School is back in session, as Sex Education’s second season has hit Netflix. The U.K.-set dramedy returns with all the things you loved about the first season — stellar performances from its ensemble cast! British accents! High school nostalgia! Adorkable teens! — and even more of the things that, if you’re like me, made you cringe — horribly awkward parent-child conversations! Immensely humiliating, raw, and over-the-top sex crises! Let’s dive into all the wonderfully weird and wild action that unfolds on Sex Education’s newest installment.
Otis & Ola
In last season’s finale, Moordale High’s resident virgin sex therapist Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) finally masturbated — but now he can’t stop and keeps getting accidental erections. A montage of these incidents — in the shower, during an assembly, while biking home — culminates in Otis pleasuring himself in his mother’s car while she runs into the store. As he climaxes, his mother returns and, well, things get messy.
Amid dealing with that, Otis begins worrying about his girlfriend Ola finding out about his problem. When he eventually tells her, though, she is unphased and says they’ll deal with it together. #Couplegoals?
As rosy as that conversation ends, Ola is clearly threatened when Lily tells Ola about Maeve and Otis’s friendship. Trouble in awkward paradise…
Otis & Jean
Otis’s professional sex therapist mother Jean (Gillian Anderson) has been carrying on a secret relationship with Jakob, her plumber-turned-lover who happens to be Ola’s father.
The cat gets out of the bag in hilariously awkward fashion when in the middle of fooling around with Ola at her place, Otis, in embarrassment over his masturbation/erection problem, runs out of Ola’s room with his pants down and falls down the stairs — literally stumbling upon Jean and a half-naked Jakob also fooling around.
Otis is quite displeased that Jean’s involved with Jakob.
Meanwhile, Maeve is working at a mall pretzel shop, since she got expelled from school for claiming her brother’s drugs were hers to protect him. Suddenly she finds herself having a reunion with her estranged drug-addict mother (and her half-sister).
Her mother is supposedly one year sober, working on step nine (amends) of the Narcotics Anonymous program, and is dating a nice man… who doesn’t know Maeve and her brother exist. Maeve is unforgiving, and she and her mother part on bad terms.
However, the interaction inspires Maeve to quit work, dye her hair black, and return to school to fight for re-enrollment.
She arrives in Headmaster Groff’s office with essays she wrote for other students and threatens to report the school for cheating. Groff is busy with another crisis (more on that soon) so he dismisses her and runs off to meet the Moordale’s board chairwoman.
But before Maeve leaves, she starts reading the essays over the school speaker system. The chairwoman, Groff, and Maeve’s English teacher Ms. Sands convene on Maeve. When the chairwoman asks what’s going on, Ms. Sands slyly creates an explanation that forces Groff to re-admit Maeve in order to save face. WIN!
Maeve also receives a gift from her mother later: an envelope full of cash.
At the start of the episode, Otis decides not to do the clinic without Maeve. But then the school erupts into chaos over a perceived chlamydia epidemic (people erroneously think it can be transmitted by spit or air). Everyone wants Otis’s help. He resists, but when a classmate, Fiona, says her friends are falsely saying she started the outbreak, he relents.
He instructs Fiona’s two accusatory friends to make a list of their sex partners. He and Eric talk to everyone on the list — which includes Jackson, who hates Otis for his unwitting role in Jackson’s breakup with Maeve — but have no luck finding the culprit.
Things between Fiona and her friends escalate into a physical fight. Maeve soon learns from Eric that missing from the Patient Zero suspect list is the girls’ fellow a-cappella teammate Owen, whom both have been sleeping with in secret out of embarrassment. Just then, Otis gets punched out by one of the girls while trying to break up the fight. Post-fight, Owen and Otis have a heart to heart about honesty, and Eric and Otis conclude the clinic needs Maeve.
Otis and Maeve then agree to resume the clinic together.
Odds & Ends
- Sick of the pressure and his mothers fighting over his swimming career, Jackson purposely fractures his hand, putting him out of swimming for at least six weeks.
- There’s a new attractive kid in school turning heads. His name is Rahim, and he’s French. A girl from the “Untouchables” popular clique “claims” him but Rahim pays her no mind. He does, however, compliment Eric.
