After Moordale High was shut down, it was obvious the dynamics would be shaken up like never before.
Sex Education Season 4 Episode 1 welcomed us to Cavendish College, where most of the action will occur during the final season.
At first glance, the college is a complete 180 from the confines of High School, which isn’t bad because it gives our favorite characters a different sandbox to play inside as the series winds down.
We’ll start with Otis because, somehow, he always seems to get on the wrong side of new people he meets.
The sad part of Otis’ journey throughout the season premiere was that he struggled without Maeve and because Jean wasn’t really serving as a mother figure in his life.
Cavendish was supposed to be where he returned to what he did best: Being a sex therapist to the students.
With Cavendish being one of the most progressive schools in TV history, Otis would obviously face stiff competition on the sex therapy front.
Hello. Welcome to Cavendish College. My name is Abbi. This is Aisha and my boyfriend, Roman. And we’re your sixth form reps. We have got some tablets to hand out to you all.
The truth is, Otis acted like a petulant child when he realized O already had that corner of the market covered and had been doing so very well.
O was already a student at the school, so Otis telling her to close up shop and let him do it instead highlighted that people don’t say no enough to him.
His best course of action would have been to ask O if there was a way in which they could use both of their expertise to help more students.
Look at it this way: O’s schedule was packed with students looking for help, so she would have probably been receptive to them helping people had Otis changed his approach.
Otis’ actions lead me to believe that the only constant he had in his life was being a sex therapist, so he’d literally been counting down the days to get back to it.
It highlights that he’s struggling in his personal life, and there’s a good chance we’ll see more of him struggling before we get to the good stuff.
Maeve being away is one thing, but he’s also essentially looking after his mother and Joy, so it’s like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders and needs an outlet to vent.
He’s hardly talking to Maeve, which isn’t boding well because he’s spending most of the time wondering what she’s getting up to on the other side of the world.
Long-distance relationships are tough, especially at their age, and Maeve was driven to sext Otis because she felt like their connection wasn’t as strong as when they were back in Moordale.
Otis balking at sending a photo back was on brand for him because he tends to think about the bigger picture instead of being caught up in the moment.
He over-analyzes everything, so it makes sense then that he would take many pictures of himself to analyze before sending.
Eric: I wonder where Anwar and Olivia are. They usually move as a pack.
Otis: I think they went to Taylor’s Secondary in Northbury.
At the same time, I doubt he thought his photos would be projected across Candeish as he tried to tell everyone he was a sex therapist.
As far as first days go, Otis’ was terrible, and it’s surprising he even had anyone asking for advice in the end.
Cal turning to Otis for advice was a bit of a surprise, but the best part was that it showed how well Otis can read situations and offer advice that will benefit people.
Cal was one of the best new additions to Sex Education Season 3, and it looks like they will face an uphill battle at Cavendish.
Jackson and Vivienne are too caught up in their own worlds to ask Cal about how things are going, as evidenced by the way Cal is on the periphery of every scene.
Hopefully, they can be better friends to Cal going forward, or I hope Cal finds a new group of friends because they can do better.
Speaking of bad first days, Aimee bumping into Isaac in the elevator, not remembering him, and making ludicrous comments were not on my bingo card.
Aimee has been on quite the journey throughout the series, and my best guess here is that she and Isaac will be very close by the end of the series.
Isaac understood that Aimee’s comments weren’t malicious, so I dare say they’ll have plenty of fun in their art class together.
Everyone has to pivot because they’re thrust into this new location that is Cavendish, so they’re having to build connections with new people.
For some, that’s proving to be complicated. Ruby was the Queen B of Moordale High, but her clique went to a different school to finish the year.
It seems like Ruby thought she’d show up at Cavendish with people fawning over her and wanting to be her friend, but the reality is that sometimes you need to do a lot of work to maintain friendships.
Abbi: This is a no-car zone.
Ruby: Where am I supposed to park, then?
Abbi: There’s a car park across the road.
