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.
Summary: In flashbacks, Hannah accidentally loses several hundred dollars. She isn't close with Clay anymore. In her depression, she goes to one of Bryce's party and he rapes her. She begins to work on the tapes. In the present, Jessica remains hostile towards Justin. The students all receive notice for subpoenas except Sheri. Clay talks with Bryce and accuses him of being a rapist. Bryce beats him up.
The Good: There was appropriate misery for Hannah here. With just one episode left in the season, we really had to understand why Hannah did what she did. While I think there is still a big problem here (see: The Bad), the rape at the hands of Bryce is a fitting moment to send Hannah over the edge to begin feeling suicidal.
I did like getting some more background behind Justin's relationship with Bryce. It did feel pretty odd that he didn't cut ties with Bryce for being a rapist, but thankfully we were actually given a realistic reason why Justin couldn't turn on Bryce. He feels indebted to Bryce and wouldn't be comfortable repaying Bryce by turning him in and breaking their friendship. I wish we had characterization and character motivation on this level more often.
I really enjoyed the group meeting in this episode. Usually those scenes have felt like bland filler and haven't been interesting, but with the impending subpoenas, this time the scene had a purpose and a sense of tension which made it gripping and interesting. The discussion felt more important and it was nice to see the clashing ideals of all of the characters as they tried to determine what the best option was for moving forward. The truth may seem like a sensible thing, but considering the situation, it's easy to understand the thought process of those who don't want to reveal the full truth. I really enjoyed Alex's final speech suggesting that they were all flawed people who did play a part in Hannah's suicide (see: Best Moment), but I feel like that scene also had a really worrying aspect about it too (also see: The Bad).
There were some really good small scenes as well. I liked the Clay and Hannah interactions being really awkward after what happened at the party. It felt suitably sad and tragic. Sheri deciding to finally tell the truth was a nice moment as well, and continued to have her as one of the most likeable characters on the show. I also got a good laugh every time Ryan bluntly responded to Courtney's claims that Hannah lied.
The Bad: The biggest problem I have here is that Hannah has never attempted to get help for her problems. I was hoping that the party would have been Hannah's lowest point and that the rest of the show would be her trying to find some help. Unfortunately, the how has seemingly ignored the aspect of a suicidal person attempting to get help for their condition which not only makes Hannah seem extremely unlikeable (more on that later) but also misses a VERY important point about suicide. While I enjoyed Alex's speech, it suggested that they were responsible for Hannah's death because they chose not to be friends with her. While that's partially true, and it's easy for them to think that way, it seems to suggest that Hannah had tried really hard to get help but they had refused to help her. But we know from the flashbacks, that it's completely false and that Hannah never really asked for help. That makes it even harder to buy into the idea of Hannah's suicide which is really poor.
Hannah as a character is badly hurt by this development as well. The fact that Hannah didn't get help strongly implies that she actually did kill herself for attention which is the exact thing a show like this should have been doing everything to avoid. With the idea of the tapes being almost like Hannah getting revenge, this show needed to make a point to not make it seem like Hannah killed herself just to get back at the people who she thinks did her wrong. Unfortunately the show has not done that at all, and it makes Hannah seem like a really unsympathetic character which is not at all how I should feel towards a suicide victim. Katherine Langford has put on a hell of a performance as Hannah and it's a shame that the character she is playing seems really unlikeable. At this point the performance is the only real thing that is keeping me engaged in Hannah's story.
Jessica remains annoying as well. Now she seems to remember everything about the rape and how painful it was. I'm not doubting that it hurts to be raped, but she suddenly seems to recall the feeling which is ridiculous seeing how she pretended for weeks like it never happened. This storyline has been handled really poorly at times and I wish it had been executed with better character writing.
The problem with the students' scene is that a lot of them are still very shallow and I don't acre about them. Because of that, it's hard for me to get invested in what they want or what their ultimate fate will be. I wish that I had a better idea of who these characters are so I could care. But since I don't care, the whole story surrounding them has a good chance of falling flat.
Tony and Brad's scene was hard to care about too. Brad has hardly been in the show and I don't buy into his scene with Tony. While it is nice to get a scene of Tony letting out how he feels, the scene missed out on being good in my opinion because it was hinging on a relationship I really can't be bothered to care about. In the end the scene felt like an unfortunate waste of time. It also doesn't help that Tony is still a shallow character who I know next to nothing about because the show has been so preoccupied with keeping him mysterious.