- When Groff holds a parent meeting about the chlamydia crisis, Jean explains the epidemic is mostly a crisis of exaggeration due to misinformation. She suggests updating the school’s sex education program. Later, the board chairwoman asks Jean to lead the program revamp.
Otis & Ola
Otis researches online how to perform digital penetration and finds something called the “clock” method. Google at your own risk? When he uses it on Ola, she pretends to enjoy it but later tells Lily it was awful. Lily relays this to Otis.
Distraught, Otis seeks the advice of a lesbian classmate (who better to ask about pleasing a girl than a girl #amirite?). After demonstrating his technique on an orange (a la Call Me By Your Name‘s peach scene) the classmate tells him different things work for different girls, so he should just ask Ola. So, after school, he rushes over to Ola’s house and apologizes for not listening to her. She welcomes him into the house.
However, the Maeve jealousy issue presents itself again throughout the episode. When will it boil over?
The Clinic — mother and son’s
The episode opens on Ms. Sands and Mr. Hendrix having sex. Sands wants Hendrix to talk dirty but he fails epically. At the fair, Hendrix seeks Otis’s help. Otis suggests he write a script. Hendrix heeds the advice, but things still go awry.
However, after Otis’s talk with his classmate about fingering, he shares the same advice with Hendrix. So, Hendrix goes to Sands’ house and asks why she likes dirty talk. She says she wants to feel sexy since she doesn’t get to feel sexy at work. He figures out what to do and the two have “dirty” makeup sex.
Meanwhile, Jean jumps into revamping the sex education program with an assembly talk which she completely bombs, humiliating herself and Otis. Still, she convinces Groff to let her audit Hendrix’s sex education lessons so she can learn about the existing program.
When Hendrix is overwhelmed by students’ questions — i.e. what type of lubricant should be used for anal sex — Jean swoops in with answers, impressing the reluctant Groff.
Now back at school, Maeve is in an accelerated class. But when Ms. Sands asks everyone to read their essays on their 10-year dreams, Maeve refuses.
Then, when Ms. Sands asks the class if anyone wants the last spot on the school’s quiz team, Maeve hesitantly raises her hand.
When Maeve and Sands see one another at the fair, Maeve admits she was embarrassed about her essay because her dream is simply to have a house in which she could be happy and alone. Sands insists Maeve should and can have bigger dreams.
The next day, Maeve is selected for the quiz team. Otis passes by as she hears the news and he congratulates her but rushes off to find Ola. Maeve finally admits to herself that she still likes Otis.
Odds & Ends
- Groff assigns Jackson a tutor to improve his grades while he’s recovering. During their first session, the tutor, Viv, tells Jackson jocks without a backup plan usually end up in dead-end jobs. This prompts Jackson to peruse the school bulletin board looking for other activities the next day, and while he’s contemplating, Lily hands him a flier for Romeo & Juliet auditions.
- When we first see Adam at military school, he’s scolded for gun mismanagement. He later gets help from two guys and they bring him along for their clandestine pot-smoking session in the woods. Adam finally opens up to people and seems like he might be happy but then… he walks in on the guys pleasuring each other. He promises not to tell anyone but the guys plant marijuana on his bed, getting Adam kicked out to protect their secret. Adam’s dad picks him up from the school and says if he screws up again, he’s out of the house. Adam is mean but also can he please catch a break?
- Rahim sits next to Eric during an assembly, then at the fair, joins Eric on the Ferris Wheel. When the ride ends, Rahim walks off, leaving Eric confused. Then Rahim hints at his sexuality with a question about gay sex during the sex education class. Eric’s going to land the hottie…
Otis & Jean
Jean now has her own classroom in which to meet students who want to discuss the sex education program with her. In addition to generally resenting her presence at the school, Otis worries that his mother will find out he’s been running a sex clinic at school.
His secret seems to survive this episode, but he finds another reason to fight with his mother.
She plans a dinner with Jakob, Otis, and Ola, and Otis spends the whole time insulting Jakob until finally, he flips over their monopoly game and storms off. He apologizes the next day, at Jean’s request, but the apology isn’t very sincere and it’s clear he’s still not on board with Jean and Jakob.
The episode opens with a student, Olivia, having sex with her boyfriend. She’s on top, and as she climaxes, she puts a pillow over her boyfriend’s face, to his confused dismay. At school that day, the boyfriend, Malik, tries to make an appointment with Otis for advice about it, because the pillow thing annoys him, but he doesn’t have enough money so Maeve rejects him.
Malik goes to Jean instead. She suggests it may be part of a fetish—breath play, encasement fantasy, or paranormal fantasy. Malik is freaked out and snaps at Olivia for “wanting to f*** a ghost.”
Olivia seeks Otis’s help and admits to him that she covers Malik’s face because she’s ashamed of her orgasm face. Otis says it’s normal to feel insecure but sex is about feeling good, not looking pretty. She should create that trust with her boyfriend to share their vulnerabilities.
At the end of the episode, she heeds Otis’s advice and before having sex with Malik covers their faces in tape to make them look silly. Malik goes along with it and the two make up.
Aimee & Maeve
Since Aimee stood up for herself and Maeve to the “Untouchables,” she no longer rides with them to school and must take the bus. It’s Maeve’s birthday that day, so Aimee has baked a cake and brings it along on the bus, precariously. While on the bus, though, she experiences a horrid incident: a man masturbates against her backside, getting his ejaculate on her jeans. She gets off the bus and walks the rest of the way, but when she tells Maeve about it, she’s nonchalant.
Maeve, however, is appalled and insists they go to the police.
At the station, Aimee won’t let the officer call her mother, because she doesn’t want her mother to make a bigger deal of it. Throughout the statement process, Aimee is reluctant and is dependent on Maeve’s influence as if Aimee herself isn’t really that bothered by what happened. When she gets home that night, though, after making the report, she cries, and the next day, can’t bring herself to get on the bus.
Rahim finally asks Eric on a date but tells Eric to pick where they go since Rahim is new to the area. Eric overthinks his outfit and the place. He picks a fancy restaurant but when Rahim arrives, he realizes Eric is out of place. Rahim asks Eric to take him somewhere that makes him happy. So, they go to an arcade and play a Dance Dance Revolution-type game. Eric shines and Rahim loves it. He kisses Eric, sending him into shock and ecstatic joy. Eric walks Rahim home but a surprise awaits: Rahim lives above a convenience store, where Adam just began working at upon his return from military school. Eric is flustered seeing Adam and tells Rahim he has to go. Adam looks on broodingly as they kiss goodbye on the cheek.
Odds & Ends
- Jackson decides to audition for the play and seeks Viv’s help in understanding Shakespeare enough to read it well. She explains that poetry is rhythm, and once he gets that, he says he needs to tap into the emotion of it by relating it to his own life. He crushes the audition.
- Maeve’s mother arrives at her door at night with a bruise on her face. Her boyfriend didn’t like learning she had other kids. Maeve grants her mother and half-sister refuge in her trailer.
- Otis gives Maeve a birthday present — a diary with her birthday ripped out of every year since she had said she hates celebrating birthdays. The gesture prompts her to almost confess her feelings but ultimately chickens out.
Bravery was definitely a theme of this episode.
Otis’s client this episode is a girl in the school play who feels ashamed that she, unlike her friends, doesn’t think about sex. Otis advises her to not care what people think. She leaves the session unsatisfied and winds up consulting with Jean.
She tells Jean she doesn’t have an interest in sex but she does want romance. Jean explains she may be asexual (no sexual desire), and some asexuals don’t want the romance part, some do. Jean says sex doesn’t make people whole, and the girl leaves in a much better state. Representation!
Jean gets an unexpected other client too… Groff’s wife Maureen. Maureen hesitantly tells Jean that her husband hasn’t touched her in six years. Jean invites her to share more about their relationship, so she can help advise Maureen on rekindling the flame.
Maureen attempts to seduce her husband that night with a sexy look but he dismisses her. She retreats, silently crying. This guy is the worst, can he be canceled please?
One night, after Eric unsuccessfully tried talking with Adam about their pre-military school sexual encounter, Eric is woken by rocks thrown at his window. It’s Adam. Eric meets him outside and follows him to a junkyard-type place where they spend the night smashing glass. It’s a bizarre but adorable sort of non-date date.
As the sun rises, they walk home to Adam’s place and share a very drawn out, awkward goodbye before… Adam kisses Eric.
