Summary: A funeral service is finally held for Hannah. Bryce gets away with 3 months probation and Justin gets 6. Clay's family adopts Justin. Tyler returns from his program a changed and better man. Monty sodomizes Tyler with a broomstick. Everyone goes to the school dance to get past everything. Tyler arrives with intent to shoot up the school and the police are called. Clay talks to Tyler and talks him out of killing people.
The Good: The funeral service was a good way to say farewell to Hannah forever. It was a good way to give Clay some closure and was a pretty solid scene, especially compared to some of the other scenes. I also liked the reasons why not scene. Olivia and Clay's farewell was good as well and didn't feel too hamfisted.
The Bad: This was not a good episode at all and was a bad finale. The most egregious mistake here was the Tyler rape scene. This show has consistently shown an inability to hold itself back and here it shows a vicious, unpleasing scene to us without holding anything back with the sole motivation to disgust us and make us feel "sympathy". That's really unnecessary and it's going several steps over the line. It wasn't alright when "Game of Thrones" did it, so I'm certainly not giving it a pass here.
The rest of Tyler's story is absolutely awful too. His transformation was so ridiculous that I actually laughed when I first saw him, thinking it was a joke. It's so ridiculous to think that Tyler changed so abruptly to the point where he isn't even the same character anymore. I mean the change in him reminds me of that episode of "SpongeBob" where SpongeBob decides to transform into a "normal" guy (hi, how are ya). The fact that I can compare this drama which takes itself seriously to a cartoon like "SpongeBob" is a total embarrassment.
Worse yet is his decision to shoot up the school. Everything suggested that Tyler would just kill himself, especially seeing how he transformed to a more forgiving person. But the show has no consistency and can't even keep Tyler consistent to his transformation by just deciding to have him attempt to shoot up the school. And how do they stop him? Clay goes out to talk to him. What? This is such a stupid development, and Clay is a massive fool for doing this. The worst part is the fact that the show suggests that if somebody is threatening to shoot up a school, the way to fix it is to talk to them. No! If this was realistic, Clay would walk out to talk to Tyler and would immediately get shot and killed. The fact that his plan actually worked was so stupid.
Worse yet was that awful cliff-hanger. Am I supposed to feel scared for Clay since he will now get in trouble with cops? Well I really don't care because all the evidence will point to it being Tyler, so I'm not at all scared. Also, what kind of closure does the scene give to the season? Absolutely none. It's badly written and gives me no sense of satisfaction now that the season is over, and I have no reason to want to check out season 3. Honestly I most definitely won't be watching it anyways.
This wouldn't be a massive problem for the episode if the rest of the episode provided closure and a satisfying ending. But it didn't at all, and many of the other scenes were bad. Bryce's storyline ended really badly. After everything he gets three months probation, so we don't even get the satisfaction of knowing he got what he deserved, making me question why this season even existed if it wasn't going to be about Bryce getting what he deserved. The storyline was fixated around Jessica in court finally speaking out about her rape but the scene wasn't even that good. Of course Jessica has been crying about the rape in just about every episode too which makes the scene feel less special as it was just more of the same that we have seen, only this time Jessica is talking to officials.
The Clay and Justin storyline wasn't good either. As I stated last episode, I don't care for their relationship so the scene where Justin got adopted completely fell flat of any kind of emotion. Furthermore, Justin is also apparently still on drugs and still in love with Jessica, showing that in the end he didn't change at all. That's bad for a character who essentially went through a redemptive arc this season.
So much of this episode was unsatisfying. The polaroids were taken by Nina apparently which is easily the most unsatisfying thing ever, and doesn't feel the least bit earned. A lot of storyline just dead-ended and went nowhere. Alex's distress with being broken lead nowhere. Zach being angry went nowhere. Monty attacking everyone went nowhere. Olivia wanting to change the school went nowhere as she is just going to New York now. there are so many more storylines too that I can't be bothered to list, but it's really bad that there are so many loose ends here.
One last thing I didn't like was Clay crying when "The Night We Met" played. That scene felt forced to get some emotion out and didn't work at all. Realistically, I would love scenes like these, but they would have to be subtle and carried by the actor in the scene. Unfortunately, this scene was over-dramatized and that ruined every little bit of emotion that the scene could have had. I'll say it again, this show has no restraint.
The Unknown: Where will Justin's continued drug abuse lead? What will come of him and Jessica still being in love? A love triangle? As if I didn't need more reasons to stop watching this show.
What happens to Clay now that he has the gun and Tyler is gone? Who will take the fall for it?
What will become of Chloe being pregnant?
Best Moment: The funeral service was the best part.
Character of the Episode: Clay.
Conclusion: This was a bad finale with very little to satisfy me and some of the worst writing and lack of restraint that the season has seen. This did nothing to make me want to keep watching. I wish this show ended after the first season instead of becoming insufferable like this.
The season as a whole sucked. Looking back at it, nothing was accomplished, the writing was worse than before and so many storylines just fizzled out without any sort of resolution. There is a special place in hell for seasons of television as badly executed as this one.
Summary: Justin testifies against Bryce but he isn't convincing. Eventually the school is held innocent. Jessica goes to the police instead with the help of everyone else, and both Bryce and Justin are arrested. Cyrus confesses to the school about the vandalisms and he and Tyler have a verbal spat. Cyrus is suspended and Tyler is forced to take a different program and isn't allowed to come back to school. Mr. Porter is fired. Monty is confronted by Alex but he doesn't have the polaroids.
The Good: I liked that the characters were well-defined enough for me to figure out who was int he opening scene without it being told. That scene did have big issues though (see: The Bad).
I have enjoyed Mr. Porter's storyline a lot. He has finally been fired in this episode and I liked his final scene where he tries his best to help out the kids while the principal evidently doesn't care for it. I do like the subtle foreshadowing which seems to hint at a suicide from Tyler in the future.
Justin on trial had some good emotional relevance and that made it very easily watchable. I like that Justin had to face his reality and reflect on everything he lost, as it added some emotion to his story, helping to make him more likeable overall.
The Bad: The opening scene had really bad acting and writing. The kid actors weren't the least bit convincing and it felt like they were just doing bad impressions of Bryce and Justin instead of being child versions of them. I can never buy that Bryce or Justin behaved and talked the way they did in childhood like that. It was ridiculous.
I hated that Clay's family drama lead nowhere just like many other storylines this season. It's disappointing. The worst part is that I feel like there will be more dropped storylines. Apparently the coach is aware of the clubhouse and that does answer some of my earlier complaints about his existence, but it makes it all the more ridiculous that the school isn't aware of this. Furthermore, revealing that the coach is technically on Bryce's side is huge but I doubt it will be treated as such. I don't expect that it will lead to any more story in the future, rendering it pointless.
I found the court scenes to be weak again. The closing arguments didn't really reflect on each lawyer's central argument which I thought was stupid. These court scenes should have been done in more linear fashion, as the show's complex storytelling has removed a lot of the flow and emotional engagement. Furthermore, I thought that the story which was concocted around the truth surrounding Justin was really poorly done, and without any evidence it shouldn't have been anywhere near as damning as it was.
Clay and Justin's relationship hasn't been good either. I can hardly buy that they are as close to each other as is portrayed, and I find it difficult to care about their relationship. The tie scene was ridiculous to me as well, like who doesn't know how to tie a tie if thy have worn it before? It felt like a bad attempt at a metaphor for how Justin is best friends with Clay now instead of Bryce.
Tyler's story is awful. It is ridiculous that he would have thought "hey maybe if I put evidence of me and Cyrus vandalizing school property online, he will want to be friends again". Why would he think that would help? It's stupid and nonsensical, and behaviour like this makes these characters feel more like props than actual characters. Tyler also says some really troubling things here, so why would nobody try to send him to get some mental health? Surely the principal would be smart enough to avoid any other big incident at Liberty but he doesn't seem to care which is dumb.
The Monty story was ridiculous. First, Alex with the gun is really bad. Monty should know he won't kill him, so the gun doesn't pose much of a threat, plus it only has a single bullet. What's worse is the fact that everyone gathers but then they leave Alex, the cripple who can easily be escaped from, alone to watch over Monty. How does everyone go along with this? It's easily some of the worst writing this season, and that's saying something. Monty's motivations to threaten everybody are also made unclear which is awful and makes his character feel like its forced for the sake of conflict.
I hate the idea that the police don't have any suspicions and just arrest Bryce. Surely they will notice that Justin and Jessica's statements are different from in court. There are transcripts online about things like this! It's just a bad way of the show trying to make us feel happy that Bryce got what was coming to him. Also, the scenes there reminded me that Courtney and Ryan were in this show. They have done nothing all season and feel totally pointless.
The Unknown: Who was following Clay and Justin?
So is this the end of the Bryce and Justin storyline? Talk about underwhelming.
If Monty doesn't have the polaroids, then who does?
Best Moment: Justin in court was the most powerful stuff here.
Character of the Episode: Justin.
Conclusion: This episode concluded everything, but it ended with a real whimper as a lot of storylines were poorly written and underwhelming. This show has had a very disappointing second season and I can't say I'm looking forward to the finale.
Summary: Bryce testifies that Hannah wanted a relationship with him which is not true and he is able to get away with it. A fight breaks out at school. Chloe nearly testifies against Bryce after she is shown the polaroid but she is unable to. The polaroids are stolen from Clay's car. Alex remembers that he actually witnessed Hannah's rape with Monty. Clay loses his mind and goes to kill Bryce. Justin meets with him in front of Bryce's house and tries to stop him.
The Good: Bryce at court is very well done. His character is so smooth and kind with his words, so much so that anyone who doesn't understand the context of the show would think that he's a genuinely good person. It's nicely executed and fits what we know of his character to be a good guy on the outside but a monster on the inside.
The fight scene was hilarious and was probably the most I've enjoyed myself this season. Was it stupid? Yes absolutely. But it was fun which is something this show has been lacking and I certainly enjoyed myself seeing it.
The reveal that Alex unknowingly witnessed Hannah's rape is pretty good because it adds a new level of depth to why Alex tried to kill himself. I really wish that we had learned this last season to add more emotion to what Alex did because it's a really good idea which I wish they did more with.
The Bad: The opening scene perfectly exemplifies this show's filler problem. We didn't need to get a full scene of Bryce playing football. it added nothing to the show and existed solely to fill time. Another part of the episode which proves the show's reliance on filler are the flashbacks. They don't add anything to the story which we don't already know and also lack the necessary restraint to highlight Clay's struggle at believing Hannah would do all of this. The scenes add nothing and take a lot away, making them meaningless.
Speaking of no restraint, the Jessica and Nina scenes are really bad. Both characters act stupid and make their blowout meaningless, just like so many other scenes this season, and it's not even written well. The dialogue is agonizingly bad and it's hard to care for any of their problems. I also hate how Nina just suddenly decides she is an awful person, which is really hard to believe or care about.
Tyler's story is ridiculously annoying. It's clear that Mackenzie does like him and he likes her, so this situation should have very easily been resolved. Cyrus comes off as an unbelievable prick for turning on Tyler so quickly and this entire conflict feels like one of the most forced storylines on the show.
A lot of moments in this episode felt pointless and meandering. The polaroids being stolen is not only annoying and frustrating because of someone somehow knowing exactly where to find them and how to get them, but also because it sends the story in circles as it removes the one aspect the show had which gave it some momentum. The fight scene was also pointless as it led to nothing and didn't end up causing anything important at all. Alex's reveal is good, but I don't see how it could advance the plot as it does nothing for the overall story and is just a small part of Alex's overall story.
Clay's storyline isn't good either. It's the same story of Clay being driven insane that we saw last season and there isn't much new or unique about it. Thankfully Dylan Minnette is great though and he makes the story bearable to watch and somewhat compelling. Unfortunately his performance can't add anything new to this storylines.
Chloe testifying was really bad. It's so hard to buy that she would suddenly become too afraid to testify against Bryce, especially because it's implied that she only did it because she didn't want to hurt Bryce. Why??? At least with Jessica it was because she didn't want to be hurt anymore but Chloe's reasoning is dumb on the next level and doesn't make any sense. Furthermore, it does nothing for the story and makes me wonderwhy this storyline even existed at all if it had no impact.
Another bad scene was Bryce with his mom. You're telling me that this smooth villain decides to alienate his own mother because... why again? Oh right, we are given no reason other than bad writing to blame for Bryce choosing to alienate his mom and possibly condemn him even more.
The Unknown: What will happen with the polaroids now? Who took them?
Who fixed the clubhouse before Olivia and the others showed up? I find it impossible to believe that they had the time to clean it up.
Best Moment: The fight scene, purely for enjoyment value.
Character of the Episode: Bryce.
Conclusion: This episode had fun moments but the stories being told are written really badly and do very little to interest me. I can't say I have any hope for the rest of this season and I don't expect that I will be watching the show after this season.
Summary: Flashbacks show Hannah encourage Tony to start a relationship with Ryan. While they are out, a passerby shames them for being gay so Tony beats him up. Hannah hides him and covers his secret. In the present, Sarah reveals Hannah bullied her in the past. Tony is called up afterwards and speaks about why Hannah gave him the tapes. Sheri gets into the clubhouse to find a way in. She discovers a box full of polaroids. Clay breaks in and steals it but is busted by Zach. Zach reveals he was the one giving the polaroids. Tyler breaks things off with Mackenzie and Cyrus is angry at him.
The Good: I liked the clubhouse scenes for the most part. The place seems like a deadly location in school. I also really liked the polaroid reveal as it feels extremely important. Not only can it help incriminate Bryce but it can also help the Bakers win the lawsuit by providing evidence that some very bad things are happening on school property. It feels like a big deal and it makes the story more engaging as things kick into the next gear as the finale looms closer.
The Bad: Unfortunately most of this was the usual weak stuff after two decent episodes. The clubhouse is weak because it's really hard to believe. It seems like a nasty place to hang out so I have issues with the fact that teenagers would hang out there. Additionally, I find it tough to believe that nobody has been caught heading out there by any school official. I find it dumb that the building exists too, as surely somebody would either tear it down or use it for something.
I wasn't a fan of the way the Zach reveal played out. This was the big mystery of the season and is what was used as a hook and it ended up having an unsatisfying and stupid ending. Zach sent out the polaroids, but the reveal has no meaning or impact. It's just an "oh okay" moment which doesn't move the plot forwards at all. A total disappointment for a major mystery. Also, Zach's motivation for sending the pictures and not revealing things was really dumb. Seriously, he could have just sent the picture with Chloe's face revealed instead as it would have been much more useful for Clay. I find it hard to believe that Zach is that much of a coward, plus that has never been his character anyways and feels really forced.
A lot of other stories had bad developments. Clay's story suffered hugely here. He had descended to anger in the previous few episodes but now he seems surprisingly calm and relaxed which has seemingly come out of nowhere. Jessica and Nina's falling out is really bad too. It comes pretty much out of nowhere and escalates way more than it logically should. Another weak falling out is the Tyler/Cyrus one which I can describe in the exact same way. It comes pretty much out of nowhere and escalates way more than it logically should. Only that one is worse because it's stemmed from Tyler being a total idiot and ruining a relationship with a girl he genuinely likes, in a way which feels forced and stupid.
Tony's story doesn't work either. I had hoped to learn something new about him with these teases about his past, but it's exactly what you would expect as Tony has anger issues and it got him in trouble. That's it. It's anticlimactic and leaves me completely unfulfilled, and it doesn't even answer the question of why Tony's car got all scratched. Furthermore, the court scenes were very bad. Tony kept getting asked about his past, but I have no clue why anybody would care about his past as it has nothing to do with the case. It was just a forced way for Tony to "face himself" or whatever.
Sarah's story was bad too. Her storyline had no depth and really didn't accomplish anything. Also I don't understand what good her testimony was. It doesn't help redeem the school at all, and really doesn't do anything other than hurt Hannah's character but Hannah isn't on trial here, so it doesn't matter. Furthermore, the story has no depth and it really feels like this storyline is only here to fill time.
The Unknown: Who attacked the Baker pharmacy? Also why are there so many people who just attack others in this show? People in real life aren't this aggressive.
What will Clay do now that he has all the polaroids? Is this the beginning of the end for Bryce?
Was Nina's rape in the clubhouse? What's the significance of that?
Why was Hannah in the clubhouse? Another intriguing twist in the story which will unfortunately make Hannah's suicide less plausible, just like everything else her character has done.
Best Moment: I'll go with Sheri discovering the polaroids in the clubhouse.
Character of the Episode: Tony.
Conclusion: This was another weak episode. Stuff happened but it didn't really feel important and a lot of big reveals and developments ended up falling totally flat. Hopefully the quality can pick up again.
Summary: Mr. Porter feels guilt for what happened with Hannah. He goes on trial and ends up helping Olivia in the case, taking responsibility for what happened to Hannah. Clay is set to the same class as Tyler and Cyrus and he joins them in vandalizing the baseball field. Clay finds the clubhouse. Chloe isn't sure that she trusts Bryce. Justin takes money from his mom but instead of leaving, he calls Clay to pick him up. Olivia begs Sarah not to testify.
The Good: This episode worked pretty well. There was good drama here and a lot of developments felt new and different, making this feel like an episode actually worth watching. A lot of the characters faced new dilemmas and I appreciated that.
Porter's storyline was the definite highlight. His regret was really understandable and I thought that he did well to show how remorseful he felt through his actions before the trial. It was very evident that he was conflicted and that added another level of drama to the ensuing court scenes. Porter's trial was much more interesting than all the others because his role as a witness genuinely made sense and we were never sure what he would reveal on the stand, adding a new level of tension. It was exciting and also cathartic as Porter took responsibility for what happened to Hannah and essentially apologized for it in what was probably the season's most heartfelt scene so far (see: Best Moment). Of course the story was also anchored by a great performance from Derek Luke who poured his heart out into the character.
The Clay storyline was actually pretty good as well and felt different. I like the fresh feeling of him joining Tyler and Cyrus who were getting pretty stale. Seeing them interact with new characters was nice and made sense for the story. I loved seeing them vandalize the baseball field, and I thought there was good continuity with Clay explaining his skill with spray paint after doing murals with Skye.
The Bad: I didn't like the continuation of Bryce's story. He has always been a really smooth talker, yet he made the worst excuses ever to Chloe to explain what happened on the tapes. I feel like I should sympathize with Chloe too, but if she somehow doesn't realize Bryce isn't good for her after that, she's a pure idiot.
I was disappointed that we didn't see the consequences for Marcus throwing Bryce under. We are told he was suspended but we didn't see it happen. Why was he suspended? I have no idea. It's unsatisfying for his story if we don't see what the conclusion is for Marcus.
The ending with Justin confused me. Apparently Clay texted him to get him back, but Clay seemed to not even care about him. We never saw Clay text him ever so I was confused to learnt hat he actually did. Furthermore, it's an abrupt change of heart for Justin to want to go back and I don't feel that it was earned in any way. Lastly, I was confused by Clay picking up Justin. I had thought that he was going to check out the clubhouse but instead he picked up Justin. The scene was just put together really awkwardly.
Speaking of awkward, Jessica's story ended up being really awkward. I was ready to put it in The Good for examining Jessica in a new way, but then we had the final scene with her father. The scene itself is likely fine, but the problem is that I have no idea what that scene meant. Was Jessica aware he was watching? Are they mad at each other? What was the issue? Was Jessica not ready to date? How does she know? I'm just really confused by what that all meant and it pretty much ruined the whole storyline.
I'm also confused by how the principal got all the information on what Clay did. He shouldn't be aware of all that yet somehow he is.
The Unknown: Who attacked Clay in the locker room and why? Also I love how nobody seemed to notice or care that Clay just got assaulted.
How does Chloe feel about Bryce?
Who is Sarah and why doesn't Olivia want her to testify?
Who attacked Tony's car? Why? What did Tony do before?
What happens at the clubhouse? What will Clay do now that he knows where it is?
What was that memory that Alex seemed to experience?
