Sex Education returns for Season 3 on September 17, and a lot is changing for the students at Moordale as a new headteacher takes over — but one of the biggest changes is occurring between Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) and Ruby Matthews (Mimi Keene).
The duo, who wound up in bed together in Season 2, are continuing some semblance of connection in Season 3 since Otis’s love confession to Maeve (Emma Mackey) remains unlistened to after her friend and potential romantic competition Isaac (George Robinson) deleted the voicemail. While viewers get a brief look at Otis and Ruby’s continued bond in the teasers, stars Butterfield and Keene are previewing what fans can expect from the nature of their onscreen connection.
“They bring out parts of each other which we haven’t really seen before,” Butterfield teases. “In Otis’s case, he sort of becomes more confident and has a bit of a spring in his step.” This may or may not come out in the form of some interesting grooming and fashion choices as Otis becomes more in tune with who he is as a person.
“I think it’s very funny,” Keene echoes, hinting at the bond between Ruby and Otis. “It has a lot of aspects to it. It’s surprising, funny, and emotional at times.”
Thankfully, it was a little lighter between the scenes, allowing for a strong onscreen spark. “Mimi [and I] have just had a lot of fun together on these scenes,” Butterfield says. “And I think that comes across in the chemistry of the characters.”
In terms of the emotion that Keene brings up, viewers will get a more in-depth look at her character’s home life, something that had yet to be explored. “Her family life is very different from what people will be expecting,” previews Keene, who promises something different from Ruby’s snobby at-school persona. “It’s something that she hides from anyone who knows her. Even her best friends have never been to her house or seen where she lives.”
As was teased in Season 2, Ruby’s father lives with MS, and this season you see how she’s coping with that. “She is essentially a young carer, which is, again, I think a really important thing to show because it’s a lot more common than people know,” Keene shares. “It’s really nice to see that softer side of her at home. Because she’s very different with her dad.”
Otis’s home life is also changing a bit, considering his mother and sex therapist, Jean Milburn (Gillian Anderson), is pregnant. “I think he’s adjusting better than he would have in Season 1,” Butterfield says. “It’s not easy and Otis likes his routine,” Butterfield admits, adding, “This is a huge shakeup for him.”
As if shakeups at home weren’t enough to keep things interesting, both Otis and Ruby are also adjusting to Hope Haddon’s (Jemima Kirke) new rules at Moordale. “I don’t think Otis really trusts Hope,” Butterfield says of his character. “I think he sees through what she’s trying to do. And then once the things start clicking into place with the uniforms and the lines down the hallway, he’s not a fan.”
Ruby’s disdain for Hope is a little more cut and dry from the beginning. “Ruby’s definitely not a fan from the get-go,” shares Keene, noting that Ruby’s “definitely not pleased about the uniforms.” Whether she and Otis will do something about the changes taking place will remain to be seen.
Until then, gear up for plenty of twists and turns as Sex Education takes viewers on one big rollercoaster ride of emotions in Season 3.
Sex Education, Season 3 Premiere, Friday, September 17, Netflix