when he was a teenager and a student in her care.
Only Claire’s apology includes more explanation of her behavior — and Eric’s — than acceptance of what she had done to him.
“I think she will always lie to herself about the intentions, how she ended up where she did, what she did — because how else can you wake up in the morning and keep living without being in some sort of complete denial,” “A Teacher” creator Hannah Fidell told TheWrap. “We spent a lot of time on the various phases of her accepting responsibility, which she slowly moves through and accepts a little more and a little more once we start Episode 8. But I don’t think she’ll ever get it. Maybe she will after that final confrontation, but probably not.”
The series ends with Eric walking out of the coffee shop after telling Claire she is still making this about her and how it’s affected her life, even in her apology to him.
“I have to live with this forever and so do you,” Eric says, before getting up and leaving, with the camera following him and not turning back to show Claire’s reaction.
“I think we made a very deliberate choice to end the show on a shot of Eric walking away because he has finally been able to regain his voice and his own sense of who he is, having spoken up and having said what he needed to say,” Fidell said. “So the story now becomes his by just visually the way we created that final moment. And it will always be with him, but it won’t necessarily define him, which is an ongoing goal in the aftermath.”