Sex Education Season 4 Is Woke As F*ck & We Love It!

Characters assemble outdoors in front of a hedge in Sex Education Season 4
Sex Education Season 4. Cr. Samuel Taylor/Netflix © 2023

Editor’s Note: This piece on Sex Education Season 4 was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Well, I’m sad to say that our beloved Sex Education has finally ended. Please send well wishes and positive vibes in this challenging time.

Impressively, the show we all thought was progressively inclusive exceeds expectations yet again. Of the plethora of new characters Sex Education Season 4 brings, almost half are trans, and a quarter are disabled. Impeccable inclusivity. There’s so much to unpack with these brand-new storylines and fresh perspectives.

As you may remember from Sex Education Season 3, the regular haunt for these horny teens, Moordale Secondary, closed due to lack of funding and chaos the students brought to their headmistress (Jemma Kirke). With this shake-up in the venue and the inevitable effects of production halts due to COVID-19 and scheduling conflicts for lead and supporting actors, we sadly must miss and say goodbye to some beloved characters.

Not returning this season are Lily Igleheart (Tanya Reynolds), Olivia Hanan (Simone Ashley), Ola Nyman (Patricia Allison), Jacob Nyman (Mikael Persbrandt), Anwar Bakshi (Chaneil Kular), and many, many more. Some familiar faces may drop in for a cameo or two, but for the most part, we’ve been stripped of some OGs, although we gain new, insightful characters with plenty more to explore with their arrival.

Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee in art class with George Robinson as Isaac.
Sex Education Season 4. Cr. Samuel Taylor/Netflix © 2023

Sex Education is known for its highly suggestive and adult themes, primarily revolving around sex and gender, but also familial issues, drugs, addiction, mental health, poverty, bullying, and religion… This final season takes us through the ebbs and flows of disability rights and the ignorance of school systems, and the rest of society, in their inability to cater to and enable these disenfranchised groups. With the addition of George Robinson’s character, Isaac Goodwin, in Season 2, we were given a nuanced disabled character, and in Season 4, his character’s development skyrockets on screen.

In Season 2, Isaac was introduced as an alternative love interest for Maeve (Emma Mackey). He and his brother moved into the trailer park, and this shared sense of community brought the two together. Isaac’s selfish acts at the end of the season prevented Maeve and Otis (Asa Butterfield) from getting together but simultaneously killed his chances with Maeve due to his betrayal. In Season 4 of Sex Education, Isaac has a bit of a comeback arc and proposes a new romance with Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood). This new angle and bond brings out a whole other side of Isaac we had yet to see and gives Aimee another outlet for her trauma and new possibilities for her future.

Sex Education Season 4 Episode 7. George Robinson as Isaac Goodwin in the main foyer inciting the sit-in for disability rights.
Sex Education Season 4. George Robinson as Isaac Goodwin in Sex Education Season 4. Cr. Samuel Taylor/Netflix © 2023

George Robinson offers a very grounded performance that draws us in. Although his character has so much to be angry about, that emotion does not rule Robinson’s portrayal of the situation; it only appears in bursts as his day becomes inconvenienced or he’s wrought with past traumas. I greatly appreciate Robinson’s crafting of Isaac and the genuine feel of his personality.

At this new school (Cavendish Sixth Form College) Otis and his Moordale classmates attend, we meet deaf student Aisha (Alexandra James). Her story appears more as a supporting role among this large ensemble cast. However, Aisha’s struggle and courage to speak up become an element of Isaac’s powerful climax in Episode 7. Together, Isaac and Aisha demand their needs be met, encouraging their entire student body to hold an impromptu sit-in on campus. And, like Isaac, Aisha’s story is not solely for disability inclusion; she’s queer, in a polyamorous relationship and has a romantic entanglement with Cal (Dua Saleh), who we met in season 3.

We spend less time with Aisha and, therefore, have less chance of seeing Alexandra James shine in her role than Robinson does in his. However, I found that James’ performance drew me in. Her expressive face plays a massive role in her character’s communication; watching her emote was a large part of understanding her character’s struggles. I felt very engaged in Aisha’s storyline; her presence on screen had much to do with that.

Dua Saleh as Cal Bowman
Sex Education Season 4. Dua Saleh as Cal Bowman in Sex Education Season 4. Cr. Samuel Taylor/Netflix © 2023

If I’m not mistaken, Cal was the first trans character to appear on Sex Education. We meet them in Season 3; they’re non-binary and often struggle with gender dysphoria due to their feminine frame and hormonal puberty. Cal’s central conflict in Season 3 was against headmistress Haddon (Jemma Kirke) at Moordale, who had a conservative, TERFist mentality. Now, at Cavendish, Cal can be themselves and thrive. However, no matter the external positivity, they still struggle internally and wish for top surgery to achieve some gender euphoria they haven’t experienced since they were a pre-pubescent kid.

