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Everything You Need Know About Sex Education's Final Season

Season 4 premieres on Netflix this fall.
  • Ncuti Gatwa and Asa Butterfield in Sex Education (Photo: Netflix)
    Ncuti Gatwa and Asa Butterfield in Sex Education (Photo: Netflix)

    While there’s still little information out there about what to expect from Season 4 of Sex Education, other than a photo drop of Dan Levy joining the cast in full professor mode, the confirmation of two major cast departures had some speculating that the upcoming season may be the show’s last. Ncuti Gatwa, who plays Eric, revealed via Instagram his final day of shooting on the season was his last with the series (he’ll have his hands full as the new Doctor in Doctor Who), and in a post-BAFTA interview, Emma Mackey, who plays Maeve, said that she will not be returning for Season 5 (if there is one).

    On July 5, Netflix confirmed that Season 4 will indeed be Sex Education's last. In an interview with Tudum, series creator Laurie Nunn says that it wasn't necessarily the plan to end it all when she started writing the season, but "during that process, it just started to feel very clear that the stories were coming to an end, the characters were being left in a place that I felt really good about it. I felt happy for them, and I felt like I’ve said everything that I want to say with these characters at this time."

    The final season will premiere this fall. In the meantime, we’ve put together a refresher to prepare you for the new episodes — it’s been a year and a half since Season 3 premiered on Netflix, after all.

    Where did we leave everyone at the end of Sex Education Season 3?

    Throughout Season 3 of Sex Education, Moordale Secondary School was plagued by the rule of a sex negative headmaster, Hope Haddon (Jemima Kirke), prompting the students to take a stand. But their presentation declaring their pride for attending what became known as the “Sex School” was ultimately the school’s demise. Moordale investors, upset by the display, pulled their funding, leaving the school up for sale and all sixth-form students (a.k.a. all the show’s main characters) are forced to find their own alternatives to finish their final term.

    Maeve (Mackey) decides to spend that final term in America after her estranged mother gives her the funds to do so. Even though she briefly considers staying with Otis (Asa Butterfield) in their newly solidified relationship, ultimately she knows she has to make the decision for her future, and Otis is as supportive as ever. The emotional final moments of Season 3 are the last the two spend together before she leaves Moordale.

    Otis has his hands full with his home life anyhow. Jean (Gillian Anderson) just recovered from life-threatening surgery after going into premature labor with her baby. But mother and baby (named Joy) are both fine in the end — other than some surprising news about Joy’s paternity, leading to the assumption that Jakob (Mikael Persbrandt) is not the father after all. The details of what the paternity test reveals were left as a cliffhanger that will surely steer the story in Season 4.

    Eric (Gatwa) and Adam (Connor Swindells) break up because Eric wants to explore his sexuality with people who aren’t afraid to embrace it. Adam, after keeping his sexuality a secret from his family, comes out to his mother, who shows support for not only his past relationship with Eric but also his newfound interest in showing dogs.

    In the final episode of Season 3, Ola (Patricia Allison) and Lily (Tanya Reynolds) reconcile after a dispute over the existence of aliens, ending the season still in a relationship. Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood), still working through the trauma of her sexual assault, dumps her boyfriend to focus on herself. Viv (Chinenye Ezeudu) is finally reunited with her long-distance boyfriend, and is as happy (and sexual) as ever. Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) and Cal (Dua Saleh) end the season as just friends after Jackson admits that he doesn’t see himself as able to be in a queer relationship with non-binary Cal. Cal, however, is able to help out a fellow non-binary student, Layla (Robyn Holdaway), struggling with their physical image. Despite some major decisions hanging in the balance overall, there was a strong sense of closure to most of the tertiary relationships by the end of Season 3.

    What is Sex Education Season 4 about?

    Based on where we left all these characters, there are some things we can infer about where Season 4 will go. There will certainly be a focus on Jean, Otis, and Jakob building their new family together with baby Joy, while Jean navigates whatever secret she discovers about Joy’s true father. We’ll see Maeve navigating being alone in a foreign country to complete her schooling. And there’s a possibility that we’ll see Adam’s dog showing career continue on.

    Netflix's official announcement about Season 4 includes more details: Otis and Eric try to be the cool kids at their new school, Cavendish Sixth Form College, but experience a bit of a culture shock when they realize their new classmates are much more progressive than the kids at Moordale. Otis doesn't even seem to be the only teen sex therapist at this new school, causing him to question his entire purpose.

    In an interview with Radio Times, Butterfield revealed vague details about what to expect, saying “I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to tease. But we're in the new school, new locations and things have changed up a bit. And we've got some new characters.”

    Who is in the cast for Sex Education Season 4?

    Confirmed returning regulars include Butterfield, Anderson, Mackey, Gatwa, Swindells, Wood, Williams-Stirling, and Saleh. They’ll be joined by Dan Levy as Mr. Molloy, who we can assume is one of Maeve’s new teachers based on promo images from Netflix, and Jodie Turner-Smith in an as-yet-unknown role. The latter says she joined the cast because of a personal invitation from Gatwa to get involved.

    Cast members who are not returning for Season 4 include Allison as Ola, Reynolds as Lily, Simone Ashley (now on Bridgerton) as Olivia, and Rakhee Thakrar as Ms. Sands.

    When will Sex Education Season 4 premiere?

    Netflix announced the final season will debut September 21. 

    Sex Education Seasons 1-3 are streaming on Netflix. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Sex Education, Netflix, Asa Butterfield, Dan Levy, Emma Mackey, Gillian Anderson, Jodie Turner-Smith, Ncuti Gatwa