Sex Education: Season 4 Review | A Fitting Finale With Moving Character Arcs and Fun Elements

The way the Netflix original Sex Education blended least explored topics with the ease and charm of a teenage comedy is what makes it a great success. The fourth and final season of the series created by Laurie Nunn is yet another emotionally overwhelming compilation of personal stories that collectively impact you. With most of the characters returning and almost all the major tracks getting a closure, Sex Education Season 4 is definitely worth watching.

Some of the students from Moordale have now joined Cavendish College, including Otis, Eric, Ruby, Aimee, Jackson, Viv, and Cal. Maeve is in the US pursuing her ambition to become a writer. Adam has decided to drop school, and his father has joined Cavendish College as a teacher. In the final season, we see the events that happen in the new school, where Otis gets a competitor in sex therapy named O’. The evolution of that rivalry, along with the developments in the personal life of all these characters, is what we witness in Sex Education Season 4.

As I said, even though the series has the texture of a teenage comedy as it primarily addresses the issues from the perspective of those young folks, there is an underlying layer of empathy in all the seasons that sort of forbids you from hating a character completely. The realness in how Laurie Nunn depicts the grey shades when it comes to love is what makes the series emotionally moving. Jean’s sister, who comes to help her in raising the newborn, Viv’s new boyfriend, and Maeve’s insensitive brother are characters you sort of hate immediately, and it is possible that you will get irritated when you see them getting multiple chances. But through the elaborate episodes that depict their perspective, the show makes us empathize even with those characters.

Like all the other seasons, the scripting structure is trying to make it a symphony of people’s emotional struggles. What is pretty impressive about the writing is that they address a diverse variety of personal issues like sex, sexuality, motherhood, childhood trauma, parenting, etc., and it’s not like everything is disconnected and could be chopped off easily. You get to see Eric’s dynamic with Otis changing over time. Even though Ruby goes back to the snooty space, they have shown us why she became that kind of a person.

In the initial episodes, when the story is lingering on a few characters for far too long, it is a bit less entertaining compared to other seasons. But then, it gradually becomes this collection of stories. It is interesting how the series explores several dimensions of the same topic. For instance, this time, the track of Jean and Jackson have parenting as a significant layer, and you get to see two perspectives. In fact, Adam’s track is also very much about the parenting dynamic. I loved how they explored the religious perspective on the whole thing through Eric’s track.

The vastness of the writing with details is so much that if anyone decides to binge-watch the whole series in one go, it can seriously make them a non-judgemental individual. The series’ cinematography has this peculiar style of framing where the characters in conversation bits are mainly positioned outwards. It is certainly not breaking the rhythm. In fact, the imbalance sort of grabs your attention. The music complements the emotional graph of the story beautifully.

Asa Butterfield, as Otis Milburn, is portraying an extremely vulnerable space as the character’s ego gets hurt very early in the season, and he is clueless about how to deal with his long-distance relationship and hysterical mom. Emma Mackey depicts a very happy US version of Maeve along with a highly disturbed side of the character who lost people in her pursuit to escape from trauma. I think what season 4 has managed to do successfully is take Maeve to a space where the audience won’t need her romantic equation with Otis to empathize with her. Gillian Anderson, as Jean Milburn, effectively portrayed the flawed side of the character as this control freak who wants to fix her younger sister.

Ncuti Gatwa as Eric is charming, and this time, the writers are using that character to penetrate into the religious space that is oblivious to other sexualities. Mimi Keene as Ruby goes back to the diva mode. They actually started the season hinting at the exploration of that character’s younger days. But after establishing O’, the script kind of ignored the character arc of Ruby. Connor Swindells as Adam Groff, Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson Marchetti, Alistair Petrie as Michael Groff, Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee, and Chinenye Ezeudu as Viv are the other major names who reprised their roles from the previous seasons. Thaddea Graham, as O, delivered a memorable performance, and I really loved her accent.

Season 4 of Sex Education is indeed a satisfying watch, and the evolution of the characters from the first season to the fourth is actually quite drastic and believable. Laurie Nunn’s imaginary town with a strange timeline educates and entertains the audience with its lively and all-heart characters and numerous subplots that offer various levels of relatability.

Final Thoughts

With most of the characters returning and almost all the major tracks getting a closure, Sex Education Season 4 is definitely worth watching.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.