Tanya Reynolds’ ‘Outlander’ Character Couldn’t Be More Different From Lily in ‘Sex Education’
Sex Education Season 3 is finally on Netflix. And whether you’ve already binged it all or are savoring every episode, you’re bound to wonder where you’ve seen the Sex Education cast before. Some may be surprised to learn that Sex Education‘s Lily Iglehart actor once had a small arc on Outlander. And Tanya Reynolds’ Outlander role couldn’t be more different from the weird, lovable teenager she plays in the Netflix comedy.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Outlander Season 3 and 4.]
Who does Tanya Reynolds play in ‘Outlander’?
Reynolds has appeared in all three seasons of Sex Education. And her character has had some of the show’s best comedic moments. But before landing the role of Lily, Reynolds played Lady Isobel Dunsany in Outlander Season 3. And it was quite the dramatic episode.
Isobel was part of Jamie Fraser’s life when he was an indentured servant at the Helwater estate. She’s the sister of Geneva Dunsany, who fans will remember as the mother of Jamie’s son, William. Geneva was played by Hannah James. And while each of the women only appeared in one episode — Outlander Season 3 Episode 4, “Of Lost Things” — it changed the course of several characters’ lives forever.
What happens to Isobel in ‘Outlander’?
Geneva orders Jamie to have sex with her in “Of Lost Things.” She wanted to lose her virginity to someone of her choosing, rather than her fiancé. Geneva used Jamie’s past as a Jacobite to blackmail him into agreeing. Jamie slept with Geneva, which resulted in her pregnancy with William.
Isobel married Lord John Grey. And after Geneva died in childbirth, Isobel and John raised Jamie’s son as their own. When Jamie and Claire are in Jamaica later in Outlander Season 3, they cross paths with John again. But Isobel and Willy aren’t with him. Years later, after Jamie and Claire have settled on Fraser’s Ridge, John appears again. And this time, he brought Willy. Viewers learn in this episode that Isobel died on their ship from England after falling ill.
While Isobel is mentioned after “Of Lost Things,” she isn’t seen again. John could be the main character in the potential Outlander spin-off series. The series could be based on Outlander author Diana Gabaldon’s Lord John Grey stories. And the stories mention Isobel, so perhaps Reynolds could return to Outlander via flashback one day.
Lily Iglehart’s plot in ‘Sex Education’
In Sex Education, Reynolds plays the quirky Lily. She’s the character who wrote the epic, space-themed, erotic Shakespearean production shown in Sex Education Season 2. And Lily and Ola’s relationship arc has become one of the most endearing parts of the show.
Another memorable part of Lily’s story is that she has vaginismus. According to the National Health Service, vaginismus is “the body’s automatic reaction to the fear of some or all types of vaginal penetration. Whenever penetration is attempted, your vaginal muscles tighten up on their own.”
To have vaginismus featured in such a popular Netflix show has helped normalize the condition experienced by many. Reynolds told Vogue India she was proud to depict vaginismus in Sex Education Season 2, revealing she’s experienced it herself. She said:
“It’s rarely talked about, but I’ve spoken to so many girls about vaginismus since then and so many people I’ve spoken to have had it. I’ve had it before, and not known what it was. It’s nice to be able to have a conversation about it on such a public level.”
Outlander Season 3 and Sex Education Season 3 are both currently streaming on Netflix.