The Scarlet Letter
Episode 6 of Sex Education Season 3 begins with Jean struggling as her pregnancy advances. Sleeping in, Jean shows up downstairs to find Aimee waiting for her appointment. This time though the topic is Maeve, and in particular their big fight together.
The argument is simply an extension on Aimee’s deeper fears, which Aimee rationalizes is to do with her smile. Jean however, reassures the girl that it’s definitely not her fault.
Meanwhile, Maeve receives some good news. She’s got into the Gifted & Talented program… and quickly receives a text from Otis after asking to talk. At school, the pair do run into one another but things are awkward, to say the least. Maeve admits that she likes Isaac and decides they should just forget their kiss altogether.
At school, Hope comes under fire from Mark and – by extension – the investors in school. After the incident in France, things aren’t good and there’s a lot of pressure on her to get things back on scratch at Moordale. Well, this begins with the school changing name to Sparkside Academy, through a press conference later on that week.
As she relays all of this to the students during assembly, Adam, Lily and Cal are all brought to the stage. They’re each forced to put signs on, showing what they’ve done. Essentially the kids are completely shamed. And if that wasn’t enough, Rahim is suspended for speaking up in protest. No on is allowed to speak to the trio of kids and their phones are confiscated too.
After the assembly, Viv learns that she’s only been chosen as head-girl because she’s black and it would look good for the school. It’s a shocking revelation, and one that’s equally matched with another blow in the form of the forum being “a waste of time”. Hope does say more but it doesn’t matter – Viv has recorded the entire thing. This is going to seriously blow up!
After school, things take an awkward turn when both Otis and Isaac show their support for Maeve. Her sister Elsie has gone missing and in the midst of all this, Otis and Isaac hash it out. The truth about the kiss is unveiled, along with Maeve questioning Otis over his selfishness.
An ongoing subplot in the wake of all this school drama comes from Michael. After leaving Moordale, he’s been running around aimlessly and struggling to find joy in his life. Between staying at his brother’s house and spending time with Colin, it’s actually Jean who helps him out the most. She suggests he need to search for something that truly makes him happy.
Back at school, Viv sends all the students in school the voice recording of Hope. Just before we see the consequences of this though, we skip across to Nigeria where Eric finds more than he bargained for.
At the wedding he runs into a guy called Oba who just so happens to be gay too. He’s pretty quiet about it, and admits there’s a whole scene in Nigeria for them. Unlike in England though, it’s far more hidden. After some contemplation, he eventually allows Oba to take him out. There are a few moments of tension…before Eric eventually heads in and kisses Oba. Oh Eric…
In the morning Eric heads home, engaging in a pretty touching conversation with his Mum about embracing his true self.
The Episode Review
Sex Education has a lot of characters and this chapter, more than any other, tends to buckle a little under the weight of that. There’s a solid five or six different subplots all being juggled at once and at times the show has issues trying to balance everything out.
The truth about Hope and her real feelings toward the school are finally exposed though – and what a way to do it. The draconian methods have been awful, at best, and the final revelation that she doesn’t care about the students seems to point toward one thing – Hope is going to be fired and replaced by Michael, who will return to school again as headmaster.
Take that prediction with a pinch of salt though, given we write these recaps “in the moment” without actually seeing ahead.
For now though, Sex Education bows out with another good episode, and with two chapters left it does look like this one is on course for another cliffhanger ending.