Sex Education Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: Welcome Back to Moordale

Welcome back to Moordale Secondary School. The students (and parents, and teachers) have been having quite the summer, as the season opens with a steamy montage of the titular characters and others engaging in a wonderful and inclusive range of sexual activities (save for Aimee and her boyfriend, Steve, who are doing some kind of trampoline aerobics?). As the characters individually begin to orgasm, the montage ends and lands on Dex and his girlfriend. He finishes, but she…well, she doesn’t. This makes him question his abilities and ask himself, “Am I bad at sex?”

It is now the first day of school, and Otis is feeling good! He checks his newly grown mustache, puts on deodorant and goes downstairs to grab orange juice from the fridge. As he’s walking out he gets a call from his mom, the infamous Dr. Jean Milburn, and he asks her if she’s told him yet. By this, we can only assume that the “him” is Jakob, and what Jean needs to tell him is that she’s very, very pregnant. But alas, she has not yet.

Jean is at a radio show, doing an interview on a new book she wrote, which is essentially a sex ed manual that was influenced by the happenings and students at Moordale. We then go to Maeve, who is listening to the interview on the radio. She’s at Isaac’s having breakfast, and his brother hands her a sandwich as she leaves for school. Isaac’s brother is insistent that he tells Maeve he likes her, but Isaac is afraid to. Probably because he’s still holding onto that guilty thing he did at the end of last season.

Maeve walks out to see Amy in her brand new car! Her mom had gotten it for her so she wouldn’t have to take the bus, so it’s easier for her. In the backseat is Steve and a goat. Wait, what? Maeve wonders the same thing, and Amy explains that it is her and Steve’s commitment animal, to help them with their relationship. Amy starts to drive off but instead of going in reverse, she jolts forward and hits a woman sending her flying to the ground. Oops. She correctly puts the car in reverse and speeds out of the trailer park.

Otis and Eric are biking to school and Eric, of course, makes fun of Otis’ mustache that, according to Otis, took him all summer to grow. Eric then tells him how he wants to go all the way with Adam, to which Otis tells him to be careful with him. Eric tells him to ease up on him and mentions how he saw Maeve the other day. Otis doesn’t care anymore, because she didn’t answer to the voicemail he left her, so obviously there was nothing there between them. Suddenly, the two of them hear a yell as something comes barreling through the hilly woods behind them. It’s none other than Adam on his bike, who somehow made it through that without a single scratch. He catches up to them and looks at Otis, asking what the heck is on his face. Poor Otis and his inability to grow a proper mustache.

They get to school, where Otis and Maeve see each other for the first time since last school year. Aimee asks Maeve about what happened, and she tells her that they aren’t friends anymore. They then notice a camera crew on the campus, and all the students start to crowd around it. The newscaster is dubbing Moordale the “sex school,” and grab Adam as he’s walking by to ask about the chlamydia outbreak. He doesn’t say anything and just smells the microphone. To save him from further embarrassment, Eric jumps in and has his fifteen seconds of fame, saying that everyone was scared but they got through it. The newscaster then sees Otis and asks what he thinks. He tells her that it was just mass hysteria and not true. She then figures out she’s talking to Dr. Milburn’s son and asks him about her new book, and if the students here are as depraved as the book makes it seem. He retires by saying that it is honest insight, and that she and everyone else should read it before speculating.

All the students are then seated at assembly as a song plays and a woman they don’t know comes in dancing on stage. The music turns off and the woman introduces herself as the new Head Teacher, Ms. Haddon, but they can call her Hope. She talks about how she went to Moordale and how it was inspiring for her. It is where she found her passions, and she is disappointed to read in the press what has happened to it since. With a triumphant voice, she tells the students, “I will get Moordale, and your futures, back on track.” The students are all excited, deeming her as cool with this first interaction. At the end of assembly though, as everyone is leaving, Hope calls Otis and Maeve to her office on the microphone.

