Sex Education Season 3, Episode 7 Recap: I Want To Break Free

The penultimate episode opens to an animation of one of Lily’s stories, this one being about her and Ola and how she felt accepted by her in all her truth. But, in reality, Lily isn’t sure if Ola feels that way about her anymore. She’s in her room playing GameBoy, and her mom comes in to tell Lily she needs to get ready for school. Lily tells her she isn’t going because she still feels sick. She actually isn’t sick, she just feels beyond humiliated by Hope and some of her peers, and it has crushed the light within her. Her mom tells her Ola called again, and that she’s leaving for work.

At the Groff house, the guy Maureen has been seeing is doing push ups. She asks him to change the lightbulb, and he does it with quite ease before jumping int he shower.

Over at the Milburn house, Jean is listening to the radio as the broadcasters talk about Moordale and how Hope is looking to clean it up. She turns it off, not wanting to hear anymore of it, and then gets a text from Maureen asking if they’re still meeting. Jean says yes, as Jakob comes in. He says he’s just getting his jacket, as they’re still sleeping in separate rooms. Jean reminds him of their therapy session later in the day, and he says he’ll think about whether he’ll go or not, and wishes her luck with her television interview.

Downstairs, Ola sits at the table with Otis and tells him how she’s worried about Lily and asks if he can talk to her. He tells her he really can’t do that because it’s not his place. Jean then comes by and asks Otis if he can help her buckle up her shoe. He doesn’t speak to her. Jean, speaking to both of them, says that although her and Jakob are in a tough situation now, she wants them to feel like they can still talk about their feelings. Ola asks her why her dad isn’t in the conversation, and she says he feels it’s better not to talk about these things with them. Ola tells her she should have thought about her and Jakob not working out when she decided to have a baby and make this strange family, and leaves before Jean can respond. Jean mutters that it’s a mess, and Otis tells her, “Everything you do seems to turn into a mess, mum,” as he leans down to help her with her shoe.

Returning to the Groff House, Maureen goes in the backyard to tell Adam to not forget about Uncle Peter’s party. Adam says he’s a dick, but Maureen wants to ease the separation process. The doorbell then rings and Adam leaves, as it’s Eric to pick him up for school. They almost kiss but Adam’s mom is looking out the window, so they move back where she can’t see and kiss. Eric can’t help but think of the kiss with Oba, but doesn’t say anything, and they head off to school.

Maeve gets ready for school, and on her way out gets a call from her mom Erin, but she doesn’t say anything and hangs up. Isaac comes over and asks her if they’ve found Elsie. Maeve says no but she thinks she knows where her mom is. She mentions to him that he hasn’t been replaying to her texts, and he tells her he’s still quite annoyed at her right now, and she understandably agrees. She tells him that she’s really confused about all of this. But, he says he can’t have a relationship with someone who isn’t sure about being with him, and he knows that if she chooses him, she’ll always have a nagging regret about not trying it with Otis. “Respectfully, I’m taking my heart off the table,” Isaac says as he leaves.

Viv walks into Moordale, with Jackson and Cal joining her and asking if they’re all ready to do this. What exactly “this” is, we don’t know, but I’m sure it will be exciting and groundbreaking. Elsewhere, Otis sees in Eric in the hallway with Eric and jumps on him from behind, excited that his best friend is back. They all stand at Eric’s locker talking, and Adam begins scratching himself. Eric asks what he’s doing, and Adam says they haven’t been cleaned so he’s chafing. He then takes the shame sign out of his backpack and puts it on. Eric looks very confused, clearly having missed a lot, so Adam explains that he had taken the blame for something Rahim did in France and that they’re kind of friends now. Eric tells Adam to go sort himself out with the itching in the bathroom, and as he leaves, Adam tells Otis to tell Eric about the “thing.” But, before he can say, Maeve comes striding over and asks him if he’s seen Aimee. He tells her no, and says how he was going to text her to apologize but felt it was pathetic and wants to talk. She tells him that she doesn’t have time to talk because she thinks she found her mom. He asks her if she needs help, but she says no and will let him know how it goes, and continues to search for Aimee. Eric looks at Otis, wondering what the hell he’s apologizing for now. Otis tells him that him and Maeve kissed in France, but he’s messed it all up again. Jackson then comes up to Otis and asks him for help on the “thing” because their computer guy dropped out so they need a replacement. Eric immediately agrees that the two of them will help, then asks Otis what this “thing” is.

