It has been over a year and a half since we last got to watch the students of Moordale traverse the unpredictable path of sex, love, and self discovery-and of course, put on an iconic erotic intergalactic adaption of Romeo and Juliet: The Musical. Luckily, the wait is almost over. The critically acclaimed British comedy-drama Sex Education will return to Netflix with a third season on September 17 with eight brand new episodes.
Written and created by Laurie Nunn and produced by Eleven, Sex Education follows Moordale High student Otis Milburn ( Asa Butterfield), son of sex therapist Jean Milburn ( Gillian Anderson), who opens up a secret sex therapy clinic at school along with fellow classmate Maeve Wiley ( Emma Mackey). The Sex Education writing team includes Sophie Goodhart, Selina Lim, Mawaan Rizwan, Temi Wilkey, and Alice Seabright, with additional material from Jodie Mitchell. Season 3 is directed by Ben Taylor and Runyararo Mapfumo. Nunn, Taylor, and Jamie Campbell are also executive producers.
RELATED: 'Sex Education' Season 3 Trailer Reveals New School Year and Big Changes at Moordale
Let's take a look at where we left off at the end of Season 2, starting with...
...One Momentous (Deleted) Voicemail
Season 2 of Sex Education doesn't showcase Otis in his finest moments. From his cringy drunken monologue about Maeve and Ola ( Patricia Allison) to his immature jabs at Jean's new beau Jakob ( Mikael Persbrandt), Otis proves that he still has a lot of growing up to do. In being so caught up with trying to do the "right thing," Otis repeatedly ends up hurting those who mean the most to him. At the start of Season 2, Otis is dating Ola while Maeve, who has returned to Moordale following her expulsion, painfully discovers that she still isn't over Otis. Maeve confesses her feelings to Otis in a rare moment of heartbreaking vulnerability, but Otis rejects her, frustrated that she waited until he was in a committed relationship to tell him she liked him, especially after he "turned [himself] inside out" liking her, then forced himself to get over her.
Otis makes terrible decisions following Maeve's confession, at a loss of whether or not he should break up with Ola who has given him an ultimatum: he can only be with her if he agrees to no longer speak to Maeve. He makes the painful choice to cut Maeve off, only for Ola to break up with him immediately afterwards when she discovers she is pansexual and has feelings for Lily ( Tanya Reynolds).
It is clear to everyone, especially Eric ( Ncuti Gatwa), that Otis is still in love with Maeve and never really wanted to be with Ola-a truth that Otis unfortunately declares in a moment of drunken honesty in front of Maeve, Ola, and all of his classmates at his house party. To make matters even worse, he wakes up supremely hungover and realizes he has lost his virginity to Ruby ( Mimi Keene), who admits that "when [she's] sad, [she] makes out with nerdy boys."
It is long-awaited, but in the season finale, Otis leaves Maeve a voicemail where he apologizes for everything and confesses that he loves her. In an infuriating turn of events, Maeve's new friend and love interest Isaac ( George Robinson) deletes Otis's voicemail before Maeve even has a chance to see or hear it. It is unclear whether Maeve will ever get a chance to hear that voicemail, but we can only hope that the truth will be revealed in Season 3.
One Complex Female Character (and Everyone who Lets Her Down)
Maeve's heartbreak in Season 2 doesn't begin and end with Otis. As she tells Otis, everyone always lets her down. In Season 2, we meet Erin ( Anne-Marie Duff), Maeve's estranged mother and recovering drug addict. In hopes of reconnecting with Maeve, Erin and her daughter, Maeve's half-sister Elsie, stay with Maeve after Erin's boyfriend and former NA sponsor kicks her out. Maeve gradually begins to trust that maybe her mother has changed, but Isaac makes the devastating discovery that Erin is using again. In a gut wrenching decision, Maeve calls Child Protective Services to report her mother and ensure Elsie's safety.
Maeve deserves a stable person in her life, someone who will show up for her when no one else ever has. After Isaac deletes that voicemail, it is clear that he isn't the person she needs-or deserves.
An Unexpected Romance
Season 2 introduces a new student, the popular and handsome French transfer student, Rahim ( Sami Outalbali). Eric, like all of the student population at Moordale, is enchanted with Rahim ("The hottest man I've ever seen just walked past me, and you missed it because of chlamydia"). To his shock and delight, Rahim asks him out, and after a few dates, asks him to be his boyfriend.
Meanwhile, Adam ( Connor Swindells) is forced to attend military school. His stay there is short-lived, however, after two students plant marijuana in his bunk, resulting in his expulsion. Despite his relationship with Rahim, Eric can't help but feel excited that Adam has returned following their unexpected sexual encounter in the Season 1 finale. He and Adam begin to spend their nights together after Adam throws rocks at his window one night and they go to a landfill site and smash plates, bottles, and any object they can find. At the end of the night, they kiss. Adam soon realizes that he is bisexual. Eventually, however, Eric breaks things off with Adam, telling him that he can't be with someone who can't even hold his hand in public.
