The Time Traveler’s Wife: Season 1/ Episode 3 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Golden Age Clare smiling

In a Clare-focused episode, she gives her side of the story from when she was 6 to when she was in her teens and all the way up until she is 20 and meets Henry.

In a Clare-focused episode, she gives her side of the story from when she was 6 to when she was in her teens and all the way up until she is 20 and meets Henry.

Aired (HBO) 5/29/2022
Director(s) David Nutter
Writer(s) Steve Moffat
Introduced This Episode
Jason Spencer House
Teen Clare Caitlin Shorey

This content contains pertinent spoilers.


6 Year Old Clare – Clare, Henry

When Clare was 6, Henry seemingly was her only friend. Though to make things all the more lonely, her father didn’t really seek time with her, her mother was seemingly dealing with depression, and her brother was absorbed in video games. Hence her longing, throughout her adolescence and teen years, for a 30+-year-old man who she could talk to and play board games with.

The Tween/ Teen Years – Clare, Henry

Tween Clare (Caitlin Shorey) asking Henry if she ends up his wife
Tween Clare (Caitlin Shorey)

As noted by Clare previously, the teen years were a bit harder for her when it came to her relationship with Henry. Her interest in sex grew and seeing a man built like Henry naked went from weird to tantalizing. She even would hide his clothes a few times to hope for a better look at him.

However, Henry, smart enough to not be caught in Clare’s games, would always win the game she played and avoid doing anything inappropriate. But, one time, he does nearly get caught by Clare’s dad and brother. Mind you, not when he is with Clare but after dropping in and then having to run since they were hunting and thought Henry was a deer.

Now, as for other boys or making friends? It seems Clare does have a few platonic girlfriends but as for boys? Her interests remain squarely on Henry, even as he lies about her being the Clare that ends up his wife.

The Pivotal Moment – Clare, Henry, Jason

However, there comes a point when his secret comes out, and it isn’t under the best circumstances. A boy named Jason, who Clare had an interest in, she decided to maybe explore what could be and when she realized he wasn’t what she wanted, Jason raped, burned, and bruised her up. Henry learns of this when he appears, and Clare puts him through the wringer as she acts out before revealing Jason hurt her.

Note: She omits to Henry that she was raped and only reveals that to viewers long after Henry has died. But, she does show the bruises and a cigarette burn above her breast. Thus, Jason was kidnapped, tied up, and made to piss himself more than once. Combine that with Jason saying Clare wanted it rough, and this leads to Henry getting so angry that he reveals his wife doesn’t like it like that. Thus leading to Clare discovering Henry will be her husband.

Jason (Spencer House) taped to a tree
Jason (Spencer House)

But alongside that, with Jason taped to a tree and Clare calling all the girls she knows who were ever hurt, Jason became her first piece. One born of vengeance, who ignited her passion for the arts enough to commit to a career in it.

Things To Note

  • Unexpected Content Advisory: Sexual Content (Conversation About Assault)

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How many people beyond Clare have seen Henry disappear?
  2. What did Clare say about her life when she was younger for it to become so powerful on Henry’s psyche for him to jump back to when she was that young? The Jason thing I can see being something that would bring him back to that day, but what about all the rest of the days? What led him to come back 100+ times when it seems like Clare’s life was uninteresting when Henry wasn’t around?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Us getting to know Clare’s family better and also Henry’s dad
  2. Meeting Henry’s girlfriend
  3. Learning what happened in that two-year gap when Henry wasn’t part of Clare’s life



Getting Clare’s Side To Things

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” was becoming a bit dominated by Henry’s story and side to things. So, Clare taking back the narrative seems not only appropriate but necessary. It pushed the idea that Clare did have friends outside Henry, even if we didn’t get to know them. Again, when it comes to art, we’re shown it isn’t something Henry pressed upon her but rather was born out of a reaction to how Jason was handled. Which, yes, Henry took part in, but he wasn’t the final say in her choice.

Which leads to the question, considering the show had to step back and remind us this show is supposed to be about the time traveler’s wife, not the time traveler, how will the narrative be handled going forward? Will it be back and forth, the catch-up style we’ve seen, or a combination of the two?

Feeling Like Henry Was Raising The Daughter He And Clare Didn’t Get To Have (Which Doesn’t Make Things Better)

In a strange way, with Clare saying Henry was like a dad to her, in terms of making sure she did her homework and spending quality time with her, it makes you wonder if this is why Henry didn’t push the need for children? Granted, it could be that Clare cannot have kids or just doesn’t want them for whatever reason. However, I must admit, watching Henry with his wife as a child, it seemed to be his way of vicariously raising someone he could imagine as his daughter.

Yes, that doesn’t make the fact that he ends up dating and having sex with her any less weird. But, consider that when she is 20, she is meeting a Henry who hasn’t jumped into the past to spend hours on end with her. This is the Henry who knows so much about her due to knowing her as an adult, meeting her family, and so, a lot of what he does is just about keeping her on track and limiting destructive decisions that could show that their fates aren’t completely sealed.

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