Sex Education season 4: Release date, trailer, plot and news
When will we be getting more unconventional sex ed lessons from the streaming service?
The fourth and final season of hit Netflix series Sex Education is here, bringing a new set of challenges for most of the returning Moordale gang as they start afresh at Cavendish College following the closure of the school at the end of season 3.
This new development also introduces a whole host of new faces, including rival student therapist Sarah "O" Owen (Thaddea Graham) and a popular group known as The Coven led by Abbi (Anthony Lexa).
Competition from a more established student therapist isn't Otis' (Asa Butterfield) only problem in season 4, with the student also battling some heartache after being torn away from Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey), who is currently studying abroad in the US under Mr Molloy (Dan Levy).
"We're in the new school, new locations and things have changed up a bit. And we've got some new characters," he said.
"The show's definitely sort of evolved somewhat," he added. "But it's still got the core team involved and it's been fun – I mean we all know each other so well at this point, so it's a great time and it's a laugh."
Read on for everything you need to know about Sex Education season 4, including how many episodes there are in the instalment and what you can expect.
Sex Education season 4 release date: When will it air?
Sex Education season 4 arrived on Netflix n Thursday 21st September 2023, with all eight episodes dropping at once as a bingeable box set.
As previously announced, this will be the final chapter in the series, wrapping up the stories of Otis, Maeve, Eric and the rest of the Moordale gang in what promises to be an emotional ride.
"We are incredibly proud of Sex Education and feel indebted to our brilliant writers, cast and crew who put so much heart into making every episode," said creator Laurie Nunn in a letter to fans.
"They have worked tirelessly to bring you the final series, and we can’t wait to share it with you."
Ncuti Gatwa later explained that the stars had "outgrown" the show, a statement which can be interpreted literally as most are portraying characters about a decade younger than their real-life age.
Sex Education season 4 trailer: Can I watch it?
You certainly can! Netflix has now released a full-length trailer for Sex Education season 4, which stays true to the title of the show while also promising some poignant moments as the characters near the end of their journey. Watch now:
A shorter teaser was unveiled in July 2023, giving us our first peek at the final episodes. Watch below:
How many episodes are there in Sex Education season 4?
Sex Education season 4 consists of eight episodes.
The episodes' length ranges from 51 minutes to the finale's feature-length which is 1hr 25 mins.
Sex Education season 4 plot
Season 4 will see a shake-up following the events of the last chapter.
The official logline reads as follows: "Following the closure of Moordale Secondary, Otis and Eric now face a new frontier - their first day at Cavendish Sixth Form College. Otis is nervous about setting up his new clinic, whilst Eric is praying they won't be losers again.
"But Cavendish is a culture shock for all the Moordale students - they thought they were progressive but this new college is another level. There's daily yoga in the communal garden, a strong sustainability vibe and a group of kids who are popular for being… kind?!
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"Viv is totally thrown by the college's student-led, non-competitive approach, while Jackson is still struggling to get over Cal. Aimee tries something new by taking an Art A-Level and Adam grapples with whether mainstream education is for him.
"Over in the US, Maeve is living her dream at prestigious Wallace University, being taught by cult author Thomas Molloy. Otis is pining after her, whilst adjusting to not being an only child at home, or the only therapist on campus…"
In an interview with Vogue, Gatwa also said that Eric "gets the ending I wanted for him", adding: "Things get tied up. And there was one scene that I particularly fought for, and I managed to get it in, which was great."
That particular moment was a co-writing effort between Gatwa and his co-star Aimee Lou Wood: "Aimee and I wrote it and we were redrafting it until like 3am the day before.
"I've never written for Eric before, so that felt big, and it was a scene that meant a lot to me in terms of Eric's journey and relationships. It felt very necessary."
Meanwhile, Wood herself teased that season 4 is "a lot more grown up".
"I actually spoke to Laurie a bit about some stories because I’m so excited, I just really wanted to know what’s going to happen with Aimee next – and everyone else," she told RadioTimes.com.
"She told me a few things and I think it’s going to be great. It's going to be really weird because, obviously, I don't know how it’s going to be because Moordale's gone. It's going to be a very different feeling I think to how it has been, but probably in a good way because I think they are growing up.
"Season 3 felt a lot more grown up, I thought. I think it’s going to go even further in season 4."
The season 3 ending also teased that Jakob is not the father of Jean's baby, which you can rest assured is an intriguing plot thread picked up in this latest edition.
Who stars in Sex Education season 4?
Most of the Sex Education cohort have been confirmed for season 4 as returning, but some are not.