That morning at school, though, Rahim asks Eric to be his boyfriend. During this scene, a song about choosing a devil or an angel comes on. Well done music department.
Otis & Ola & Maeve
At the beginning of the episode, Ola and Otis decide to have sex the following night. Otis takes extra care getting ready that morning. He’s still nervous, though, because he’s always wanted his first time to be with someone he loved and he and Ola haven’t said that to one another yet. Still, he decides “really like” is enough and he’s going to do it.
Refreshing that Ola is the driver and Otis, the guy, is the one who wants to wait for love.
However, Otis is delayed from getting to Ola’s after school, first with a client, then with helping Maeve.
Maeve has her first quiz team competition after school, but right before it starts, her mother shows up and asks Maeve to watch her half-sister while she goes to a job interview. Maeve agrees, then asks Otis to watch her sister while she competes. Otis agrees, but during his session, the girl disappears.
Otis finds Maeve after the competition and the two search frantically. Maeve berates Otis because she’s tired of people letting her down. After they find Maeve’s sister safe, Otis asks how the competition went. Maeve crushed it but the team voted her out because she didn’t collaborate with them on answers. When Maeve relays this to Otis, she says she messes everything up. As Otis is about to leave, she segues that into saying she messed things up with him… because she liked him and didn’t tell him out of fear, and then he met Ola. Otis is completely thrown, and lashes out at her for waiting this long when he liked her all along and only just moved.
He storms off to meet Ola. But the sexual mood is ruined when Otis receives and reads a text from Maeve while Ola is undressing him. Ola reads the text—“I’m sorry, I feel like an idiot”—and kicks Otis out. The next day she gives him an ultimatum: stop hanging out with Maeve, or they break up.
Odds & Ends
- Lily comforts Ola about Otis and amid this interaction, the two share a very intimate moment… Definite new ship foreshadowing here… I’m for it, but we shall see if it comes to be.
- Jackson has gotten the part of Romeo, but needs more help from Viv, so they strike a deal. She’ll help him if he helps her land her crush Dex, her quiz competition teammate (played by Game of Thrones actor and surprise glow-up sensation Lino Facioli).
- Maeve’s mom comes home and says she got the job. Maeve is snippy with her about dumping her sister on her and coming home late, but when her mother instructs her not to put her feet on the table, she listens, prompting her mother smile with a sense of motherhood victory.
- Otis’s father Remi turns up unexpectedly at Jean’s house. Otis isn’t there but Jakob is. Jean, Remi, and Jakob end up having dinner together. Remi is wildly obnoxious toward Jakob. After Jakob leaves, wine-drunk Remi and Jean reminisce, kiss, and start to hook up but are quickly interrupted by Otis’s arrival.
- Two guys moved into the trailer next door in episode three and Maeve has another interaction with them in this episode, though it’s brief. So far it seems insignificant, but my Spidey senses say one guy may be a love interest to thwart Maeve and Otis.
Otis & his parents
All the Milburns have a lot of relationship drama.
In the aftermath of kissing Remi, Jakob’s annoying flaws become heightened to Jean. She explodes at him and confesses about the kiss. Jakob leaves, not saying much.
Meanwhile, Remi takes Otis and Eric on a camping trip. However, out of arrogance and self-centeredness, he doesn’t really connect with Otis properly, and the trip goes awry. They get lost, it downpours before they set up the tents, and Remi gives up angrily. They go to a hotel instead.
While at the hotel, Remi yells in his room. Otis checks on him and Remi tells Otis his wife Delilah is leaving him for someone else. However, Jean gets a call from Delilah saying “I couldn’t change him either,” and then Otis sees a woman leaving Remi’s room in the morning. Otis realizes his father is still a cheater, and the only reason Remi came to see Otis is because Delilah kicked him out and he had nowhere else to go.
Remi later admits to Jean that he’s a sex addict, but says he’s going to get help. He says he wants to be a good father. Jean asks, “to which children?”
Otis & Eric
While on the camping trip, with Otis dealing with the Maeve-Ola issue and Eric dealing with his own Rahim-Adam issue, the two fight. Otis says Eric lets himself fall for people who treat him like crud because he hates himself, and Eric says Otis is pretending to love Ola when everyone knows he loves Maeve.
Eric and Otis make up of course, though.
