Everything We Know About 'Sex Education' Season 4
Will we be heading back to Moordale for more of the Netflix original?
Many of us had exceedingly average high school experiences—but not the students of Moordale Secondary on Netflix's Sex Education. Sure, like many other teenagers, they're discovering their identities and have a fair share of relationship drama, but they also lead sexual revolutions and stand up against oppressive policies and teachers before the school bell rings. Because the exceedingly colorful show created by Laurie Nunn talks so frankly about sexuality, gender, and mental health, and has a lovable cast led by Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Emma Mackey, and Ncuti Gatwa, it's become one of the streaming service's most beloved original teen series.
After more than a year and a half, Season 3 finally arrived in September 2021 after delays due to the pandemic, and it saw Moordale and its students facing challenges that they never had before. After a new headmistress (Jemima Kirke) tried to "clean up" the campus, the students refused to backdown from upholding their values and freedom of expression. In a surprising turn, that led to the dissolution of Moordale Secondary as a school altogether. Of course, that sounds more like an interesting new beginning for Sex Education than an ending. Because there seems to be more than a few questions lingering around the hit Netflix series, we're breaking down everything we know about Sex Education Season 4.
Will there be a Sex Education Season 4?
Oh, yeah. Another season is definitely cumming (sorry). Just a week after Season 3 premiered, Netflix announced that it renewed the hit teen series for its senior year. Netflix has a reputation for canceling shows after three seasons (if not right after the first), so fans should be relieved we'll get even more of the Milburns and their friends/patients/peers. It makes sense that the show is coming back, considering how acclaimed and beloved it is, and the amount of questions left up in the air after the last season's finale.
When will Sex Education Season 4 be released?
It's easy to get hot and bothered over the thought of even more episodes of Sex Education, but fans are going to have to be patient. According to a casting call for Season 4 that surfaced on social media in November 2021, it looks like the show is scheduled to film between April and November 2022. With the show in production for much of the year, it doesn't seem likely that new episodes will arrive until 2023. The series isn't the heaviest lift production-wise, though, so we'd guess it'll premiere sometime in the earlier part of 2023.
Who in the cast will return?
Season 3 ended with Maeve (Emma Mackey) finally putting herself first and taking a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study abroad in the US. With her being thousands of miles away from Moordale, it's uncertain if that means she'll be absent from the series. But come on: Sex Education wouldn't really say farewell to one of the founders of the infamous sex clinic. And there's all of that transatlantic drama between her and Otis now! Emma Mackey will likely return—whether that means the show finds her studying and navigating life in the US or it'll jump in time to a new school year when she's returned from the program.
Aside from the questions surrounding Maeve, there's no doubt that we'll be seeing more of Otis (Asa Butterfield), his mother Jean (Gillian Anderson) Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), Adam (Connor Swindells), Adam's parents Michael and Maureen Groff (Alistair Petrie, Samantha Spiro), Aimme (Aimme Lou Wood), Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling), Ola (Patricia Allison), her father Jakob (Mikael Persbrandt), Lily (Tanya Richards), Ruby (Mimi Keene), Anwar (Chaneil Kular), Rahim (Sami Outalbali), Viv (Chinenye Ezeudu), Cal (Dua Saleh), and just about everybody else roaming the Moordale halls.
The only character it seems possible that we won't see any more of is last season's new addition Hope, played by Jemima Kirke. Since she fumbled the ball as Moordale's headmistress by not listening to her students and using fear tactics against them, she's now out of the role. Showrunner Laurie Nunn told Glamour, "We'll have to wait and see if there's room for more Hope" in the series, so she could be back, but it seems like her story is through.
Are there any new cast members in Sex Education Season 4?
In November 2021, Sex Education writer Krishna Istha shared an open casting call on Twitter for two new characters that'll appear in the upcoming season. Next season, you can expect to meet Abbi and Kent, who are "the ultimate power couple" and the show's first major transgender characters. Abbi is said to be a magnetic, queen bee type "with a '90s Winona Ryder vibe." She's lived with Kent and his accepting family ever since her conservative, religious parents kicked her out of the house. The two are said to be a very lovable couple, but Kent is said to be a bit more shy than Abbi, although no less confident. It's obviously unclear who's playing them, but the roles sound like very cool additions to the series (and non-actors are encouraged to apply, should fans be so inclined!). With the show already casting a few newbies, there's likely more on the way to fill out senior year at Moordale, too.
What will Sex Education Season 4 be about?
Fans thought Season 2 ended with a bombshell when it revealed Jean Milburn was pregnant—but it turned out that cliffhanger pales in comparison to the one that wrapped up Season 3. After Jean gave birth to healthy baby Joy and survived a difficult pregnancy, she received the results of the paternity test Jakob requested she take. By the look on her face and that, "Oh, shit," it proves to be far from what she was expecting. Based on that development, finding out who the father is and Jean either navigating her relationship with him, raising a baby on her own, or working through things with Jakob should be a large focus of Season 4. Showrunner Laurie Nunn revealed to Glamour that she thinks "that Jakob is not the father" and plans to unpack the twist further in the upcoming season.
Another unexpected twist fans can expect the show to further explore is the status of Otis and Maeve's relationship, now that she's studying abroad. As previously noted, it's possible the show could jump forward in time like it did with Season 3, or perhaps we'll see how their feelings evolve in real-time with an ocean between them. It would be cool to see the series outside of its comfort zone, and Maeve meeting totally new people!
It did send many hearts fluttering seeing her and Otis finally addressing the deleted voicemail dilemma and leaning towards the will they side of their will-they-won't-they, though. The potential threat of miles, time, and new people could change a lot, or bring them closer in a new way. Regardless, Nunn notes that Otis has grown a great deal, both as an individual and in their relationship, so he should be more mature with whatever happens. "No matter what happens for them in the future, they've got that real grounding of respect and friendship underneath it and it was really nice to kind of get them back to that place because it's been a bit tumultuous," she said. And that's for the best—because who could stand another season where the sex clinic OGs aren't talking?
Aside from the Milburns and Maeve, it's possible we'll continue to see Adam find his niche and become more comfortable with himself. He and Eric broke up because Eric, who has long been comfortable with his identity, needed to be alone and immersed in a community that's as self-accepting as he is. Although it was tough to see Adam so heartbroken, it ended up being a good development for Eric, who maybe shouldn't have been with Adam to begin with. Perhaps that means next season we'll continue to see Adam come into his own—and potentially develop a closer relationship with Rahim, who has consistently been one of the kindest characters on the series.
There's also that little detail that Moordale Secondary no longer exists, now that the school shut down following the total blow-up in the press and the students' revolt. Whether that means we'll see the development of a new learning institution or the students will get shipped off elsewhere is unclear, but Sex Education is sure to make a riot out of it.