Best Moment: Mr. Porter breaking down in court was awesome. The acting was terrific and the scene was done really well. I loved the little extra scene of Mr. Porter playing out what he should have done for Hannah, which mirrored the scene from season 1 with Clay and was just as powerful. Had it been an original scene, it would have been even better.
Character of the Episode: Mr. Porter.
Conclusion: This was the best episode of the seasons. Mr. Porter's storyline added some genuine emotion and added a lot to the story. There were other pretty good developments, and while some things were flawed, I still think this was one of the show's better episodes.
Summary: Marcus sells out Bryce to save himself. Clay is called by Skye and he goes to see her. She tells him she plans to leave. Justin gets high on heroin and nearly dies. Clay is angry and his parents find out. They all fight and Justin goes to his mom's house. The Bakers testify and it is revealed that Hannah knew about Andy's affair. Andy and Olivia have a falling out.
The Good: This episode started much better than the last few. We were treated to a wonderful single-shot scene at the high school as everyone dealt with the fallout of the tapes being leaked online by Clay. I really enjoyed seeing that scene, and I think it did a good job establishing how big of a deal it is that the tapes went online, especially since it was treated as such a flippant and unimportant move in the previous episode.
I enjoyed seeing Bryce face the consequences of his confession being leaked online. I had totally forgotten that his confession would be leaked too, and it felt significant when it was briefly played over the school speakers. I loved that Bryce's parents arrived at school too and had to face everyone who were completely judging their son. Lastly, I enjoyed seeing Marcus sell Bryce out to save his own skin, something that the fits the character who has been established.
The Bakers storyline was really good here and paid off of a lot of the build-up around their relationship. After the both of them testified, they finally matured enough to start looking in the mirror and realizing that they were more guilty for Hannah's suicide than they thought. I also love their differing views, as Andy is able to accept his role in Hannah's suicide, while Olivia is still too scared to believe that truth. It's pretty compelling, and I found their fight against each other to be really well done.
Clay's family blowing up was also a long time coming. It had been built up over the last two seasons as they consistently failed to communicate, but now that everyone seems to be screwing up there is conflict happening. I'm interested to see here this storyline goes.
The Bad: I am nervous that there won't be much development from Clay's storyline though. And I feel that way because of what happened to Alex in this episode. After being the primary focus in the last episode, he hasn't changed at all and his story has hardly developed. That's really bad after his outburst in the last episode was framed as a big deal. This lack of follow-up makes me nervous about the story surrounding Clay's family.
Tyler's story hasn't been very good either. I don't care about what he's doing and I don't care about his relationship with Cyrus' sister. The show has failed to make his story compelling in every way.
I wasn't happy to see Skye again. The actress is truly awful. Anyways, her return meant nothing for the story since it seems that she is just moving away now. I don't care at all for Clay's relationship with her so her scenes did absolutely nothing for me and just bored me out of my mind.
I didn't like Jessica crying so much. Honestly I don't understand why she is so broken all the time. I mean she was raped and I understand that, but why does it affect her all the time? She doesn't even remember it happening! I can buy her being upset but to have her in tears every other scene is just annoying and tough to sympathize with. It honestly just feels like the writers lazily attempting to get an emotional reaction out of us.
I also didn't care at all for Clay raging at Hannah's ghost because of how poor the story has been executed so far. I'm still trying to accept Hannah's ghost as a real thing, but it's hard to because it feels so oddly out of place in the show.
There were a lot of little things which weren't executed well. Tony is acting unbelievably guilty around the single-eyed man, so much so that it feels almost comical. Alex also just barged into Clay's house to talk to him, which is unrealistic and highly illogical. Additionally, I may just have forgotten, but did Zach always have a sister? I didn't remember her existence at all, so it feels really dumb for her to suddenly pop into existence when it's convenient.
The Unknown: So is Skye gone now? Time to celebrate!
Will Bryce do something to get back at Marcus? That could be dangerous.
What will happen now that Justin has gone back to his mom? What does he hope to accomplish by going back?
Where is Mr. Porter? We haven't seen him for a while now.
