Netflix‘s Sex Education is saying farewell to another character. Tanya Reynolds, who plays Lily, has revealed that she will not return for the upcoming fourth season. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Reynolds made her decision quite a while ago and is part of a reset strategy by the show. Reynolds is the second cast member exiting the series, following her on-screen love interest Patricia Allison.
In the series, Reynolds played the delightfully weird Lily, a Moordale student whose love of aliens knew no bounds. Throughout the show, viewers have seen Lily fully embrace her passion for all things extra-terrestrial, from unique and colorful outfits, fan fiction, a decked out room, and more. Despite her typical unabashed approach towards her alien love, Season 3 saw Lily get shamed for one of her stories, causing her to briefly give up what made her so lovable, though she would soon re-embrace her passions. Lily also had the chance to explore her sexuality; when viewers first met her, she set out on a quest to lose her virginity (to a boy). By Season 2, Lily and Ola (Allison) meet and later begin dating each other into Season 3.
Sex Education premiered its first season in 2019. It focused on Otis (Asa Butterfield), a socially and sexually awkward teenage boy with a mother who’s a sex therapist (Gillian Anderson). After accidentally helping someone else with their own sex-related frustrations, Otis decides to partner with a classmate, Maeve (Emma Mackey), to run a secret sex therapy clinic for other students. By Season 3, an anonymous person has co-opted the clinic and is giving out bogus advice. Meanwhile, a new head teacher named Hope (Jemima Kirke) has been appointed to Moordale, and she is set on fixing the school’s image by enacting some new policies. By the end of the season, Moordale’s students have had enough, but their attempt at revolution didn’t have quite the effect they hoped. As the season wraps up, Hope is dismissed from her position and Moordale is sold to developers, meaning its students will need to find a new school.
About her departure, Reynolds told RadioTimes, “It’s just the natural progression of these shows – when you have such big ensemble casts and so many characters, I think you have to let a few older characters go to make way for newer ones, which is absolutely the right thing, the way it should happen.” She also expressed her love for playing Lily.
Sex Education Season 4 is currently scheduled to begin production this summer. Cast still expected to return includes Butterfield, Anderson, Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, Aimee Lou Wood, Connor Swindells, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Alistair Petrie, and Mimi Keene.
Sex Education Seasons 1-3 are streaming now on Netflix.