“So, this is a goodbye.”
“No. It’s see you soon.”
There is hope, closure, realisation in the newest season of Sex Education and all so masterfully balanced.
We meet our favourites engrossed in sexual activities in the opening sequence of the show, except for Aimee who’s just working out with her boyfriend. I mean that is what Sex Education is all about, right – not just sex. It is all about being yourself in the most wholesome way possible.
Otis is in a casual relationship with popular girl Ruby, where both characters end up heart-broken. He realises that his ‘no-strings attached’ theory has proven otherwise and has in fact hurt Ruby.
Our characters, as established in earlier seasons, are not perfect. They’re adolescents trying to figure out relationships, sex and themselves. And they take us through their own journeys of gratification where they try to make things right – by everyone.
Following the ‘remaking’ of Moordale Secondary, Lily is shamed for her stories, outlook and for being herself. We’ve all trotted down that road, where you’re made to feel ashamed for your opinions, bodies, clothes, imaginations, in lesser words – being yourself.
Toxic School Cultures
While Sex Education Season 3 explores the impact of toxic school cultures, it also inspires you to fight the demons, internal and external. And with a secret uprising in its making following the school’s rebranding, students of what’s branded the ‘sex school’, try to reclaim what’s theirs – a safe school environment.
The challenges faced by students at Moordale upon its ‘revamping’ does not come as a surprise to someone who went to school in India. In an Indian context, Season 3 is a strong commentary on our school systems where students are humiliated and scrutinised for their opinions, relationships, financial situation and clothing.
In Episode 4 of the show, students are divided into boys and girls, taken to different halls to teach sex education, dubbed as Growth and Development (I had major flashbacks to school days). They’re shown videos of flying genitalia and pregnancy – preached about how pregnancy is the sole responsibility of a woman. Students at Moordale Secondary revolt against ‘backward’ practices in sex ed – drawing a stark contrast to India where this is most certainly the only sex education available to our adolescents.
I remember during Sex Ed in class 10, my biology teacher asked students to volunteer to read about Reproduction. She simply wanted to excuse herself from shouting ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ at giggling 15-year-olds.
“Uh, where do I go?” asks Cal who identifies as non-binary.
Non-Binary Characters, Shedding Toxic Masculinity & What Not!
I’m personally in awe of the plethora of issues addressed in merely 8 episodes – while paying justice to each character arcs.
Subtle racism & sexism, denial of mental health issues, toxic masculinity and abstinence are just a few of the lesser discussed issues that this season deals with. And each subject is dealt with utmost sensitivity and precision.
All of us struggle with our relationships with friends, parents and partners. Our characters struggle to communicate in their relationships just like we do, but we know that already – that’s what brought us here. This season is an explosion of characters opening up and embracing their feelings.
One such heartwarming scene is where Adam Groff’s father Michael tries to reunite with his family after deciding to let go of toxic masculinity, which he himself was subjected to by his father and brother. Mr Groff storms out of a dinner with his brother, calls him out and this is where we realise that Sex Education has succeeded in breaking the toughest – it has initiated change.
Sorry, I’m just driven by emotions here. *sobs*
A Journey Of Self-Realisation
Why I call this season a journey of self-realisation is personal. As a convent student, our head-teacher Hope is what/who we ran from all our lives, sometimes still do. Every nerve touched here is part of our very own struggle as Indian adults. While teenagers in the series appear to be more aware and informed, most of us are still transcending down the path of self-actualisation where we are still learning to stand-up for ourselves – let alone stand up for what’s politically or morally correct.
So, when I call this season a journey of self-realisation, it is also philosophical. In every character we see ourselves and our relationships, only to realise that we are no different than them. Confused, directionless, impulsive, people-pleasing and not always honest with our feelings – which is also why I’d call this season my personal favourite.
While Hope stands for what we have been trying to fight all our lives, Moordale Secondary represents everything we could have done to fight it.
Season 3 of Netflix’s Sex Education feels like a warm hug – telling us everything is gonna be okay, as long as you communicate. There’s nothing a chat and a cup of tea can’t solve, innit love?
But, picture abhi baaki hai mere dost. Netflix has renewed Sex Education for a 4th season, just a week within the release of Season 3.
We gotta find out who little Joy’s papa is! *wink wink*