Clay confronting Bryce was a total miss in my eyes. In one scene, Bryce turned into just a generic teenage villain while Clay did something seemingly out of character by confronting Bryce directly and getting him to admit to raping Hannah. There was also an extremely odd scene of him cheering afterwards. I presume that he recorded the entire conversation and that's why he is happy but why on Earth did the show not reveal he recorded it? It's a dumb attempt at shock value for the finale I presume and it left t Bryce scene feeling extremely awkward and unfulfilling. We should never be played by having a show leave a very important character motive in the dark for the sake of shock value. It ruins my emotional engagement.
The Unknown: So did Clay record the conversation with Bryce? What does he plan to do with the tape?
Why did Tyler buy a gun? Who does he want to shoot?
Who was in the ambulance at the end? Was it Clay? The show seems to be suggesting that. Who shot him? Tyler? That would make a lot of sense but I feel like it's too obvious to be the answer.
Best Moment: Alex's speech was really great and allowed us to really reflect on how guilty the entire group must be feeling after what happened to Hannah. It's true that had somebody remained close to her, she may still have been alive and it's nice to see somebody attempting to make that point.
Character of the Episode: Alex.
Conclusion: This episode was a solid continuation of the story. The show remains enjoyable but is still way too flawed, and the huge issue regarding Hannah really dragged down this episode for me. I had held out hope that the show would understand how to portray a suicide victim but I was let down here.
Summary: In flashbacks, Clay and Hannah connect at Jessica's party and hook up but Hannah shoves Clay off after remembering her past. In the present, Clay listens to his tape and struggles through it, but he makes it through with Tony's help. Justin finds out Jessica is at Bryce's and tries to take her away. He reveals that Bryce raped her.
The Good: This episode was much better because the show felt like it had a purpose here and wasn't just filling time. There were always important scenes going on.
Clay's story was a pretty good examination of how one can be afraid to face their past and always blame themselves for the tiniest of things even if it wasn't their fault. While there were some flaws in this approach (see: The Bad), it did send a powerful message about how people would react when a friend commits suicide. Dylan Minnette hasn't been fantastic in the role of Clay, but I felt he did a great job here.
I thought the humour for once was very good. Usually the humour in this show doesn't come off particularly well, but there were a lot of funny moments here which successfully put a smile on my face. There was some smart dialogue which I thought worked very well. I enjoyed small things like Clay arriving early which fit his character, and Hannah bringing up the oddity of Clay's name.
This episode was really hinged on us caring about Clay and Hannah's relationship, and thankfully that has been one of the show's strong points. Both characters have great chemistry and it's easy to see what they like in each other. Their scenes had some good power to them and the tragedy of Hannah's ultimate death gave the scenes a fitting sadness to them which also paid off by making us care about what Clay is going through in the present day storyline.
There were some really good pay off scenes for the side storylines. I was very glad to see the rape of Jessica addressed and thankfully it has had immediate consequences as Jessica appears to have finally shut Justin out and there will likely be some tensions between Justin and Bryce now. I really like the reveal that the lawsuit will involve the kids now. It adds a lot of tension to the final 2 episodes (see: The Unknown) and really makes me anticipate whatever comes next.
The Bad: Unfortunately the lawsuit story does circle around the stupid idea that the Bakers never found the page of names in all of Hannah's stuff. They were searching her room, so how on Earth did they not find that earlier?
The rape story was held down because I really don't care about the characters involved which is a real shame. Had Justin and Jessica been more fleshed out and likeable, this could have been a really great storyline with a powerful conclusion. Instead it's a weak story with a decent pay off.
The reasoning for Clay being on the tapes is awful and it unfortunately undercuts a lot of what was the show's most powerful episode. It's hard to buy that Hannah would put Clay on the tapes for this and possibly ruin his life without any thought for his well-being. Clearly Hannah cared about him, so it makes no sense why she would do this to him. This also feels far too much like a cop-out because the writers didn't know what reason to put Clay on the tapes for.
Unfortunately the big moment of Hannah blowing off Clay didn't have the impact it should have. This is because it draws on us buying into how traumatized Hannah has been by the previous guys she had hopes for. But sadly the show failed at doing that and only ever told us that Hannah was hurt by this, without ever showing us. This was one of my biggest complaints earlier in the story and it's really damaged one of the show's biggest scenes now. That really goes to show how important it is to make us care early on instead of waiting for later.
There were a couple of nitpicks for Clay's story too. The tension of Clay killing himself was non-existent. Of course he wasn't going to kill himself, so it really wasn't worth teasing that. The Clay and Skye argument was really petty too and almost felt like a fight between grade 3s. I felt that they should have been shown as more mature and it would also help to at least get a better idea of their relationship.
The Unknown: Who will have to talk for the subpoenas? Presumably it will be everyone on the tapes. Will anybody reveal the existence of the tapes? What will they say about Hannah? Will the Bakers or the school learn any important new information? Will anything be said about Bryce? I'm very interested to see what happens.
