rose leslie as clare abshire and theo james as henry detamble, the time traveler's wife

    The following article contains a discussion of sexual misconduct that some readers may find disturbing.

    Spoilers for ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ follow.

    Clare and Henry’s love story in ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ has been a bit complicated from the beginning, even a bit risky. The series does its best to tackle that problem, but make no mistake: everyone, including the characters, knows that the central romance is pretty creepy. However, he has never crossed the boundaries of consent as much as he did in his last episode, and it is an issue that needs to be addressed..

    Back in episode one, an impromptu joke is made when 28-year-old Henry first meets Clare, then 6, in the clearing they know as their own. When the innocent young woman corrects the grown man in front of her (and who we know will become her husband in the future) and tells him that he is not brushing the hair of his toy horse, but grooming his doll, he clumsily moves. before changing the subject. Basically, this is the closest anyone gets to acknowledging the awkwardness of the path they’re about to travel… to say the least.


    Clare has had a crush on Henry since she was 6 years old. He didn’t even know she existed until he was 28, but by then the future version of himself has already visited the young woman 152 times in the space of 12 yearscausing the woman to fall desperately in love with him with the security of knowing that one day she will become his wife.

    She only knows because he told her.. Similarly, he only knows this because a future version of her told him this on her first fateful meeting. They have built their own paradox over the years, and each one is equally to blame. But that still doesn’t excuse the incredibly awkward scenes in episode 4, where Clare forces Henry to have sex with her. It’s hard to believe that, in the year 2022, we have to explain that forced consent is not synonymous with consent. So playing with this joyous memory for both of you is a strange and dangerous way to frame a love story.

    Let’s go by parts. Up to this point, at least in Clare’s timeline, the pair have never been sexually united in any way. Two years before, Clare was raped by a jock named Jason, a high school classmate, something that finally culminated when Henry announced that she was his future wife during an attack on said rapist. Henry doesn’t know the extent of the assault Clare suffered, only that she was left beaten and burned and, following Clare’s instructions, she came out of it seeking revenge.

    theo james, rose leslie in the time traveler's wife


    This is a puzzling addition to the series that is not in the book.. The beatings and burns happened, yes, but not the rape. Even in the series, Clare decides to keep this from Henry and instead records her story on camera. The resulting scenes, which go back and forth between their interview and what happened next, focus instead on Henry springing into action like a knight errant, Clare’s eyes sparkling at the first confirmation that she is his wife and of that he really is in love with her.

    The rape is never mentioned again other than that flippant comment from the future Clare. Instead, she is swept under the rug and is never spoken of again beyond her moment of revenge. And this makes his decision in episode 4 that much more puzzling..

    During Henry’s last spontaneous visit to Clare (before their timelines finally merge into one), he finds an anxious teenage girl celebrating her birthday. Knowing that he always arrives naked, Clare has made a habit of giving him her father’s old clothes, safely hidden away for when he arrives unannounced in their little piece of garden paradise.. During this last excursion, he has prepared a very well tailored suit for her, since it is a special occasion.

    rose leslie as clare abshire and theo james as henry detamble, the time traveler's wife


    But this slight change takes on a sinister tone when states that the reason for the outfit is her birthday, her 18th birthday. And she wants to be intimate. The future Henry vowed not to approach her in such a way, holding off her sexual desires until they meet organically, most importantly, at an age-appropriate time. In this scene, he is 41 years old, an age difference of 23 years with the woman.

    Clare immediately tries to seduce him, telling him “she won’t mind in the future”, but he doesn’t even sit next to her.. Instead, she tells him that he is wrong for “telling her what she would think in the situation” and insists that he is not a set-up, as he is married to a future version of her.

    In no uncertain terms, Henry rejects her proposal, telling her flatly: “I set rules for this when it all started and I won’t break them”. Her intentions are clear: he doesn’t want to have sex with her. He is saying no. And yet she perseveres with the excuse that “she is his wife”, at least in the future. Just a reminder: marriage is not automatic consent either.

    theo james, the time traveler's wife, season 1


    In the framework of the series, it is strange. It doesn’t help that actress Rose Leslie is a 35-year-old mother, but the series asks her to play an innocent 18-year-old. with googly eyes that maybe she’s a bit spoiled and hasn’t tasted the good parts of sex yet. She gets angry with him, knowing that she will have to wait two years to see him again. He encourages her to be with other people, reminding her that the 26-year-old version of himself is not being reserved for her.

    There is a brief but no less disturbing flashback in Clare’s mind about the rape when she tells him that she “wanted him to be the first”, before continuing to pursue him anyway. This ultimately results in a kiss, and from there, something else. As Henry repeatedly tries to get away from her, telling her no and walking away from her. The young woman’s behavior turns vicious, telling him that she didn’t make the rules and continues to forcefully (literally at some point) throw herself at him..

    theo james as henry detamble, the time traveler's wife


    “What’s your problem? Are you unable to have sex unless there has been a marriage proposal?”she tells him bitterly at one point, to which he reminds her that, in her head, she was literally a child weeks before.

    “It is groomingClare, I’m sorry, but I can’t.”, He tells. Honestly, it’s amazing how many times he continually tells her no, you could almost turn it into a game of shots for every ‘No’. While this may have been an attempt to absolve Henry of any accusation in the minds of viewers, he instead turns it on its head and makes Clare the aggressor.

    Just because you’re a woman or a teenager doesn’t mean you’re okay. His continued manipulation of her results in her forcing him to propose to her (after discovering that she does not, in the future, receive a formal proposal) before stripping naked in front of him and offering him what she calls “a practice”. With this, she gives up.

    theo james, the time traveler's wife, season 1


    To be honest, it’s baffling that a series that cares so much about its convoluted and convoluted plot decides to make this a focal point of an episode. Sexual assault as a means of laughter, or worse, romance, should be left in the ‘Carry On’ movies, not a standout HBO series during the current era.

    The series was already on shaky ground, but this latest lack of care for its characters and portrayal of forced consent as amusing and almost inevitable, It’s enough to make anyone switch off.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at

See also  Theo James Reveals They Toned Down His Explicit Nudity in 'The White Lotus'
Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *