Eric panics over his first date with Rahim, while Maeve takes Aimee to the police to report an assault.
On Sex Education Season 2 Episode 3, Aimee is assaulted while taking the bus to school. Otis and Maeve worry that his mother’s presence at school will interfere with their sex clinic, and Eric obsesses over impressing Rahim on their first date.
Sex Kid vs. Sex Mom
Ever since the disastrous chlamydia outbreak, Otis’s mother Jean has been collaborating with the school for sex education. She’s not a member of staff, as Headmaster Groff repeatedly reminds her. However, the board of education has given her access to campus to review and revise the SRE curriculum. Last episode saw her lead an extremely ill-fated assembly, and sit in on a disastrous SRE class. In Sex Education Season 2 Episode 3, she’s setting up an office so that students can talk to her about what they’d like to cover in their courses.
Otis’s troubles with this are two-fold. For one, he tells Maeve that his mother’s presence on campus could cut into clinic business. Maeve has her doubts. Who is going to talk to an adult about their real sex problems? The answer, of course, is students who can’t afford the clinic’s high prices. When one student doesn’t have enough money to see Otis, he resorts to talking to Jean. Though that instance goes disastrously, by the end of the episode, there is a queue of students outside her office door.
Otis’s other concern is that, in talking to the students, his mother might find out that he’s running the sex clinic. He knows that she’d disapprove, and suddenly seems to realize all the trouble he could get into. None of that would help the stressful situation he’s already in with his mother. Though she’s trying her best to normalize her relationship with Jakob with things like family dinner and game night, Otis remains uncooperative. He throws a slew of insults at her: that she’s kidding herself with Jakob, that she’s not the relationship type, that she’s not independent enough. It almost seems like he’s sabotaging his relationship with his mother before the clinic can ruin it for him.
After taking a talent assessment, Aimee is now determined to become a baker. To celebrate Maeve’s birthday, she makes a cake in the shape of a rabbit. She struggles to balance it on the bus, and bumps into the man standing behind her. It’s a few moments later that she realizes that he has his dick out, and is jerking off onto her jeans. Though she shouts an accusation, no one on the bus moves to do anything. Aimee scurries off the bus and walks the rest of the way to school.
When Maeve finds out what happened, she uses her birthday as leverage to get Aimee to report the crime. For the most, Aimee acts as though the incident isn’t a big deal. She uses common excuses like not wanting to cause a fuss, or that she’s sure it happens all the time. But at Maeve’s insistence, she agrees to go to the police. She’s nervous the entire time, despite Maeve’s support and the cooperative officers. It’s only at the end of the episode when she gets home that we see her break down.
I thought that this was a really interesting way to explore this plot. It shows how certain instances of assault are often seen as “less traumatic” or “less worthy” of reporting, without decreasing the seriousness of the crime. Also, so many discussions of assault focus on how the system is broken and police routinely degrade victims of assault. While that’s very true and necessitates discussion, it was nice to see a more positive depiction where that didn’t happen. At the same time, I thought it was important that Aimee had all the support of her friend and the police, but it was still shown that it’s not enough to fix the problem. I really felt for Aimee, and hope she continues to get the support she needs this season.
Maeve’s Growing List of Problems
Despite the fact that it’s her birthday, what Maeve receives most is trouble. Her new neighbors are stealing her gas canisters from her caravan. She has to deal with Otis’s concerns about their clinic business. She supports Aimee through the process of reporting a crime to the police. She gets ragged on by Aimee for not admitting her feelings to Otis. And at the end of the episode, her mother comes back into the picture and asks to stay with her again.
With everything Maeve has going on, her feelings for Otis should be the least of her problems. However, it’s still taking up a good bit of her headspace. She struggles to see him happy with Ola, but at the same time, we know she’s struggling with insecurities that are holding her back. As the police drive them home, Aimee gushed to the officers about how Maeve is too afraid to tell Otis how she feels. Aimee thinks it’s silly, since Otis so clearly likes Maeve back. And though Maeve brushes her off, the advice clearly gets through to her.
The day after her birthday, Otis gives her a belated gift. It’s a day-planner of the next five years, with her birthday page ripped out every time, so she won’t need to celebrate if she doesn’t want to. It’s an incredibly thoughtful gift, and it almost pushes Maeve to say something. But she falls just short, and fondly threatens him for getting her a gift instead. The episode ends as she stands alone in the hallway, leaving fans like me utterly frustrated once more. It looks like Otis and Maeve’s will-they-won’t-they dynamic will persist for at least one more episode.
Eric and Rahim
Over the last two episodes, Eric has been growing closer with the new French transfer student, Rahim. At first, Eric found his intensity to be a bit alarming. After realizing that Rahim is gay, their dynamics goes under a complete transformation. At the beginning of Sex Education Season 2 Episode 3, Rahim asks if Eric would like to go on a date with him. It’s all very thrilling…until Eric realizes that he needs to plan a date to impress a French boy while they’re stuck in his tiny town.
His first plan is to take Rahim to a fancy restaurant where his parents once went for dinner. However, the stiff atmosphere is far from comfortable for Eric, something Rahim picks up on quickly. He convinces Eric to dine and dash, which doesn’t work out all that well. After doubling back to pay, Eric takes Rahim to the arcade—a place that makes him happy. Though Rahim is reluctant, Eric convinces him to play Dance Dance Revolution. They kiss, play more games, and have a giddy and wonderful time.
It was so nice to see Eric have a genuinely good time, especially after all the trouble he went through in Season 1. Still, I knew it was only a matter of time until the other shoe dropped. And boy did it drop. Just as Eric agrees to go back to Rahim’s apartment, they bump into Adam. Adam, who got kicked out of school and now working at the convenience store owned by Rahim’s uncle. Adam, who hooked up with Eric before he left for military school, and left without a word.
While I love seeing Eric happy, I have a feeling he and Adam are going to end up together regardless. I’m a bit conflicted on that point. I don’t love the recycled plot of boys dating the bullies who once tortured them, just because it all turned out to be repressed homosexuality. If Eric and Adam are going to end up together, the show will need to put a lot of effort into Adam’s redemption arc before I can accept it.
I quite liked Sex Education Season 2 Episode 3. It had a good balance of drama and heartwarming fluff. I love Otis and Eric’s teasing friendship as Eric freaks out over his date. I like the budding friendship between Jackson and Viv, especially as she helps him study for his Shakespeare audition. And where the show dares to dip into heavier subjects like family drama and sexual assault, so far it’s been handled well and appropriately.
All episodes of Sex Education are available for streaming on Netflix.