Aimee is in the common room with a bunch of boxes of baked goods for the “thing.” Maeve comes in and asks Aimee if she has time to talk. Aimee responds, saying she thought they weren’t talking. Maeve tells her that she’s been an absolute ass, and Aimee says that she has too and directs Steve to hold all the cakes. They hug and apologize to each other. Maeve then tells her she needs help and Aimee is the only person she can trust—she needs to drive to Lockwood-On-Sea. Aimee turns to Steve and says, “Alright, Steve. You’re in charge of vulvas from now on. If anyone asks, the wobbly bits aren’t mistakes because all vulvas are unique.” One box then drops off and Aimee warns that they better not be squished. The two of them leave Steve there, now responsible for the vulvas he’s holding.

As Jean gets ready for her on-screen interview, Maureen sits next to her talking about her new partner, who she doesn’t think it will last with. Jean mentions to her that she saw Michael and had a chat that he’s been struggling and needed someone to talk to. Maureen is a bit disheartened at that, because he never talked to her, and now Adam is the same way. Jean tells her that Adam will talk when he’s ready and admits that she’s not good at letting Otis come to her, so she admires Maureen’s restraint.

Back at Moordale, Eric and Adam walk down the hallway, with Adam still wearing his sign Hope comes by and asks why he’s still wearing it, and he answers bluntly that she told him so. She tells him to take it off, frantic about the press awaiting her in the assembly room. One of the board members, Mark, then comes up to Hope, telling her it’s a good turnout. But she’s distracted, as she notices Cal in the background not wearing the “proper” uniform. She excuses herself and follows Cal until she catches up with them, and asks them to come with her. Then, Hope puts her hands on them in a violent manner and pushes them into an empty classroom. “You have been told repeatedly to change your behavior, but you are clearly innately disobedient,” she says as she locks Cal in the room, a clear violation of their rights and absolutely inexcusable behavior for an education professional.

The students and teachers go into the assembly room with all the press there, while Eric and Otis are up in the projector room with Jackson. He’s telling them how to operate it, and Otis and Eric share a moment where they think of themselves as characters from Ocean’s 11. Eric says he’s Brad Pitt, while Otis is George Clooney, but Otis disagrees, claiming himself as Andy Garcia. Jackson leaves, not caring about whatever they’re talking about, and Eric then says that he would’ve been Rihanna from Ocean’s 8, which Otis says he hasn’t seen.

Meanwhile, Aimee an Maeve are driving, and Aimee asks her about her and Otis’ kiss. Maeve answers that she doesn’t know how to feel about it, but that Isaac and her are no longer a thing. Aimee asks if this means her and Otis might finally get together, which causes Maeve to smile, but she still is unsure because she doesn’t know if it will work out. Aimee tells her she should go for it. After a pause, Maeve apologizes to her for saying all that awful stuff about her and Steve, and that she thinks they’re great together. But, Aimee says she was right and that it wasn’t working out.

Returning to the big press day at Moordale, Hope comes out on stage and says that she’s here to assure that the scandals that happened here are a thing of the past and that if prospective parents choose Sparkside Academy for their child, they’d choose a safe and sex-free campus that protects youth at all costs. She calls Viv out on stage and she walks out joyously, thanking Hope as she goes to her seat. Then, in a surprise turn of events, she calls Jackson up to the stage to reclaim his position as head boy, leaving Hope worried at what is about to happen.

On stage, Jackson and Viv talk about how they agree with Hope that students should be protected while on campus, so the students would like to share some ideas on how. “We think listening to young people could make our campus the safest place to study in the UK,” Jackson says. “We hope you enjoy.” The auditorium dims and the projector screen comes down. Otis and Eric press play on the video, titled “Let’s Talk About Sex.” The students, dressed as penises and vulvas, explain that having a school willing to openly talk about sex and gender will make their campus better and students feel safer and more comfortable. It also has students saying what they’re proud of that other people have shamed them for, like Lily’s story (who unfortunately at this time is putting all her things from her room in a box, since she’s still ashamed and humiliated). Obviously, this enrages Hope, who leaves to go up to the projector room and stop the video. Ruby follows behind her, knowing she’s up to no good. We then briefly go to Cal, who has figured out a way to escape their prison by claiming through the air vents.

Hope charges in to the projector room and starts pressing buttons, pushing Eric away when he tries to stop her. She then unplugs the entire thing, causing the video to stop. Ruby comes in and tells Hope to drop the plug, but she doesn’t, so Ruby starts to fight for the plug and is able to get it back in. Hope then pulls her by the hair and unplugs it again. Ruby takes out her perfume and sprays it in her face and plugs it back in once more. Hope, feeling absolutely defeated, leaves. Eric and Otis are absolutely astonished and amazed at what Ruby just did. Hope walks back in the auditorium as students are chanting “we are sex school.” Viv thanks them for listening and introduces the choir to sing their new school anthem, “Fuck The Pain Away.” The students start to take off their uniforms, with regular clothes underneath and eat Aimee’s vulva cupcakes. Suddenly, Cal falls through the ceiling right onto the stage. They stand up and look at Hope. “Hey Hope,” they say, flipping her off with both hands.

