Friday, January 17, 2020

REVIEW: 'Sex Education' - Adam Struggles at Military School While Jean Observes a Class in 'Episode 2'

Netflix's Sex Education - Episode 2.02 "Episode 2"

After Jean makes a cringey appearance at school, Otis tries his hand at pleasing Ola - and advising a hapless teacher. Fearless Maeve buckles.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Sex Education.

"Episode 2" was written by Laurie Nunn & Mawaan Rizwan and directed by Sophie Goodhart

It shouldn't be a huge surprise that Adam is kicked out of military school early on in the new season. Connor Swindells is still a series regular. It would have been weird if he was stranded in a completely separate story. Sure, there absolutely could have been value in that. Here, the story continues to define his internalized homophobia. It's clear he still wants to project a masculine strength that comes from identifying as straight. He needs to build up the size of his girlfriend's breasts in order to be valued by his new friends. However, Aimee has repeatedly told him that their relationship is over. He has struggled moving on. That has made him extremely volatile and dangerous. It may not have been healthy when he kissed Eric. But that was also a massive release of him being his true self. Here, he is willing to lie and face the consequences in order to protect his two peers who actually wanted to help him grow in this school. He still confesses the truth when faced with the rage of his father again. And yet, that's not good enough. He is a man of many internal conflicts. One that will implode at some point. Mr. Groff has an increasingly short fuse this season as well because of the pressure he continues to face at Moordale. People are telling him what he is doing wrong. When Jean sits in on a class, he has to be there as well in order to analyze and lord over the proceedings. Of course, she is the one who actually relays the information that is helpful to the students. Otis was worried that his mother was going to be wildly inappropriate teaching children about sex. And yes, it is awkward when she is up onstage during the assembly. She doesn't know what to say. As such, it's just a bunch of random topics she hopes can create a sensationalized appeal for what she can offer. Instead, the student body is cruel and demeaning towards her. But she does have advice and wisdom that can help them become better people with their sexual health. Mr. Hendricks comes across as absolutely clueless over how to handle the many topics. The school trusts him with teaching this subject. And yet, Jean has her doubts. She knows just how important all of this can be. It's something that these teenagers are actively dealing with every day. Yes, she does cross lines with her own son. However, he gets in his own head and way all the time as well. He believes he has become the master of fingering simply because he did some research online. He didn't actually communicate with Ola about what she likes and what would bring her pleasure. They eventually get to that point. As such, it's clear that things are progressing smoothly between them. They may be moving at a slow pace but things are certainly heating up. That is exciting. The same thought can be extended to Eric who realizes that Rahim is probably flirting with him. It takes awhile for that idea to dawn on him. Otis has to be the one to point it out which is a nice change of pace in this friendship. At first, Rahim presents as the intense new student whom Eric can't quite figure out. He is frequently present and seemingly trying to send some message. Eric just doesn't know how to receive it at first. But this is also him being excited about the prospect of something new. A boy is showing interest in him when the rest of the school is vying for Rahim's attention. Sure, it will probably set off Adam when he inevitably returns to Moordale. But Eric can't be expected to wait around for whatever their dynamic might become. Rahim is clearly open about his sexuality with the pointed questions he asks during class. He too is curious about that information and is grateful for the insight that Jean can provide. That showcases how teenagers need to be provided with this information in order to best perform in the world. Of course, sometimes awkward choices have to be made for them. As such, Maeve becomes a member of the quiz team while Jackson is actively looking for new hobbies and interests. They want their lives to be defined by more than one thing. Maeve is told that she can aspire for more in her life than a simple house that allows her to feel less lonely. Her teacher is helping her spread her wings and be respected for her gifts as a writer. And yet, her competitive spirit can bring her closer to danger as well because she continues to lock horns with Ola. Maeve understands she's still not over Otis. She is willing to admit that to herself and Aimee. Very little might change about that though. That means everything will remain just as awkward moving forward. This world highlights how communication is really key when it comes to being in a relationship with someone. One has to voice their feelings and be heard when they do. That is an empowering message. One that absolutely bears repeating as frequently as possible even when Otis forgets it himself when he is trying to help others.