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Opinion: Otis and Maeve had to break up no matter how sad it was for Sex Education fans


Otis and Maeve tragically break up in Sex Education season 4 and while it may be hard to accept, it simply had to happen.

*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Sex Education season 4* — After four equally joyous and heart-wrenching seasons, Sex Education has come to an emotional conclusion as the Netflix series ended with its main couple Otis and Maeve breaking up which has left fans in floods of tears.

Otis and Maeve’s tearjerking breakup in Sex Education

Following several twists and turns in their relationship throughout Sex Education season 4, Otis and Maeve finally decide to call it quits at the end of episode 7.

After returning home earlier in the season following the tragic death of her mother and harsh comments from her teacher, Maeve finds herself at a crossroads and questioning whether she should return to America and continue studying at Wallace University or stay in Moordale with Otis.

Surprisingly, a heart-to-heart conversation with Jean Milburn provides Maeve with the inspiration she needs to persevere and follow her dreams, which leads to a painful yet inevitable conversation with Otis where she reveals her plans to head back to the States.

Maeve initially says that she and Otis can try and make their long-distance situation work but Otis realizes that he would only be holding her back and they agree to break up for good. But there will always be a strong bond between them as Maeve reveals in a letter she leaves for Otis, where she says she will always carry a part of him with her.

LEFT: Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley talking on the phone RIGHT: Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn sat in a chair in Sex Education season 4
© Netflix | Thomas Wood & Samuel Taylor

Why Otis and Maeve had to break up

After investing almost five years into their relationship, it’s obviously heartbreaking and a little frustrating that Otis and Maeve don’t end up together by the end of Sex Education.

But while that might be the case, the tragic reality is that they had to break up in order to allow each of them, especially Maeve, to follow their dreams.

Otis, whose passion lies in the world of sex therapy, is already fulfilling his dream and has proven he can carry out his sessions at Cavendish College without Maeve’s help and is well on his way to a career in therapy if he chooses, possibly even alongside former rival therapist O.

Plus a few more years for Otis to mature a bit wouldn’t hurt after getting into arguments with almost everyone in season 4.

Asa Butterfield as Otis rides in a red car
© Netflix | Samuel Taylor

Maeve on the other hand has had to claw her way out of an impossibly tough upbringing to earn her place on the Gifted and Talented Program and it would be foolish of her not to see it through to stay with Otis, especially as there is interest in her book which would allow her to fulfil her own dream of becoming a writer.

So while it may be painful to see the pair part ways in season 4, it makes total sense to allow them to go their separate ways and flourish while carrying the memories and lessons they taught each other with them.

It’s also worth remembering that Otis and Maeve are just 17 and 18 years old respectively by the end of season 4 and have their entire lives ahead of them – so who’s to say that they won’t reunite in a few years’ time when Maeve’s a bestselling author and Otis is a professional sex therapist?

Maeve (Emma Mackey) and Otis (Asa Butterfield) standing opposite each other in Otis's bedroom in Sex Education season 4
© Netflix

Season 4 of Sex Education is available to stream now on Netflix after releasing on Thursday, September 21, 2023.

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