If you’re stoked for Season 2 of Netflix’s Sex Education, because you, like me, have been waiting a year for its release, you’ll want to get right on that. But if you’re triggered by discussions of sexual harassment and assault, you should be prepared for a major story line on this topic.
Now, I still think you should watch the second season! I’d hate for you to miss out on all the other great elements of the show for fear of being triggered. Since I personally am not triggered by this, and I wanted to watch the show twice through anyway, I’ve taken this small task upon myself. I’ve made a trigger-free watch guide in the hope of making this season possible to watch, even for those of us who have this particular trigger.
General guidelines: This guide will be most helpful if you are watching with another person who can tell you when to look away and when you can look back. However, it will also work if you’re watching alone and keep a close eye on the time.
Disclaimer: Please take everything written here with a grain of salt. These are not my personal triggers, so I can not guarantee 100% that the list I have provided will let you watch completely trigger free. I did my best but I might have missed something. I therefore encourage you to watch with a supportive friend or someone who has already watched the episodes who can help you through it and be there for you just in case.
What’s in this guide?
- A timeline of relevant scenes to skip, down to approximate minutes:seconds with trigger-free scene summaries so you know if there’s anything important you missed.
- Technical terms for the event and themes.
- Not trigger free: A dry, vague summary of the event and relevant issues the story raises.
If you are not sure if this particular story will trigger you, my recommendation is to have someone you trust read list element 3 above so you can suss out the severity of the event.
Additional trigger: Self Harm. There are two scenes which could be triggering because of self harm, and they are:
- Episode 1: 32:07 – 32:40
- Episode 6: 31:35 – 34:03
Episodes 1 & 2
- Clear. Line begins in episode 3.
for this episode there is a helpful visual to cue when you should look away and plug your ears: any time you see Aimee carrying the pink cake.
- 2:10 – 2:30 Intro. nothing really happens yet, Aimee sees the perpetrator.
- 3:19 – 4:15 The incident.
- 10:49 – 11:40 Cue: You will see Aimee carrying the cake but you can wait until Otis leaves before looking away. Safe when: you see Eric and Otis in the library. Summary: Aimee tells Maeve what happened. Maeve encourages Aimee to report the incident.
- 15:34 – 17:10 At the police station. Safe when: you see Jackson
- 24:16 – 26:22 Visual cue: Maeve and Aimee in an interview room. Talking to the police officer.
- 28:37 This bit is clear. You see Aimee and Maeve getting a ride home with the cops, and there’s a cute lizard.
- 31:44 Also clear. Continuing on the drive home, Aimee and Maeve discuss other story lines from the series and it is worth watching this bit.
- 38:19 – 40:35 Cue: in the car, the cop asks, “is this you?” Aimee arrives home. Her mom is drunk and asks Aimee about her day.
- 43:05 – 43:35 Visual cue: the bus. Aimee’s PTSD theme begins.
- 5:35 – 6:20 Visual cue: the bus. Aimee has PTSD
- 6:21 – 6:50 Visual cue: Aimee getting her shoes from the closet. Aimee has PTSD
- 23:50 – 25:14 Cue: Steve opens the door for Aimee. Aimee has PTSD. It is worth noting that Steve is a loving, supportive partner to Aimee at every step of the way.
- 35:50 – 36:27 Right after Otis: “Ah ha ah ha you want some vodka.” Aimee PTSD. What you need to know: Aimee breaks up with Steve.
- 45:02 – 45:13 No explicit mention, but you see Aimee walking home alone and she’s sad.
The main trigger scenes in this episode happen when the girls are in detention. Visual to cue when you should look away and plug your ears: when you see the girls hanging around on the green couches. Not all the scenes in this setting are triggery, just the ones that happen after 29:10. Exception: the first PTSD mention does not have this aesthetic.
- 7:14 – 7:40 Aimee PTSD. Immediately after Maeve says “Aimee guess what?”
- 29:41 – 30:13 When Olivia says “It just got interesting.” The girls are in detention, Maeve and Ola argue about Otis. Aimee is triggered and says what triggers her.
- 31:05 – 33:45 SKIP THIS SCENE. Cue: After Jean (on the phone): “Can I come see you?” All you need to know is: The girls all share their own personal #metoo stories. The specific gory details are not important to the overall plot lines. It’s a beautiful scene, it contributes to the show and covers a wide range of experiences. You see the girls bonding and supporting each other and expressing their strongest selves. It’s important for people who don’t know much about this, or are skeptical of the validity of the #metoo movement – to watch. But if you’re the victim? It’s not directed towards you and you are under no obligation to see more of this. Safe when: “You know who loves ginger nuts? Eric Clapton.”
- 40:16 I think this segment is safe to watch, but here are some things you should be prepared for: Olivia delivers a fun and interesting line that includes the phrase “non consensual penises” and that’s it. Then we have the smash scene. This is worth watching in my opinion because it is empowering and cute and badass, and personally I really enjoyed it. There is one brief mention of the trigger material, and here are the cues: Aimee says “I’m angry that I’m not good at baking cakes.” And then delivers another line about Steve. Then, in her third line, the incident and PTSD are referred to: **TW** “I’m angry that a horrible man ruined my best jeans, and nobody did anything, and now I can’t get on the fucking bus!”
- 46:47 The girls show solidarity and support each other. To help Aimee through her PTSD, they all take the bus together.
- Clear. Does not contain these specific triggers.
Technical terms for what happened: sexual misconduct. Basically, something of a sexual nature happened without consent.
Summary: Aimee is taking the bus to school when a stranger masturbates next to her.
The PTSD Theme
After the event, Aimee suffers from PTSD.
She is affected in the following ways:
- She can’t take the bus
- Sees/hallucinates the perp in random places
- she struggles to be intimate with Steve
If you found this helpful, please let me know. Feel free to share. If you have a time correction or something I missed, please let me know.
Enjoy all the rest of the brilliance of this show!