[TV SHOW DISCUSSION] 13 Reasons Why // In Which I Flail, Cry, and Over-Analyze

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I had no plans to watch 13 Reasons Why. As I do with most things that I get involved with and end up taking over my life. I’d never read the book, I didn’t want to, I wasn’t interested, I’ve never been a huge fan of teen dramas, I suck at binging shows, basically a whole slew of excuses. BUT, because some of my friends in real life said how good it was, I decided to cave. And, boy, am I glad I did.

This show is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m not a crier. I’ve never full on sobbed before reading a book. I’ve teared up, yes, but never full on snot-dripping, tears running down my face crying. This show made me cry. And it wasn’t even when I was watching the actual show. It was when I was watching the mini-documentary, Beyond the Reasons. It just resonated with me so hard that I cried, like, so many times. It was such an emotional experience, and I highly recommend it. Highly.

A couple things before I spoil the heck out of this show:

#1: I absolutely loved the intro to the show. I mean, it doesn’t really matter overall, but I’m glad that it was short because as someone who’s a fan of Sense8, Daredevil, and Orange is the New Black, which are all Netflix shows with minute long intros, it can mess with the binging quality. Also, I loved the animation. So cute.

#2: The characterization was spot on. Like, seriously. Even the characters I hated, still gave me feelings, whether it was anger, sadness, love, I want to cuddle you in a blanket and hug you forever. None of these characters were perfect – all of them made mistakes and all of them were in a gray area, which I absolutely loved (though some of them were bigger assholes than others).

#3: The acting was brilliant. Seriously. I feel like I recognized some of the actors’ faces, but at the same time, I couldn’t place their name, so I wouldn’t say they’re “famous” but they all were so good at bringing their characters to life. Especially Katherine as Hannah. She was absolutely wonderful.

#4: It had one of the best depictions of high school. Like, yes??? This is all I asked for! Probably one of the rawest depictions of high school, because it can either be a Glee where it’s just straight up cheesy or a Degrassi where it’s too many issues at once or a Riverdale, where it’s just…crazy and unrealistic, but this one was probably the best. Not saying my school is like that (though my school is a mess and I don’t like 90% of the people – and I go to a private school), but the things that happen are stories I’ve heard via the news. So it was nice to see something like this, FINALLY.

#5: Though I do love this show and recommend it, if you’re a sensitive person or anything regarding depression, suicide, or sexual assault triggers you, just know that the show and my review shows/talks about these things in-depth. So, again, warning to those who are sensitive to depression, suicide, or sexual assault, just be careful reading my review or watching the show. I’ll make sure to properly warn what will be discussed in my review at each episode if you want to skip.

And now I’m going to say good-bye to those who haven’t watched it yet and are planning to, or those who don’t want spoilers. Leave now and watch it.

13 Reasons Why

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So, first off, probably my favorite thing about this is that the characters are supposed to be sophomores in the flashbacks and juniors in the present, AND THEY LOOK LIKE THAT. It really bothered me when I watched the little of Riverdale that I did that they kept trying to tell me they were sophomores…mainly because I’m a sophomore, and no guy in our grade has six-pack abs, and the girls don’t look like they belong in college. Of course, there are attractive people, but it looked so fake in Riverdale. Which is why I appreciate 13 Reasons Why for having authentic actors.

We find out the first reason is that Hannah goes out on a date with Justin, gets an unflattering picture taken of her on a slide, kisses him, and that’s it. Bryce, who I want to murder (but that’s another story), spreads the unflattering photo around, and everyone immediately starts slut-shaming her. This starts a ripple effect with Hannah’s rep, and I’d probably say this is the first instance of people labeling her a “slut.” It actually breaks my heart that this happened to her, especially because she’s so confident and funny and such a go-getter, someone I’d love to be friends with if she were real. So it sucked to see her spirit broken, and this happens more and more as the series goes on.

We also find out that Tony is apparently involved with this. I was actually shocked, because I totally didn’t think Tony was going to be the whole ringleader in the tapes thing. And, also, because my school put on the musical West Side Story, and now I can’t stop thinking of him as Tony from the Sharks. So, there’s that.

And, also, why does Clay look so recognizable??? Even after learning the actor’s name, I still don’t know if I’ve seen him before or not. He really does remind me of Logan Lerman. But, already, I want to hug him and hold him tight. This feeling will overcome me often.

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First off, we see tidbits of Hannah making out with someone at the beginning. I honestly couldn’t tell who it was because the flashes were so quick, but, obviously, we learn it’s Clay. This piqued my interest because there are so many white boys in this series and what she said over the quick flashes threw me off.

We learn the subject of the second tape: Jessica. She was Hannah’s best friend at the beginning of sophomore year, and we also get to meet Alex, another key character. They were all close friends, but then they all stopped coming to meet each other, and, eventually, Hannah was left alone. And then, shocker, Jessica and Alex start dating. I was actually shocked because I truly thought Alex was going to be gay…but the actor is rumored to be dating the actor who played Justin, so there’s that? Then, this list gets passed around, which ultimately breaks up the Jessica-Hannah friendship. More thoughts on this list coming up in Episode 3.