Shortly after, Hope comes out of her office, where Jackson and Adam are sitting. “You must be Jackson,” she says, as she goes to shake Adam’s hand. Uh oh—that’s a red flag. Adam tells her that he’s there to re-enroll and gets sent to the receptionist for paperwork. Otis and Maeve then walk in and get told to go straight into her office. She then speaks to the actual Jackson, and asks him to come back later. Jackson, obviously, isn’t pleased.

In her office, Hope asks the two students to sit down. She lets them know that they are not in trouble, that in fact the campus sex clinic they ran was entrepreneurial. She then asks them if that was something they want to pursue. Otis tells her that they stopped it, that it was unethical. Maeve adds on that they grew apart and aren’t friends anymore. With that, Hope tells them that if they’re to come up with anything in the future, to let her know. As they leave, Hope asks Otis to tell his mother she’s looking forward to reading her book.

Outside, Otis asks Maeve why they aren’t friends anymore. Maeve, not knowing the full story, just says they’re in different places, and walks away. Otis then gets a text from “X-Tina” to meet her int the abandoned toilets. He goes, and gets pulled in a stall, and it’s none other than Ruby! They start making out until they’re interrupted by Dex, who comes in and goes in a stall and starts talking with someone in the stall next to him that has an altered voice. Dex tells the voice about the situation with his girlfriend, and it sounds like the sex clinic is back on. Curious at who is giving this unsolicited advice, Ruby and Otis stick their heads out. But then Dex leaves, so they hide. Otis then goes out and opens the other stall to see another student, Kyle, who essentially was scamming poor Dex. A cellphone noise then goes off and Kyle asks what Otis was doing in here. He goes towards where the sound came from, and as hard as Otis tries, he’s unable to stop Kyle from looking in the stall and seeing Ruby. He’s found out their secret, and he tells them that he won’t say anything if they don’t say that he’s the new “Sex King.”

Ruby and Otis leave the abandoned bathrooms and Ruby makes sure to tell Otis not to tell anyone anything, otherwise she won’t touch him anymore. But, Otis being Otis, he can’t keep it secret from his bff Eric. So, he runs into the school and finds Eric and immediately tells him about Kyle, but that he can’t tell anyone because he’s been having casual sex with Ruby, and Kyle will tell everyone if his secret gets out. Eric can’t help but laugh, because Ruby?? And Otis?? Not a duo he would ever think could happen. But then, he notices a hickey on Otis’ neck, and looks outside to see Ruby, with a hickey on her neck, too. He’s absolutely ecstatic, wondering how the hell this happened. Otis tells him the story about a costume party he went to over the summer (he was Mac and cheese, Ruby was Christina Aguilera—hence the X-Tina in the texts), and pulled him into a closet to make out, and the rest was history. Knowing all the info, now, Eric asks “What are you going to do about Kyle?” “I guess he’s not my responsibility anymore,” Otis answers.

As the school day comes to an end, Adam is going to get his bike when a couple guys walk by laughing at him. Eric comes out of the building and runs to hug him, but Adam is clearly bothered about the guys who laughed at him. He goes over to them and pushes one of them to the ground, while everyone stops and stares, wondering if Adam is about to go apeshit on this guy. But he doesn’t. He goes back to his bike, but Eric is upset, telling him he can’t do that to people, and leaves him there alone.

We then see Adam’s dad, Michael Groff, drive up to a super nice, big house, belonging to Peter, his brother, played by the incomparable Jason Isaacs. Earlier in the episode, Michael had interviewed for a teaching position and was told he wasn’t getting it. He’s had a bad streak of “no” because of what had happened at Moordale. But, when he enters his brother’s house, he decides to lie and tell him that he got the job.