What is Skye's story and history? What is her purpose in this show? She still feels only like an extra character.
Does Alex still love Jessica? There have been some awkward moments in the past which highlighted his affections for her, but does he still have those feelings? Or have the writers just forgotten? Perhaps he feels so guilty that he no longer feels that way.
Best Moment: I really loved the vision Clay had of him actually comforting Hannah instead of leaving her. It was tragic and very emotional to watch and was a really nice take on how somebody with regrets would play out themselves not making a big mistake.
Character of the Episode: Clay.
Conclusion: This was a really great episode at times and had a lot of emotion to it, but unfortunately the sloppy nature of this show once more takes away from what could have been a tremendous episode. This ends up being simply good instead of being as great as I feel it could have been.
Summary: In flashbacks, Hannah leaves the party with Sheri who runs over a stop sign but doesn't want to call the police about it. Later, Jeff drives and doesn't see the fallen stop sign and is killed in an accident. In the present, Clay confronts Sheri about what she did but while Sheri doesn't tell the truth to Jeff's parents, she is paying for her mistake in her own way. Clay tells the truth to Jeff's parents. Tony meets Clay and tells him the next tape is his.
The Good: Hannah is being handled much better in these later episodes. I'll have to leave the problems from the earlier episodes in the past and say that Katherine Langford's performance has made me buy that she has started really hating her life. Now that we are getting time to see Hannah on her own, we can get a good idea of how she is struggling to deal with the pain she carries with her while the show also makes us understand more about why she did what she did.
Sheri's story was really good because she has been the most easy to like characters so far. She seemed genuinely upset about what she did and while she couldn't quite bring herself to reveal the truth, I was glad to see her doing something to attempt to make up for her fatal mistake. It makes her feel more human than most of the other characters on this show.
Seeing Clay upset about Jeff's death was pretty powerful and helped to explain away a moment when he was probably more rude to Hannah than she could have been. It was good to see how he reacts to death considering that we never got to see his immediate reaction when he learned about Hannah's death.
I enjoyed the ending as well. It was nice to see Tony coming to see Clay to help him get through his tape, and I like that Clay got nerves when he found out it was his tape next. It felt pretty real and also consistent with Clay's character who had a tough time getting through the tapes.
The Bad: Justin and Jessica are still a problem. We got some development for them now but it's too little and too late for me to care at all about them. I also have to seriously question Jessica going to Bryce. I thought she had made the realization that she was raped last episode but apparently she either didn't, making that scene pointless, or she just chose to ignore it. Either way, her hanging out with Bryce was ridiculous and felt like the stupidest thing her character could have done. Jessica has quickly become the stupidest and most annoying character which I really don't like. I really should sympathize with her much more than I do.
I thought Sheri abandoning Hannah right away was dumb. Their conversation was like 30 seconds long before Sheri just left Hannah on the side of the road. It felt dumb and out of character for her not to talk more to her and just leave her on her own like that. The scene also felt rushed which is odd considering that this episode was 10 minutes shorter than usual and could have easily gotten away with a little more time.
The Unknown: What happened with Clay and Hannah at the party? Clearly it is what put Clay on the tapes, but if he doesn't know what it is, then what could it be?
Was Jeff actually drunk or not? From what we know of him, I would say that he wasn't but I guess we will never know for sure.
Best Moment: The ending was the most powerful moment for sure, and while I don't think Tony and Clay's relationship has been the best executed in the show, it has gotten a lot of screen time so it makes sense to put some focus back on them as Clay goes through this big moment.
Character of the Episode: Sheri.
Conclusion: This was another solid episode, and while it didn't do anything great, I thought it was an easy enough watch.
Summary: In flashbacks, Hannah cuts her hair in an attempt for a fresh start but it fails. She goes to Jessica's party and meets Clay. At the party she witnesses Bryce rape Jessica and is too afraid to do anything. In the present, Clay tries to bring Bryce to justice. Marcus has had enough and gets Clay suspended by planting weed on him. Clay opens up a little to his mom and angrily goes to Tony to let out his frustrations.
The Good: I really liked the opening sequence. It really put us inside of Hannah's life in a way that nothing else in the show has done before and it lets us understand why she is feeling so much pain and loneliness. I wish the show would have more scenes like this. It was a good showing of Hannah trying to improve her life, but ultimately failing because of how much she has been suffering. This was the most real I think the show has been when portraying Hannah.
I was happy that we got a new story for Hannah. While I don't think the party story was great, it was new and has added another big reason for Hannah to turn towards suicide. Witnessing a rape would be horrifying enough, but doing nothing and feeling guilty about it afterwards is a really interesting story and I really hope that the show explores how Hannah feels after doing nothing to help Jessica. I need more than Hannah's narration saying how she couldn't live with herself, I want to see it happen.
