The long-awaited final season of Netflix’s hit teenage soap opera “Sex Education” has come and passed, and true to what viewers have come to expect from the show, it was an emotional rollercoaster, shocking and at times, ingeniously disappointing. However, despite certain plot choices that will leave much disappointment among the show’s core fanbase, its finale still manages to leave the viewer with a feeling of satisfaction.
I have been following the show for three years now; however, I was originally apprehensive about what season four would look like. But from the first scene, I found my fears to be unfounded, as the writers took me on a journey to Cavendish College, a startlingly modern high school, filled with new faces, personalities and problems that the show had not previously tackled.
It was a season of growing pains, as the students adjusted to their new school following the closing of Moordale Secondary. While Otis and Maeve struggle to find stability in their ill-defined long-distance relationship, he finds himself in a battle for teenage sex therapist supremacy, with O, a Cavendish student, who he is convinced stole his idea for an on-campus sex clinic. A campaign that will have him working alongside the ghost of girlfriends’ past Ruby, and stirring up feelings we thought were dead and buried.
Meanwhile, Jackson is trying his hardest to fight his feelings for Cal. He faces having to come to terms with his shaky sexual identity and deal with his mothers’ dirty secrets. As if he didn’t have enough drama going on in his life already, he might have cancer?
Then there’s fan-favorite character, Aimee, who begins her journey of recovery from an assault in season three while battling her growing feelings for her best friend’s ex whilst learning to love and respect herself.
All in all, the true brilliance of this final season is the character development. Previously secondary characters such as Cal and Viv were given more screen time allowing the viewer to see their struggles and gain a deeper understanding of their characters. The writers also dove deeper into the main characters, such as Headmaster Groff, Adam, Jean and Ruby, thrusting them into new situations and revealing hidden insecurities that the show had not previously touched on.
However, no show is perfect. This new season, while far surpassing my expectations, did fall flat in many cases. Firstly, while the development of previously featured characters was extremely well done, the show did little to develop their new ones. The chief example of this is Abbi, the transgender queen bee of Cavendish, who displays very little change throughout the course of the season. Secondly, there is the relationship between Viv and her new boyfriend Beau, which is so predictably toxic and escalates, ending at such a fast pace that it borders on ridiculous. However, the biggest blunder of the writing team is the treatment of Jean and Jakob’s relationship. As anyone who is caught up prior to the release of the new season will know, season three ended with the reveal that Jakob was not Joy’s father. However, this issue is glossed over and only briefly mentioned in the new season, in which neither Jakob nor his daughter Ola appear.
Weighing out the successes and failures of the new season, I would say that it almost hit the mark. Still, I would encourage anybody who has not watched it yet to watch it as soon as possible. It is still an extremely entertaining, heart-warming and unique watch, and now that it’s over, it will be missed.