|“||Look, don’t worry, love. I got three kids, and I feel way more guilty about the ones that I had than the ones I chose not to. It’s better not being a mum at all than being a bad one.||”|
|— Sarah to Maeve after they both had their respective abortions|
In her bedroom, Lily draws a comic coming up with an erotic story involving aliens. Her story is told in first person, though when it comes to describing what the protagonist is feeling upon having sex, she is unsure about how she is meant to be feeling.
Maeve goes to an appointment at an abortion clinic, where a nurse asks her about details from her life, such as use of contraceptives and number of sexual partners, as well as if she ever considered adoption as an alternate option. Maeve jokingly says that she doubts someone would want a seventeen year old. She goes back to her caravan park and witnesses an argument between Cynthia and Jeffrey, goes inside. In bed, she tries to make a call, but the recipient’s phone is off service.
Otis, also waking up early, is horrified once he sees that he ejaculated while in his sleep. He speeds through the house nervously while his mother has breakfast downstairs; Jean asks him how he is doing with school, but he eludes her question and leaves. He returns for a moment just to ask his mother not to go in his room, claiming it is "messy." Jean appears to be puzzled by this.
Jackson and his mother continue to run until they reach his swimming coach. He trains his technique at Moordale’s swimming pool.
Jean tries to keep herself from entering Otis’ bedroom, but her curiosity gets the better of her; she finds the cover sheet under the bed and realises what happened. "Not my business," she says to herself, leaving the room. However, she returns seconds later and grabs the sheet, taking it to the washing machine.
Mr. Groff roams the hallways at Moordale before the school day begins as he rehearses a speech for the students. He has to inform about a charity event and ponders whether to say "sanitary towels," "period pads," or "lady things." He runs into Maeve all of a sudden and she advises him to say "sanitary products," claiming it to be "less creepy."
Otis runs down the stairs and joins Maeve awkwardly. She lets him know about the sex clinic appointments that he has and Otis begins to receive clients, hearing the problems different students are going through and attempting to give advice. One of the students happens to be there only for another person to think he has had sex.
Meanwhile, Mr. Groff opens a cabinet that is full of chocolate bars and eats one.
Eric rides his bike to Otis’ house and is greeted by Jean, who lets him know that Otis has already gone to school to work on a project. Jean tries to talk to him about dealing with the fact that Otis is moving on and asks him if he has any hobbies. Once Eric leaves, a delivery person arrives with a box; Jean takes it inside, opens it and finds many copies of Pillow Talk, with the cover indicating it was written by Remi & Jean Milburn. "Bastard," she says.
As Eric arrives at school, he immediately sees Adam next to the lockers and turns around. Mr. Hendricks, who conducts the school's Swing Band, tries to encourage him to join them; afterwards, Eric sees Otis talking with Maeve. Maeve then sees Aimee and walks with her, trying to tell her she will need her company for her abortion procedure, but she is interrupted by Aimee herself and then Ruby and walks away.
Jackson runs towards Maeve to invite her to go to his swimming qualifiers in the afternoon, but she says she will be busy. She then turns around and seems to be about to tell him about her abortion, but changes her mind and just wishes him good luck. Miss Sands approaches Maeve to discuss her As You Like It essay, saying there are similarities between it and those of some other students. Miss Sands gives her a warning assuming she has copied the work, not knowing that Maeve actually wrote the essays and sold them to her classmates.
All the students gather for Mr. Groff’s speech, in which he mentions the "sanitary products," getting a thumbs up from Maeve. Otis sits with Eric and talks about his nocturnal ejaculation, revealing that he has had a sex dream featuring Maeve. Otis feels bad that his brain has objectified Maeve, but Eric gets excited for him and says it is normal. Otis and Maeve exchange looks with one another.
As they get out of the room, Maeve walks with Otis and asks if he can meet her in the afternoon after school as a favor; he agrees. Joining Eric in the dining room, he tells him about what just happened; Eric says it is a date and great things will happen, but Otis is unsure and suspicious. Eric tells him to stay calm and gives him clothing advice: "Think Jon Hamm, but chilled. Okay? Like casual Hamm." Otis leaves and Eric remarks to himself that he is going to audition to join the swing band with his trombone, which Otis never asked. He notices Adam’s stare from another table and flees.