In the Season 2 finale, Adam makes a grand romantic gesture and bursts into the auditorium in the middle of Moordale's production of Romeo and Juliet and asks if Eric will hold his hand. To Rahim's heartbreak, Eric does. Adam's progression over the course of Season 2, and his public gesture in the season finale, shows that he is finally ready to explore who he truly is and make amends for all of the trauma he put Eric through over the years. Based on the recently released Season 3 images, it appears that Adam and Eric are finally ready to make their relationship official.
An Unexpected Friendship
Season 2 really gives Jackson ( Kedar Williams-Stirling) a chance to shine-and not as Moordale's star athlete. Previously in Season 1, we got a glimpse of Jackson's inner struggles with severe anxiety, but it isn't until Season 2 where Jackson develops a fully fledged identity now that his storyline no longer revolves around his relationship with Maeve.
Season 2 follows Jackson's journey toward self-discovery as he figures out who he is outside of swimming, with the help of his tutor, the brilliant no-time-for-nonsense Vivienne "Viv" Odesanya ( Chinenye Ezeudu). In the first episode of the season, Jackson purposely breaks his hand so that he can escape the unbearable pressures of swimming. He reluctantly auditions for the school musical, Romeo and Juliet, and lands the titular role of Romeo. Viv agrees to help him prepare for the role in exchange for him agreeing to help her with her crush, Rubik's Cube expert Dex Thompson ( Lino Facioli). Viv and Jackson's tutor-tutee relationship blossoms into a friendship that allows both Jackson and Viv to thrive.
When Jackson's hand heals and he is forced to return to swimming, he attempts to break his hand again until Viv walks in on him and stops him. She tells Jackson's moms that he is purposefully hurting himself, and after a long-overdue conversation with his mom ( Hannah Waddingham), Jackson gives up swimming and embraces his role as Romeo. Given Jackson and Viv's final scene together, holding hands and hugging it out, it is likely we'll see this unexpected dynamic duo again in Season 3.
The Power of Sisterhood
One of the most heartbreaking storylines in Season 2 is Aimee's ( Aimée Lou Wood) traumatic experience on the bus. After a stranger on the bus masturbates and ejaculates on her on her way to school, Aimee finds that she no longer feels safe on the bus and starts walking everywhere. Unable to admit to her friends the traumatic effect the assault had on her, she pretends that everything is fine until one afternoon of detention brings all of the Moordale ladies together. They discover that what binds them together as women, despite all of their differences, is their experiences with sexual assault.
In one of Sex Education's most moving and empowering scenes, Aimee is able to confront her fears and get on the bus again, along with the support of Maeve, Ola, Viv, Lily, and Olivia ( Simone Ashley), who join her. It is rare to see all of the women at Moordale put aside their differences, but they do so in the name of female camaraderie.
A Surprise Pregnancy
Jean is not one for commitment, as any man wearing her iconic yellow kimono would attest. In Season 2, however, Jean breaks from her patterns and gets into a committed relationship with Ola's father, Jakob. Jean soon grows increasingly agitated as Jakob appears to take up more and more of her space. In a moment of lapsed judgment, she ends up kissing Otis's father, Remi ( James Purefoy). She and Jakob break up, only for Jean to realize that she made a mistake. She is uncharacteristically heartbroken when Jakob rejects her attempts to get back together, telling her that she is not ready for the type of commitment he is looking for. In a surprising turn of events, Jean learns at the end of the season that she is pregnant, a revelation that certainly should cause some major drama for the ex-lovers in Season 3.
What Do We Know About Season 3?
After all of the dramatic events that unfolded in Season 2, what comes next for our favorite Moordale students and parents, ( aside from Otis's awful mustache and Maeve's new fringe bangs)?
The trailer for Season 3 of Sex Education introduces us to a "new and improved" Moordale with both new and familiar faces, a new headteacher, and even new uniforms. Following Headmaster Groff's ( Alistair Petrie) mandated leave, Moordale welcomes new Headmistress Hope Haddon ( Jemima Kirke), who envisions a brighter, more promising future for Moordale, who is now sporting a less-than-sterling reputation following the events of Season 2 ("Let me guess, you think you have chlamydia?")
Season 3 also welcomes new cast members Jason Isaacs as Peter Groff, Mr. Groff's successful older brother; recording artist, songwriter, and poet Dua Saleh as Cal, a nonbinary student at Moordale; and Indra Ové as Anna, Elsie's foster mother.
Here is the official synopsis for Sex Education Season 3:
It's a new year, Otis is having casual sex, Eric and Adam are official, and Jean has a baby on the way. Meanwhile, new headteacher Hope (played by Jemima Kirke) tries to return Moordale to a pillar of excellence, Aimee discovers feminism, Jackson gets a crush and a lost voicemail still looms. Prepare for commitment animals, alien phenomena, vulva cupcakes and much more of Madam Groff.
Sex Education Season 3 will premiere on Netflix on September 17.
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