I thought Clay's arc was solid again. It's nice to see him get angry because of what Bryce did and quickly begin to break down once again, leading into a pretty good final scene where Clay lets out his frustrations to Tony. I liked seeing him talking to his mom as well as he got to let out some of his feelings but obviously couldn't reveal everything. The scene wasn't spectacular but it was pretty solid. Also we got to see Justin and Clay finally having a proper talk, which was also solid but unspectacular. It was nice to get a better idea of Justin's morals though.
I was happy to finally see the group do something to Clay by getting him suspended. It was much more effective of a threat than the stupid car driving scene from a few episodes ago. I also like Clay's reaction to getting drugs planted on him. By this point he's so miserable and just doesn't care so he doesn't bother explaining himself.
The Bad: The Justin and Jessica relationship is still a total failure. We have no idea why they like each other, what keeps them together or who they even are as characters and that is awful. Because of this I just can't be bothered to care about if Jessica was raped or not, and I don't care about the effect this will have on their relationship.
Jessica also seems to only now be questioning if she was actually raped which is insane. She should have been bothered by this from the very next day when she woke up, especially if she has actual memory of Bryce raping her instead of Justin. It's a really bad flaw which I wish could have been handled differently. It makes it feel like Jessica is only having problems with this when it's relevant to the story.
This episode feels like it was bogged down by many of the same flaws the other episodes had. Poor dialogue, weak characterization, focusing on the wrong thing and wasting our time with a lot of filler. In the end, the episode was a bit difficult to get through, and if I wasn't invested in Clay's story or intrigued by Hannah's, I probably wouldn't care for this at all. The show needs to start improving now if it wants to have some kind of big impact at the end.
The Unknown: Why was Hannah in the bedroom? It seems like we are getting that answer really soon.
What is with the random clips of Clay running? Where is he going? When is this?
Best Moment: Clay's anger towards Tony towards the end was the most powerful scene I suppose.
Character of the Episode: I'll say Hannah for this one.
Conclusion: This was a solid episode, but once more, it contained pretty much every big problem I've had with 13 Reasons Why as a whole. The episode was enjoyable though and had nice moments, but it's still being held back from being as good as it could be.
Summary: In flashbacks, Hannah joins the poetry club and writes a poem which is then published by Ryan, humiliating Hannah. In the present, Tony takes Clay on a walk and reveals that he was there when Hannah died. Clay gets the tapes back and gives Hannah's poem to Olivia.
The Good: We have finally seen Hannah with her parents. It's really bad that the show took 8 episodes to show an example of what Hannah's life at home is like. You would think that would be one of the first things the show touches on. Better late than never though, and what we got was pretty good. We are clearly shown that while Hannah's parents were loving, they may not have ever given her the attention she looked for and were too busy arguing or dealing with their business to show much care for Hannah's life. Seeing Hannah come home clearly upset after deciding not to do poetry anymore, only for her parents to ignore it was pretty telling.
I did like the Tony is gay reveal. It's nice to see diversity like that in the show. I was also amused that Clay was completely oblivious, which is one of his defining traits at this point. It made for a nice laugh and it was the most organic scene that Clay and Tony had this episode.
This episode was very repetitive (see: The Bad), and I think it only really benefitted one scene. The show seems to show Clay come so close to making Hannah feel good over and over again, only for him to unintentionally mess it up at the very end every single time. I wonder if that's why he is on the tapes? That seems really harsh, but I'm sure that something major happened for Clay's tape, whenever it is.
The Bad: The repetition was a huge problem for this episode, and it made so much of it feel like filler. It has been present in previous episodes, but those have usually had enough going on for me to not really be bothered by it. Furthermore I could always believe that things would be explored more in the next episode. But now we are 8 episodes in and there should not be any more filler. Yet this whole episode was pretty much filler. For the Hannah story we once more got to see a nice guy who wasn't actually so nice storyline which has gotten so bland over the past few episodes. We also saw Mr. Porter talking to somebody about Hannah for hat feels like the 100th time with no actual payoff. The group of kids met up again to say that Clay was a problem for what felt like the 1000th time and they still haven't done anything. And once more the Bakers came into a completely filler conflict which had no impact on their character arcs or the overall story and served to waste our time. Let's add in Justin and Jess being dislikeable with a stupid relationship which is impossible to carer about and we have a completely generic episode from the show which has everything I hate about it.
