This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, the show being covered here wouldn't exist.
Over the last few years, and over the course of its run, Sex Education has certainly struck a chord with many; in particular teenagers. With its quirky ensemble and relatable themes, it definitely is a show many can relate to and see either themselves in one of the characters or their friends. So, with the cast all growing up and the stars moving onto bigger films or TV shows, does the final series live up to expectations?
Following the closure of Moordale at the end of series 3, Otis and Eric now face a new challenge – their first day at Cavendish Sixth Form College. Cavendish is a culture shock for all Moordale students as it is a super-progressive school in comparison which takes everyone a lot of getting used to.
There is a lot going on in the final series of Sex Education; tons of characters to balance, several stories to juggle and, for the most part, it works. At the heart of it is Otis (Asa Butterfield) and Maeve (Emma Mackey), who both carry the show on their shoulders, giving A+ performances while compellingly driving the series forward. Even in some of the cringe-worthy scenes, they make them work by committing to the characters and delivering the dialogue incredibly well, Mimi Keene (who plays Ruby) also has a lot more to do this series as she also is at the heart of this series and helps drive Otis' main subplot.
However, the main problem with this series is that there are too many characters and too many stories to wrap up in only eight episodes. There certainly is a heavy focus on Otis, Maeve and Eric's arcs but the rest feel underdeveloped and don't come together as well as I think they intended. Also, with the introduction of a few new characters that are very prevalent this season, they only further bog down the fourth series because there is too much going on. Personally, a twelve episode final season would've helped make everything flow more cohesively because plotlines feel rushed and in need of more padding to make it not seem so half-baked.
The biggest fault of this is the plot involving the Groff family, which is the conclusion of a four series arc yet with so much going on this time around, the ideas and themes feel lacklustre by the time episode eight ends.
Even with its faults, Sex Education Series 4 is highly entertaining and in most ways is a satisfying send-off for the show. It definitely needed a few extra episodes to pull everything together cohesively but the themes it tackles certainly will strike with a lot of people. It may not reach the highs of series one or two but fans of the show will definitely enjoy this.
Sex Education Series 4 is now streaming on Netflix