Sex Education season 3, episode 4 recap – “love is a big word”

By Daniel Hart
Published: September 17, 2021
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Netflix series Sex Education season 3, episode 4


Episode 4 discusses the dilemmas around the statement “I love you” and raises the importance of healthy sex education in schools.

This recap of Netflix’s Sex Education season 3, episode 4 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

As we venture halfway through the third season, the characters are routinely none the wiser. There’s a constant cycle of them needing to figure things out. Growing up is hard, and the pains are starting to be felt in season 3.

Sex Education season 3, episode 4 recap

Episode 4 opens up with sex scenes; Anwar is having sex with his boyfriend using strawberry flavoured condoms. After, his boyfriend tells him he looks like Rocky Balboa — his face has swelled up. It then flits to Malek having sex with Olivia — he puts pressure on her to not use a condom and apply the “pull-out” method. Later in the episode, Olivia tells her boyfriend to use a condom as neither wants a baby. As for Otis, he’s gone from plenty to sex to no sex at all. He asks Ruby to stay the night, but she declines. She’s upset because she professed her love for him, and he didn’t respond well to it.

Jakob and Jean continue to go to therapy — Jakob is not sure he believes in therapy which shocks Jean; she keeps learning new things about him. Later on, Jakob decides to build a treehouse for their baby. During yoga, she expresses how she’s beginning to doubt herself and losing control. She tells Maureen she and Jakob have nothing in common. Maureen makes a good point; that she and Michael had lots in common, but there was no connection.

At school, classes are split into two for sex education — girls in one room, while the boys are in another. Cal asks which class she attends as they are non-binary. Hope cruelly tells Cal to go into the girls’ line. Hope tells the teachers not to accept questions for the lessons — they are trying to put the students off sex. The video shown in the boys class is shaming gay sex, so Otis protests and wonders why they cannot ask questions — he is kicked out of class. Maeve is also kicked out of her class for protesting as well. This brings Maeve and Otis together in the corridor — they briefly take about the clinic, but Otis states it is not his problem anymore, and they argue again. It’s quite obvious these two love each other.

Romance finally blooms between Isaac and Maeve. Isaac arranges a meal with her. Maeve is still angry with Isaac for deleting Otis’s message and wants to know why he fucked up. Isaac admits he felt threatened and apologizes. The pair kiss and Maeve wonders what Isaac can feel sexually — she’s curious as he cannot walk. Isaac explains he can get erect, but it takes a while. Maeve touches him in different places intimately, and they suddenly enjoy each other’s presence. This romance is beginning to be appealing, despite audiences feeling angry at Isaac at the end of season 2.

Otis finally gets to talk to Ruby — he explains that he really likes her but would like to express love when the time is right as he does not feel it currently. Ruby is visibly upset when Otis questions whether it is real love and states she has never loved anyone before or introduced anyone to her father. She tells him to leave, and they break up. Otis hurt Ruby unintentionally, leaving her to feel broken, but he did the right thing. Never tell anyone you love them unless you mean it.

The ending

Eric and Adam keep arguing — it doesn’t help that Adam gets easily jealous, especially when Rahim is around. Eric asks for space when he goes to Nigeria, but Adam gets defensive. Later in the episode. Adam apologies to Eric for losing his temper. Eric reassures Adam that he chose him and that he does not like it when he gets jealous. Adam admits he does not want space and that he loves him. Eric reciprocates.

The episode ends with the start of the school trip and students hopping on to the coach. Adam sits next to Rahim. Otis looks over at Maeve, and they smile at each other briefly, but they don’t sit next to each other. It feels like there’s going to be plenty of drama on the school trip!

Additional points

  • Maeve’s mother spies on Elsie and the foster mother. Maeve tells her not to spy as Elsie is safe. The mother wonders if Elsie misses her.
  • Viv tells Hope that the girls and boys lines made some students feel uncomfortable. She thinks the students need to be listened to and suggests a student forum. Hope thinks it’s a good idea but wants Viv to keep an eye on students on the trip so they exchange numbers. The student forum was Jackson’s idea, and Viv didn’t give him credit.
  • Maeve tells Hope she can’t go on the school trip as she has no money. Hope tells her that an anonymous person has paid her fees. Maeve believes that Anna paid for her school trip, but she doesn’t want to be a charity.
  • Anwar learns that he’s allergic to strawberry flavored condoms, which causes his face to swell up.
  • Maureen and Michael bump into each other at the supermarket — Maureen tells him that it’s not too late to fix things. Colin believes she wants him back. When Michael meets Maureen to fix things, she tells him she meant with his son Adam. Michael then learns Maureen is seeing another man.

What did you think of Netflix’s Sex Education season 3, episode 4? Comment below.

Netflix, TV Recaps
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