The biggest problem I have with the filler is that it's wasting time the show could be spending trying to flesh out its characters. I've said the characters are extremely shallow and that still remains true, so the show chooses to just waste time instead of making me care. That's really annoying to see and is one of the biggest things preventing the show from being as good as I think it has potential to be. I would much rather take actual character development over a scene of Alex deciding to go to the Bakers store and doing absolutely nothing.
The rock climbing story was dumb. It had no tension whatsoever and didn't really serve to make Tony and Clay bond more as friends so I'm left questioning its purpose. I also found it hard to buy into Clay's excitement after finishing the climb, and I honestly thought he was being sarcastic at first.
Hannah's storyline had some big flaws as well. They completely reused the idea of having people laugh at Hannah after something was spread around the school from the first episode. I also found it ridiculous that everyone was reading the poem. Like seriously, who in the school actually reads things like that? Definitely not everybody. And nobody makes fun of poems like that. They would just gloss over it and move on, not actively laugh at the writer. The show continues to make everyone aside from Hannah seem like unrealistic assholes to make us sympathize with Hannah and it is getting more and more frustrating.
It was hard to buy into Tony's sadness surrounding Hannah's death since we have seen them interact like maybe twice in the whole show. We can't just be told they are friends, it needs to be shown to us.
The Unknown: What will the Bakers do with the poem from Clay?
Best Moment: I'll pick Tony describing the day Hannah died because the sheer tragedy of the event made me feel some emotion for Tony having to see all of that. I just wish we knew more about his relationship with Hannah so that the scene would have had more emotion so I could consider it one of the best in the show.
Character of the Episode: Tony.
Conclusion: This was a poor episode. The show is treading water to make it to 13 episodes at this point and it's frustrating to get an episode where nothing is accomplished at all. The show has at least been decently entertaining in previous episodes which were weaker, but this episode did absolutely nothing for me. The show needs to get moving again so maybe it can end on a high note.
Summary: In Flashbacks, Zach comforts Hannah after what happened with Marcus. the next day he wants to go out with her but she shoves him away. Zach gets upset and starts stealing compliments from Hannah's compliment bag. In the present, Clay struggles with hallucinations during the day and has an outburst during a basketball game. Clay scratches "Why Me?" onto Zach's car. Clay returns the tapes to Tony. While giving a tour to foreign exchange students, Clay has an outburst and rants about the state of the school.
The Good: Clay's storyline was excellent in this episode. The hallucinations were fantastic and helped put us into Clay's mind, which he is quickly losing control over. It adds some tension to the scenes since we know we can't even be sure if what we are seeing is actually happening while also making us question Clay's reliability of a protagonist and if he is going to remain trustworthy throughout the series. Dylan Minnette stood out in his episode after not really making a mark in previous episodes. He played the depressed and bitter Clay really well and conveyed the change in his character very well. I also like the little detail of Clay's scar getting worse to reflect his mental state, even if the makeup does look like crap.
The ending of the episode was great. I was surprised by Clay giving up the tapes, but it makes a lot of sense for him to do that, seeing how they are quickly ruining his life. I'm sure the tapes will find their way back to him very soon, but I'm glad that the writers took the effort to show that Clay will do anything to try to escape how he is feeling right now. The ending scenes with Clay were excellent as he attempted a new positive outlook on everything now that he is free of the tapes, but he was unable to escape and ended up making a big scene with a powerful outburst.
Hannah's story has really lacked for me so far (see: The Bad), but I still felt like there were some nice improvements here. I really liked the scene where she left a note in the class compliments bag but was forced to hear practically nobody really care about the message. This kind of scene was really needed from the show to emphasize Hannah's loneliness and how she felt like she had nothing and nobody. I suspect the rest of the seasons will have more scenes like this. At least I hope there are more.
I am able to buy into Hannah's deteriorating state a little bit more in this episode due to Katherine Langford's great performance. We haven't seen Hannah on her own nearly enough in this show, so it's really up to the acting in these short scenes to make me care and for the most part, she did a great job.
Zach was pretty good in this episode. I was more than pleased to see a character get more development and be likeable overall for once. I was glad that Zach always behaved kindly towards Hannah, and that the whole reasons he was on the tapes was just because Hannah was going through a really tough time and accidentally made an enemy. Zach keeping the note was a great touch to really emphasize that he is a good person and has some regrets about what happened. I also like that the show touched on Zach's loneliness as well, which I would have loved to see explored in more detail.
The Bad: Once more, I feel like the person who hurt Hannah went out of character to do something. Zach stealing the compliments from Clay was just stupid and petty and felt like something from grade 5, not high school. It was seriously dumb and didn't fit the story at all. Zach logically should have just stopped talking to Hannah, but then she wouldn't have a reason to make a tape, so the writers had to put in something dumb to make up for it.
