The third season of Sex Education has to be one of the most outspoken, quirky, sizzling, and queer-friendly teen shows in recent times. It was released mid-September 2021 on Netflix. It starts with a notable opening scene – a montage of students from Moordale High having a great time! (You know what I mean!)
While the last season left us disappointed with the situation between Otis and Maeve, as well as Otis‘s mother Ms. Milburn, and Ola‘s father Jakob separating, this season is certainly full of many more surprises. What we cannot ignore is the amount of inclusiveness that the show sees – ranging from harboring fantasies, queer couples, what different vaginas look like (yup, you have to watch it to believe me. They made a whole microsite for All Vulvas Are Beautiful), and even the introduction of a new non-binary character Cal, who is an American student new to Moordale High.
The Wall of Dicks from Season 3, Episode 2
Since the tarnished reputation of the sex school supersedes it, it seemed like the school could use some more disciplining. With Adam’s father, the ex-Headmaster Mr. Michael Groff no longer at school, we are introduced to a new character who is given the responsibility of making Moordale great again – Headmistress Hope. Her idea is to notoriously cure the name that the high school has got for itself. There are many rounds of disciplining seen in the course of the third season. Ex-headmaster Michael Groff’s struggle is also seen as he tries to figure his life outside his family, and his relationship with his son has been compromised.
While Otis and Maeve stay out of the therapy business, there are different dynamics in Maeve’s life that also show a very unique relationship between her neighbour and herself. Otis is happily seen to be involved with one of the school’s prettiest girls from the Untouchable gang called Ruby Matthews, and getting to know her more is actually quite a humbling experience for both of them. Otis is generally a good guy, so we wouldn’t be too surprised at his understanding with Ruby, as well as his own mother. Once again, its a roller coaster for Otis and Maeve, but this article is not only about them!
You will also notice a conflict of power between headboy Jackson Marchetti and headgirl Viv (no conflict, Viv just wants everything), who is trying to impress headmistress Hope so that she can have more fancy extra-curricular activities in her resume for college applications.
Prominent queer couples that killed it
Eric and Adam become official!
While this was bound to happen, the season traverses through a relationship between Eric and Adam that’s more about understanding than doing. Eric, knowing more about his sexuality already, is helping Adam understand his, as well as his expectations from the relationship. While both in their own ways struggle to make their families understand (or not), it is quite a difficult situation. Adam has to learn how to be open about his feelings. I wouldn’t think disclosing more would be ideal if you’re going to give this a watch! This is quite a tough relationship, and somewhere it makes you feel so much more for Adam than the previous seasons, especially since everything is so new to him. He’s also still figuring out how to fit in.
Ola, Lily and fantasies
Ola is introduced as a pansexual, and majority of this unique relationship has to do with Lily, an alien erotica writer, and liver of alien sexual fantasies. While Ola does care for her very much, she is not fond of the idea of always living up to Lily’s fantasies. Lilly is also disciplined when the school makes a massive change in decorum. It cumulatively takes a toll on the way she is conflicted between reality and maintaining her passion for these fantasies. We know that Ola earlier started off as Otis’ girlfriend, after which realising their parents started having an affair became quite disturbing.
A Strong Non-Binary Character
How do teenagers these days feel? Sexuality and finding comfort in yourself or your identity is one of the toughest challenges for anyone who is around hitting puberty, or even curious of how they feel. One of my favourite characters this season is a non-binary student Cal, who does not find it very easy to conform to the new rules that are being imposed by Hope. There is always a constant struggle of fitting in, and feeling like you’re left out because of the pressures of conforming to either one gender in a school setting. Cal is also one of the sweetest characters who tries to explore physical relationships, and how comfortable she feels in situations like those. The finer details are what makes Cal’s character even more interesting. You can see directly how this relates to the real world, and people in different countries find it difficult to understand, accept, and unlearn their preconceptions about sexuality, dysphoria and bias.
More strong characters
There is definitely an effort by Jackson to try and understand how it is to live as a queer couple, but it also shows how it is not easy for inclusiveness to play out from either side given the amount of turmoil, and lack of acceptance from older generations. While Jackson still has two moms and is taking care of by a queer couple, his understanding of being with a non-binary person is not easy, or at least for Cal, it isn’t.
We also see the likes of two working women – Otis‘s mother Jean Milburn, and the headmistress Hope herself, who is shown as trying very hard to have a child for over a year. We are also given the hint of Ola’s father Jakob being a typical man of muscle, with old school beliefs, lack of interest in Jean’s field of expertise or mental health, along with the dynamics of living together as a family. Jakob is what most Indian parents are made of!
Overall, the third season is probably one of the best to watch. There are many more things like Eric‘s trip to Nigeria and understanding his own community, Adam trying to discover a new talent or something that he takes interest in, Otis and Maeve fixing misunderstandings and learning to be friends again, what lies under Ruby Matthews’ glamour, and much more. We also have Maeve’s bestie Aimee trying to overcome feeling comfortable with her body and boyfriend again, exploring the variety of vaginas that exist in the world, professors Colin and Emily getting it on as usual, and much more.
Don’t miss the latest season of Sex Education on Netflix! Check the full cast out here on IMDb.
All images used in the article are screenshots from the show