It’s revealed that Clay used to talk to a therapist and take meds, which doesn’t get talked about often in this show, though it does seem like listening to Hannah’s tapes triggers hallucinations in the early episodes. It isn’t really talked about as to why this happened or what was going on in Clay’s life, but I’m interested.

We also get to meet Bryce a little bit. I’m well aware that he raped Hannah because I knew it happened in the book (or at least, I heard it did), so I already hated him from the beginning. Of course he’s a popular jock; is anyone surprised? I wanted to hurt him. We also see that Tony is involved with Hannah’s parents, and is talking to them. About what, exactly? Who knows.

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So, this is the tape where we learn more about Alex and this whole list. Basically, the list talks about the girls in their grade who have the “Best/Worst” in terms of body parts – and Hannah is voted Best Ass and Jessica is voted Worst Ass. Jessica thought that Hannah and Alex were tag-teaming to try to embarrass her, even though Hannah was truly unaware, Β and that was the whole conflict in the previous episode. We find out Alex did it because he tried to have sex with Jessica and she said no, so he just went along and wrote her name on the list for revenge (why am I so surprised?).

We’re also getting introduced to the whole group of assholes who have listened to the tapes previously before Clay, and decide the best course of action is to keep it secret to save their own skin. I’m annoyed at this for several reasons, but mainly because they KNOW that some of the tape-receivers have done illegal things – like rape, for instance, not once, but TWICE – and try to protect themselves. And the more I learn about this group in future episodes, the more I hate them (especially Courtney). But moving on.

In one of the flashbacks, we get to see more of Bryce’s douche-y side because at a liquor store, he GRABS HANNAH’S ASS and says lewd things to her because of this list. Obviously, this spirals a whole thing in which Bryce continually gets away with this, and it unfolds into something really bad.

We also learn more about Justin’s crappy home life, which plays a part in this. He’s hiding out in Bryce’s house because his mom continually hooks up with abusive boyfriends, and doesn’t do anything about it. Even though I still sort of hate him, and have mixed feelings about his character overall, I really don’t believe he should suffer like this, and it’s really sad to see the situation he’s stuck in.

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So, we get to see a look at the school and Hannah’s parents because of this whole lawsuit thing. Clay’s mom attends this meeting with the counselor and other parents where they talk about suicide and warning signs and all that, and Hannah’s mom invades by talking about how everyone should monitor their kids because of some graffiti she’s found on the bathroom stalls. Of course, the school acts like a total snake about it and tries to hide it by painting over it, because OUR POOR PRECIOUS SCHOOL WHAT WILL WE DO UNDER A LAWSUIT. I’m basically angry at two-thirds of the people on this show.

We get to learn more about two characters: Courtney and Tyler (though the fourth tape is mainly about Tyler). Hannah feels uneasy because she thinks that she hears someone taking photos outside her window, and her and Courtney hatch a plan to catch who’s stalking her. Hannah and Courtney get drunk, and we learn that Courtney’s a closet lesbian, and that Tyler is the creepy stalker taking the pictures. I really didn’t expect that to happen, but so many other terrible things happen that this one pales in comparison.

Hannah goes to Tyler and tells him to give her all those pictures from yesterday because Courtney doesn’t want anyone to find out that she’s the one in those photos, but, for some asshole reason, Tyler keeps one and spreads it around the school, and, again, because of miscommunication, Courtney gets angry at Hannah instead of Tyler and everything gets messed up again. We learn more about these repercussions in the next episode.

I definitely have mixed feelings about Clay’s revenge. He basically takes a photo of Tyler naked from behind and sends it to the entire school, causing Tyler to be bullied. I DO understand why he did it because Tyler did some jerky things himself that were definitely illegal and creepy, but at the same time, I don’t really think the best way to handle it was to do the same thing, especially knowing how hurt Hannah was by it, and how Tyler was already bullied anyway. I’m curious to know anyone else’s thoughts on it.

Also, nothing to do with the actual show or anything, but I totally fangirled at seeing the actor who played Ben on my favorite TV show of ever, Queer as Folk, play Courtney’s dad. Literally looks like he hasn’t aged in 13 years.

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So, in this episode, we get to learn a lot more about Courtney, and how much of a snake she is. I mean, I have such mixed feelings about her. That scene at the cemetery where she says the reason she doesn’t come out is because of the way her gay dads are treated both makes sense and doesn’t? Mainly because I feel like there’s a difference between her being a lesbian and gay couples raising kids – I feel like there’s still more discrepancies about the latter than the former – and then there’s the fact that there are other out gay kids at the school, and none of them are really treated differently? I mean, sure, those guys were awful at the dance, but that was two people out of the entire student body. But, still, I hate her.

Lots of things happen at this dance. One, apparently there are no chaperones at this dance to prevent teenagers from bringing flasks and grind against each other. Pretty sure that doesn’t happen in real life, but okay. Two, we see how Hannah and Tony developed a sort of semi-relationship when he starts up her brand new car when it stops working. Three, HANNAH AND CLAY WERE ADORABLE AT THAT DANCE. THEY DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER. Four, that song is now stuck in my head, and I need to know what it is.