Best Moment: Andy and Olivia's fight was emotive and powerful. Stuff like this is why I think this show has serious potential.
Character of the Episode: Olivia.
Conclusion: This episode was a huge improvement over the last and had some genuinely good scenes but the show's abundance of flaws still holds it down. That being said, this was still the season's best episode so far.
Summary: In flashbacks, Clay and Hannah go to one of Jeff's parties and get high on ecstasy. Hannah reveals she thinks about suicide sometimes as she comes down. In the present, Clay testifies for Hannah but it doesn't go well. Alex has a birthday party but he gets angry and snaps at everyone. Andy wants a divorce.
The Good: Alex's outburst was somewhat successful. I get what they were going for and it does change up the story in an interesting way. I'm curious to see where his story is going to go.
The Bad: The rest of this sucked. The opening animated sequence was pretty bad and felt needlessly "artsy". The dialogue was bad, it blatantly tried to shove the show's themes down our throat without even a hint of subtlety and it wasn't even pleasing to watch. It was pretty much a total failure. It ties into the drug scene, but even that scene was bad as it served no purpose.
Honestly, the drug story was really bad. Why was it included? How does it affect the story or the characters of Clay and Hannah? The answer is it doesn't. It's there to fill out content in an episode which is aimless and accomplishes nothing. There is no significance to Hannah saying she is suicidal when coming down. It doesn't even feel important since it seems viable that people would just say that when coming down. Furthermore, it does nothing for Clay. His character arc is the same old crap. He feels guilty. That's it and there is nothing interesting about any of it.
The show needs to stop retreading the same storylines over and over. Hannah was depressed. We get it. Clay loved Hannah and feels guilty. We get it. Jessica is upset because she was raped. We get it. Alex is angry because his life sucks. We get it. Nobody likes Tyler. We get it. The show is repetitive and refuses to deepen its characters at all. If you take away everything I mentioned in this paragraph about Hannah, Clay, Jessica, Tyler and Alex, we have no way to characterize them. Who are they aside from that? They are boring and character-less. It's disappointing that after one and a half seasons these characters haven't accomplished anything.
Thankfully Kate Walsh is enjoyable to watch, but I am sick of watching her be sad for Hannah. We see it at least once per episode and it's so repetitive to the point that it pisses me off. Kate Walsh is talented. Give her something else to do.
Aside from repetition, we have very little to actually discuss from this episode. Clay's story is bad. The court scenes aren't even structured around blaming the school, and it instead feels like the whole point of Clay's testimony is to prove that he is responsible for Hannah's suicide. It feels like he is on trial instead. Furthermore, it's implied that only the opposition questioned Clay. Why? What was the purpose of having him if they aren't going to ask him questions? Additionally, Clay says the court went terribly, but that's hard to understand since we hardly saw any of it. Too much focus was on Alex's birthday instead.
Speaking of which, Alex's outburst doesn't feel earned at all. What changed to make him so angry when he was fine a few episodes ago? I have no clue and I couldn't tell you. The plot demands that Alex has to be angry so he's angry. His rage towards Bryce at particular is so out-of-nowhere that it threw me off and actually made me laugh. Miles Heizer isn't good enough of an actor to make the weak dialogue work, making the scenes even worse.
The final twist of Clay sharing the tapes didn't resonate much with me. Furthermore, his conversation with Ghost Hannah was really bad. It felt like the show tried to address the complaints that Hannah sent the tapes out for revenge, but they did a piss-poor job of proving that wrong. They needed to give her another proper motivation and they didn't do that. Her "wanting her story to be heard" is pretty weak and feels like it was hamfisted into the story.
Even the little things were bad in this episode. The show's usual good cinematography wasn't present here, the dialogue was worse than usual and the execution of many scenes was just bad. Take the mystery building. The stupid overdramatic sound effect was used when Clay found the polaroid, ruining that scene. When Tony was talking to his boyfriend, there was no subtlety at all to Tony asking about the one-eyed guy. Anybody would figure out he knows that guy somehow.
The Unknown: Was Tony responsible for the man who lost his eye?
What was that text that Sheri mentioned? It's clear that Clay knows something about it.