Speaking of grade 3, the whole concept of a compliment bag in high school is ridiculous. Nobody would do that in real life. It's worse than the dollar valentines in the last episode.
I feel like the whole conflict between Zach and Hannah was dumb. They know they both made some mistakes (Hannah especially), so why did they not just talk it out like sane people? Like seriously, why would Hannah make some stupid note instead of just confronting Zach and talking to him to tell him to stop? Also why did she lie about him crumpling up the note and throwing it to the ground? Are we supposed to somehow believe that she thought he did that but he didn't? If it's not that, then the show is having Hannah lie to get revenge on Zach which is EXACTLY what I said the show should be avoiding.
Hannah as a whole is sort of failing as a character at the moment. Katherine Langford's performance is currently the only thing that is making me feel some sympathy for her. This entire situation was totally brought on by her. I could understand if she had just felt bad about this and blamed herself which led into her depression, but instead she blames Zach for literally getting mad because Hannah was mean to him when he tried to be nice and she embarrassed him in front of his friends. Why should we feel bad for Hannah here when she did something cruel and clearly doesn't own up to it? Hannah cannot be portrayed as unlikable in a show like this, yet that is exactly what happened here. We desperately need to see more about how Hannah feels on her own and how the situations around her drove her to take her own life. I had expected each tape to get worse and worse, but so far they have just been petty things which I can hardly buy brought her to this level of sadness.
Of course the dialogue is still fairly poor. So is the relationship between Justin and Jessica which continues to make me question why they are even together anyways.
The Unknown: What is Skye's role in the story? Is she on the tapes too? That doesn't make much sense seeing how she isn't communicating with anybody else, but she still needs some kind of purpose to be a part of the story.
What is Mr. Porter going to tell Clay? Will Clay spill the beans on the tapes now? Will he get them back? How? Will Tony give them back or will something else happen?
So could Hannah really be lying about what happened at Jessica's party? Since she lied here, it may be possible that she lied about other things.
Best Moment: Clay's outburst at the end was gripping and powerful and it felt extremely real. Clay has been pushed to a breaking point here and it's been fascinating to see him slowly lose connection with himself and start doing irrational things. This was no exception and it provided what I think was the best scene in the show so far.
Character of the Episode: Clay.
Conclusion: This episode was powerful and had a great story revolving around Clay and even did a good job of developing a side character. Yet the show still keeps stumbling on stupid things and it's quite frustrating to see the potential for a great show being wasted through bad characterization of Hannah, poor dialogue and idiotic character decisions. This was still good, but by all means it should have been much better.
Summary: In flashbacks, Marcus calls Hannah after getting matched with her for dollar valentines. Hannah initially likes him but Marcus completely embarrasses her on their date. In the present, Alex and Monty get in a fight and Monty is suspended while Alex is let off with a warning. Clay starts to hook up with Sheri but she reveals that she just wants Clay to not think poorly of her because she is on the tapes. A frustrated Clay tells her to leave.
The Good: I thought the fight storyline was really well done. The situation felt like a realistic position for a fight, and considering what we have seen from Alex, it fit his character to do something like confronting Monty for being stupid. The honour board meeting which followed was also really good and had some great storytelling which seemed to highlight the show's biggest moral question: who is responsible for the actions of others? I enjoyed the exploration of the topic, even if it was brief.
Clay's character arc remains extremely interesting. He's becoming more open but as a result is also falling more into depression while doing so. The storyline with Sheri was pretty interesting and added even more reasons for Clay to continue his descent. I said it before, but I'll repeat it again; I think Clay's arc has been much better than Hannah's.
It was nice to see a scene of Hannah on her own, dealing with things and apparently starting to have slightly suicidal thoughts. I wish the early parts of her story were told better, but if they start focusing on her emotions now, I still think her character arc can be turned into something really good.
The Bad: The entire concept of dollar valentines was pretty stupid to me. I can hardly buy that the school would try something like that.
Marcus' story was extremely dumb. He has come off as a pretty decent guy so far in the show, so to see him try to take advantage of Hannah felt horribly out of character and ridiculous. I think his character got by far the worst treatment out of any other characters who were focused on in the tapes. I hardly knew anything about him before, and that is still completely the same.
The storyline surrounding Hannah's parents has gotten pretty repetitive. We just see them grieving episode after episode and then having a really basic conflict which is resolved by the episode's end. I don't think we need so much focus on their characters at the moment, and more needs to be done to characterize the high schoolers instead.
Unfortunately that wasn't the only repetitive thing either. Hannah's story was yet another one about how guys can suck. It had very little substance to it and honestly I don't think the show would be any different without it. It was by far the weakest story thus far.
