A Bittersweet First Look at Final Season of 'Sex Education'

Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and Otis (Asa Butterfield) stand together outside a school building laughing and smiling

Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and Otis (Asa Butterfield) are back for Season 4 of Sex Education

Samuel Taylor/Netflix

The end of August is fast approaching, which means for many, including the beloved characters of Sex Education, it’s time to head back to school. For the cast of Sex Education, they’re heading back to school for the last time, as the fourth season, premiering this fall, will be the show’s last. But the show’s creator, Laurie Nunn, recently gave fans hope for future spin-offs.

In a heartfelt letter to fans in July, Nunn announced in a heartfelt letter that the fourth season would mark the end of the show’s almost five-year run. While you savor the last days of summer, you can savor the last days of anticipation leading up to Season 4 of Sex Education, as Netflix has revealed the first look images of the season. As exciting as the photos are, it’s bittersweet to know that some familiar faces will be absent from the new season. Olivia (Simone Ashley), Lily (Tanya Reynolds), Ola (Patricia Allison), and Emily (Rakhee Thakrar) are all among the characters who will not return for Season 4.

But never fear, plenty of the show’s fan-favorite characters will be sticking around, despite the cast’s swift rise to international fame since the show began. Stars Asa Butterfield (Choose or Die), Gillian Anderson (The Crown), Ncuti Gatwa (of soon-to-be Doctor Who fame), and Emma Mackey (Emma) will return. Gatwa, Mackey, and co-star Connor Swindells (Rogue Heroes) all hit the big screen earlier this summer in everyone’s favorite summer blockbuster, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.

Maeve (Emma Mackey) stands against a wall talking on the phone

Maeve (Emma Mackey) in Sex Education's final season

Stephen Taylor/Netflix

The first look photos give us a peek at what fan-favorite characters Otis (Asa Butterfield), Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), Aimee (Aimee-Lou Wood), and Maeve (Emma Mackey) will be getting up to in the upcoming season. Also included are shots of the supporting cast, including Mimi Keene (EastEnders) as Ruby Matthews, George Robinson (Dalgliesh) as Isaac Goodwin, and singer Dua Saleh as Cal Bowman.

Other main cast who will continue through the end of the show are Kedar Williams-Stirling (Small Axe) and Chinenye Ezeudu (The School for Good & Evil). Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy will join the cast as a tutor for Mackey’s character Maeve, as was already revealed in a photo last summer.

The new photos don’t reveal much more about the plot of the season, but so far we know that the catalyst for Season 4 will be the closure of Moordale Secondary School, scattering the characters among other schools.

Speaking to Netflix Tudum, showrunner Laurie Nunn shared that though Season 4 is the end for now, there may be hope for future explorations of the world of Sex Education. “I’m definitely taking a break and thinking about other things,” she said, “But Moordale is a really rich world, and writing about teenagers is always a lot of fun. So, I think that there’s always potential for more to be explored in that world.”

Season 4 of Sex Education will premiere on Netflix with all episodes on September 21, 2023. Seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix now.

Author Emma O’Neill-Dietel

Emma O’Neill-Dietel is a writer, educator, and history nerd from Philadelphia, PA. She eats, sleeps, and breathes Doctor Who but has been known to enjoy other British TV and movies too. She may love British media but don’t get it twisted; she’s Irish through and through. Follow her on Threads: @emmaod22.

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