Then Eric agrees to be Rahim’s boyfriend and later ignores Adam when he comes around that night.
Ola & Otis
The episode opens with Ola having a sex dream in which Otis morphs into Lily. Wondering what it means, she takes a quiz about sexuality and her result is pansexual. She’s not surprised… and has another dream about kissing Lily later.
Meanwhile, Otis struggles with deciding between Ola or Maeve. But not wanting to be a cheat like his father, he finally chooses. On the way home, he texts Maeve to tell her they can’t hang out anymore.
Then at his house, he tells Ola he loves her. She says he doesn’t really, and she doesn’t love him. She thinks they’re meant to be friends since they’re so different — she likes to live in the moment, he’s so uptight. She breaks up with him. He seems crushed. Though he’s probably more sad about the text to Maeve.
Then Ola runs to Lily’s. When Lily opens the door, she kisses her. Lily kisses her back but then shuts the door in Ola’s face.
Maeve’s mother Erin asks her to attend a family and friends Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Maeve reluctantly agrees. But during the meeting, when Erin talks about being sorry for abandoning Maeve and her brother and all the other pain she’s caused, Maeve feels the speech is more an excuse than an apology.
Maeve storms out of the church where the meeting is being held and runs into the new neighbors — Isaac, who uses a wheelchair, and his brother. She winds up joining them for a dance class. Isaac makes her dance with an elderly man and she reluctantly enjoys it. She learns more about Isaac and his brother. They were orphaned and passed around the foster system. He tries to get Maeve to talk about Erin but it sets her off and she cusses him out.
Back at her trailer, she finds her mother crying. Erin apologizes again. Maeve softens once more and asks Erin to paint her nails for her. Perhaps Erin is sincere and their reconciliation sticks.
The next morning, Maeve finds a present from Isaac. Just then, she gets Otis’s text and is infuriated.
Odds & Ends
- Jackson helps Viv flirt with Dex, first by calling Dex out for thinking her name is “Bev,” then by making him jealous by saying he and Viv are hooking up. It seems to work — Dex and Viv hit it off and Dex asks for her number… for a work-related thing technically, but close enough. On their walk back, Viv calls out Jackson for not liking girls for their personality. He swears he really liked Maeve, but Viv is skeptical. In other news, she urges Jackson to tell his family about doing the play.
- Aimee is still traumatized from the bus incident. She’s having trouble being intimate with Steve.
- Adam masturbates to a movie poster in his room but can’t decide whether to look at the female character’s breasts or the male character’s abs.
- Headmaster Michael Groff’s wife Maureen asks Jean what happens to your vagina’s pleasure sensation if you haven’t been touched in years. Jean gives her a vibrator. Maureen later uses it, victoriously. A few scenes later, she tells her husband she wants a divorce. At the end of the episode, he packs his things and leaves. Adam is seemingly indifferent to the situation.
This episode’s sex question, courtesy of “Untouchable” member Anwar, is about douching. Anwar is afraid to have sex with his boyfriend because he’s a virgin and doesn’t know proper practices. He asks Otis for help. Otis consults Rahim. Rahim ultimately tells Anwar directly that if he can’t handle talking about douching with his boyfriend, he isn’t ready to have sex. Anwar realizes he’s right and later confesses to his boyfriend about his inexperience and concerns. His boyfriend warmly offers to teach him. #Couplegoals?
Otis wants to prove to Ola he’s not uptight, so he hosts a “small gathering.” But thanks to Eric, it ends up being a wild party with the whole school.
Otis refuses to invite Maeve because he blames her for ruining things with Ola, but Eric invites her anyway.
Maeve and her mother share an achingly rare, normal mother-daughter moment over Maeve getting ready for the party. Maeve grants Isaac’s request to join her at the party. When they arrive, they ask Jackson to help get Isaac down Otis’s long stairway to the house. Isaac picks up on and addresses the heartbreak-based tension between Jackson and Maeve.
Meanwhile, at the party, Eric urges a frantic Otis to relax and let loose. So, he begins drinking…and doesn’t stop. Tipsy Otis tells Ola to come to get her stuff so he can rub the party in her face.
When Otis runs into Jackson at the party, he learns Maeve dumped Jackson for Otis. This prompts Otis to approach Maeve and Isaac and dance (awkwardly).
