Sex Education: Season 4/ Episode 4 – Recap and Review

Title Card - Sex Education Season 4 Episode 4

Maeve’s return leads to Otis dropping everything but, in his absence, Eric and Ruby are given time to reflect. Also, other relationships begin to form.

General Information

This section Includes information about the Director, Writer, and Cast.

Release Date (Netflix) September 21, 2023
Director(s) Michelle Savill
Writer(s) Selina Lim
Newly Noted Characters and Cast
Jem Bella Maclean
Gloria Anna Francolini
Dan Daniel Ings
Celia Hannah Gadsby
Previously Noted Characters and Cast
Michael Alistair Petrie
Maureen Samantha Spiro
Joanna Lisa McGrillis
Adam Connor Swindells
Aisha Alexandra James
Cal Dua Saleh
Beau Reda Elazouar
Viv Chinenye Ezeudu
Jackson Kedar Williams-Stirling
Eric Ncuti Gatwa
Beatrice Doreene Blackstock
Abbi Anthony Lexa
Otis Asa Butterfield
O Thaddea Graham
Jean Gillian Anderson
Ruby Mimi Keene
Maeve Emma Mackey
Sean Edward Bluemel
Aimee Aimee Lou Wood
Isaac George Robinson

Plot Recap

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Don’t We All Need Love? – Michael, Maureen, Gloria, Dan, Joanna, Jem, Adam

Michael continues to struggle to move on from Maureen, and he tries to with Gloria, but, like the school she works in, she is progressive, liberal, and seemingly isn’t for love but sex. She has a kid, seemingly might be past the romance stuff for now, and likes to get her kicks. So Michael having issues getting and keeping an erection, even with being on Viagra, is a problem. One he can’t talk to with Adam, who may have something blossoming with the boss’ daughter, Jem, so he calls into Jean’s show and gets the kind of advice that leads him back to Maureen, who seems welcoming of him.

Switching to Joanna, with her similar to Jean in terms of not being against moving fast in a relationship and being messy, she goes on a date with Dan, from the bank, with Joy since Jean couldn’t watch her. It’s a cute date between two odd people, and it sounds like Joanna is ready to settle down. It isn’t clear if she wants kids, never mind if Dan wants 6, like his parents had, but things seemingly can move forward.

It’s Not As Complicated As You Think – Aisha, Cal, Beau, Viv, Jackson

Beau gets a little jealous of Viv and Jackson because, after Jackson reveals he found a lump, Viv consoles her best friend. But, after making it clear they aren’t together, Beau asks Viv out. However, Viv isn’t alone in being asked out as Aisha, who is in an ethically non-monogamous relationship, asks Cal out. However, Cal isn’t as enthusiastic as Viv is with Beau.

Is This Where I’m Supposed To Be? – Eric, Beatrice, Abbi, Otis, O, Celia, Jean, Ruby, Maeve, Sean, Aimee

As Ruby works on Otis’ campaign, he is off with Maeve, who just lost her mom. Otis doesn’t reveal anything to Ruby or Eric, he just outright ghosts them, which leaves them to worry about other things. Ruby, for example, has to worry about all the clients Otis said nothing to, and that O decided to set up a debate. Never mind, O and Ruby have a moment, and O reads Ruby to the point of her getting into her feelings.

But, to make things worse, Celia, Jean’s boss, calls O in to help liven things up since Jean is overtly technical on her show and seemingly hasn’t had many or any, notable calls on air. This gives O a major boost, and with it being due to Jean, expect issues at home.

As for Eric? He keeps receiving signs that he needs to be more involved in the church. Not via his mom, Beatrice, asking, but things like finding a random bible on his way to school, birds pooping on him, and then a homeless woman who pushes him to join his mom at a soup kitchen. A place where Abbi joins him since it seems they want to do more, give back, and truly live up to the kindness motif they speak – even though there are moments they slip up and refuse to be accountable for it.

Oh, and Aimee is starting to prep for admitting she likes Isaac.

New Character Description(s)


Jem (Bella Maclean)
“Jem (Bella Maclean),” Sex Education, “Season 4/Episode 4,” directed by Michelle Savill, 2023, (Netflix)

The daughter of the owner of the Redwood Farm, Jem is tasked with supervising Adam and is someone he is slowly, but surely, getting a crush on.


Gloria (Anna Francolini)
“Gloria (Anna Francolini),” Sex Education, “Season 4/Episode 4,” directed by Michelle Savill, 2023, (Netflix)

Gloria is the art teacher at Cavendish, who did fancy Michael, but his impotence becomes a problem.