The characters of Justin and Jessica are suffering the most from not receiving enough focus. They spend so much of their time arguing so it's extremely hard to care about or even buy into their relationship. Both characters come off as annoying assholes on their own as well so they have ended up being some of the series' worst aspects.
Sheri's motives were ridiculous. If she wanted Clay to like her, why not talk to him about it instead of just pretending like she isn't even aware of the tapes? Her reasoning is shallow and stupid and makes me dislike her character as well. It would be nice to have other characters to like in this show.
The Unknown: I'm still standing by my theory that Jeff died, hence the transition to Clay tutoring Jeff after looking sad for a few seconds.
What is Skye's story? She seems to like Clay based off of her comments to him being with Sheri.
Was the guy Tony talking to his boyfriend? I assume so, and I think that means that Tony actually wasn't following Clay there. That also raises the question of why he is following Clay. Also what are his secrets? Whose secret is it that he's keeping? Hannah's? Or somebody else?
Best Moment: The honour board meeting was a pretty great scene in a weaker episode.
Character of the Episode: Alex.
Conclusion: This was the weakest episode of the series for e. Not a whole lot happened, there were few talking points and Hannah's story was definitely the most repetitive and empty it has been so far. Without the excellent Alex/Monty storyline, this episode would have been a complete failure.
Summary: In flashbacks, Hannah works hard to get Courtney as a friend again. Hannah goes to a dance and connects with Clay but she leaves after Courtney spreads awful rumours about her. Clay takes Courtney to Hannah's grave in an attempt to make Courtney accept her role in Hannah's death. Courtney leaves frustrated. Justin, Alex and others take Clay into a car and threaten him to stop doing what he's doing. Clay's mom begins working with the school on the lawsuit.
The Good: I really enjoyed Clay's storyline in this episode. In a lot of ways, his descent into depression has been much more fascinating to watch than Hannah's descent to suicide. Unlike with Hannah, we get to see Clay on his own, so we can understand how everything is having its toll on him. We get to see his feeling down and depressed so we can relate with the struggle he is going through. This is what we need for Hannah as well because it can make for some really compelling television.
The dance scenes were pretty good throughout. It was a nice little event that continued developing Clay and Hannah' relationship to really make us feel about what Clay lost when Hannah committed suicide. This episode was easily the most sad so far and it's scenes like these which made it that way. I really liked the way that Courtney spreading an awful rumour completely ruined another great moment for Hannah. These episodes seem to be patterned to have Hannah begin to have something only for her to lose it immediately after and I think the pattern largely works. I just want to see more of Hannah in between these patterns.
I thought the scenes at Hannah's grave were pretty good. It was nice to get a better idea of what Clay was doing by making justice. It wasn't to prove anything to anyone, but instead he has selfish motives of wanting others to pay for what they took from him. It's a really sad story and a mature one which impressed me. I didn't expect this show to start exploring morally gray area as well as it did in this episode. Tony talking with Clay was great too and finally allowed the characters to just sit and talk about how they are feeling. I want more scenes like this from the show with the other characters to give me a better understanding of them too.
Alex speeding and not stopping was pretty great. It continues to show that he has been very affected by the entire situation and seems to be slipping into suicidal tendencies himself. Now the question is if anyone is going to notice how far he is slipping.
The Bad: The same flaws persist with this episode. The dialogue is really terrible at times and Hannah isn't as compelling as we expect her to be because we don't get a good look of how she is dealing with the awful things that are happening to her.
One thing I really don't like about this show is how hateable everyone is. I like a few characters, but so many characters seem like downright awful people and that is pretty annoying. For this show to work, I need to understand these characters and be able to sympathize with them more than I actually do.
The idea that Hannah tried to get a limo was dumb. I don't care what the situation is, I don't think any teenager actually tries that.
I don't see how Justin having Alex drive a car fast is supposed to intimidate Clay. Everybody is in the car and he won't get in trouble I they are pulled over. How was that intimidating? And if they crash, everybody is screwed so I doubt they would do that. It was dumb and more frustrating because we still didn't get a concrete answer on why everyone hates Clay so much. Can they not just talk to him about things to try to make him understand instead of just threatening him?
The Unknown: The principal mentioned losing 2 students. Who was the second? We were introduced to Jeff in the flashbacks but he is nowhere to be found in the present. Could he have died somehow as well?
Apparently Hannah lied about Jessica's party. Is that true? What did she li about? Why would she lie? As I've mentioned before, I think it's a dumb idea to have Hannah lie so I hope the show handles the situation intelligently.
How will Clay's mother working on the case with the school affect him? Will it create more reasons for him to talk about Hannah or the opposite?
Best Moment: Clay talking with Tony was pretty powerful television.
Character of the Episode: Clay for finally starting o captivate me.