I loved that moment between Tony and Clay at Hannah’s grave. Especially when he marked where she was buried for her. IT HURT SO BAD. And then we learn that Clay’s mom is trying to defend the school against Hannah’s lawsuit, and Clay does that thing where he’s super vague to his mom about knowing Hannah and whether there was bullying. Like he does 3849284 other times throughout these episodes.

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I think an alternate title to this episode could be, “CLAY IS OBLIVIOUS.” I mean, all the episodes could be titled that, but this one especially.

Let’s have a little chat about Alex. We see him get into a fight with Montgomery, which definitely isn’t something that he would typically do. And he totally loses. This sort of plays a part into an event that happens in the finale, but we’ll talk about this later. I also loved the whole Honor Counsel thing where it was a metaphor for Hannah’s suicide. It was just entertaining to see everyone confused, and I loved seeing more into the character’s insights.

The topic of the sixth tape is Marcus. Who was surprised that he was yet another douche-y jock? Nobody! I’m actually shocked that Hannah was actually his number one choice for Dollar Valentine, and he was so eager to ask her out even though they’d never talked before. Also, the fact that they’re giving out real cell phone numbers??? Am I the only one low-key concerned about people’s safety and what people will do with these phone numbers???

But, yeah, Marcus practically stands her up, then when he finally arrives, brings all his awful jock friends, then proceeds to try to sexually assault her, and then act like she’s crazy for telling him to go away. WHY?

Also, we get a painful scene where Hannah is basically begging Clay to ask her out, and Clay’s like, “LOL whut.” IT’S SO PAINFUL. And then Clay’s all devastated, but you had your chance, Clay. And you lost it. Then we get to see Clay do this in the present with Sheri, even though, come on, she was ten times more obvious than Hannah was. Sheri is revealed to have been on the tapes, and I feel like I should have seen it. She was too nice.

Also, this is probably the start of Justin and Jessica’s relationship slowly falling apart, but more of that in later episodes.

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So, this is a huge Clay episode regarding his character development. Clay hallucinates heavily in this episode (which was unfortunate, because I really wanted him to have punched Zach in the face), and it leads him to key Zach’s car. He also briefly gives up the idea of listening to the tapes – and that scene where he’s nice to the whole group conspiring against him and they’re so confused made me laugh out loud – but then his tone totally shifts during his Communications class, and we get to see him act out towards the foreign exchange students during his tour (which, again, highly entertaining). Clay was probably at his best in this episode.

We get more insight into Zach’s character. He’s a classic “nice guy” – you know, the type who thinks that just because he’s nice, he therefore deserves to date all the girls. Yeah, that guy. I actually have mixed feelings about him because he was a total jerk who was so petty that he stole her compliments without any remorse, but he’s well aware that what he did was a jerk-y thing to do, and he even kept the letter she wrote to him. This sort of brings up a point about whether Hannah is lying or not because she said he threw the note away, but he’s actually kept her note in his wallet. This begs the question if she lied about any other details, but no one else says she lied about what happened, so I’m going with no. But food for thought.

We also get to see a little bit more about Clay and his relationship with Skye. Supposedly, the two of them used to be best friends, but sort of fell apart in freshman year. Skye also sticks up for Hannah when the Communications teacher reads out her anonymous note because she knows she wrote it from working at Monet’s.

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So, the eighth tape surrounds an unexpected character: Ryan. I honestly didn’t think he was going to be in the tapes since he was barely in the earlier episodes, so I was surprised to see him in it. Apparently, Hannah attended a sort of poetry group, and Ryan was the only person around her age to be there. Hannah writes a gorgeous poem and presents it to the group, but Ryan decides that he should publish the poem in the school magazine, because it’s art, and art’s supposed to be shared. BUT IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE SHARED WITH THE CONSENT OF THE ARTIST, RYAN. Hannah is completely and totally embarrassed because everyone is laughing at her, and then her English teacher decides to dissect her poetry. As someone who used to write and hates it when people I know read what I write, I feel her pain.

Also, we have another edition of CLAY IS OBLIVIOUS because he reads Hannah’s poem, and we get to watch him say, “Oh, yeah, it’s a nice poem, but I’d never be friends with the writer of the poem because they sound depressing.” CLAY WHY.

I have to say, it hurt so bad seeing Hannah have all these goals and dreams of being a writer and going to college in New York, but we know what happens to her, and her soul is just crushed by everyone laughing at her poetry. My heart hurts. Also, her rant about the education system was on point.

We also get to see Tony make Clay skip class and rock-climb with him. I find it so hilariously Tony that he basically risks Clay’s life even though they could have just taken a path up to the rock cliff just to inspire Clay to keep listening to the tapes. I loved seeing Tony have these emotions about the day Hannah committed suicide; how she left the box on his doorstep, but he ignored it, and when he finally listened to the first tape, he ran over to her house, but it was too late. It makes so much sense why Tony wants her wishes to be carried out; probably because he thinks that he played a part in killing Hannah as well. Though I am sort of confused about Clay saying he’s never seen a dead body/been on a crime scene when he saw Jeff’s dead body and was on the scene of the crime for the car accident. BUT WHATEVER.

