Sex Education: Why Maeve and Otis’s relationship was doomed from the start

Sex Education: Why Maeve and Otis’s relationship was doomed from the start

Sex Education’s final season has only restated the fact that Maeve and Otis’s relationship has always been a bit of a mess.

Season four may have been Sex Education’s final season, but it was chocked full of new plots and surprises.

This includes the ultimately not-so-surprising ending where Maeve and Otis come to the conclusion that they are better off going their separate ways.

The Sex Education series finale

You could practically hear the hearts of millions of fans dropping when Netflix made the announcement in July 2023 that Sex Education’s long-awaited fourth season would also be its last.

But although fans now have to bid adieu to Otis (Asa Butterfield), Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), Aimee (Aimee-Lou Wood), Maeve (Emma Mackey), Jean (Gillian Anderson) and the rest of Moordale, this final season has certainly not disappointed.

Season four, which debuted at No. 1 on Netflix on September 21, 2023, throws all of these beloved characters into wholly new circumstances.

In it, most of the old Moordale Secondary students are finding their way on a new campus, Maeve in America and Jean is adjusting to life with a new baby.

Sex Education: Why Maeve and Otis’s relationship was doomed from the start

One of the main reasons why 12 million Sex Education fans were anxiously awaiting the arrival of this season is to finally see whether the will-they-won’t-they thing that Otis and Maeve have had going since pretty much the show’s very first episode finally plays out.

And while many die-hard Maevis stans were likely holding out hope for a satisfying “happily-ever-after” ending, this is not what ends up happening in the series finale episode.

Instead, Maeve chooses to chase her dreams (despite professor Thomas Molloy’s insistence that she is simply not cut out to be a writer) and return to America.

And with Otis realizing that another long-distance relationship will not work, this fan-favorite couple ultimately decides to go their separate ways at the end of the series.

And, while this decision may have felt like a let-down after four seasons of watching these two friends pining for and continually missing a romantic connection because of a miscommunication, secrets or even the work of outside forces, there was just no other realistic way for this relationship to end.

No matter what the Sex Education writers would have dreamed up for the couple following three long seasons of this emotional build-up, there is just no way that a simple, happy relationship would have felt like a satisfying conclusion (not that Maeve or Otis are emotionally mature enough to make a simple, happy relationship work) to their story.

Furthermore, to be quite honest, the show has never really suggested that there was potential for them to work as a couple, anyway.

Maeve and Otis’s relationship only ever worked when jealousy was involved

If you would just put on your Jean-Milburn-therapy-cap for a moment, you would realize pretty quickly while reflecting on the entirety of Maeve and Otis’s relationship that these two only ever really wanted each other when either of them was unattainable to the other. What’s more heaps of jealousy was always involved.

This includes Maeve’s first revelation that she had feelings for Otis, which (of course) happened while he was with Ola. It also includes the infamous voicemail, and even the couple’s first kiss, which both happened while Maeve was falling for Isaac.

They want entirely different things

The biggest red flag for Otis and Maeve’s relationship longevity has also been evident since the first season of the series.

While Otis is quite content with his life and sets down roots in Moordale with his therapy sessions, Maeve has always been very adamant that all she wants to do is to leave the town behind.

And after Maeve’s mom passes away in this final season, there is really nothing (aside from Otis) tying her to Moordale.

It would have been so disappointing to see Maeve give up her dreams for a guy

If you listened closely on the day that the last season of Sex Education dropped on Netflix, you could practically hear the sound of feminists worldwide breathing a sigh of relief when Maeve did not suddenly change all her plans for the future just because she fell in love with Otis.

This certainly does not mean that Maeve did not grow from her friendship-turned-relationship with Otis, after all, Maeve literally admits in her letter that Otis “cracked [her] heart open.”

But in the end, it would have been a disservice to Maeve’s character to make her give up an amazing opportunity for a high-school relationship which had been rocky from the very start.