Summary: Flashbacks show Hannah's last day alive. She goes to talk to Mr. Porter to talk with him but she doesn't get much help. She commits suicide soon after. In the present, the students have their depositions. Tyler reveals the existence of the tapes. Clay goes to talk with Mr. Porter and gives him the tapes. He has also recorded Bryce's confession for tape 14. Justin tells Bryce about the tapes. Jessica tells her father about Bryce's rape. Alex shoots himself in the head and is in critical condition.
The Good: This was a solid finale for the show. There were tons of powerful moments throughout and the show made sure to focus on its primary theme and ensure that the viewers understood what the show was all about.
I thought the flashbacks were well done for the most part. I was very happy to see that Hannah actually did look for some help before she died and that letting everything out when making the tapes gave her something of a will to live. That felt much more real than a lot of the other things in this show and it pleased me.
The suicide scene itself was really well constructed. I can understand why some people would be appalled by the graphic depiction of suicide, but I feel that it was necessary for the show to demonstrate everything that Hannah did and emphasize how terrible it is. I'm treating this show as a form of entertainment instead of a PSA for suicide so I'm not bothered by the depiction of suicide, but it is easy to see why some would be bothered by this. I thought the scene was a good pay off for Hannah's story and it was a suitably depressing end for her story.
I enjoyed Clay confronting Mr. Porter as well. I thought their conversation as really good an did an excellent job of putting over the idea that we could definitely do more good by paying more attention to others and being kinder to them since you will never know what they are thinking.
I thought that Tyler was handled nicely as well. He seems to be getting more bitter and angry in every episode and I'm excited to see him reach his breaking point. It was also very logical for him to be the one to reveal the truth about the tapes. Nobody really cared about him and Tyler really has nothing to lose at this point in his life, so it made perfect sense for him to give up everybody's secret.
The Bad: Overall this episode was similarly disappointing in the same way almost every other episode disappointed. There were too many writing flaws for this episode to truly be successful.
While I enjoyed most of the flashbacks, I did not like Mr. Porter's conversation with Hannah very much. Don't get me wrong, I liked parts of it, like Mr. Porter refusing to pick up the phone and Hannah being scared to talk about the rape, but the overall package felt very weak. The biggest problem is how quickly Hannah gave up on Mr. Porter. She said absolutely nothing to him, so how was he supposed to help? If she really wanted to live, surely she would have said more before giving up. But apparently she didn't say more which feels like a big mistake. The most realistic way for this to go down would be if Mr. Porter actually didn't help her when she told him everything, but since she told him absolutely nothing, it's hard to feel like Mr. Porter let her down here, which is what I should be feeling. The best way to help somebody feeling depressed or suicidal is to talk to them, so the show should have been much more careful when portraying somebody trying to get help by talking to someone.
Furthermore, Mr. Porter telling Hannah to move on was stupid and uncharacteristic of Mr. Porter to say. It's unfortunate that the writers had to take so many shortcuts in this storyline. Another nitpick is Clay. I could understand Hannah not talking to Clay because the last time they talked he was obviously very hurt. But then in this episode he was very obviously trying to rebuild his relationship with Hannah, so why not just talk to him instead of Mr. Porter? Or how about Tony, who was clearly still very kind and friendly to her?
Tony doesn't work in this story. He is so rooted in the background that it's impossible to care about him. Here he makes a huge decision to give the Baker the tapes, yet the scene means nothing because I have no idea why he did that. That entire arc failed to deliver, and we don't even get the pay-off of the Bakers learning about why Hannah killed herself. It's just a cliff-hanger for next season (more on that later).
Justin and Jessica are still terrible. Their scenes are getting repetitive fast and it's hard to buy that Justin cares so much about Jessica. Even though Jessica was raped, I still can't care at all about her which is a result of weak acting an character writing.
I didn't like Courtney's deposition. Why did they show her that picture? What was that supposed to accomplish? How did it make it into evidence and not get questioned by the lawyers? Weak writing which was just used to create some weak drama for Courtney.
I'm pretty displeased that very little was wrapped up with this episode. We had some powerful moments, but a lot of the characters didn't reach anything of a conclusion in their arcs and a lot of plot threads were left to be resolved next season. I really don't like that the show did that, especially since we spent 13 overly long episodes getting to this point. It hurts even more that we got very little resolution at the end and are left to tune in for another season o presumably 13 more episodes.
The Unknown: What will Mr. Porter do with the tapes? Will he show them to others? Will he try to get Bryce arrested? Or will he do something else?
What is Alex's fate? Is he going to die or will he survive? What was with the phone call to Zach beforehand?
Is Tyler planning a school shooting now? Or is he just going after the students? Did he shoot Alex instead? Tyler did take Alex's picture down from his list of targets.
What will the Bakers so with the tapes? Will they do something if Mr. Porter doesn't? Or could they end the lawsuit now?
Best Moment: The suicide scene was the most powerful and chilling scene in the episode.
Character of the Episode: Hannah.
Conclusion: This episode was rather disappointing even if it was powerful. There was little resolution and writing flaws still took away from this.
The season overall had a load of potential, but bad writing seems to have consistently damaged this show to the point where it has hit nowhere near the level I was hoping from it after the first episode. I will definitely watch season 2 with hopes of more resolution for the characters there, but I don't expect season 2 to suddenly fix the major problems the show has. This show feels like a lot of missed potential despite it being an easy watch which is fairly entertaining.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.