Then, Ola confronts them. The girls soon become upset with each other and with Otis and try to leave but Otis insists they stay. He gets everyone’s attention and launches into a speech in which he praises Ola but then says he always liked Maeve more than her, then says Maeve likes to play with other peoples’ emotions and is selfish and fake.
Both girls leave deeply hurt, and Otis continues partying. He pukes, dances, and ends up sleeping with Ruby the “Untouchable.”
Maeve & Isaac
Back home after the party, Maeve learns Isaac uses a wheelchair because he fell out of a tree he climbed while Joe and Isaac were being neglected by their deadbeat parents. In turn, Maeve shows Isaac where she burned herself trying to make her own breakfast as a child because her mom was in a drugged-up sleep. Isaac says Otis isn’t right for Maeve because he couldn’t ever understand her troubled past.
At the beginning of the episode, Jean finds herself missing Jakob.
At school, Ola seeks Jean’s advice about Lily. Otis sees Ola and Jean together and becomes desperate to know what they discussed. He steals Jean’s therapy notes. As he puts it in his locker, Headmaster Groff walks by and nefariously notices the book.
Jean meets up with Maureen Groff that night for fun. They discuss relationship problems, get drunk, and go dancing. Feminist win for a scene normalizing older women having carefree, active fun.
When Maureen returns home, Michael is there and begs her to take him back. She rejects him, and he blames Jean. Infuriated, he steals Jean’s notebook and makes copies of all the pages.
Jackson gets his cast removed, and immediately his mother Sofia resumes pressuring him about swimming. Then at the party, everyone bombards him about swimming and becoming the golden boy again. It overwhelms him and he escapes to a quiet room. He’s considering injuring his hand again when Viv finds him.
Jackson tells Viv he hurt himself before on purpose. She hugs him and at first, he accepts her comfort. But when she urges him to tell his parents and seek help — because people who self-harm are at high risk of committing suicide — he snaps and insults her. When Jackson returns home that night, Viv is there. She’s told Jackson’s mothers about his injury.
Odds & Ends
- When Rahim picks Eric up for the party, he meets Eric’s mom but Eric rushes them out. Rahim asks if his family knows he’s gay. Eric says yes, but they don’t talk about it — or anything — much.
- Lily avoids Ola at school. When Ola confronts her at the party, she says she doesn’t want to be friends anymore because it’s too weird.
- Maeve rejoins the quiz team. Before their next competition, Ms. Sands reminds her to be a team player, not a lone wolf. Maeve proves she’s learned her lesson and works with the team well to win.
- Jean learns Remi’s trying to commandeer her work — he told his book agent they might write together about raising a teenager and sex education in school. Jean tells the agent there will be no collaboration.
- At the party, Adam asks why Eric has stopped meeting him. Eric mentions his bullying, then says he can’t be with someone who’s so full of shame about himself because Eric worked so hard to get out of that place personally. Adam admits he’s scared, but when Eric offers his hand for comfort, Adam slaps it away, proving Eric’s point. Adam wonders why everyone hates him and Eric says it’s because he hates himself.
- Aimee tries to enjoy the party but her bus assault plagues her.
- Maeve’s mother returns home from work and looks as if she’s been crying but tells Maeve it’s nothing.
At school, chaos erupts because Jean’s notes are everywhere, embarrassing all of her patients.
Groff calls Jean into a meeting with Malek and Olivia with their parents. The parents are furious Malek “received sex advice” from Jean. Groff “fires” Jean. Jean asks how her notes got shared, and he pretends not to know. On the way out, Malek spills the beans about Otis’s sex clinic, and Jean later confirms it by finding a wad of cash in Otis’s room.
Jean seeks Jakob’s advice and comfort over Otis. Jakob helps, but when Jean asks him to dinner, he declines, saying she can’t give him the intimacy he needs. Jean is devastated.
When Jean confronts Otis about the sex clinic, he denies it. She says he looks like his father when he lies.
The Bad Chicks Club
Thanks to the therapy notes, someone writes something cruel about Ms. Sands on a bathroom mirror. Olivia, Aimee, Viv, Maeve, Ola, and Lily become suspects and are sent to detention.
