Netflix's 'Sex Education' Season 3 Ending Explained: Emotional Growth

A story following horny teenagers who finally figure out how to channel their desires through safe methods of physical intimacy.

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Netflix shows have a penchant for being explicit and Sex Education definitely falls on that spectrum, however, the only reason it moves away from the trope is that it is extremely wholesome at heart. This season we see the repercussions of Isaac (George Robinson) deleting the voicemail from the finale of last season, and how that affects Maeve (Emma Mackey) and Otis (Asa Butterfield). Our protagonist has gotten together with Ruby (Mimi Keene) at the Halloween party. Meanwhile, Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and Adam (Connor Swindells) have been exploring their relationship as a queer couple and how it affects their families. Additionally, we see Prinicipal Groff (Alistair Petrie) getting kicked out of his home, fired from the school and stuck living alone in an apartment he can now barely afford.


In all of this Jean Milburn (Gillian Anderson) is coming to terms with the fact that her son was giving sex therapy at Moordale high school for money. She is disappointed in him and was hoping he could do better than that. Happy that he was helping people, it didn’t help that he was doing it for money. And now, the school was about to get even worse for the students as a new Principal makes an appearance, Hope Hadden (Jemima Kirke). Running a tight ship, she decides to introduce uniforms and systematically tries to control the behaviors of students in the school. Hope has one student in particular under the microscope and that is Cal Bowman (Dua Saleh), who is assumed to be a woman and is forced to wear a skirt even though they don’t want to. They show up to school wearing a too-loose shirt and pants which Hope sees as an insult to her authority.


In the end, the school students collectively decide on their annual day to bring attention to sexual health and use the platform as a way to spread awareness about sex, boundaries, consent, sexuality, gender identity, etc. A great way to use an institution of education for good. While initially their reputation was dubbed as a ‘sex school’ derogatorily, the students had reclaimed the term to talk about openness in addressing sexuality and teaching young adults more about their own bodies.

Their lives in the sex school, however, are not this chill and great either. On a school trip to France, Maeve admits to Otis that she was interested in him romantically too. The fact that Isaac had deleted Otis’ message completely shifted their dynamic, but now that they know the full truth, it seems that they are coming together as a couple. The same thing doesn’t happen with Eric who when in Nigeria made out with someone else. Telling Adam about the same, the duo breaks up, with Eric saying that while he does love Adam, he is already there in his evolution as a person, meanwhile, Adam has to figure out how his sexuality manifests itself. Being in a relationship with only one person and having that provide all the information about your identity makes it unhealthy. 

Finally Jean gets another jolt into reality when she finds out that she’s pregnant but not with Jakob’s (Mikael Persbrandt) child. It is quite possible that Jakob and her may make it work together, but it would be interesting to see what he thought of the child. One of the best parts of this season of Sex Education was the fact that Jackson Marchetti (Kedar Williams-Stirling) had a crush on Cal but he wasn’t queer himself. So when he was attracted to them, he needed to think whether that was about actually seeing Cal as non-binary or was he still seeing them as a woman. Even though he’s not queer, they would be in a queer relationship and that may be hard for some cis-gender heterosexual people to think about. 


In this season, we also see Maeve given an opportunity that would change her life and it would be unforgivable if she didn’t take it. Having just sorted everything out with Otis, this feels like a step back for the characters and with many cast members not coming back, the show seemed to have lost its appeal for a while. However, out of the darkness, Dan Levy joins the cast as a professor to Maeve at her course in America. It would be interesting to see how the character functions in a place riddled with culture shocks and new strangers. 


All current seasons of Sex Education are currently streaming on Netflix.