Dan (Daniel Ings)
“Dan (Daniel Ings),” Sex Education, “Season 4/Episode 4,” directed by Michelle Savill, 2023, (Netflix)

Dan works at the bank and is dating Joanna.


Celia (Hannah Gadsby)
“Celia (Hannah Gadsby),” Sex Education, “Season 4/Episode 4,” directed by Michelle Savill, 2023, (Netflix)

Celia is Jean’s boss at the radio station.

Collected Quote(s)

Thinking doesn’t overcome fear – action does.
— Jem



Seeing O’s Dark Side A Bit

Therapy is a trust exercise, for in allowing someone in, they can either give you the tools to fix or organize your head or take a sledgehammer to an already delicate environment. We’ve seen with both Otis and now Ruby that O is just as capable of helping people as she is able to twist their thoughts and insecurities. With Ruby, it seems she has picked up on her complicated relationship with Otis and wants her to implode, if not tear herself apart.

Now, why is this isn’t revealed, but more than likely, she did what she needed to in order to survive being seen as an “other,” as Ruby did. But rather than dress up and take the route to get popular, she ventured to find a way to be needed.

Eric’s Call To Service

While the poop and the bible being in the middle of the road was weird, with this being the final season, there is a need to note, for many, we don’t know what comes next? Maeve wants to be a writer, Otis maybe wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps, but what about Eric? Yes, he is into fashion and make-up, but it hasn’t been pushed he wants to make that a career at all.

However, with these signs, from God or set up by someone else, maybe the homeless woman, maybe that is supposed to steer him in the right direction? To be a pastor, minister, or church leader for LGBTQ+ youth, whether they seek God like Abbi or feel scorned like Roman, they could have a safe place to bring and reaffirm each other’s faith?

Abbi’s Complexities

Alongside the topic of sex and all the new terms that are coming out of Gen Z and Millennials, another thing I’d say “Sex Education” explores is purpose. Whether in a relationship or society, it seems most are trying to find their place, and with Abbi, who pushes kindness and not gossiping, we can see them falter and try to sweep that under the rug.

Commenting on how draining Ruby is is one thing, but keeping Aisha out of the loop, because she couldn’t read Abbi’s lips during a conversation, is another. Never mind, when Aisha tried to hold her accountable, Abbi rejected putting money in the jar, yet they are quick to make Aisha contribute, which does make you wonder if there could be anything nefarious underneath Abbi’s mask?

But, that aside, another thing of interest with Abbi is her showing up to do the soup kitchen. She wasn’t asked, didn’t try to post it on social media, it seemed she came to have a sense of belonging. To help people, without the pursuit of clout or to be high and mighty. This furthered the need to raise an eyebrow yet, perhaps as an opposite to O, who exerts a sense of perfection but is low-key malicious, maybe Abbi may act badly at times, but at her core, she is a good person intrinsically?

On The Fence

Maeve’s Mother Dying

I should note I have nothing against Maeve but, increasingly, she is starting to feel like a character made to gain the audience’s sympathy. She is the girl with a chip on her shoulder because life is hard, she is smart but lacks trust, and for every step forward, there is something either pushing or knocking her back. I get it.

However, sometimes it seems the trauma, the obstacles, the issues, they drown out the personality. It’s like she is a tsundere in an anime whose only purpose is to show how kind, patient and caring others are rather than reveal something notable about themselves. I’d even say she might be holding back Otis for, as Eric said, he drops everything for her, and while I get many ship the two, I don’t see it.

Yes, Otis needs to be needed; hence him becoming a sex therapist and clinging to that. However, I feel like Maeve, as independent as she is, with the need to find people and spaces to be vulnerable, it’s like he shrinks himself to fit into her world, and she struggles to find room for growth while trying to accommodate the space he wants to take up.

Nice, But Not Worth An Essay

  1. Viv getting a boyfriend
  2. Joanna finding someone who appreciates her brand of weird
  3. Jean getting into a groove at work – Thanks to O
  4. Groff’s erection challenges being due to a lack of an emotional connection

Episode Directory

Previous Episode – Season 4/ Episode 3 Check Out The Character Guide Find More Episodes From The Series

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Sex Education: Season 4/ Episode 4 – Overview


As O’s rivalry with Otis heats up, Eric’s questioning of faith leads to interesting connections and, unfortunately, Maeve’s return means Otis in a potential love triangle.

  • Seeing O’s Dark Side A Bit - 83%
  • Eric’s Call To Service - 83.5%
  • Abbi’s Complexities - 84%
  • Maeve’s Mother Dying - 75%
User Review
0 (0 votes)


  • Abbi’s Complexities
  • Eric’s Call To Service
  • Seeing O’s Dark Side A Bit


  • Maeve’s Mother Dying

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