If you're like us, you've already binged all eight episodes of season three of Netflix's Sex Education (opens in new tab). The comedy hit returned September 17 with its best season yet, as the students of Moordale rebelled against their new authoritarian head teacher, played by Girls actor Jemima Kirke. Fans of the show devoured the new season, which came back after a 19-month-break, and are already clamoring for more episodes (and that cliffhanger ending (opens in new tab) doesn't help!).
Luckily, Netflix hasn't left us with a long wait for a renewal. The streamer announced that Sex Education will return for a Season 4 at their Tudum fan event last weekend. The announcement comes only a week after Season 3's premiere, in one of the fastest renewals for a Netflix original series in a while. As we celebrate and start speculating on what could come next for Otis and the gang, here's what we know about Season 4 so far.
When could Season 4 of Sex Education come out?
Netflix revealed the show's return in a "Moordale News" alert posted Saturday. The clip paired the secondary school's logo with a bulletin-style statement: "BREAKING NEWS: SEX EDUCATION TO RETURN FOR SEASON 4."
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As for when the show will return, it depends on whether production will hit the ground running. Though Season 3 was delayed for several months, Season 2 dropped exactly a year after the show's premiere, in January 2020. So with the show's quick renewal, we could be watching Sex Education Season 4 as early as fall 2022.
I guess we’ll be seeing you for S4!! @sexeducation 🍆🍆🍆 pic.twitter.com/1nrDz3Q3vVSeptember 25, 2021
What could Season 4 of Sex Education be about?
Spoilers for Sex Education season 3. The Season 3 finale left all of the characters' fates up in the air, now that Moordale Secondary has closed its doors due to a lack of funding. The show's core couples are in flux too. Maeve (opens in new tab) and Otis finally confessed their feelings to each other, but soon after Maeve left for a study-abroad opportunity in America. Eric broke up with Adam after realizing that he wanted to explore his self-identity without his newly-out boyfriend. After a season trying making it work with Jakob, Jean discovered that he's not the father of her baby.
With all these cliffhangers, the show could go so many ways with its storylines. While there could be a time jump, similar to season 3's fast forward to the beginning of term, Season 4 could also explore Maeve and Otis' time apart, and how the distance tests the couple (maybe even having some Maeve in America scenes). Of course, it could also start off as soon as the couple reunites, either in Moordale for the summer or somewhere else.
In terms of the time constraints of this teen show, the ex-students of Moordale began their final year of secondary school in Season 3, and the finale suggested that they still have some time to go before they graduate. That means the show can either follow the kids as they're separated in different schools, or cover the final summer before university. Maybe the person who keeps the far-flung kids together is a certain sex therapist?
Who in the cast would return for Season 4?
It's safe to say most of our faves in the main cast would return, including Asa Butterfield as Otis, Ncuti Gatwa as Eric, Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee, Connor Swindells as Adam, Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson, Patricia Allison as Ola, Tanya Reynolds as Lily, Mimi Keene as Ruby (opens in new tab), Dua Saleh as Cal (opens in new tab), Alistar Petrie as Mr. Groff, and Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn.
One star whose return may be up in the air is Emma Mackey, who plays Maeve. In an interview with Hunger (opens in new tab), Mackey revealed that she has mixed feelings about continuing to play a teenager in the show as she approaches her late-twenties in real life.
"It’s a complicated thing to me. Sex Education is so momentous as a concept, as a show, and the cast are phenomenal. I genuinely care about them all a lot and I made lifelong friends. We’ve kind of grown up together," she says. "But the bittersweet nature of it is that I also can’t be 17 my whole life."
Since Maeve is such an important character, we're hoping that Mackey can at least fit in a cameo if she decides not to return for a full season. Though we're not sure what's in the cards, Mackey said in a new ELLE interview (opens in new tab) with that she does have an idea of where she hopes Maeve's storyline will go in Season 4, making her return seem more likely.
What have the cast and crew said about Season 4?
Butterfield told Cosmopolitan UK (opens in new tab) before the premiere that he's not sure what's next for the show, but he's definitely down for a fourth season. "I’d love to do a fourth season, because we have so much fun on this show. At the same time we’ve been doing it for three years now, and I’d be happy saying goodbye to these characters… We’ll have to see."
He also opened up about the possibilities for what's next, letting his imagination run wild. "[I want a] Christmas movie! Sex Education-themed. We don’t know [whether there will be more.] It’s out of our hands at this point. I wish I could tell you more, I genuinely don’t know."
He added, "A spin-off would be good but it has to be well-thought out and really unique and not just for the sake of doing a spin-off."
Butterfield and Ncuti Gatwa also shared their hopes for future seasons with ELLE (opens in new tab), with Butterfield hoping that the show will expand Otis and Maeve's relationship.
"I would like to see them...look at the bigger picture. To explore themselves and to be more focused either on their relationship with themselves or their platonic relationships with their friends and family," he said.
He also wished for more scenes between him and his real-life friend Gatwa. "Otis and Eric, they're most themselves when they're with each other. I wish there were more scenes with us."
Gatwa added, "We ask for that every season. [Showrunner Laurie Nunn] is like, 'What do you want?' 'More scenes with Otis.'"
Mackey also shared her hopes for Maeve in a possible fourth season with ELLE (opens in new tab), saying that she hopes the teen with come out of her shell a bit more in America.
"I'm excited for her to make some new friends, to open up a bit more and be exposed to a different culture, to a different kind of world. Because she's only ever lived in her little tiny bubbles. How is she out of that bubble?"
She continued, "It'd be really nice to see her actually living out a dream for herself. What does that do to a person, and how does that change you? What kind of happiness does that give you? And all the anxieties that come with being away from home. If we get to it, it will be a lovely thing to witness."
Casting director Lauren Evans told Metro.co.uk (opens in new tab) back in May that she is hoping for many more seasons "as long as people want it, as long as the stories are there to tell." She also mentioned that creator Laurie Nunn has previously said that she doesn't think viewers will continue watching the show past the end of school.
"Like Laurie said before, Laurie doesn’t want to keep going and put these people through college and university and you know into middle age," Evans said, adding a hopeful, "But we'll see."
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