Sands orders them to create a presentation on what binds them together as women — à la Breakfast Club. A few scenes later while having sex with Hendrix, Sands jokes about it being an impossible task because female solidarity doesn’t work.
Ola and Maeve bicker while they work on the assignment. Aimee yells at them to stop fighting and she starts crying. She tells everyone she can’t get on the bus because of what happened. She no longer feels safe anywhere.
Then the girls share their own stories — Olivia was groped at a train station, a man followed Ola home from work, guys in Maeve’s neighborhood cat-called her when she was younger and an older woman blamed Maeve for it, a man flashed his penis to Viv in a public pool when she was a child and afterward, Viv’s mother never took her back to the pool. They realize experiences with misogyny is something they all have in common. It’s sad that’s what binds them, but of course, it’s sadly realistic.
Sands and Hendrix stumble upon the real message culprit repeating his crime, and the girls are set free.
Ola invites them all to the junkyard — Adam had brought her there when they were both sad after Otis’s party — to blow off steam. Maeve and Ola apologize to one another about Otis stuff.
The next day the group meets Aimee at the bus stop to help her conquer her fear. Pass the tissues, please.
Otis wakes up in bed with Ruby. They had sex, but aren’t sure if they used a condom. They decide to get the morning-after pill. When the doctor asks Ruby about her family medical history, she says her father has MS.
Afterward, Otis asks Ruby if she gave consent and she assures him, saying whenever she’s sad she makes out with nerdy boys because she likes that they think they’re in love with her. Otis asks if she was sad last night because of her dad. She says yes. Otis also asks if he was good at sex. She says he was ok but too frequently asked how she was during it — though she appreciates it for how rare it is that a guy cares.
Rahim attends church with Eric and his family. But Rahim is an atheist and is surprised Eric actually believes in religion. Still, Rahim says their differences make him love Eric. Eric says he loves him back but later in his room, he thinks about Adam.
Eric’s mother says Rahim isn’t right for Eric because Eric doesn’t act like himself around Rahim, and Rahim doesn’t really make Eric “sparkle.”
Jackson’s mothers pick him up from school to take him to a counselor. But things go awry when they get a flat tire. While they’re trying to fix it, his mothers bicker and finally Jackson says they should get a divorce. He says his biological mother, Roz, is so mad at his other mother, Sofia, but pretends not to be, and Sofia is so concerned about Jackson not loving her the same as Roz that she just pushes both away.
Sofia says she’s always been afraid Jackson wouldn’t see her as his real mom and it hurt to hear him say that. She says since he didn’t really come from her, she loved that they at least shared a passion for swimming. Jackson says his favorite part about swimming was spending time with Sofia, his hero. He admits he doesn’t want to swim anymore because it doesn’t bring him joy but it has nothing to do with their relationship — she’ll always be his real mom. He then says she needs to let him figure out his other interests. She understands and they embrace. Then he tells her about the play.
Odds & Ends
- Adam teaches the store owner’s dog how to sit. The owner is impressed and entrusts Adam with locking up. Adam is happy to have finally done something right. But then he doesn’t lock up properly and the place gets ransacked. Poor Adam, one step forward, three steps back AGAIN.
- After the Bad Girls Club’s smashing session, Lily asks Ola to walk her home. Lily tells Ola that her plans were for boys who smell sweaty, not girls that smell like vanilla. Eventually, Lily kisses Ola and Ola kisses back.
- Isaac spies on Maeve and her mother as they leave for work and school and sees Erin return to the trailer after Maeve leaves, change out of her work clothes, and turn on the TV. When Maeve returns home that night, Isaac tells her what he saw. The next day, Maeve catches her mom in the lie. Her mom admits she got fired but swears she isn’t on drugs again. Maeve believes her but says if she lies again, they’re done.
This episode’s drama all culminates at the school play — Lily’s production of a space opera version of Romeo & Juliet. It’s bizarre — there are characters with penis hands and vagina heads and, need I go on? Let’s dive into what happens for everyone.
Jean and Otis
Things are still cold between Otis and Jean. Otis doesn’t think the clinic was wrong, or that not telling her was wrong. Otis also boldly therapizes Jean and says her overreaction is about a fear of rejection — like she rejected Jakob (though, as Jean points out, Otis didn’t help there). Then he essentially implies it’s Jean’s fault Remi left.