Also, I totally knew Tony was gay and that guy was his boyfriend. Okay, I didn’t know until, like, the sixth or seventh episode, but I figured it out! Once again, CLAY IS OBLIVIOUS (and adorably confused).

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Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

Okay, so this was a HUGE EPISODE. We start this whole “Jessica’s party” narrative, and a lot of things happen in these next three episodes. There are three stories, and the one we start with is Bryce raping Jessica when she was drunk and unconscious. Honestly, I thought it was Justin that did it because the flashes were cut so quick in the intro that I couldn’t tell which white boy was which, but it is Bryce (because we all need more reasons to hate Bryce).

Let’s talk about the present first. So, the group totally escalates out of control (or maybe just Marcus, really), because he decides to buy weed from Bryce’s dealer and put it in Clay’s backpack and get him suspended so no one will listen to him once he starts talking. Obviously, this is frustrating because no one believes him, but these are the struggles of being in the third person as a TV show watcher.

Clay’s told to go to the police to enroll in some sort of drug prevention program (if this is how schools handle a student having weed in their backpack, we’re really having some problems), and it seems like he’s on his way to tell his mom everything and maybe confess to the police about what happened, but of course Clay doesn’t because WHAT IS LOGIC. He does tell his mom that Hannah actually meant a lot to him than he said he did, so that was a nice moment between the two of them.

I also loved the entire way the episode ended with Clay being angry at Tony’s garage, and him having this moment with Tony where he calms Clay down and encourages him to keep going on with the tapes to get the full story. It’s not an episode of 13 Reasons Why if Clay isn’t asking, “BUT WHY AM I ON THE TAPES, DAMN IT?”

And now into the past. We see Hannah wants to have a fresh start for junior year since sophomore year was so awful. She decides to cut her hair (AND LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL; HANNAH DESERVED BETTER) and wants to focus more on her studies so she can get into college. Clay mentions going to Jessica’s party and tries to ask her to it, but Hannah turns him down, and poor Clay is heartbroken even though she secretly loves him. In the end, Hannah caves and goes, which I both hate and love, because, hey, cute moments with Clay, BUT IT’S ALSO THE SECOND WORST NIGHT OF HER LIFE.

It was heart-breaking to watch Jessica get raped, especially since she wakes up in the middle of it and is completely disoriented and terrified. It hurt so bad, and then you realize that her behavior makes total sense because it’s clear she’s been quietly suffering. Not to mention how much I sort of hate Justin. It’s not even because of the rape – clearly, he couldn’t stop it, since Bryce throws him out of the room when Justin is drunk as all hell, and then locks the door – but just the fact that he knows, and he’s still FRIENDS WITH HIM. AND LIVES WITH HIM. I wouldn’t be so furious if he disassociated himself from Bryce, but he continues to hang out with him as if nothing happened – AND DOESN’T TELL JESSICA. WHY?

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So, we get to learn about the second story pertaining to Jessica’s party: the one dealing with Sheri. This takes place after the events of the last episode, and Hannah is totally disoriented, so she decides to leave with Sheri to get home. On the way to Sheri’s house, she ends up hitting a stop sign and knocking it over, and though Hannah wants to report it, Sheri refuses AND THEN DRIVES OFF. Thanks, Sheri!

We also deal with a second sort of storyline dealing with Clay. On his way home, he runs into an accident at the point where Sheri had knocked over the stop sign earlier in the night, only to find Jeff dead in his car and an old man crying out for help. It is one of those things that shocked me, since you’re so caught up with everything else that you don’t realize that Jeff is only alive in the flashbacks, not the present. It truly is heart-breaking to see yet another precious soul die senselessly.

In the present, SO MUCH HAPPENS. The Jessica/Justin situation totally launches out of control, where Justin just wants to help her feel better, but Jessica’s just going through this whole range of emotions, and is quickly becoming an alcoholic. Also, there’s this whole thing where Jessica goes off with Bryce, which is all kinds of a terrible idea, and I seriously thought she was going to shoot him in that one scene (and was highly disappointed when she didn’t), and then she agrees to go into his hot tub (and knowing what I know now, it’s even creepier), and WHAT ARE YOU DOING JESSICA?

We also deal with Clay learning that his tape is coming up! I didn’t like that Tony said that Clay killed Hannah Baker since we literally learn in the next episode that he didn’t, but WHATEVER. Finally, we approach Clay’s tape.

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THERE ARE LOTS OF FEELINGS REGARDING THIS EPISODE. I ship Clay and Hannah so hard, and even though it never happens, this episode was just so wonderful to see. First off, I loved how Jeff continually pushed them towards each other and how Hannah took notice of it. And that whole superpower conversation was ALL KINDS OF CUTE. We have that wonderful moment where the two of them finally kiss, and Clay adorably asks if what he’s doing is okay (which, unfortunately, is the only instance where a guy actually asks about what Hannah wants or even asks for consent) AND JUST ALJFLAJFLAJFJ.

I thought the mini-docu Beyond the Reasons explained this better than I could, but the way Hannah was continually treated by other guys and slut-shamed really did break her spirit. She feels like having sex with Clay would actually make her a “slut” – make her live up to her awful reputation. Add that with all the guys who completely and totally ruined her life, and she’s terrified that Clay will be the same way. It’s so sad seeing her push Clay away when she most needs him, and Clay just not understanding and thinking he did something wrong.

