Sex Education Season 3 Review

Karissa Schaefer ‘23 / Emertainment Monthly TV Section Editor

Sex Education returned for season three on Netflix Sept. 17, still keeping its streak of beginning episodes with, you guessed it, a sex montage. Just like the bumping soundtrack, this season has no misses when it comes to episodes. This is a feel-good, funny show that would have been beneficial to have during high school. Nevertheless, it’s better late than never, so let’s hope Netflix doesn’t plan to cancel another show anytime soon.

Spoilers ahead.

Otis (Asa Butterfield) and Maeve (Emma Mackey) continue their tiresome slow burn romance as both of them start the season by dating other people while not acknowledging their feelings for each other. After Otis’ voicemail expressing his love to Maeve was deleted last season by Isaac (George Robinson), her boyfriend, the two shut each other out for most of the season, with Otis even dating Ruby (Mimi Keene) for a few episodes.

Though many fans liked Otis and Ruby together, Otis and Maeve not getting enough scenes together was a bummer. Also, the clinic was out of commission, but at least at the end, Otis and Maeve finally admitted they weren’t just in it for the money—they were in it for each other. 

Another relationship focus this season was placed on Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and Adam (Connnor Swindells). Both are public about dating each other, however, they are at very different points in their life. Eric, who fulfills much of the show’s personality, has been on his sexuality journey much longer, feeling much more comfortable in his identity. Adam is still learning who he is and doing things that are new for him. He rather be in private, whereas Eric just wants to be free after experiencing a gay bar for the first time while visiting his family in Nigeria. While Eric can be sentimental, it’s probably best for who his character is. He’s not afraid to be himself and independent. Plus, that means more time for the Otis and Eric bromance, which is the heart of the show. 

Gillian Anderson in Sex Education. Image courtesy of IMDb.

And who could forget the iconic MILF Jean Milburn (Gillian Anderson)? While extremely pregnant, the sex therapist helps Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood) become comfortable in her body again after getting sexually harassed on the bus last season. This occurs in Jean’s house, which is now more crowded with Jakob (Mikael Persbrandt), her baby’s dad, and Ola (Patricia Allison), his daughter, who also happens to be Otis’ ex girlfriend.

There’s awkwardness and tension between everyone in the house, which isn’t surprising with the last minute move after Jean was reluctant to tell Jakob she was pregnant for months. The couple intended to be together for the baby’s sake, but it didn’t work out, and they ended up sleeping in different beds. Season three’s storyline for Jean was kind of a let down with weird vibes happening between her and Jakob. Jean is very much an independent woman, so having her whole story revolve around a guy, whose character isn’t anything special, wasn’t very interesting. She’s a fan favorite and I know the writers could do better. 

The show tries redeeming Adam, making him do better in school and owning up for his actions, but it’s hard to forgive him from season one when he was the school bully. Most of his scenes are with Eric or Eric’s ex, Rahim (Sami Outalbali), who honestly has more chemistry with Adam than Eric does. Eric deserves better, whether that’s with someone new or on his own.

The same thing could be said about both Otis and Ruby. Ruby wasn’t the nicest, treating Otis as an accessory made for sex most of the time. There was chemistry, but not a real connection. But, Otis could’ve been more honest about his feelings for Maeve instead of dragging Ruby along because when she said “I love you” to him and he didn’t say it back, the secondhand embarrassment was felt through the TV screen. Their relationship gave a new perspective on the mean girl Ruby, but once it was over, she basically disappeared for the second half of the show. At the very least, it would have been nice to see the two remain friends. 

Asa Butterfield and Mimi Keene in Sex Education. Image courtesy of IMDb.

For the now three seasons long back and forth between Maeve and Otis, as mentioned earlier, it’s getting boring. They’re the show’s main relationship and once they finally do get together in the last two episodes after making out twice, Maeve is the one to call it quits when she decides at the last minute to do the education program in America. Even though Aimee was right to encourage Maeve to go instead of staying for a boy, it’s still irritating that there’s always an obstacle quite literally cock-blocking them.

Since the breaks between each season are really long, it’s easy to forget what happened previously. Despite this, the first episode instantly grabs the viewer’s attention, and before they know it, they’ve watched all eight hour-long episodes in a weekend. It’s fun to be immersed in these characters’ stories again. Every actor pulls their own weight, adding unique qualities to their roles. There are heartwarming moments like any scene between best friends Aimee and Maeve, and there are funny moments such as a student clogging the bathroom on the bus and throwing his poop on someone’s windshield. Yes, this did really happen. 

Sex Education is very relatable and discusses a lot of topics other shows don’t bother explaining. It’s probably fair to say people have learned more about sex from this show than any sex ed class in high school.

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