When Otis runs into Ola at school, he wonders aloud to her why he keeps upsetting people. Ola thinks he’s so worried about being a good guy, he ends up doing bad. She adds that Otis is too afraid he’ll end up like his father. Otis realizes she’s right and rushes to see Remi, who’s nearby for his book tour.
Otis asks Remi why he left. Remi says simply, “I’m an a–hole.” Otis asks him how he can be better. Remi says it’s about honesty and holding tight forever the people who love you despite your faults.
So, Otis goes on an apology tour. He leaves a heartfelt message for Maeve (more on this later). He apologizes to Jakob, and Jakob tells him he’s a good man.
Then Groff interrupts the play. He calls it inappropriate and blames Jean for corrupting the students with her sex advice. Otis stands up for Jean and confesses he’s the one that’s been giving out advice. After the play, Jean an Otis further their reconciliation.
In the morning before school, Erin nonchalantly tells Maeve she won’t make her quiz competition finals because she has a job interview. She asks Maeve to babysit. Then at least two more things unfold that hint Erin is a hot mess.
On her way out, Maeve asks Isaac to search her trailer for her hidden drugs. Sure enough, Joe finds paraphernalia. Isaac relays the intel before the quiz competition begins. Maeve reports her mother to social services, for her sister’s sake. But during the competition, Erin shows up, catching Maeve off guard.
The team is down by a lot at the end of the round but Viv gives everyone a pep talk and they ultimately rally to win. Erin takes Maeve out to celebrate but then when they get home, social services is there. Erin is distraught to learn Maeve made the call. She admits to having slipped up with the drugs but says it’s no big deal. Erin and her daughter are taken away for investigation.
Maeve feels awful. She cries then goes to Isaac’s. He assures her she did the right thing and invites her in. She accepts but then leaves to get things at the store.
At that moment, Otis arrives. Isaac pretends he hasn’t seen Maeve. Otis asks him to tell Maeve to listen to her voicemail. Isaac gives his word but then he takes Maeve’s phone, which she left behind, and listens to the message — Otis finished it by saying he loves her — and deletes the message. This is not ok! Isaac & Maeve need to happen ASAP!
Eric & Adam
Eric invites Rahim to the play (Eric is performing with the swing band). To Eric’s shock and horror, Rahim says he doesn’t like musicals will come to support Eric.
Adam brings food to his father at school. He asks if he can return to school. His dad is impressed he hasn’t been fired from his job — he doesn’t know about the lock-up incident yet — and says he’ll consider it.
On his way out, Adam sees Eric. They catch up and bond in a conversation that includes Eric learning Adam knows his instrument and may like musicals, laughing over the play flier (which Rahim sees and becomes envious of), and Adam acknowledging how he hurt Eric all those years.
Adam later fights for his job back so he doesn’t have to tell his dad he was fired. Ola tries to help but they both end up getting fired. Adam asks why she helped him and she says they’re friends. He hugs her, overjoyed someone has finally called him a friend.
Later, during a conversation about his dad, Adam’s mother says when you love someone you have to let them know, no matter what. At this, Adam takes off running to the school.
He interrupts the end of the play to ask Eric, on stage in front of everyone, to hold his hand. Eric looks guiltily at Rahim but accepts. After the show, Eric introduces Adam to his family. Adam is happy.
Eric apologizes to Rahim outside. Rahim warns Eric that Adam might not be good for him.
Odds & Ends
- The episode begins with Ola trying to finger Lily but Lily has a condition where any penetration is painful. She’s working on the problem with different dildos. So, Ola and Lily use them to pleasure themselves side by side. Later, after Ola and Lily share a passionate kiss in celebration of Lily’s successful play, Lily uses a bigger dildo than usual (at home by herself) and triumphantly doesn’t feel pain.
- When a nervous Jackson makes his debut on stage, he freezes. But he finds Viv in the crowd and her silent encouragement snaps him out of it and he delivers a great performance. Afterward, the two verbally solidify their friendship with a hug.
- After the play debacle, the board chairwoman orders Groff to take time off. Win for Jean!
- When she goes to the doctor about her chest pains, Jean learns she is both perimenopausal and pregnant — even though Jakob had had a vasectomy.