I also love the moment in the present when we see Clay react to this. That little moment when he’s on the edge of the cliff and thinking of an alternate ending where he talked to Hannah and let her open up to him. WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME LIKE THIS? But it’s so nice to see Hannah say that he isn’t really one of the reasons why; he just plays an important part in the story.

Lots of things are revealed in this episode: Hannah’s mom finds the bubble map she used to plan her suicide (we first see Mr. Porter’s name circled – at least I did – which made wonder what part he played), Skye is cutting herself, Clay is going to have to testify for the school, and Justin announces to the group that Bryce raped Jessica, which is a big no-no, but definitely commendable on his part.

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Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

So, this is the first of two episodes that just pack an emotional punch overall. I was already spoiled on the fact that Bryce raped Hannah, and already those little flashes at the beginning pierce my soul, but more of that later.

In the present, the group gathers together at Monet’s because the subsidies have been handed out, so they’re all figuring out what to say when testifying. Tyler has a plan to blame everything on Bryce so when their awful stuff comes out, it’s seen as not-so-bad, which I agreed and disagreed with, mainly because Tyler is STILL a law-breaking creep. Also, continual frustration at Marcus and Courtney – but ESPECIALLY Courtney – for not calling out Bryce for rape. Courtney calling him an “alleged rapist.” GET OUT, COURTNEY. We also see Sheri finally own up to hitting the stop sign that night, which was good to see.

So, let’s talk about the rape scene before we talk about Clay and Bryce. Hannah decides to just take a walk because it had been a really crappy day for her with her parents not getting a lot of money from the store and such, and they’re constantly arguing. She happens upon Bryce’s party, runs into Jessica, and climbs into the hot tub with her and her friends. Everyone leaves the hot tub, and Hannah is left alone, until Bryce decides to jump in with her, proceeds to flirt with her while Hannah CLEARLY WANTS TO LEAVE, and then when that doesn’t work, YANKS HER BACK INTO THE HOT TUB. I’m emphasizing this because Bryce has this weird perception where Hannah was “making eyes” at him and flirting with him. I hate him so much.

And it’s awful. Like, I knew it was going to happen, but it was so awful to watch. It’s supposed to make you uncomfortable, and that’s the point. Nothing can express how truly awful it is watching Hannah try to fight him off, and then she just gives up. And the light just completely leaves her eyes, and you see her walk home shivering and crying. It’s so, so awful, and I think the fact that it just completely breaks her soul is what makes it hurt so much. Hannah immediately goes into work on making the bubble map for the tapes, and we see her plan start to work.

Now, back to the present, with Clay’s plan. He decides to drop in and pretend that he’s trying to get weed from Bryce, but then spontaneously tries to get him to admit that he raped Hannah. I just love Clay in this scene; how clever he is to bring the tape, how it doesn’t even matter that Bryce beats the crap out of him, he will do anything to get him to confess.

We also see this sort of out-of-place scene where it’s talking about a seventeen-year-old boy who’s been shot in the head. This is juxtaposed with Clay’s parents wondering where he is, which, of course, spirals everyone into panic, AND I NEED EPISODE 13 RIGHT NOW.

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Trigger Warning: Suicide

And now we reach the finale. Boy, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get to it!

First, let’s tackle Hannah’s last day. I thought Christine from PolandbananasBOOKS expressed this perfectly: even though you KNOW she doesn’t make it, you hold out hope that maybe she’ll choose life. Maybe she’ll make it. And after following her journey for so long, you can’t help but just want her to live.

We see Hannah has finally finished all of the tapes, but then decides to grab a thirteenth tape (we find out this is for Mr. Porter), but also makes a last-minute decision to grab some razor blades. THAT’S FINE; MY HEART ISN’T HURTING. Hannah attempts one last school day, and it was so frustrating and painful to see Hannah try to tell Clay what happened; I just wanted to scream, “TELL HIM; HE’LL UNDERSTAND; HE LOVES YOU,” but she just says, “Never mind,” and my heart continues to break into a million pieces.

We find out that Mr. Porter is a total snake. The entire time during the show he’s insisted that he only talked to Hannah once when they were talking about their college aspirations…but then we learn this is a total lie and that he literally talked to her probably only a couple hours from committing suicide. Of course, Hannah spills everything to him, tells him that a guy at the school sexually assaulted her, and Mr. Porter’s wonderful response is victim-blaming and asking her if she said no or stop. DO YOU WANT ME TO HURT YOU, MR. PORTER??? And then he tells her to basically move on with her life. SHE WAS RAPED. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM.

I thought it was awful watching her just walk out of that office, waiting for him to run after her, but he didn’t. And that moment when she’s walking in the hallways, and saying, “People cared. They just didn’t care enough.” I CARE, HANNAH. I CARE SO MUCH.

We actually get to see Hannah commit suicide, and oh my God, it was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever watched. And I watch violent TV shows. The entire scene is just so raw and real, and that moment when Hannah makes the first cut and just screams out in pain just tugs at the heartstrings. And then she just continues to cut her arms, and then she just lies in the bathtub, panting and crying while the tub overflows with water. It’s so heart-breaking. Not only because she gives up, but just because she dies alone and in so much pain; I honestly just want to be there to hold her hand and tell her that she’s not alone at all, that someone cares for her.