Conclusion: This was a good episode which delivered the most powerful stuff in the show so far. The show is still flawed but it seems like it may be starting to improve now which is a great sign.
Summary: Flashbacks show that Hannah was being stalked by someone. She teams up with Courtney and discovers that it's Tyler but Tyler has taken some pictures. Hannah doesn't want to hang out with Tyler o he shares the pictures with the school. In the present, Clay speaks with Olivia (Mrs. Baker) about Hannah. The Bakers begin doing work on the lawsuit. Tyler reveals that he loved Hannah. Clay stalks Tyler and sends a naked picture of him around the school.
The Good: This was another solid hour with decent enough storytelling. The story is still satisfying and enjoyable to follow, even though it frustratingly seems to be settling for a lower level than it should be (see: The Bad). We learned some interesting details about Tyler here which led to him being basically shunned as an outcast by the group. It's interesting to see that Clay decided to throw Tyler under the bus, which seems to be exactly the kind of thing that people did which led to Hannah's suicide. The show is making an interesting statement with that final scene and I'm curious to see what the follow-up will be.
I enjoyed Clay much more in this episode until the end. I loved the scene with him and Olivia and the editing which highlighted his fears of possibly revealing the tapes to her. It's a very real feeling and I'm glad that the show was able to creatively explore it for a little bit. I also really like that the show decided to include Clay having regrets about Hannah's suicide and the actions he took in the past. I commented on the last episode that Clay should have more of a reaction to Hannah's death, and I think this is a very good way to start doing that.
I really liked Marcus' character. Though we aren't sure if we can trust what he says (see: The Unknown), I really did like his opinion on the tapes. I love that somebody decided to call out Hannah for doing something as awful as creating these tapes. It's a pretty messed up thing to do, and while I'm 99% sure the tapes are just used as a plot device for the show to explore the concept of suicide, I'm very happy that the characters in the show aren't treating it as a plot device and that they have their own opinions on the tapes.
One strange thing about this show is how easy it is to watch. It's such a fascinating mystery to try to find out what drove Hannah to kill herself, and it's just as fascinating to find out how all the other characters have been affected by it. While the show doesn't always give us the highest quality, it's completely hooked me because I'm very interested to see more. I think it's a unique show because of that and I also believe this is the reason why the show became so popular because people just couldn't stop watching it once they had started.
The Bad: This episode was the weakest so far in my opinion though with lots of flaws. For one, Tyler is extremely shallow and we know nothing of substance about him. Why is he so antisocial? Why does he take pictures? We don't know, and that's a problem since these are his motives we are talking about and we don't know what they are.
The lawsuit story is extremely dull. While I think Hannah's parents are important characters, they certainly don't need this much focus, especially when the show is struggling to flesh out its main cast. The show can't afford to juggle so many characters, and the school lawsuit story is just adding far too much to the story.
The show is making me worried about how they are portraying Hannah. At this point she should surely be feeling pretty sad and lonely because of what she's gone through, but I really don't feel that. I think this is because the show refuses to actually show us how Hannah is doing when she's alone. Instead all we get to learn about how Hannah really feels is the stupid narration which I still feel is the show's worst element. If we are to care about what's happening to Hannah we need to be shown what's happening not be told about what's happening. If the show doesn't start examining the effects that all these things are having on Hannah, there may be some big problems down the road.
Clay "making his own justice" was stupid. It felt completely out of character for him to do that, and it's a huge problem when I don't understand why the protagonist makes a crucial decision. The show seems to imply that it's to get even with Tony or something like that but that makes no sense. The ending was just stupid.
I'm also quickly getting annoyed by all the drama from the other students who keep talking about Clay being a big problem. Why? If you don't tell us why, I don't care and it quickly becomes a waste of my time. Apparently Clay is "dead" after he sent the picture of Tyler. WHY? It makes no sense and I really need to understand why these students are after Clay so much.
The Unknown: What's the point of the second set of tapes? Why did Hannah make them? Also why isn't Tony on the tapes? If he isn't on the tapes, how does he know about them?
So it's basically been confirmed that Bryce isn't aware of the tapes, so I presume he isn't on them which is a bit of a surprise seeing how much of an ass he has been so far. Also what are the goals of the students who are after Clay? We need an explanation immediately.
Best Moment: Tough to choose, but I'll go with Clay's fears that Olivia would blame him for Hannah's death.
Character of the Episode: Clay.
Conclusion: This episode had more solid progression, but the show is being too vague and mysterious and it's taking away from the significance of a lot of the drama. On top of that, the show isn't focusing on the stories which really matter and it's starting to hurt the quality. This episode was still really enjoyable but it's easily the weakest so far because of all its flaws.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.