Eric auditions for the Swing Band. Most of its members do not seem particularly amused, but after Mr. Hendricks reminds them that "Leon has leukemia" and they desperately need a French horn. Lily, who plays the clarinet in the band, is the only one to raise her hand in support of Eric, allowing him to join. She proposes that they practice together after school and clearly feels attracted to him.
Maeve reaches the abortion clinic, walking past a couple of anti-abortion protesters. Inside, she starts filling out a form. A woman, Sarah, arrives after running up the stairs and grabs another form, behaving somewhat obnoxiously. She tries to engage in conversation with Maeve, who is not in the mood for talking.
Wearing a suit, Otis gets ready for his supposed date. He walks out quickly, claiming he has "a thing," when Jean tells him that his father is calling on Skype. She answers the call and speaks with Remi, who explains the delivery of the books by gloating about the success he is having. He asks Jean what she is working on currently and she lies, saying she started working on another book. After their call, Jean goes to grab the sheet from the washing machine and has an epiphany: she types "nocturnal emissions on teenage boys" on a document in her laptop.
Otis arrives at the abortion clinic and runs into the anti-abortion couple, not aware of where he is. He walks into the building and finds Maeve, who gets annoyed at him for being early. He asks why they are in an abortion clinic, realises the truth and leaves. Outside, he ends up sitting with the anti-abortion couple.
Eric, his sisters and his father watch television in their living room. When the doorbell rings, Eric goes to the door and greets Lily, introducing her to his family and explaining that they will be practicing for the swing band. Eric’s sisters swoon over the fact that he has brought a girlfriend home; his father has a stern expression.
Maeve, Sarah and another woman wear their hospital gowns at the clinic. Sarah, sitting in the middle, grabs the others by the hand and makes a wave in an attempt to cheer her companions, although the three are visibly shaken. Maeve is called in for her procedure to take place.
Otis decides to go to the shops while waiting for Maeve and is accompanied by the female protester, who leaves her partner behind after a brief argument.
Eric is ready to start playing the trombone in his bedroom, looks back and realises Lily has taken her shirt and bra off. "Would you like to have sex with me?" she asks, nonchalantly, saying that she thinks he is sexy and really wants to have sex with someone. Eric refuses, claiming he is gay. Seeing the clothes Eric has in his closet, Lily proposes that they do a makeover, which is something Eric gets excited about.
At Moordale, Jackson nears the swimming pool while the students cheer for him. Adam is among those in the stands, as well as Sofia and Mr. Groff.
Otis and the anti-abortion protester have a conversation while in a shop, in which she explains that her relationship troubles with her partner, Charlie, are because he had sex with someone else. Even though this happened before they were together, the fact that he did not wait until marriage is what she cannot accept.
Jackson obtains a successful result in his swimming qualifiers and Mr. Groff feels very proud as he congratulates him, saying "well done, my son!" while Adam observes from the stands. Despite Jackson claiming his swimming time was his personal best, his mother says he will have to do even better if he wants to qualify for the counties. Jackson notices empty seats on one side of the stands.
Otis tries to give relationship advice to the protester, mentioning forgiveness and how Charlie is not impure for having had sex. He then purchases a sandwich and flowers for Maeve.
Eric and Lily, dressed with flashy clothing and working on their makeups, eventually get to discussing sex; Lily wonders what gay porn is like and Eric shows her on his computer. Eric’s father suddenly walks into the room, carrying a tray with tea and biscuits. After an awkward moment, he asks Lily to go home. Eric’s father tells him that it is time for him to grow up, get a job, take responsibility, and urges him to remove his makeup before his mother sees it.
When Otis and the protester return to the adoption clinic, she is more warm towards Charlie; Otis’ advice definitely helped with mending things. Otis asks if they will shout at Maeve as she leaves, and gets told that they "probably will."
Maeve wakes up and is given a chocolate mousse. She overhears how Sarah, also having just woken up, becomes angry over the fact that all the chocolate is gone, vanilla being the only option. Maeve goes to her and offers her own mousse, to which Sarah says "you’re not as tough as you look." Sarah says she has three kids and feels more regretful of having them than of the abortion. "It's better not being a mum at all than being a bad one," she says, both of them getting emotional.
Back in her clothes, Maeve walks back into the reception area and sees Sarah embracing her daughter, who is there to accompany her; Sarah directs a wink at Maeve before leaving. Maeve is pleasantly surprised to see that Otis waited for her.