While all of that is going on, Jean is in her interview, where the interviewer is asking about what’s wrong with teaching abstinence. Jean responds that those who do have a higher rate of teen pregnancies and STIs. “When we give teens agency, information, and trust, there’s a much higher success rate.” But, before she can continue, they interrupt her for breaking news at Moordale and go to the reporter on the ground, who talks about how the students have taken to protest. At that exact moment, though, Jean begins to have contractions—way too early.

Maeve and Aimee have arrived at the seaside town and begin asking around, but soon hear Erin’s voice. They go over and see Erin and Elsie. The young girl looks at Maeve and tells her that their mom is taking her on a boat.

At Moordale, Eric tells Otis that it’s amazing that people have become so much more open and that it all started with Otis and Maeve and the sex clinic. He tells Otis that he knows he’s been hurt, but he shouldn’t lose this part of himself—the one who cared a lot about people. Otis tells him he has to go somewhere and leaves, Adam arriving shortly after. He asks Eric if they should get out of there, and they leave. Viv, Jackson and Cal all say how proud they are of each other, because they pulled this stunt off so well. Viv heads home and Cal asks Jackson if he wants to hang out.

At the hospital, Jean tells the nurse, who happens to be Lily’s mom, that she isn’t due for another eight weeks. She gets put in a chair and brought to her designated room. As they make their way over, Lily’s mom recognizes her and says she wishes her daughter had someone like her she could talk to on campus. Jean asks her why she’s having a tough time. Lily’s mom says she’s refusing to go to school because people don’t really get her, and sometimes she doesn’t understand her at times. Jean tells her to find some middle ground and then has another painful contraction. Maureen says she’ll try calling Jakob again, who hasn’t answered a single call.

Well, it turns out that Jakob is at their therapy session and is upset that Jean was the one who wanted to be there but she’s the one who’s late. The therapist asks if he wouldn’t choose to be here if it weren’t for Jean, and he says he wouldn’t. The therapist then says they can use this time to talk about his feelings and asks about his previous marriage and what the relationship was like before she died. Jakob says that they met young and he loved her very much, and he thinks she loved him. But, it changed when they had their children. She met someone else and he thought she wanted to leave him, but then she got sick. When she died, he broke down into pieces. The therapist asks him when he grieved when she had the affair, but he hadn’t. She tells him that it must be hard for him to trust again since he didn’t deal with the grief from his wife’s betrayal. He admits that he has a problem with trust, but wants to try.

Jackson and Cal are kissing in Cal’s room and Jackson starts putting his hand on them, but they don’t want to do that now, so Jackson removes it. He then calls them beautiful, but immediately freaks out that it’s a gendered word. Cal says don’t worry about it, and they continue kissing, but Jackson feels like he fucked up and asks for them to stop. Cal then proposes a genuine question: “If this were to become more serious, then you would be in a queer relationship. Is that okay with you?” “Yeah, I haven’t got a problem with that at all,”Jackson replies, but neither seem to believe what he said. He decides to go, leaving the two of them in an awkward situation.

We then go to Maeve, who is trying to convince her mom not to take Elsie with her, otherwise she wouldn’t have called her. Erin is paranoid, thinking Aimee is an undercover cop, but Maeve tells her it’s just her best friend. Erin isn’t convinced because she wouldn’t know nowadays with what Maeve did. Maeve tells her she’s just seventeen and that she shouldn’t have had to do what she did. Her mom tells her she knows she didn’t do right by Maeve, but she’s going to give Elsie a better life. Maeve tells her that she won’t be able to if she can’t stay clean. It doesn’t make her a bad person, but Elsie needs someone who doesn’t have that to deal with like Anna. Elsie overhears that last part and asks if they can go see Anna, but Erin says she’s going with her. She then asks Maeve about the program, which Isaac had told her about, and Maeve says she got in but can’t afford it. Elsie says she wants to see Anna again and Erin, teary eyed, asks Maeve if she thinks Anna loves her. Maeve says she does. Their mom then tells Elsie that she’s going to stay with Maeve. Elsie says she wants to stay with her, but Erin says she can’t. Maeve takes her and walks away, leaving their mom crying on the docks.

