Created by Laurie Nunn, the teenage sex comedy Sex Education came to an end with its fourth and final season.
One of the major story arcs of the series was Maeve (Emma Mackey) and Otis’s (Asa Butterfield) ‘will they, won’t they’ dynamic. Even though their storyline reached a conclusion, Mimi Keene’s Ruby Matthews became a surprise hit over the four seasons of Sex Education. She went from being a supporting cast member to exuding that ‘main character energy’ with relative ease.
Many fans think the show did her dirty by sidelining her in the fourth season. In season four, a few of the Moordale Secondary graduates find their way to the vibrant and hippy-dippy world of Cavendish College. Former Moordale Secondary queen B and head mean girl Ruby is just as adrift in the new environment as her former schoolmates, but there is an added obstacle here for her. In Cavendish, the popular clique, who call themselves ‘the Coven’, are inclusive and kind—teetering on the verge of toxic positivity—but mean they are not. So, Ruby has a more challenging time fitting in and finding friends.
But eventually, Ruby finds her stride. She comes into her own like never before. She is the first one to see through the resident Cavendish sex therapist, Sarah “O” Owen’s facade. Ruby single-handedly makes it her mission to get back at her childhood bully, designing not one but two largely successful election campaigns exhibiting talent that seasoned PR professionals and political campaign managers might envy. She is also crucial in helping find Cal (Dua Saleh) when they run away from home.
However, the biggest gripe many fans have expressed about Ruby’s character this season is how Otis treats her. Of course, Ruby deserves better than Otis. Even though Ruby helps him in so many ways—from designing his school election campaign to helping him be a more confident speaker—Otis never prioritises her. Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) also points out to Otis that whenever Maeve shows up, Otis gets tunnel vision for everything else. Otis is not exactly the perfect friend. But he is also just a teenager grappling with growing pains.
Sex Education’s Ruby Matthews is the best
Ruby deserves better than Otis, not because Otis is a bad person, but because Ruby’s character has grown significantly throughout the series. She has shown resilience, street smarts, and a willingness to confront her insecurities. Ruby’s character development is deserving of a partner who can match her pace and provide the support and understanding she needs.
Not everyone gets their happy ending by winning the heart of the boy they fell for in high school. Some go on to find life’s biggest successes and joys far beyond the confines of big ol’ high school. And Ruby is one of those who are destined for great adventures in life. Ruby was always ambitious and pragmatic, and Cavendish only helps her be more boldly authentic.
Ruby at least gets to put Otis in his place eventually. She is not interested in playing second fiddle to anyone in his life. And because of her overall no-nonsense, resourceful awesomeness, she finds enough friends among the Cavendish folks who value her more than Otis. In short, Otis blows it, but Ruby gets the last laugh. The real losers are us, the fans because we get so many refreshingly unique characters this season without enough time to enjoy them all.
If there is one show that absolutely should have gone on for six seasons (maybe not a movie), then Sex Education is it. But alas, a reboot or spin-off is more likely than more seasons, so we must deal with that.
At least, we can re-binge all four seasons of Sex Education on Netflix till the platform ceases to exist.