We often see Dua Saleh as Cal stirring in their dysphoria alone in their bedroom or a bathroom stall. Saleh has a lot of weight on their shoulders with this heavy material and emotional arc. In Season 3, I found their performance much bigger and outward with the rage they held in an oppressive environment. Now, in Season 4, they are much quieter and internal. I understand this choice, but in contrast to the rest of the ensemble, their quieter moments feel empty rather than full of suspended pain.

Cal (Dua Saleh) and Roman (Felix Mufti) sitting together at Queer night
Sex Education Season 4. Cr. Samuel Taylor/Netflix © 2023

As we watch Cal’s struggles alone, new characters Abbi (Anthony Lexa) and Roman (Felix Mufti) flourish as their transgender euphoric selves, comfortable in their bodies and living loud and proud. I think it was a well-made decision to not only focus on the sour moments of transitioning but include characters who have moved past that stage more or less. In Sex Education‘s final season, we can see the positive outcomes of trans-inclusive health care on teenagers’ mental health and understand its importance due to seeing what it’s like without it.

In the grander picture, these contrasting perspectives and experiences are phenomenal representations. However, as Saleh’s Cal is subdued where Lexa and Mufti are larger than life, there is a difficult balance to articulate the multitude of experiences and emotions. Sadly, I don’t think Sex Education succeeds. as Saleh’s melancholic performance is left to fend for itself in the sea of electric rainbows.

No matter the cracks in Sex Education, this show is so worth the hype and has a jampacked final season. I’ve barely scratched the surface with this exploration of the new-wave themes and characters here. There’s still so much to unpack about the OG cast of characters.

Written by Isobel Grieve


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  1. absolutely souless, unless you like life lessons and catering for the woke generation,it was a Mish mash of boring dialogue, seems they left the humour out this time around,but obviously some will love it,but nope not for me, enjoyed season 1_2,,3 was ok,4 was a total cop out, catering to obvious parties,so it didn’t upset the little snowflakes if the world,,

    • who’s “we” are you talking about? the woke crowd that only care for hearing some buzzwords? awful, one dimension characters. and terrible representation of gays. made me hate them

      • As Executive Editor of the site, I approved/endorsed the use of “we” here. I haven’t seen the show, but this site is fully on the side of LGBTQIA+ rights and representation

  2. I loved the first three seasons but couldn’t finish the first episode of season 4. It was hopscotch from this woke troop to the next. The fun loving high school lives of teenagers had to be tainted by pandering to I feel special group. Such a sad way to end a wonderful series.

  3. I’ve read some of the reviews and most conclude season 4 is a very bad season, but IMO nobody dares to say the real reason why this season was completely whack. They all say some things like the evolution of the love story between Otis and Maeve is not satisfying for the viewer and the fact that a lot of the beloved characters of the first 3 seasons didn’t re-appear in season 4.

    This is all true, but I have to say it’s sad to see nobody of the reviewers wants to mention the REAL the elephant in the room, and that all this woke bs that is being shoved down the throats of the viewer, like it or not. (the other two viewer comments here only prove this because it’s also what they mention) It completely devaluates the entire season and that shows in the ratings as shown on sites like rottentomatoes where Sex Education season 4 looses more than 50% of its votes compared to previous seasons. Really, if this is what youth is supposed to be like nowadays, then I weep for the future.

    I saw it through because I really wanted to see the ending, but I was left totally unsatisfied, as expected after the first episode to be honest. I even got really quite annoyed of the entire freak show (sorry, I have no other words for it) that was being portrayed and I felt very sad understanding this was what they had done to what was once a great and hilarious show. Which brings me to the comedy… I had laughed my a** off with some scenes of the first three seasons. This season: almost nothing. Really sad and a very dissappointing ending. If this was the best they could do with it, they should have stopped at the end of season 3.

    If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favour : don’t and save ten hours of your life.

  4. I totally agree with the other 3 comments.

    “Sex Education Season 4 Is Woke As F*ck & Y O U Love It! ”

    Not me , and apparentely not anybody else

  5. yeah miss idk what kind of delusion you have.

    nobody loves it. it was so bad I mean with 5 mins of first episode when they were showing around the college you just wanted to hurl your laptop away.

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