In season 3 of Sex Education, despite a few other good candidates, let’s dissect whose selfish behavior really makes them the worst boyfriend.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Season 3 of Sex Education, currently streaming on Netflix.
In season 3 of Sex education, there are some boyfriends who are really horrible with their loved ones. Otis (Asa Butterfield) is a prime candidate, as he pushes Ruby (Mimi Keene) to finally break down her cosmetic walls, only to then treat her as an afterthought. There’s even Jakob (Mikael Persbrandt), who sometimes judges Jean (Gillian Anderson) harshly as they try to navigate each other’s rocky past. However, at the end of the season, it’s clearly Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) who is easily the show’s worst boyfriend.
This is quite surprising, as Eric seemed to really want a relationship, prompting Adam to come out of the closet and be with him in public. He encouraged Adam to open his heart and start taking those small steps, moving away from the fear and xenophobia of yesteryear. He supported Adam in school when Adam needed him. He was there for Adam as his boyfriend tried to push back on people’s anger issues and nasty comments, telling him to just focus on their romance and grow together as a couple.
Adam ended up trying to be better for himself, but also for Eric, who he fell in love with. Sadly, as Adam becomes the best of himself, Eric transforms into the shadow of the kid who truly felt like Adam’s soul mate after such a nuanced arc.
It starts with a visit to Nigeria for a family wedding. There, Eric sees his mother flirting with an old beau and begins to think that loyalty may be wrong. He goes to a gay club with the wedding photographer for innocent fun, but after finding his soul mates he ends up cheating on Adam. When Eric returns home, he realizes that he wants to be free and explore, because while Adam still has baggage and is learning, Eric is with his family and wants to experience the world as a gay man.
He ends up telling Adam what he did, clearly hoping that Adam will break up with him. Eric feels guilty, but he doesn’t want to fix things either, because being with a newbie like Adam is going to hamper him both physically and emotionally. He shows himself a little cold, manipulating Adam into doing his dirty work, to the point that he’s even ashamed to tell Otis, his best friend, because Eric knows he will be reprimanded for his behavior. It is reminiscent of how he cheated on Rahim, leaving him for Adam in Season 2, even though we had no idea Eric was more about lust than love at the time.
It shatters Adam, who ends up feeling like a toy, which sucks considering everything they’ve been through to the point where they might attempt their relationship. Hearing the poem Adam wrote for Eric is truly heartbreaking, as he obviously adores Eric and appreciates how the other boy helped him kill his rage, convincing him to be more human and vulnerable than ever. For Adam, it’s a struggle to deal with Eric’s behavior, especially since Eric knew how much of a mess Adam’s family life was. All of this makes Adam even more afraid of exposing himself.
The sad thing is that Adam begins the long journey to mend himself and discover his own identity, letting his mother know not only who he is, but who Eric was to him, his ex-boyfriend is dressed the same clothes he wore. at the wedding, take selfies and not worry about Adam or his scandalous behavior abroad. He presents himself as a selfish user, having lied to Adam about what he wanted for the future and ultimately treating him as an affair instead of someone he said he was in love with.
See how Eric totally crushes Adam with his selfish ways in Sex Education Season 3, now streaming on Netflix.
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