And it’s just such a powerful scene. The consensus is that it was disturbing to watch, which was the exact point. Suicide and depression can sometimes be so romanticized, and I’m so glad that the show finally showed how awful it is. It’s not pretty, it’s not beautiful; it’s painful, and horrible, and it’s permanent, and it effects people. Seeing Hannah’s parents rush in, and her mom thinking she has a chance of living, and her dad just freaking out seeing her, knowing she’s gone. It’s simply heart-breaking. Everything hurt.

So, back to the present. We get to see a snippet of some of the people testifying, and it’s nice to see them finally owning up to all their crap. Tyler actually admits that there are tapes detailing everything that happens to Hannah, and that Clay is the last one out there with them. Then, Jessica decides to lie and say there aren’t any tapes. WHY?

Clay goes to confront Mr. Porter about the whole thirteenth tape. I loved seeing the juxtaposition between their meeting and the meeting between Hannah and the counselor. I was so glad to see Clay stand up for Hannah and give him the tapes, which ultimately disobeyed Hannah’s wishes since he skipped giving Bryce the tapes, but we all know that’s a terrible idea. Clay has recorded the other side of the thirteenth tape with Bryce’s confession, and leaves everything up to Mr. Porter.

We see Mr. Porter put in the tape, but then the principal comes in and says that Alex shot himself in the head last night! Obviously, this is a shocker to everyone, and with all the weird stuff surrounding Tyler, there’s been a couple of theories surrounding this whole thing since it’s left open-ended.

Theory #1: Tyler is planning a school shooting. He bought a gun, and then it’s revealed he has even more gun paraphernalia in his room, which he hides from his parents. He’s last seen in the dark room taking down Alex’s picture and remembering when Alex told Montgomery to back off bullying Tyler. Taking down Alex’s picture might imply that he shot Alex.

Theory #2: Tyler is planning a school shooting. BUT, him taking down Alex’s picture doesn’t mean he shot him, it just means that since Alex is already in critical condition OR because he was the only person to show him an act of kindness, so he’s off the hit list, so to say.

Theory #3: Alex really did shoot himself, and it has nothing to do with Tyler. Hannah talked about how other people fail to see the signs of depression until someone kills themselves, and with Alex’s spiraling behavior throughout the entire series, it does point to the fact that he had suicidal tendencies. The only reason I don’t agree with this theory is because he wanted to testify for Hannah, but one of my friends pointed out that Alex’s dad said he was going to get Alex out of testifying, so there might not have been anything left for him to live for.

That’s all the theories, but yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on there that feels like it needs clearing up, but I really do like open-ended endings, so I don’t mind too much.

I loved seeing Tony finally give the tapes to Hannah’s parents. It was so nice, and I’m so glad to see that they finally get closure and learn more about what happened to their daughter since that seemed to be killing them the most. That moment at the end when they’re holding each others’ hands and listening to Hannah was so beautiful to watch. And then Jessica breaking down to her dad as she gets close to confessing that Bryce raped her was also a moment that brought me close to tears. And then seeing Clay ask Skye if she wants to hang out, and his entire speech to the counselor about how we all need to treat each other better. THE PAIN.

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And that’s basically all my jumbled thoughts on the show. I hope you enjoyed reading about my long ramblings!

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32 thoughts on “[TV SHOW DISCUSSION] 13 Reasons Why // In Which I Flail, Cry, and Over-Analyze

  1. OH MY GOSH. I didn’t want to watch this show either because I had read the book and just wasn’t interested… but then my friend came over and started to play it and we finished the whole season @_@.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, so accurate! I think I watched 10 episodes in one day, and then woke up early the next to finish off the last three back to back. I don’t think I’ve binged that hard since I watched the first five seasons of Supernatural a couple years back! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just finished watching this last night and it’s incredible. Best thing I’ve seen in a long time. So emotional and really brutal and disturbing. It frustrated the hell out of me that Clay took so long to listen to the tapes and even though I knew it couldn’t happen I really wanted Hannah to live (although apparently the author has an alternate ending version where she does).

    I thought the acting by all but Hannah’s parents in particular was brilliant. That final episode where they find Hannah almost broke me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh, yes, same about all those feelings. Yeah, I love Clay so much; but I continually switched between wanting to hug him and wanting to shake him to get him to listen to the tapes. Thankfully, I’m not Tony. πŸ˜‚ Yes, I feel the same way! I LOVED Hannah and I wanted all the best for her, so it was so sad to see her just end it. 😭 I actually have the special edition where it shows the alternate ending, so I’m interested to see what happens!

      YES! Hannah’s parents were amazing; I loved them. I had so much sympathy for them during the whole show.