Patricia Allison (Ola) and Tanya Reynolds (Lily) confirmed not to be returning. Mikael Persbrandt, who played Ola's father Jakob, is also off the list.
Allison told Capital Xtra Breakfast: "I won't be joining the team for season 4. I absolutely have loved my time on Sex Education, and I'm so sorry to have to break that to you guys. I've been doing it for three years and I've loved it."
Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Reynolds added: "I'm not [returning], actually, which is sad, very sad. It's just the natural progression of these shows.
"When you have such big ensemble casts and so many characters, I think you have to let a few older characters go to make way for newer ones, which is absolutely the right thing, the way it should happen."
She added: "I loved every minute of it and I loved Lily with my whole entire heart. Three seasons was just a really perfect amount for me."
Meanwhile, Simone Ashley was unable to reprise her role of Olivia as she is now simply too busy as one of the stars of romantic period drama Bridgerton. Frequent screen partner Chaneil Kular (popular boy Anwar) will also be absent.
Who is joining Sex Education for season 4?
Filling the void left by those noteworthy departures are a number of high-profile new additions.
Doctor Who star Thaddea Graham will play Otis's rival sex therapist at Cavendish, while newcomers Felix Mufti, Anthony Lexa and Alexandra James will play a trio of popular students at the school.
Meanwhile, Schitt's Creek favourite Dan Levy will also appear as Thomas Molloy, a renowned cult author who is tutoring Maeve during her time in the US. Marie Reuther and Imani Yahshua appear as two of her fellow students.
Lisa McGrillis joins the party as the younger sister of Dr Jean Milburn, while Eshaan Akbar, Reda Elazouar, Bella Maclean have also been cast in supporting roles.
A big name signing for season 4 is Jodie Turner-Smith (Anne Boleyn), who joined the show after a personal invitation from co-lead Gatwa.
At the BAFTA Film Awards, Turner-Smith revealed to Variety and other press: "You may or may not see me in a little Netflix show called Sex Education.
"First of all, all my scenes were with Ncuti Gatwa – I'd die for him – and he's my favourite character on the show. So when he called me and asked me to do it I was like, 'I don't care how much they're paying, I'm doing it.'"
How did Sex Education season 3 end?
Gillian Anderson embodies her iconic role of Dr Jean Milburn for a season 3 recap video (above), or you can read our full rundown of the key events below.
The biggest development was the dramatic closure of Moordale Secondary, as Hope Haddon’s regime collapsed and the school lost its financial backers.
In the aftermath, Hope herself pursued another round of IVF treatment after three years of disappointment and revealed she felt like a failure, but was comforted by Otis - who explained to her why it is important to be open about body and sex issues.
Elsewhere, Eric admitted to Adam that he kissed another guy while in Lagos but revealed that he does not regret it and still feels held back by Adam, ending their relationship.
Adam was heartbroken but pursued his passion for dog shows with pet pooch Madame, with mum Maureen and teacher Emily Sands in the audience at a show cheering him on.
Troubled couple Lily and Ola reconciled their romance after Lily reclaimed her alien passions and Ola addressed her grief for her mother.
Additionally, Jean gave birth to her and Jakob’s baby but faced complications and almost died. However, she recovered and there was a new family unit with her, Jakob, Otis and Ola.
However, a twist revealed that Jakob may not be the father of Jean's baby after all – throwing their future into serious doubt.
In another storyline, former headmaster Michael Groff underwent some growth and stood up to his bully brother Peter before then having passionate sex with his estranged wife Maureen.
Despite Michael's hopes of full reconciliation, Maureen put this on hold as she didn't want to confuse their son, Adam.
Elsewhere, Jackson got together with non-binary student Cal and tried to understand what that means to him, but their identities didn't quite fit together, so they decided to remain just friends instead.
In an emotional storyline, Aimee went to therapy for her trauma after being sexually harassed back in the second season, and also reconciled with best friend Maeve after secretly paying for her school trip and causing an argument.
Aimee went on to break up with her sweet boyfriend Steve as she wants to explore who she is alone.
Another person who made some peace was "untouchable" Ruby, who reached good terms with Otis after their romance ended due to her unrequited love for him.
Finally, Isaac ended things with Maeve before Otis finally professed his endless love for her, prompting them to kiss.
Despite being on the brink of a romantic relationship, Maeve departed for a time in the US to study there, paid for by her fugitive mother Erin. Will Otis and Maeve find their way back together?
Sex Education seasons 1-3 are streaming now on Netflix. Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix – or see what else is on with our TV Guide. Visit our Drama hub for all the latest news.
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