The last few episodes of Season 4 remind us why watching Sex Education itself feels like therapy. No matter your sexual identity, gender, or race, feelings are felt, and the show tries to reach out to as many people as possible. Episode 7 of Sex Education is dedicated to everyone getting better at being themselves. To push for what is right for themselves. Maeve finally reaches her catharsis, Jean and Joanna have a tussle, and Otis is coming to realize just everything he’s messed up. Some difficult decisions must be made, and that means huge changes for the future (even if we don’t get to see them TT).
Jean and Joanna
Jean’s been a therapist for a really long time, but the person she hasn’t been able to help for all this time has been her sister. Joanna was assaulted by one of their mother’s boyfriends back when she was 12, and she’s never really talked to anybody about it. Jean’s always tried to mother her sister, but she’s never managed to get her to talk about that part of her life. This obviously affects Joanna’s relationships with everyone. Joanna’s really mad about the sister contract (that Jean wrote up before giving Joanna the money for her debt), and finally, when she notices Jean breaking down the tree house, she tries to join her. As usual, Jean acts like Joanna doesn’t know how to do anything, and she’s always self-sabotaging, making Joanna furious. They both fall into some slush and end up yelling at each other. Jean finally speaks up about the incident in their childhood and how it would be good for Joanna to just get therapy. Joanna’s too mad to accept that Jean’s right and decides to leave the house and reject the sister contract.
On the other hand, Jean finally comes to terms with her own feelings and decides to quit the radio show and not be so harsh on herself.
Cal is struggling with dysphoria because they’re not able to talk to anyone about their feelings. Roman asks Cal how they’re doing, and Cal talks about wanting surgery really badly. But to go private, it would cost them over ten thousand pounds, which they could never afford, leaving them drowning.
Jackson and His Dad
Jackson finds out that there’s no one listed as his donor in the hospital and confronts his mother about it. She says it’s probably a mistake, but she’s hiding something big. Jackson finds a letter to his mom from a man named Jerome and realizes what this might mean.
Ruby & O
Ruby feels more accepted in Cavendish after outing O as a bully. Otis apologizes to her, but she tells him she’s working with someone else now. Ruby’s finally able to do what she loves—make someone over and put them on a pedestal. The new candidate, Conor, is definitely number one in the race because he’s not problematic like O and Otis. Ruby meets Maeve and tells her nothing happened between her and Otis. Ruby had been a bully to Maeve back in Moordale, and Maeve is still spiteful about that, apart from having just lost her mom.
It finally comes to Viv’s attention that Beau may be an abuser because he gets angry at her for talking to a guy about exams. Beau thinks she’s trying to come onto the guy, and he doesn’t believe her when she says it’s not true. When the bell rings, Viv tries to go into the classroom, but Beau grabs her hand really hard, hurting her. He tells her not to walk away from him, and this is when she gets really scared. When Jackson comes to tell her what he found, Viv’s crying in her room and admits he was right about Beau.
Otis and O
Otis and O get stuck in a broken lift. With no choice but to talk to each other, this is probably their only chance to do some trauma dumping. O tells Otis that she hurt Ruby unintentionally because O was one of the few colored people and the “new girl with a strange accent”. She had just moved from Belfast, and she really wanted to fit in. Unfortunately, this left her with no friends because everyone around her was always talking about romance and such, which O was never interested in. She spent all her time studying sexuality and feelings, which is how she was able to give people advice. She thought setting up her clinic would help her make friends, but it didn’t. And then to tell everyone that she herself is an ace would make them think she’s a fraud because how can someone give advice on something they don’t feel themselves? The lift is fixed then, and O runs away because she’s become too emotional. Outside, she tells Otis that it’s because he saw his mom have a breakdown when his dad left that he’s afraid the same thing will happen to him. Otis realizes this may be true and tells O to apologize to Ruby and become friends. She doesn’t have to be lonely forever.