      And thank you for the song! Was going to go to Tunefind, but now you’ve saved me some time! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. THIS SHOW IS SO AMAZING! I binged it in about 3-4 days and it was so worth watching because I hadn’t read the book before so I was intrigued by what had happened and it was so well made and really sensitive and I thought it had a great message! Also, this is such a fantastic and detailed review, thank you for sharing this! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • IT REALLY IS! ❀ Same, I binged it in two, and I awful at binging, so that speaks volumes. πŸ˜‚ It was well made, and I definitely agree with it being sensitive; they talked to a lot of professionals and coaches to do the show, and I thought that was fabulous! Aw, no problem! ❀


  4. The show was such a fantastic, unflinching depiction of high school. I just started Riverdale and I totally agree that no one looks that good – in 13RW the characters both looked and acted like teenagers which is so rare.
    I didn’t expect the suicide scene to be included in the show, to be honest and it was scary and disturbing but I’m glad that they did because like you mentioned, suicide and depression is too often romanticized and this showed that there is nothing pretty or beautiful about hurting yourself.
    I really enjoyed reading this detailed version of all your thoughts on the show. πŸ˜€ Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, definitely one of the stand-outs of the show for me! Everyone on Riverdale was too pretty for my taste. 😝 I feel like too many shows geared towards teenagers have people that clearly look like adults in the parts, and it just ruins everything. And I definitely agree on the way they acted! Even though I was frustrated with most of them, they DID act like scared teenagers.

      I was spoiled by a friend about it, so I already knew it was coming (which was probably best, because it made it easier to brace myself). Yeah, they executive producers talked more about it in Beyond the Reasons, and I thought they summed it up better than I did.

      Thank you! ❀ I’m glad you did!


  5. I looooved it so much! Your thoughts are all so true! I just want to go up to all the characters and scream at their faces for awhile at their stupidity. πŸ˜‰ I also did a post on my blog about 13 Reasons why and my other favourite Netflix shows right now if you want to check it out:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember I tried to read the book so long ago but I just couldn’t get into it at all, so when the show first was announced I wasn’t overly interested. Then I heard people raving about it so I decided to give it a go and I adored it. I really feel like every single aspect of the show was amazing and so well thought out. Episode 13 absolutely broke my heart but I was so glad that Hannah’s parents finally had some sort of explanation. I think it’s opened a lot of people’s eye’s and made them realise that their actions and words can have devastating effects on other people. I just want everyone to watch it because it’s the most important show I’ve ever seen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really was, Kirsty! I’m reading the book at the moment, but I’m not too far in (I managed to get the special edition though, so yeah for getting to see extra stuff). Yes, Episode 13 hurt so bad, and I definitely agree that I’m glad that Hannah’s parents get some closure; I felt terrible for them throughout all the episodes, especially because the school was so annoying. 😬 I think it has as well! I just want to force everyone to watch it!


  7. I’m glad you enjoyed this show Mikaela, like you I had no real plans of watching this but after hearing people talking about it so much, both on WordPress and outside of the blogging community, I feel like it’s something I should start at some point. I’ve added the book to my to-read list to read before I start the show but I want to try and get to it soon. Yours is just the latest post in a long line I’ve seen that talk about how amazing the show is. I can’t wait to get started, hopefully soon like I said! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • You definitely should; it’s so good! I’m actually reading the book right now since I just jumped into the show without reading the book, and it’s interesting to see what’s different and what’s the same (even though I’ve been totally slacking at reading this month. And I was doing so well πŸ˜‚). And, yes, as soon as you finish; come back to discuss! I’ve talked about it with so many people, and I never get tired of talking about it, tbh! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m going to try and start it soon, this and Riverdale is at the top of my to-watch list at the moment so hopefully I’ll be able to get around to both quite soon. I do want to try and read the book first though just because that’s what I do with adaptations.
        I hope you manage to finish the book soon, and as soon as I finish the show I’ll come back to talk to you about it, I feel I’ll need someone to talk to about it! πŸ˜€ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I relate to SO MUCH of what you said here. This show totally broke my heartttttt omg but is so so so important and just AGH. It never shied away from the hard topics, no matter how uncomfortable it made people feel (and that was kind of the point). Episode 13 thoughhhh agh.

    I also had such conflicting emotions for so many of the characters! (Courtney though UGHHHHHH. I loved Ryan so much for snapping back at her and putting her in her place??!) Like Justin, who, I agree, although being a horrible person (I won’t even get into the whole thing with Bryce and Jessica UGH.) had such a horrible home life and that must’ve sucked? I also loved Alex, personally I think I’m leaning towards theory 2 or 3 maybe? Haha. Beyond the Reasons was so important and I loved that the producers filmed and released that as well.

    Sorry for this huge comment!! I loved your in-depth run through of all the episodes. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I definitely thought that the pint of the show was to make you uncomfortable and make you think (which it did. It’s been two weeks and I’m still thinking about it)!

      Yes, I loved Ryan for all his clapbacks to her! And I agree about Justin being such a conflicting character because of his home life, though! All the characters were conflicting, and I thought that was wonderful!

      Yes, Beyond the Reasons was fantastic! I don’t even know why it was the thing that broke me, but it did! 😭

      No, I love long comments! And thank you! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi there!

    You know, on the news today I listened (not watched) to them discuss this TV show and they mentioned something about a documentary at the start of the show, now added since its release (which wasn’t there before) that I’m still wondering about. It was something about Maass online dot org, I know there’s two A’s but I can’t flipping find it.

