Was Sex Education’s Eric right for choosing whom he chose? Let’s talk about it.
It goes without saying, but still. Warning: Spoilers for Sex Education Season 2 below.
Two weeks ago, I finished my binge session of Netflix’s Sex Education season 2. In that time, I watched Eric Effiong (played by Ncuti Gatwa) sit in the center of a love triangle. It figures that the character would go the majority of his life without a romantic interest and then suddenly get two.
But unfortunately, the end of the show’s second season sees Eric choosing Adam Groff (Connor Swindells), his former bully, over his boyfriend Rahim (Sami Outalbali). While I got the idea of Eric ending up with Adam, because of it being the next step in Adam’s redemption arc, I was upset to see the perfectly good Rahim being disrespected in such a hurtful and public betrayal. Those negative thoughts were then increased when I rewatched the show’s latter half with my roommates. The entire room mourned the loss of such a nice and respectable boyfriend for Eric.
Spoilers for #SexEducation: I enjoyed both Adam and Eric's individual characters/stories this season but bringing them together as if they are a perfect star crossed couple was just — no thanks. pic.twitter.com/yCRvhLUipy
— Rowan Ellis (is at YALC) (@HeyRowanEllis) January 19, 2020
My household wasn’t the only one to condemn the “Adam over Rahim” choice. Sex Education fans on Reddit have expressed their displeasure with how Rahim’s storyline went.
“Rahim did not deserve this,” wrote one Redditor after finishing the season.
“All the rage over Otis and Maeve still not being together, yet the real tragedy is Rahim’s heart being broken,” shared another. “He so did NOT deserve that. :(“
“Rahim was open, and frankly far more stable, confident, and mature, relative to Adam,” wrote a third. “There may be some issue in Eric’s life that will come in season 3 that Adam is utterly unequipped to handle emotionally. Hopefully I’m wrong.”
But, despite how some are against the love triangle’s conclusion, there are some who support the idea. For instance, Screen Rant published an article supporting the Adam over Rahim choice saying, “Eric owes it to himself to see where this thing with Adam will go, because he seems genuinely curious. Otherwise, he’ll always wonder what would’ve been if he went for it.”
Maybe they’re correct. Maybe Eric did make the right choice. In order to dissect the situation more, and it’s possible implications, let’s look at the Good and the Bad of the situation.
Date Someone You Actually Like
Screen Rant has a point with the “Eric was into Adam more,” commentary. At the end of the day, the character had an attraction and interest in Adam that he didn’t show for his boyfriend Rahim. Plus, Eric was embarrassed to introduce Rahim to his family and disagreed with him on topics like religion or musicals. In a real-life circumstance, you shouldn’t waste your time your boyfriend’s time if your attention is going elsewhere. That’s especially true when the relationship is just a few weeks old. Of course, you shouldn’t publicly dump him in front of your entire school either.
Part of what makes Adam more interesting to watch is that he adds more drama. Rahim was the unproblematic and undramatic nice guy. Frankly, there was nothing really going for him other than being a good and mature option. Adam is a more compelling character to watch with his messed-up family life, his bullying past, and his constant mistakes. The next season is guaranteed to come with drama for Adam, so having Eric date him adds even more options for entertainment.
Clear Writer Support
With that, it’s very clear that the writers were incredibly biased in the situation. Instead of feeling out which character was a better match for the Eric character, it feels like they created the Rahim character to help Eric and Adam get together. Rahim was underdeveloped (to the point of not even having a last name). Then, curveballs and obstacles like Eric’s random defensiveness and his mother commenting on it felt forced (to put it lightly). Meanwhile, Adam received numerous scenes (on and off-screen) to redeem himself as a romantic interest for Eric.
Don’t Date Your Bully
We also have to talk about “real-life” implications. While it’s good to pursue someone you’re interested in, it’s also good not to be interested in your former bully. Why glorify that whole “closeted bully finds gay love” cliché? Why should Eric settle for someone who once terrorized him. Just a season (and possibly a couple of months in-story) ago Eric was flinching at Adam’s presence? Dating Adam doesn’t erase that pain. Yes, Adam deserves a redemption arc, but Eric doesn’t have to be a tool in that.
Personally, I’m against the Eric and Adam relationship. Not only did Rahim deserve better, but Eric deserves better too. Don’t get me wrong, I like Adam as a character and I’m enjoying his redemption arc. But, I feel like he should have stayed separate from Eric. This relationship should not have happened.
But what do you Instinct readers and Sex Education fans think? Was Adam the right choice or should Eric have stuck with Rahim? Let us know your thoughts on Eric’s decision down in the comments below.
This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.