Sex Education season 3, episode 1 recap – the opening chapter explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: September 17, 2021 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
View all
Netflix series Sex Education season 3, episode 1


The third season opens with more trivializations.

This recap of Netflix’s Sex Education season 3, episode 1 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the season 2 finale.

The third season of Sex Education. Who’d have thought it? Season 2 left audiences with a range of cliffhangers, including the heartbreaking delay of “Otis and Maeve” orchestrated by Isaac (who is not a popular figure). What will season 3 bring? Let’s hope it is as unpredictable as the last two installments.

Sex Education season 3, episode 1 recap

To open up the premiere chapter, there’s plenty of sex scenes — our characters are rowdy. There’s a student named Dex who is struggling to please his girlfriend, but we’ll get back to that later. Otis has a light mustache — he’s decided to go for a new look over the summer. As for Isaac, despite ruining “Maeve and Otis,” he still hasn’t told Maeve that he likes her. This feels like a waste considering Otis and Maeve have not talked all summer.

Episode 1 quickly flits to school, and there’s a camera crew documenting the place — it’s now known as the “sex school” after the “chlamydia outbreak” that was not really an outbreak. With Michael Groff no longer headteacher, he’s applying for teaching positions (but getting declined). There’s a new sheriff in the school — Mrs. Haddon (or known as Hope). She wants to put Moordale back on track. It feels like we are in a new era!

Hope’s first line of business is inviting Maeve and Otis into her office — she wants to know about their sex clinic. Maeve explains they do not run it anymore because they have grown apart, which adds to the awkwardness of the scene. Hope tells them both she wants updates if anything similar happens. It’s sad to see Otis and Maeve so far apart — season 1 feels like a long time ago. 

But there is no rest for the wicked as Otis is clearly good at sex. He meets Ruby in the broken-down bathroom to hook up. In another cubicle, they hear Kyle giving Dex sex advice using a masked voice, so Otis confronts him about it and tells him to stop running the clinic, or he will report him. However, Kyle figures out that Otis is sleeping with Ruby, so he threatens to tell everyone. They both have secrets now, which leaves Otis in a bad position. Otis has to tell Eric about Kyle running the sex clinic and that he is hooking up with Ruby. Eric is shocked (but pumped) that his boy has sex with the most popular girl in school. I think we are pumped for Otis too.

However, Otis and Ruby are not the most secure couple. While hooking up in a secret location, Ruby admits she’s embarrassed to be seen with him despite the good sex. Otis tells her they are done if she’s embarrassed by him.

As for Jean, well, she’s pregnant with Jakob’s baby, but she hasn’t told him yet. She keeps driving past his house until, eventually, she shows him her baby bump. She is empowered by her decision to keep the baby and leaves it optional for Jakob to be involved. He says he will think about it. These two would make an amazing couple.

As we mentioned at the start of the recap, student Dex is failing to please his partner in the bedroom, and Kyle gave him bad advice, suggesting it’s his penis size. So Dex decides to measure his penis in the broken-down bathroom, but he ends up naked and in a mess in the schoolyard. Students see him, but also the camera crew manages to record him running away naked. The new headteacher was doing an interview at the time. It’s good that Sex Education has kept consistent with its comedy.

Brought together by coincidence, Maeve and Otis find a distressed Dex who is annoyed that he listened to Kyle. He’s worried that he has a small penis. Otis explains that penis size is not important and comparing is not helpful. Maeve adds to the conversation, stating that most women struggle to orgasm from penetration alone, and she tells Dex to be creative (you have fingers and a tongue, use them). A now-relaxed Dex tells Otis that he heard about him and Ruby and congratulates him, which means Maeve now knows. She plays it cool. Ironically, the rumor regarding Otis and Ruby was not spread by Kyle but by his best friend, Eric.

The ending

As the episode ends, Otis tells Mrs. Haddon that the sex clinic is still running illegally but that it isn’t him or Maeve. He tells her about the broken-down bathroom near the schoolyard. Ruby tells Otis that everyone knows about them now, so she tells him they can still see each other — they kiss publically for everyone to see.

The episode ends with the old bathroom getting destroyed by a digger. Mrs. Haddon is not playing. The secret sex clinic is over for good, which is sad, as that is usually a story arc that brings Otis and Maeve together.

Additional plot points

  • Eric is upset at Adam after he started a fight with a student who was speaking about him. Adam agrees to change. In the changing room, someone calls Adam a “poofter,” and he casually keeps his cool and admits he is gay.
  • The new headteacher wants Jackson to help her instill new values at the school.
  • Otis heads to the baby clinic to support his mother but sees Jakob has joined her.
  • Maeve tries to ring her mother, but she doesn’t want to talk to her.

What did you think of Netflix’s Sex Education season 3, episode 1? Comment below.

Netflix, TV Recaps
View all