Aimee shows Isaac what her art project revolves around, and it’s pictures of herself in the jeans she wore when she was assaulted on the bus. Aimee found it very hard to get rid of them, and even when she was doing something she really loved, like eating ice cream, she’d think the jeans were still on, making her feel terrible about herself. The pictures are incredible, and Aimee tells Isaac that he’ll be a great teacher one day, just like he wants to. Maeve sees them in the corridor together when she’s trying to sign up for Cavendish and sees how good they are for each other. She gets a call about her mother’s ashes then and has to rush, giving her no chance to sign up for college.
Isaac is tired of telling the college that the one lift isn’t ever working. He decides to make a statement about it with Aimee’s help. Isaac and Aimee turn on the alarms at the school while blocking the staircase for people to come down. They show people how inconvenient it is to not be able to get to places. Aisha joins in and tells them how it’s an afterthought to think about the disabled. Everyone left her behind without realizing that she wouldn’t be able to hear the alarm. They don’t even do anything to help out with her schooling; there’s no one to take notes for her or help her with what she needs, and she feels ashamed to ask for help because she thinks she’s inconveniencing people. All of this should be a given, though. Everyone decides that they won’t take their mock exams until the lift is fixed for Isaac. Although the college does so much for the kids’ mental health, they can’t fix one lift for him until he creates a big scene out of it.
Adam tries to move a tractor out of the way for the hay delivery guy. He’s only new to driving, and a tractor is a completely different ball game, so he ends up reverse-crashing it into a fence. He thinks he’s going to get fired for that, and he thanks Jem for everything she’s taught him. Jem is surprised that Adam would think such a thing and tells him that he’s really good at his job, but he’s never supposed to touch the tractor again. Adam’s always been invalidated by his dad, and he uses all his strength and energy to tell him how he feels. Adam tells Michael that he thought he was going to disappoint his dad yet again when he made a mess of things. Adam calls Michael a sad man who projected his shame onto his son. Adam tells Michael to stop pretending he likes him and walks away.
Eric sees more signs of his dream in the real world and admits to Abbi that he wants to get baptized, but on the other hand, he can’t help but think that he’s not fighting for himself and his identity. Abbi tells him that she wishes she could go back to her church every day, and they pray together.
Maeve and Otis are supposed to have dinner with Jean, but because Otis is stuck in the lift and no one knows his phone is in the locker, he can’t make it in time. This is when Jean tries to understand what Maeve is going through and squeezes through her mental gates a little bit. Jean “therapies” Maeve and gets her to open up about college and her mom while meal-prepping. Maeve cuts herself accidentally and starts to cry. This is the first time she’s had a proper cry since her mom died, and Jean reminds her that it’s okay to cry. Maeve admits that she wants to go back to college, but it’s because Molloy told her that she’s not good enough that she can’t take another risk. Jean tells Maeve that she’s done a great job at bringing herself up, but sometimes it’s important for a parental figure to lift her up. Maeve’s never had anyone tell her that she’s amazing at what she does, so it’s easier for her to be disappointed in herself and accept that she’s just not good enough. One can’t believe in themselves if they’re never told to.
At the end of Sex Education episode 7, Maeve tells Otis that she wants to go back to America and that she may not come back. It’s always been her dream to get out of Moordale, and now there’s really nothing holding her back. Maeve’s found her voice and her people there, and even though she will miss her home, which is her chosen family of Aimee, Isaac, and Otis, she has to make this choice. Otis understands her very clearly, but he doesn’t want to tie her down. Otis and Maeve mutually understand that this is probably their last night together. They finally spend the night together, and it’s everything they’d hoped for. Maeve leaves a letter behind for Otis, and he closes his eyes as she leaves. Maeve admits to Aimee and Isaac that she was acting petty because she thought that if they got together, she’d lose the only family she has. Maeve’s got nobody left, and she can’t lose these two as well. She tells them that even though they don’t need her permission, she would be happy if they explored their relationship. She finally scatters her mom’s ashes at the caravan site with Aimee and Isaac by her side, saying goodbye once and for all.