At home, Otis finds his mother outside on the porch and tells her how her book is making quite the stir at school. She, of course, doesn’t pay no mind. Jean then asks him if he wants to watch a movie and as he’s about to say yes, a text comes through from Ruby to meet her, so he tells his mother that he’s actually going to Eric’s. She lets him go, and asks him if tomorrow, he can come with her to her doctor appointment. He says he’ll be there, but she needs to tell Jakob. She’s still a bit scared to, as evidenced by her going by where he was working earlier and hiding when she saw him. Then, later in the episode, she circles around where he’s working, until after one roundabout, he steps in front of the car and says, “Are you stalking me, woman?” “Can we talk?” Jean asks, stepping out of the car, where he sees her very pregnant belly.

Over at Adam’s house, he’s sitting in bed when Ola comes in to check in and see if he’s okay. She tells him that he can talk to her, but he responds, “I’m not good at talking.” Ola goes into a story about when her mom died, that every day, she would punch a pillow to let all her emotions out, but at the end, the only thing that really helped her was talking. Adam then admits to Ola that he doesn’t want people to think he’s a pussy just because he’s gay, and he doesn’t know how to tell Eric that. But before he figures that out, he asks her if they can do the pillow thing. Ola tells him to give her the pillow and starts explaining what to do, but before she can finish, he already has it on the bed and is punching it with both hands.

Otis rides his bike to where Ruby is waiting in her car, and they immediately start to make out and get undressed, but it’s just not working. Otis brings up that he thinks Ruby is embarrassed of him. She agrees, she doesn’t want to be seen in public with him, even if he’s good at sex. With that, he tells her that they’re done and gets out of the car, and she drives away, yelling at him that they’re over. When Otis gets home, he texts Ruby that “that was stupid. Let’s still have sex.” Ruby doesn’t text back, but you can tell that she has some feelings for him.

Returning to Maeve, she leaves another voicemail for her mom, who hasn’t spoken to her since she had called the cops on her. Maeve tells her that she loves her, and misses her. Isaac then comes over, with intentions of telling her how he feels, but chokes up and asks her about breakfast instead.

Back at Moordale the next day, Jackson is in Hope’s office, and she talks to him about the commitment of being Head Boy and that she hopes it’s challenging him. The receptionist then comes in to tell Hope that the press is here to interview her. So, Hope gives Jackson the new school values to look over and give feedback, and on her way out, lectures him that he needs to take the role more seriously than he has been. Jackson exits shortly after, and bumps into a new student and is immediately intrigued. He continues walking down the hallway, passing Adam, who is there waiting for Eric. When Eric comes, he tells him that he doesn’t like it when Adam hurts people, to which he responds that he wants to change. They hold hands and go into the locker room, which is filled with a handful of guys getting changed. One of them asks Adam if he’s a “pufta,” which as a non-British person, sounds like a slang word for gay. Adam, with confidence, responds, “Yeah, I’m a pufta. That ok with you?” The guy says it’s cool and others agree that they’re all okay with it. This whole interaction is overheard by Rahim, Eric’s ex, who seems like he still isn’t over him. Adam and Eric then go to change, and Dex, the boy having trouble, comes in and sees everyone changing and a lot of dicks hanging out, and goes into a hysteria about the size of his and if that’s the problem. He immediately goes to the abandoned toilets, where the new student is changing into their physical ed clothes in one of the stalls. Dex takes all of his clothes off and starts to measure himself and then jack off to see how big it gets. Then, the teacher Ms. Sands comes in to smoke a cigarette but sees the Head Teacher outside with a camera crew and decides not to. She then sees the clothes hanging over one of the stall doors, wondering what the heck they’re doing there, and takes them. Now Dex is completely naked with no salvation.

In physical ed class, Otis is running the track when Steve runs by and asks him if him and Ruby are a thing. He refutes it and asks why. Well, apparently, everyone knows. Otis immediately thinks of Kyle, the “Sex King,” and that he had gone ahead and told everyone, so he runs off the track to find him.

Aimee, in science class, dismisses herself because the goat needs to go pee. Outside, Dex is running across campus butt naked, covering his junk, and runs right into Aimee and her goat on its pee break. She starts screaming, and the entire science class hears her and looks outside to see naked Dex. Ashamed, he takes Aimee’s goat to cover himself then continues running across the lawn, behind the Head Teacher as she’s doing her interview.

