Sex Education Episode 5 teaches the effects of body shaming and the importance of friendship in another solid chapter in the series.
This recap of Sex Education Season 1 Episode 5 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Sex Education Episode 5 dropped Otis’s clinic momentarily to focus on a couple of themes; the importance of friendship and how body shaming can have adverse effects on a person. From time to time, the Netflix series teaches lessons and wisely brings them into the story, so it is understandable.
The body shaming in this episode was due to a sexual image getting sent around the school of a girl’s genitals. This reverted my memory to when I was at school; smartphones were in their infancy – this type of bullying was not possible in my days, but I can only imagine how traumatizing this could be.
Luckily for the girl, her face had not been revealed yet, but the person spreading the image around the school has given so many hours before they announce the face as well. Sex Education Episode 5 sees Maeve (Emma Mackey) taking on the task of finding out who is the perpetrator. Beforehand, she goes round to Jackson’s (Kedar Williams-Stirling) house to meet the parents.
Maeve’s insecurities bleed through in Episode 5, as she dresses down before she goes to Jackson’s house, and then lies about her parents and establishes fake stories about her upbringing. It is clear the character feels inadequate in comparison to Jackson’s family and quickly hurries away from the dinner to meet up with Otis (Asa Butterfield) to investigate the sexual image further.
Otis was meant to be going to an event with Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), which involves dressing up like a woman for his birthday, but he is too distracted by Maeve’s request to meet up with him for the investigation. Otis is agitated by his friendship with Maeve in Episode 5, but his skewed thoughts make him forget the importance of his association with Eric.
The result is that Eric ended up being assaulted by a homophobic man who wanted thrills by punching him. The investigation into the sexual image was solved, leading to Maeve and Otis nearly kissing on the way home, but Otis shouted “I’m a virgin!” which stopped them both in their tracks. The episode ended on harsh terms between Otis and Eric.
It’s strange because Jackson is a genuine guy – so the entire situation with Maeve is a muddled story which is difficult to solve. As a love triangle, it is clear that Jackson is the front-runner, but Otis is flagrantly confident about his chances to gain her love. But another hammer blow is delivered when Jackson decides to visit Maeve’s home to see what her life is like, and he confesses to having anxiety issues and family trauma, which only brings him closer to Maeve.
Sex Education Episode 5 was another superbly written story.