Sex Education S4 review: Netflix hit goes out with a bang

Otis (Asa Butterfield) and Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) in Sex Education Season 4. (Netflix)
Otis (Asa Butterfield) and Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) in Sex Education Season 4. (Netflix)
  • 📺 Where to watch Sex Education Season 4: Netflix from 21 September

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 4/5

  • 🍿 Watch it if you liked: Skins, American Pie franchise, 

  • 🎭 Who's in it?: Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa 

  • How long is it? 8 x 60 minute episodes

  • 📖 What’s it about? A teenage boy with a sex therapist mother teams up with a high school classmate to set up an underground sex therapy clinic at school.

Heart-felt yet hedonistic, Netflix's Sex Education concludes with one final swing for the fences, bringing back Jean (Gillian Anderson), Otis (Asa Butterfield), Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and Maeve (Emma Mackey) in a fourth season that hits home.

From the audacious opening season that tore down taboos in 2019 without thinking twice, this Netflix trailblazer has always been about much more than Sex Education, diving into dysfunction, exploring and explaining gender, and doing so without judgement.

Maeve (Emma Mackey) in Sex Education Season 4. (Netflix)
Maeve (Emma Mackey) in Sex Education Season 4. (Netflix)

That approach has turned Sex Education into a slice of landmark television, which continues into season four discussing sexual health and contemporary identity in a drama that constantly evolves. So the introduction of Cavendish College in this series closer should come as no surprise to audiences who are used to expecting the unexpected.

Unfortunately, even though much of the cast might look mid-twenties rather than late-teens, by broadening perspectives and bringing in mediation rooms, silent discos and a fluid approach to everything, Cavendish College feels heavy handed.

Watch a trailer for Sex Education

By hammering home the differences between Moordale and this new institute, creators seem to have overlooked any sense of subtlety. A fully green environment and non-conformist approach to identity smacks of labouring the point.

That grumble aside, discovery seems to be the watch word in this intricate final season, as audiences share Eric’s evolution into a proud gay man, alongside new friends Abi (Anthony Lexa) and Roman (Felix Mufti).

Embracing his identity and realising that there is more to life than Adam (Connor Swindells), Cal (Dua Saleh) is also evolving, taking crucial steps on their way to fulfilment and making new connections, and openly discussing the challenges of identity in a world fraught with obstacles.

Cal (Dua Saleh) in Sex Education Season 4. (Netflix)
Cal (Dua Saleh) in Sex Education Season 4. (Netflix)

However, Sex Education is as much about the quieter moments of introspection and heartbreaking revelation where shared connections often go unnoticed. Mr Groff (Alistair Petrie) and Ruby Matthews (Mimi Keene) are one such pairing who exist on the periphery yet add to this season in the most unexpected way.

Beyond that, Maeve and Otis strive to find their own identities without each other, battling social media misunderstandings, emotional insecurities and time zones on their way to reconciliation.

Michael (Alistair Petrie) and Adam (Conor Swindells) in Sex Education Season 4. (Netflix)
Michael (Alistair Petrie) and Adam (Conor Swindells) in Sex Education Season 4. (Netflix)

Alongside Jean’s paternity concern, Jackson’s sexual preferences and a whole mishmash of equally important journeys vying for attention, audiences will often find themselves spoilt for choice.

As Sex Education goes out with a bang delivering passion, pathos, and pictures of Asa Butterfield from the waist down.

Sex Education S4 is available to stream on Netflix now.

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