Ruby wouldn’t have looked in Aimee’s direction to be friends in Moordale, so Aimee, quite rightly, isn’t interested in befriending Ruby in this new location.
It makes sense, but Sex Education Season 3 did a remarkable job of humanizing Ruby, so I expect her journey at Cavendish will be about expanding her horizons and being less judgemental.
Was anyone else stunned that she ate lunch in the bathroom stall while her former headmaster did the same thing?
Michael’s parenting style and teaching didn’t give him many supporters, and he’s slowly beginning to understand the importance of not being by the book and looking down his nose at people.
His first day was probably up there with Otis’ in terms of embarrassment. The students could tell he was a fish out of water and would be an easy target to pick on now that he’d given them ammunition.
The biggest indication that Michael was so far out of the loop of his son’s life was that he still thought Eric and Adam were “friends.”
Eric may have seemed like a familiar and friendly face to Michael, but Eric won’t be able to forget the torment the man put his son through over the years.
The only redeeming quality in Michael here is that he was so concerned that Adam didn’t show up for college that he went to the house to check-in.
Had Michael been a more active father instead of a dictator, Adam would have felt comfortable enough to let his dad know what he planned next.
Eric: Good morning.
Otis: Wow, that’s a new one. You look amazing.
Eric: Thank you… look tired. What were you up all night doin’? Hey. Heeeey! Uh-huh! Uh-huh! Uh-huh! Uh-heeeey! Very profesh.
Otis: So it’s my new free… Uh-huh. …totally transparent sеx therapy clinic. Ah! You were right. I don’t wanna give up helping people. And I know it sounds silly, but I think therapy is my calling.
Eric: I’m so proud of you.
Otis: Thanks, man.
Eric: Aww! Come on. I am shitting myself.
Eric: Well, what if people think that we’re losers again?
Otis: We’re not. We’re literally different people now. We’re confident. We know who we are. We’re the cool guys.
If anything, I’ll be happy if the father and son can find some common ground and understand each other. The lack of a father-son bond has been the big issue preventing them from having a relationship.
Which brings me to Maeve. Maeve is the type of person who can make friends everywhere, but she’s struggling with being away from her friends and boyfriend in the U.S.
It’s not surprising. Maeve has always struggled with feeling like she isn’t good enough and that she doesn’t deserve good things to happen to her.
She spent most of Sex Education Season 3 thinking she wouldn’t be good enough to enter a competition, never mind going to the U.S. to pursue writing.
Hopefully, she can find friends and a sense of community in this new location because it’ll be hell if she continues holding on to her life back home.
All things considered, the premiere managed to give resolution and kick off new conflicts and storylines to drive the final season.
What are your thoughts on Otis’ actions? Are you surprised Maeve isn’t having the best time in the U.S.?
Otis: Hey, Mum. You all right?
Jean: I forgot why I opened the fridge.
Otis: You’re… dressed. You going somewhere today?
Jean: I didn’t tell you? I’ve got a job interview. It’s to host a new radio show about sеx.
Otis: Well, do you think it’s a good idea? To be going back to work?
Jean: Oh… Oh, it’s just cabbage leaves. It’s all right. I, uh… I’ve got a blocked duct. They help.
Otis: Okay, well… I just think it might be a bit soon.
Jean: I had a baby, darling. Not a lobotomy. My agent thinks it’s a good opportunity. Coffee. Right. Oh, bollocks. Do you mind popping to the shop with Joy while I’m gone and picking some up? Maybe some… wet wipes, and… I’ll send you a list.
Otis: Well, actually, Mum, it’s my first day at the new school, remember?
Jean: What, today?
Jean: I totally forgot.
Otis: Yeah, I should get going.
What are your thoughts on Ruby being the odd one out at this new school?
Do you think there’s a chance for her to fit in if she opens up to people?
What’s your take on Jean’s struggle?
Hit the comments.
All episodes of Sex Education are now streaming on Netflix.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.