In the library, Maeve is using the computer to type up an essay but it crashes, losing all of her work. She leaves upset and runs into Otis in the hallway. Then, they see Aimee’s goat running across the hallway and a scream from Dex in the distance. They go to see if he’s okay, and he’s been traumatized by this, all because of the “Sex King” aka Kyle’s advice, who happens to show up right in that moment. Otis and Maeve follow him to get things sorted out. They find an empty room where they can all talk with Dex about his situation. Otis tells him that size doesn’t matter, and that it’s never wonky, but unique. Maeve then asks him why he thinks he never could please a woman. Kyle tells them that Dex’s girlfriend can’t cum. Maeve, the only woman in the room, then tells Dex that he needs to get acquainted with the clitoris, ask his girlfriend what she likes, and that an orgasm doesn’t have to be the main goal of sex. “You have ten fingers and a tongue, Dex, use your imagination.” The conversation reassures Dex, and he leaves feeling a lot better about himself. As he leaves, he tells Otis that he heard about him and Ruby and congratulates him. Maeve asks Otis about that, and he tells her that its over, and it was just casual anyhow. He leaves, only to go tell the Head Teacher, Hope, about the sex clinic in the abandoned bathrooms, that it’s dangerous, and that hopefully she can get the right service on campus for the students.

Returning to Jean and Jakob, who just found out about her pregnancy, they are in the house talking about how the longer she waited to tell him, the harder it got. At first, she hadn’t been sure if she was going to keep it, but then she started writing the book and it made her want to keep it. She adds that she only wants him to be involved if he wants to be involved. Jakob then asks her if she wants him to be, to which she responds if he wants to. Obviously, this back and forth isn’t getting anywhere, so Jakob tells her that he needs to think about it.

Back at school, as everyone is leaving to go home, Maeve asks Ms. Sands if she can get an extension on her paper, to which she says that this is the last time she can have one, and she should get herself a laptop so this doesn’t keep happening. She obviously doesn’t know Maeve’s situation, and you can’t help but feel bad. 

Otis goes over to Eric and asks him how everyone found out about him and Ruby. He says he told Adam, and then Adam says he told Ola, and Ola told her girlfriend Lily, who then told…everyone else.

Maeve walks out to the parking lot, where Isaac and his brother are waiting. He tells her that he sold an art piece so they’re going out for pizza. She gives him a kiss on the cheek and a congratulations, and continues walking with Isaac’s brother. He stays there, though, because he sees Otis ride by on his bike and gives him a look of disdain and jealousy. He really isn’t a fan of Otis at all. Otis rides by Ruby, who’s by her car with her friends Anwar and Olivia. Anwar starts to make fun of the rumors of Ruby and Otis, but she tells him that the rumors are true (cue Lizzo’s song).

Otis rides over to the doctor’s office, but when he sees that Jakob is with his mother, he leaves, knowing he’s there for her.

Maeve arrives home and gets a call from her mom, and she excitedly picks up. However, it’s not a happy call, as her mom tells her to stop calling her and hangs up before Maeve can get a word in.

We see Dex and his girlfriend, who is enjoying what he’s doing to her. She “didn’t cum but it’s so much better.” He takes that as a big win.

The next day, Ruby goes up to Otis at school and tells him that she’s okay with everyone knowing about them and kisses him in public. Suddenly, they hear yells, and the students all go over to them and see that the abandoned bathrooms are being knocked down. Above them, Hope yells down to Otis: “Thanks for the tip!” Maeve asks Otis if he told her to do this, and he tells her that it needed to end. But, even if it may be good for Kyle’s faulty sex clinic to end, it isn’t good for the new student, who looks worried, because that is where they could go change without anyone watching

And that concludes the return to the final school year. It sure seems like it will be an eventful one with many changes. Will they be for the worse or the better? Only time will tell.

Isabel Maina

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