After leaving Moordale, Otis goes over to Lily’s house and knocks on her door. He tells her that they missed her at school and everyone realized what Hope did to her was wrong. They all got together to fight what they wanted Moordale to look like and it was amazing, but made him sad as well, because he realizes that he’s shut himself off recently and stopped believing its as his place to help people. He explains to Lily through the door that he got hurt badly last term and didn’t want to do the clinic, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t try and be a good friend. He had seen her after Hope humiliated her and didn’t even ask if she was alright. “I should’ve checked. I’m really sorry I didn’t.” Lily opens the door and asks him if he wants her alien stuff since she’s throwing it away. Otis then brings up Ola, and Lily says they’re fighting. Otis tells her she thinks she’s going through a tough time too because she’s been missing her mom. Lily tells him that she shuts off when she’s hurt or feels like she doesn’t fit in. Otis asks her what she does when she shuts off, and she says she thinks about her stories, alien planets, and galaxies. Otis tells her it’s “common for people to create rich fantasy worlds to escape to. It’s what artists do.” Lily tells him she’s not an artist, but Otis says she shouldn’t be too sure.

Adam and Eric are at Adam’s house, and he’s showing his boyfriend a video he made of Madam for a competition he’s entering. Eric then tells him that he’s been thinking about going out together, maybe “somewhere a little bit more gay.” Adam says he doesn’t think it would be his thing and isn’t sure he’s ready to do that in front of people. They kiss, but Eric tears up. He tells Adam that he kissed someone in Nigeria and begins to apologize profusely. Adam starts to tear up as well and then says he has to go feed Madam. He goes into the kitchen and tries to stop himself from crying.

Michael Groff is at his brother Peter’s dinner, who gets a text that Maureen can’t make it. One of the guests asks about the salad, and Peter tells them that it’s all the caterers. But Michael speaks up and says he made it. Peter begins to make fun of him, and Michael stands up angry and tells him he’s leaving. He can’t waste anymore time pretending to like him. Peter calls him “Michaela” as a joke, but his brother yells back at him that his name is Michael. “My wife’s left, I’m quite sure my son hates me, and I’m unemployed. But I’d rather all those things that be a pumped-up shit of a man like you…You learned to bully me so he [father] wouldn’t bully you.” He leaves them speechless and takes off, salad with him.

Over at the hospital, Jakob arrives right on time as Jean is finishing labor and gives birth to a baby girl. But the happy moment quickly comes to a close, as Jean says she feels strange, and we see a lot of blood coming out of her. Jakob is pushed outside the room as they begin working on helping her.

Maeve arrives to Anna’s with Elsie, and Anna invites her to stay the night again. She tells her she will, but just needs to say bye to her friend first. She goes over to Aimee, who tells her, “Maeve, I know you don’t like emotional shit, but I’v been thinking about how you don’t really have a proper mum, and I wanted you to know that even though my mum has money, she’s also crap sometimes, too. So I was thinking that maybe we could be each other’s mums.” They embrace, and I don’t know about you, but I’m very happy they were able to overcome their fight and continue to be best friends.

Michael, having left his brother’s on a high, knocks on Maureen’s door, salad in his hands. He tells her that he thought she and Adam might like a salad, but then he decides to tell the truth that he just wanted to see her. He tells her that he knows he was hard to live with, but he does want to change and try to be the man she wants. Maureen tells him she doesn’t want to talk, and instead, pulls him in for a kiss. Michael picks her up and carries her to the bedroom. Meanwhile, Adam is in his room brushing Madam and gets a text from Eric but he ignores it, still upset at what he told him.

Otis rides his bike over to Anna’s and asks her if Maeve is there. He goes to the back garden to see her and tells her he wanted to talk to her—that it was never about the clinic. He admits he did the clinic to be close to her and then she made him realize he was good at something and that he likes helping people. He thought she had ignored his message and it crushed his heart, so he stopped doing the clinic because it reminded him of her. But, even though he knows it was just about the money for her, he still wants to help people and wants to be a team again. “If I can’t be with you romantically, I still wanna see you every day. Nothing feels right when you’re not around,” says Otis, as it begins to rain. “It wasn’t just about the money for me,” Maeve says. “I wanted to be close to you too.” They join together in a passionate kiss as the rain comes pouring down. Otis’ phone rings and it’s Jakob calling, but he ignores it, too engrossed in the moment he had been waiting for for so long.

With only one episode left of season three, there’s a lot of things that might happen. Will it be left on a crazy cliffhanger like the season before? I guess we’ll find out. I just know I’m not ready for this season to be over, because it has been an incredible one!

Isabel Maina

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