Sex Education Season 3, Episode 1 recap: A smart return

Sex Education season 3
Sex Education season 3 /

The following article contains SPOILERS for Sex Education Season 3, Episode 1.

It’s finally back. After months of teases and not knowing what to expect fully, Sex Education Season 3 has arrived on our screens. What a return it is. After the trailer explained unbridled sex swept over Moordale Secondary, something we saw begin with Lily’s mature alien version of “Romeo & Juliet” with numerous sexual themes, the opening scene of this season cemented this notion.

The montage that began this third season is peak Sex Education with just the right amount of comedy, cringe, passion, and nudity. Audiences are privy to all of our favorite Moordale Secondary students engaging in sexual acts with their respective partners throughout the summer.

The only student not engaging in sex is the adorable Aimee and her partner Steve doing some aerobics exercises. The two now have a goat together (naturally) and are quickly becoming one of my favorite couples on the show. Just go back and watch Aimee asking Mr. Hendricks if she can take the goat out to pee if you need any convincing. I am assuming as this season progresses, Aimee will become more comfortable, and she and Steve will grow closer.

Sex Education Season 3
Sex Education Season 3. Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee Gibbs in Episode 1 of Sex Education Season 3. Cr. Sam Taylor/NETFLIX © 2020 /

As the semester begins, we are introduced to the new Headmistress, Hope Haddon, who literally dances onto our screens in a ball of joy. She is charismatic, charming, relatable, and a little too nice. As the episode progresses, her evilness shows. She confused Adam Groff (who is white) for Jackson Marchetti (who is black) when she tries to introduce herself to Moordale’s head boy and renaissance man.

This again occurs when she finally sits down with Jackson and expresses her disdain for how Jackson acted as a “cool kid” before she was hired and basically says he has to act more professional and serious as head boy. Considering how much he has grown over the two seasons and how well he is liked now by his fellow students and the show’s audience, it’s hard not to see the racist remarks from Moordale’s new Headmistress.

Sex Education Season 3, Episode 1: Otis & Maeve

We find out that Otis and Maeve have still not spoken to one another throughout the summer break, mainly because Maeve has no idea about Otis’ voicemail. Thanks to the innately sympathetic but dastardly evil Isaac driving a wedge between the two, it appears Maeve is trying to convince herself that she does not care about Otis anymore.

Emma Mackey’s performance here is brilliant as the actress has to play up the character of “wanting to believe her own words but subconsciously doesn’t,” which is just so many levels of acting. I think it is easy for Mackey to play off a character like Aimee, which helps; since the adorable blonde character does not have the highest intuition so she is easily swayed and won’t read into the body language and eye contact from Maeve.

Sex Education Season 3
Sex Education Season 3. Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee Gibbs, Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley in Episode 1 of Sex Education Season 3. Cr. Sam Taylor/NETFLIX © 2020 /

I am very much looking forward to seeing how Maeve and Otis’ relationship is built up again now that they are seeing each other regularly at school. I also think Otis’ newfound secret love affair, now a budding public romance, with Ruby is an obstacle I was not expecting following season 2.

Let me be clear, and it makes sense since they have already drunkenly slept together and started forming a bond following that night. However, seeing the top popular girl with a nerdy outcast is a trope I will always love. Otis and Ruby’s relationship likely has an expiration date, but seeing when that is and how it will end is something I am not ready for.

Sex Education Season 3 Episode 1: Adam becoming comfortable

Toxic masculinity is a horrible thing. Speaking from someone who did not come out as bisexual until this year because of that, I can sympathize with Adam. I do not sympathize with Adam circa Season 1, the bully who hated himself and picked on gay folks, that is a different beast that is hard to watch, mainly because that character stereotype is harmful to queer folks.

But the writers were able to make it work by having Adam prove himself to Eric and having it be a journey for the two, and not rushing it. But even though Adam and Eric are comfortable with each other in private, it does not mean Adam is comfortable in public.

After getting into a scuffle with a kid whispering about him on campus, and thanks to a conversation with his old coworker Ola (a friendship that can be injected directly into my veins), Adam is helped to understand that holding in his thoughts and feelings is not the best course of action.

That behavior was harmful to himself before he came out, and it is harmful to himself and Eric now. Adam heeds Ola’s advice and starts to open up to Eric about his feelings and why he acts aggressively. This development is very much needed for Adam’s character, and I am so happy he is finally able to move past his bullying ways.

light. Related Story. Sex Education Season 3, Episode 2 recap

The episode ends with the broken-down bathroom, which has been a hub for the show’s first two seasons, being torn down. Thanks to Otis telling Hope about the sex clinic still going on, albeit not by him and Maeve, the new Headmistress razes the structure.

This feels like much needed fresh start type of moment and allows a whole new batch of stories to be told. How the rest will play out, like Lily and Ola, Jakob embracing his paternal duties with Jean, and Viv and Jackson’s relationship is still to be determined, but I am very much looking forward to all of it.

Next. 5 things to remember before Sex Education Season 3. dark

Sex Education Season 3 is streaming now on Netflix

What are you most looking forward to during the third season of Sex Education? Let us know in the comments below!