Maeve and Otis walk through the countryside, with Otis asking if she is alright and handing her the sandwich. She comments on how weird he is and he says she should see his mother: "All she does is talk about sex." Otis opens up with some details about his family, such as how his mother hates his father, who lives in America. Maeve, in turn, reveals that her mother is a drug addict whom she has not seen for some time. She has a brother who is funny, but "not the most reliable." Otis claims the flowers he bought for her feel inappropriate, but Maeve claims she likes them. "Nothing says happy abortion like a bouquet," she says.
They walk up a hill and reach the caravan park, with Otis insisting on walking her to her caravan. She gives him a hug, but threatens to kill him if he tells anyone about what happened. They exchange smiles and Otis walks away.
At Jackson’s house, his mother mentions a conversation she had with his coach and also that she wants to book him with a dietician. Jackson’s mind, however, is elsewhere: he texts Maeve, saying he missed her at his qualifiers.
Lily continues to work on her erotic comic, incorporating her experience with Eric into the story and adding that the "quest for a mate" continues.
Otis gets home and sees an older lady coming out of a room to grab water after working on some exercises with Jean. The lady says that his mother told them about the big news of his ejaculation. Incredulous, Otis goes up to his bedroom and sees the folded sheet on his bed. Eric appears soon after to ask about his date, but Otis dismisses it, saying nothing happened. As they both sit to play Mario Kart, Eric mentions his own experiences with the swing band and Lily. Otis receives a text from Maeve thanking him and smiles.
Maeve gets a reply from Otis, who says he hopes she enjoyed her sandwich. She starts doing her homework, but pauses to stare at a photograph of her mother with her from when she was a child, getting teary-eyed.
- Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn
- Gillian Anderson as Dr. Jean F. Milburn
- Ncuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong
- Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley
- Connor Swindells as Adam Groff
- Kedar Williams-Stirling as Jackson Marchetti
- Alistair Petrie as Mr. Groff
- Mimi Keene as Ruby
- Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee Gibbs
- Tanya Reynolds as Lily Iglehart
- Zak Shukor as Dr. Atwan
- Freddie Watkins
- Dominic Applewhite as Charlie
- Anjana Vasan
- Lu Corfield as Sarah
- Lily Frazer as Tiana
- Natasha Joseph
- Anne Kavanagh
|“||Forgettin’ someone’s birthday is not domestic abuse, Cynthia.||”|
|— Jeffrey to Cynthia after he tells her that he thought she had a sister despite living together for 17 years|
|“||Maybe I live a whole rich life filled with adventure and intrigue. It’s possible to experience things you don’t know about, Jackson.||”|
|— Maeve to Jackson after he asked her to watch him swim after school|
|“||Oh my god. Tell me everything. Was it ALS challenge or just your basic dick sneeze?||”|
|— Eric to Otis after he tells him about having a sex dream|
|“||My brain objectified her and I feel like a… bad person.||”|
|— Otis to Eric after telling him he had a sex dream about Maeve|
|“||He looks sweet. Don’t seem like your type, though. A little bit of advice, lovey. If you want a happy life, you keep the sweet ones around.||”|
|— Sarah to Maeve after meeting Otis at the abortion clinic|
|“||Nothing says ‘Happy Abortion’ like a bouquet.||”|
|— Maeve to Otis after she notices the bouquet of flower he got her|
|"This Is the Day"||The The||Jackson’s morning routine; Otis awakes to the morning mess of nocturnal emissions and then rushes off to school.|
|"Fire"||Beth Ditto||End of the assembly; walking through halls, Otis and Maeve plan to meet up.|
|"Little World"||Ezra Furman||Eric rides his bike to Otis' house.|
|"Asleep"||The Smiths||Maeve having her abortion.|
|"Enough Talk"||Oli Julian||Girl writing stories that are sexual in nature.|
|"Lovin' You"||COLDABANK||Music video played in reception.|
|"Run These Streets"||Year of the Dog||Song played by the swing band after Eric joins.|
|"Don't You"||SPRINT EDGE||Maeve reads a book.|
|"Every Feeling"||Ezra Furman||End Credits|
- As she’s getting ready for the abortion, one of the doctors asks Maeve if she’s right-handed or left handed. She answers that she’s right handed.
- Maeve later confesses to Otis, that her mom is a drug addict.
- She has a brother as well, who she considers to be the funniest guy she knows, but he’s a bit all over the place, and not the most reliable.