    Anywho, they discussed how they believed the suicide scene was actually glorified (which I agree with) and how showing explicit detail like that can be the catalyst in creating suicide contagion (you hear about a suicide so you act on your thoughts too usually in the same way). Just thought I’d share that discussion point.

    Also, Kati Morton on Youtube reviewed it and discussed the lack of awareness for mental health and suicide prevention that the show didn’t go over. As well as how revenge suicide isn’t very common (which it’s not).

    I personally only watched the suicide scene online (not saying where), I’d watched a little of it with a friend during episode ten or something. (I thought the premise of the show was short of stupid, personally). Again, I found the scene to be glorifying actually rather than completely raw and real. It portrayed the loneliness of the act and the pain involved and especially the hesitation but it was also glorified. Controversial, but I don’t think that would actually kill a person, then again, I’m not going to experiment nor should anyone else! And I was expecting something else when the overlay said she hurt her wrists, rather than her forearm.

    What did stick out to me were the comments saying that Hannah hadn’t locked the door or stopped the water from running, as though those were her last pleas for help except that no one found her beforehand to save her. That’s pretty legit, although possibly too subtle for most people to pick up on (I know I didn’t) and others may just focus on the act itself and wind up triggered by it than look for those smaller details…

    Anywho, that’s my thoughts on it. Your blog is pretty snazzy. Also, I like that you go in depth with your reviews–makes me feel better about my own book version reviews. XD

    And if anyone else reads this, the USA hotline for national suicide prevention is 1800 273 TALK. And for the UK there is the Samaritans line and other worldwide sources can be found through Google. πŸ™‚ Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know what documentary you’re talking about? Unless you’re talking about Beyond the Reasons, which I don’t think you are? Or maybe I’m wrong and you are?

      Hm, I don’t know. I guess I just think differently than other people. It didn’t make me WANT to commit suicide. Nor a lot of other people who watched it as well. And it does give you a content warning before the episode even plays so you’re not forced to watch it if you don’t want to see it. I do see other people’s points, though. I guess I just don’t believe in blaming a show for someone committing suicide – in the end, it’s that person’s decision alone.

      And I think Beyond the Reasons basically covers that as well. I honestly think no matter what, the show still would’ve caught heat, because it’s about mental health. And mental health is different for everyone – which is why I’ve seen people who’ve gone through what Hannah did say it’s healthy and okay and some say it’s unhealthy and terrible to watch. I just think the lines are blurrier than everyone makes it out to seem.

      Haha, I don’t do too many in-depth reviews. πŸ˜‚ My normal book reviews are super short. With a TV show, I guess it’s different??? And thank you! Glad we could talk!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I’m not sure either. I think maybe it could be that one, but I think it was more so a different organization highlighting suicide prevention and resources… Maybe I’ll find it one day XD

        *Died by suicide. Suicide is not a crime, people commit rape and murder not suicide. Saying “committed suicide” carries a lot of stigma so the changing language is to say either died by suicide, lost their life to suicide or killed themselves. Just like how no suicide is “successful”, the community says completed suicide instead. There’s likely some other terminology that others use, but those are the big ones that I know are used by suicide prevention organizations.

        I think everyone has mental health, if you’ve got a brain, you’ve got mental health. The difference is when it’s a condition at work, and maladaptive behaviors like hurting one’s self or others certainly isn’t healthy. I guess it depends if those people are meaning self-harm rather than suicide, since those two are different. It’s a complicated and complex field, for sure. I hope I’m not sounding too argumentative, some of it is just a pet peeve and some of it is for awareness. (I live with mental health conditions and chronic suicidality) I don’t tend to tread carefully, either.

        Ohhhh I see. Never mind then XD But yeah with a TV show I can see why that would be the case. :3

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, no problem; you don’t sound argumentative! I know people have varying positions on the show, which wasn’t too surprising because when the book was published ten years ago (SUCH A LONG TIME), it created controversy as well, so I’m not surprised that it unfolded the same way with the adaptation!

        And thank you for enlightening me about the “died by suicide” detail! Language changes so often that I can’t keep up with it sometimes, so thank you for telling me! πŸ˜„

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank goodness! πŸ™‚ Yeah, that’s true! One day, I may read that book, it’d be nice to book review it. Have you ever read Go Ask Alice? It’s also hugely controversial and just gah worthy. (It touches on drug addiction in the 1960s I believe)

        No problem! πŸ™‚ Yeah, that’s very true, especially with mental health I think too. Since so many of us are working on bringing it into the forefront of conversation other people outside of it tend to stumble around in the dark lmao. Hopefully we’re enlightening to them! ^^

        Thanks for being so understanding. ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      • No, I haven’t; but I have seen it around a lot! It’s one of those books I don’t really know much about, but I’ve seen it everywhere so I feel like I do??? πŸ˜‚ I’ve seen more modern books dealing with depression and mental health have controversial opinions as well, such as My Heart and Other Black Holes, All the Bright Places, and Everything, Everything! I haven’t read them because contemporary isn’t my favorite genre, but it’s interesting to see the gaps in opinions just by checking out Goodreads reviews!

        No problem! ❀

        Liked by 1 person

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