Sex Education is an admirable series for a myriad of reasons, but one of the best things it’s done is how it’s brought women together in Season 2, Episode 7. Where they start refusing to bond during detention, they end the night smashing a car together, then deciding to take the bus with Aimee the following day.
It’s not so much about a single scene in Sex Education Season 2, Episode 7, as it is about the series clarifying that sexual harassment/assault are things all women go through. Though detention leads to the culminating argument between Maeve and Ola, Aimee’s tears after confessing that she can no longer get on the bus leads the women towards sincere bonding. When they share stories about the unwanted sexual advances they’ve received from men and how they’ve gone past it (or not), the women realize that though they don’t have much in common still, they understand each other.
It’s primarily why the scenes in this episode work because though the night doesn’t end with them as best friends, it concludes with them quietly coming to a conclusion that, more than anything, they aren’t each other’s rivals.
They each have reasons to smash the car, but sharing the rage creates a powerful moment to emphasize that true feminism doesn’t demand all women be close, but it asks that we protect one another when necessary. Feminism asks that we listen to each other, care for one another, and, when the time comes, step up for each other.
Sex Education Season 2, Episode 7 doesn’t deliver imperfect, rushed growth that leads to altered dynamics, but through organic transparency and raw performances, it showcases what a safe environment for women should look like. It not only reminds the women on the show that they are not alone, but it also allows viewers to feel that sense of safety. It doesn’t change the fact that overcoming sexual advances looks different for all of us, but with a song like Cass Elliot’s “Make Your Own Kind of Music” blaring in a moment of catharsis, it evokes the necessary calm to understand that where there is shared trauma, however long it takes, people are capable of overcoming it.
There’s a reason the bus scene is a decisive moment for all viewers. There isn’t much dialogue in this scene, and the show doesn’t force the women to relive their trauma extensively. Still, Aimee Lou Wood bares so much for the audience to see that we not only understand her potent fears, but we can see the calm overwhelm her when she realizes that she isn’t alone. If the man on the bus had a kind face that betrayed her, though these women aren’t all the safe space like Maeve is, she could find solace in knowing that they’ll protect her. They might not take the bus with her every time, but the decision to do so for her first time back shows her that there are people in this world sharing her trauma with her. There is strength in numbers, and this scene is an acute paradigm of what that strength looks like.
Though more work is necessary to reclaim her power and strength in Season 3, these scenes make a colossal impact. It’s the domino towards recovery falling. We must all work on overcoming darkness in our own way, but the nudge to push us towards that recovery is a beautiful thing where strength in numbers is unveiled. Creator Laurie Nunn wrote the bus scene to process a similar assault she faced. In doing so, the weight of palpable fears, trauma, and heartaches are disclosed alongside hope as we watch Aimee understand she’ll be okay in time.
No human being should ever experience any sort of unwanted advances, but since we currently don’t live in a world where it’ll magically change overnight, scenes like this do an exemplary job of reminding viewers that, at the very least, they are not alone in the lingering trauma. Overcoming the pain might look different for everyone, but together one step at a time.
For a scene as moving as this, there are so few words to truly sum up its impact or breakdown what it does for viewers and the colossal force every frame holds. But I suppose that sometimes, no words can be enough — silence can be even more powerful.