‘Sex Education’ Season 3 Recap: What You Need to Remember for Season 4

Here’s your concise refresher before binge-watching the final episodes

“Sex Education” Season 4 has arrived.

It’s been two years since Season 3 landed on Netflix and a lot happened last installment, especially within the crumbling walls of Moordale Secondary School. Jemima Kirke’s quirky headmistress Hope Haddon did her best to glue the cracked foundation of the school — left behind by Mr. Groff (Alistair Petrie) — but she couldn’t stop the demise of the doomed school with her attempts to smother any freedom of expression. Thus, all of the beloved students, most of whom were clients of Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) and Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) who ran a sex clinic together, had to transfer schools. We’ll let Season 4 speak for itself as to the fate of the Moordale students as well as other characters in the show.

As for what happened at the end of Season 3, there’s a lot to unpack starting from the fifth episode, and everything can best be summarized in the different relationship groupings that have taken place throughout the series. The only other point besides the school shutting down would be that Maeve and Otis paused the sex clinic for the third season, and Hope would have made sure it stopped either way.

If you need a refresher, here’s a brief “Sex Education” Season 3 recap.

Maeve and Otis

Some (read many) might consider Otis and Maeve the endgame of the show. Set up in Season 1, they started the sex clinic together and both individually came to terms with their feelings for one another for the next three seasons. In between Seasons 2 and 3, Otis left Maeve a voicemail confessing his feelings for her, but Isaac deleted it without Maeve knowing. He ended up telling her, and she asked Otis about it on their school trip to France while they both were left stranded at a gas station on the way home from France.

Otis told Maeve what he had said, they kissed and the bus returned to pick them up. Maeve got really confused, but then when her sister Elsie went missing with her drug-addicted mother, she had to put her feelings on pause to find her. Isaac took his heart off the table when he realized that Maeve still had feelings for Otis. She got into the Young and Gifted program in America, and she left off not sure where things would stand with Otis.

Jean and Jakob

Jean thought she was perimenopausal, but turns out she was actually pregnant! She thought the child was Jakob’s, but he grew suspicious after he found another man’s cufflink under her bed. She had slept with Remi somewhere in there when she and Jakob took a break or had a fight. He bought a paternity test to ensure the baby was actually his. Jean became hospitalized, and baby Joy was born prematurely. Jakob’s paternity test results ended up with Jean, and she said “Oh shit” after reading them.

Adam and Eric

Adam, who came out as bisexual, dated Eric last season. They were happy together, exploring all the emotions and feelings. Their navigation of being together had its ups and downs for sure, but a highlight was when Adam and Eric went on a date with Otis and Ruby. Yes, Otis and Ruby started first just meeting up for sex, but then they gave a relationship a proper go. The double date took place at the bowling alley, where Adam and Ruby bonded over the Kardashians.

Instead of attending the school trip to Paris, Eric went to Nigeria with his mom to visit his maternal grandmother and attend a family wedding. Eric met a boy in Nigeria who was photographing the wedding. They went out one night to a secret gay club, and they kissed, but they didn’t sleep together. Eric had to tell Adam when he got back and Adam, understandably, didn’t take it well. Adam forgave Eric, but Eric felt that he was ready to fly as a gay man and Adam was only learning to walk, so they had to part ways.

Jackson and Cal

Jackson and Cal gravitated toward each other in Season 3. Cal identifies as non-binary, but Jackson kept calling them “beautiful.” Cal told Jackson that they couldn’t handle their transition and Jackson’s uncertainty learning all the nuances of dating a noncisgender heteronormative partner. He saw Cal as mostly feminine.

Maeve and Isaac

Isaac moved to the trailer park near Maeve in Season 2. They bonded as neighbors and almost dated, but Isaac deleted a voicemail from Otis telling Maeve he loves her. Isaac told Maeve what he did, and then he withdrew once he realized she may still like Otis.

Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley in Episode 7 of “Sex Education” Season 3. (Cr. Sam Taylor/NETFLIX © 2020)

Maeve’s Mom Tried to Kidnap Elsie

Maeve’s drug-addicted mother brought her youngest daughter Elsie along to live back in the trailer with Maeve for a bit while she held down a steady job and tried to stay clean. But when she fell back into using, Maeve called the police on her and Elsie was sent to live with Anna by Child Protective Services. Erin (Anne-Marie Duff) tried to take Elsie somewhere, but Maeve tracked her down and convinced her that Elsie needed someone not using drugs in her life. Erin handed Elsie over, but she still came back one more time to give Maeve a big stack of bills so that she could pay for the Young and Gifted Program in America. Maeve was pissed when Aimee paid for her to go to France.

Headmaster Groff and Maureen

Headmaster Groff left the Head Teacher position at Moordale. Maureen (Samantha Spiro) asked to divorce him, so he was forced to move out, and he lived with Mr. Hendricks for a bit. He also rediscovered his love for cooking, which he got from his mom. He realized that his brother Peter (Jason Isaacs) was a jerk because their dad was the worst jerk of all, and together Peter and their father made Michael feel small and not manly. 

Headmistress Hope Haddon

When Hope took over from Mr. Groff, she took too intense of an approach with the students of Moordale Secondary. She made them wear stuffy uniforms and basically abstain from any talk of sex or, later, identity. She tried to transform “sex school” into Sparks Academy, but the students staged an epic rebellion on Open Day to reclaim the reputation of sex positivity. They advocated for communication and empathy vs. silence and shame.