Why Otis & Ruby Start Hooking Up In Sex Education Season 3
In Sex Education season 3, Otis dates Moordale’s resident mean girl, Ruby. Here’s what brought them together and why it wasn’t just about hooking up.
Sex Education season 3, currently streaming on Netflix, introduced new couple Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) and Ruby Matthews (Mimi Keene), but why did these two start hooking up in the first place? The show’s fans have waited almost two years since the season 2 finale to see if Maeve would find out about Otis’ voicemail and finally admit she loved him, too. Instead, the season 3 premiere revealed Otis had found a way to deal with his heartache: having casual sex with the most popular girl at Moordale Secondary.
The groundwork was laid for this odd couple in season 2 when Otis lost his virginity thanks to a drunken dalliance with the leader of the “Untouchables.” The twosome found themselves dealing with a possible pregnancy scare, and Ruby confided in Otis about her less than perfect home life. Otis was genuinely concerned that Ruby was okay, and she thanked him for checking in, saying most guys don’t. Although the Netflix series initially established Ruby as a mean girl, she didn’t emasculate Otis or mock him for being a virgin. The twosome’s chemistry illustrates how Sex Education explores the many ways people forge intimate relationships and sometimes inexplicable emotional connections.
Otis’ motives for hooking up with Ruby are pretty transparent at first: he gets all the benefits of having casual sex with a hot girl with no strings attached. He can’t help but bask in the glow of Eric’s admiration once his best friend finds out Otis slept his way into Moordale’s inner circle. Believing Maeve rejected him, Otis gets a much-needed ego boost from Ruby’s attention while also fulfilling a similar need in Ruby. She told Otis in Sex Education season 2 that when she feels sad, she makes out with nerdy boys “Because they think they’re in love with me, which feels amazing.” Despite her social status, Ruby needs validation that she’s attractive and desirable. Rather than suffer ridicule from her classmates for choosing Otis, Ruby tries to change him. However, her feelings for him deepen as he stands up for himself. “She’s [Ruby] not used to opening up and considering someone else’s feelings, so I think it changes her quite a lot being in this situation,” Keene told TVLine.
None of Sex Education season 3’s new or returning characters are one-dimensional, although they may start that way at first. Ruby genuinely falls for Otis because he’s not like other boys, and Otis learns that while Ruby behaves as if she’s all style and has no substance, she struggles with feelings of isolation just like everyone else. Ruby rules with an iron fist at Moordale because she feels utterly powerless regarding her father’s illness.
Butterfield told TVLine explained what brought his character and Ruby together. “Otis and Ruby really bring something new out of each other. I think that’s why they sort of get on, because they are fundamentally very different people, yet their energies seem to work,” he said. Ruby learns to be vulnerable, even if it means getting hurt, and Otis realizes that very rarely is sex casual. Although Sex Education season 3 embraces some of the tropes of 80s sex comedies, the slapstick elements never overshadow the message that sex is no joke.
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