Sex Education Season 4

Our 3 Favorite and 3 Least Favorite ‘Sex Education’ Characters in Season 4

The fourth and final season of Sex Education dropped on Netflix on September 21, 2023. And, in eight installments, the series tied up a couple of narratives with pretty pink bows — as it flourished with empathy, inclusivity, and a heaping dose of idealism. The show introduced a handful of new characters while further developing existing ones, and while some of the season’s primary players left us grinning from ear to ear, others had us ready to throw the remote at the screen.

Spoiler Warning for Season 4 of ‘Sex Education’

Best: Aimee Gibbs (Aimee Lou Wood)

Aimee Gibbs is Sex Education’s deceptively ditsy teenager whose emotional intelligence is far superior to many of those around her. Aimee discovers photography in the latest season, which serves as an outlet for her to process her trauma while spotlighting the unique perspective she brings to the world. Peering through her viewfinder, she yearns to see vulnerable humanity in those she photographs — not the doctored portrayals we wear to garner social approval and barricade ourselves from judgment.  

Though often self-deprecating concerning her own intelligence, Aimee is simply not the SAT-sort of smart. Rather, she is the creative, introspective, and interpersonal sort of smart that makes for a great confidante. Aimee is always there for Maeve, and she is quick to put her needs second when those she cherishes require her loyalty and devotion. We love Aimee, and seeing her come to terms with her assault and open her heart once more was a beautiful conclusion to her seasons-spanning arc. 

Worst: Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) 

We’re sorry, Otis, but you’re a bit of a whiny narcissist who only steps up for others when the circumstances are dire. You’re so focused on your own emotional turmoil that you fail to realize when Eric (and others around you) require your assistance. Sometimes, your problems are not the most significant ones in the room. 

Asa Butterfield in 'Sex Education'
Asa Butterfield as Otis in Season 4 of ‘Sex Education’ | Samuel Taylor/Netflix

We understand that you’re a teenager and, as a result, we can give you a bit of a pass when it comes to your needy and selfish behavior, but you really pushed it too far this season. Your mom had a baby and is trying to balance a career and a new radio show, but you need her to do what exactly? Still make your sandwiches for school in the morning? Come on. Eric also calls you out on your behavior and inattention to those around you, for he sees your tendency to get so caught up in your own dilemmas (which you view as far more consequential than they are) that you don’t realize when others are in true meltdown mode. Eric is over here having a religious crisis, but you’re worried about sexting?!

Best: Eric Effiong (Ncuti Gatwa)

Eric befriends a group of fellow LGBTQ+ individuals in season 4, thankfully finding others who can relate to his life and societal hurdles in ways Otis cannot. He thrives in this friend group, becoming an even prouder and shoulders-back gay man as the season progresses. 

In season 4, Eric also struggles to reconcile his Catholicism with his identity as a gay man, confronting an upcoming (possible) baptism with a heaping helping of cognitive dissonance. He is both gay and catholic, but if The Church cannot accept the former, why should he be forced to dive headfirst into the latter? This dilemma presents an opportunity for Eric to reflect and connect with his religion in an individualized way that brings him close to god without abandoning or hiding his out and proud status as a gay man. Eric’s journey presents a relatable and moving narrative for members of the LGBTQ+ community who also wish to be close to god in a way that feels authentic and welcoming since religious spaces can often feel disparaging and dismissive for queer individuals. 

Ncuti Gatwa as Eric in 'Sex Education' Season 4 |
Ncuti Gatwa as Eric in ‘Sex Education’ Season 4 | Samuel Taylor/Netflix

Worst: Beau (Reda Elazour) 

Viv’s new love interest seems like that shy cutie who could do no harm — at first glance. He’s academically inclined like our beloved Vivienne, and the two nerd it up in the most adorable ways at the opening of the season. Yet, as their relationship progresses, his true colors emerge. He is a red flag…to say the least. He is possessive and territorial, untrusting and deceptive, and even physically abusive in the face of relationship doubts that are totally unfounded. 

He’s a love-bombing manipulator who uses his charm to deceive Viv into entering a relationship way too soon. And, once she is his girlfriend, the nice guy act falls to the floor as the controlling manipulator surges to the surface. We hate him, but luckily for Viv, she has a strong support system that helps her detach. 

Best: Dr. Jean F. Milburn 

Dr. Jean F. Milburn retains her therapeutic and soothing voice of reason, helping her sister and Maeave conquer major personal hurdles in season 4. She is that strong and compassionate woman whose academic intelligence and interpersonal acumen are equally matched. That much hasn’t changed since the start, and we continue to love her for it. Yet, she struggles a bit this season with depression and anxiety following the birth of her child. 

Seeing someone so strong and resilient become even a tad fallible is honest, moving, and relatable. None of us are impermeable, and even the great Dr. Jean Milburn may need a little assistance from family — and some tried-and-true meds — to get her through a tough time. Season 4 shows Jean in a new light, as someone whose ability to give grand advice is not limited by her personal strifes. She is the same Jean, but she needs a little help this time around too.

Worst: Thomas Molloy (Dan Levy)

Molloy is this season’s famous American author whose head is so far up his own you know what that he clearly can’t see straight anymore. He’s condescending and dismissive, and he assumes that his subjective opinions concerning literary works are objective certainties. 

Dan Levy as Thomas in 'Sex Education' Season 4
Dan Levy as Thomas in ‘Sex Education’ Season 4 | Thomas Wood/Netflix

He wrote one critically -acclaimed work but now can’t get a single piece published. He was sitting pretty at the top, and can’t come to terms with his fall from grace, so, as a teacher, he’s persnickety and just a tad superior. He believes that crushing his students, including Maeve, is the best way to build determination and resiliency in an ever-competitive, bubbling-with-self-doubt creative profession. Let’s just say his bedside psychology approach to professorial conduct isn’t receiving any flowers from Dr. Jean Milburn. He receives a bit of redemption later in the season, but it’s not enough to save him from our “least favorite” list. 

About the author

Josh Lezmi

Josh is an entertainment writer and editor at Thought Catalog.