Best Moment: Alex's anger probably because at least it felt like that story was going somewhere.
Character of the Episode: Alex.
Conclusion: Repetition. That's one word to describe this episode and most of this show as a whole. This episode accomplished very little and pissed me off every other minute. The execution was unbelievably poor and this is easily the worst episode the show has ever put out. This show has fallen off a cliff.
Summary: In flashbacks, Zach dated Hannah over the summer and they had sex but they split up after Zach doesn't want to be public with their relationship. In the present, Zach gets in arguments with Clay, Alex, Bryce and his mother about what he revealed in court. Justin and Jessica meet and she rejects him but still cares for him. Clay's parents discover Justin's presence and ultimately let him live with them.
The Good: I thought the overall Zach and Hannah story was really good and I enjoyed watching it. I actually bought into their romance through the few scenes they shared together and it seemed genuine. I thought that the reveal of their relationship was a big moment and it had fitting repercussions for Zach in the present and led to a really interesting change in character for him. The many arguments he got involved in were compelling and I was able to sympathize with him since he is one of the few likeable and properly fleshed out characters on the show. That made his descent into anger at the end of the episode feel very real and genuinely emotive to us. I sympathized with him, I bought into the fact that he did actually care for Hannah and I felt tense due to him having genuine friendships to lose, and that made this one of the most engaging storylines in this season.
I did like Alex's outburst about how messed up he is now. Considering his situation, his character's rage makes more sense than anybody else's and so it made sense for him to be unreasonable and miserable. I thought the scene was pretty emotive, though the convenient boner was extremely clichéd. It also made Alex's storyline feel like filler since it had no bearing on the overall story. Other than that, I thought it worked.
I like that we got to see Zach apologizing for being petty to Hannah. He was very clearly a good person so to see him be petty last season felt extremely out of character. This episode treated him much better.
The Bad: Unfortunately the Zach/Hannah storyline fell apart at the final hurdle. Their break-up was awful and was treated so nonchalantly that it made me feel that they had hardly even cared for each other at all. They should have worked harder to stay together, especially considering how lonely both were and how happy they were together. With the big pay-off underdelivering, the storyline doesn't end up hitting the heights I wish it could hit. Furthermore, it makes little sense that Hannah wouldn't talk about this on the tapes.
The court case is dragging on now. Nothing significant has happened and I'm pretty annoyed by the pacing. So much information has been given, but nothing has happened and as such I'm quickly getting less and less interested. To add on to that, I would really like to know where he opposing lawyers get their information. All of the witnesses are supporting Olivia, so how did the school lawyers learn about all these personal details? That's been a flaw throughout all of the season.
The Justin storyline isn't good either. The sequence of him returning to school was edited poorly and felt extremely disjointed and overly dramatic. I still don't care about his relationship with Jessica, so everything they do completely fails to interest me. Additionally, Clay's parents discovering Justin's existence was completely anticlimactic, and like everything else involving Clay's parents, had no impact on the story at all. Everything involving Justin in this episode was just way too melodramatic with no resonance or importance.
The last thing is that I really hate what has been done with Hannah this season. We are learning that she apparently had so many more friends than was established last season and that makes her suicide much less impactful. In the end, that means this season is completely ruining the impact of the first season by making Hannah's suicide seem less and less earned, which pretty much destroys her entire character arc. The worst part is that this is only being done to keep Katherine Langford on the show for another season and not to actually further Hannah's story.
The Unknown: Why didn't Hannah and Zach fight harder to stay together? What was their relationship like afterwards?
Who broke into Clay's house?
Best Moment: Zach getting angry and assaulting the lockers with a baseball bat at the end was powerful and earned.
Character of the Episode: Zach.
Conclusion: While this was easily the most powerful storyline thus far, the episode had way too many flaws to be good. In the end I don't even think this was the best episode of the season because of the sheer number of flaws and how major they were. This season continues to disappoint.
Summary: Ryan is asked to testify about Hannah's poems and reveals that she kept in touch with Justin after they broke up. Tony watches over Justin and allows him to go out for a walk. Justin is seen and word goes around that he is back. Mr. Porter confronts Justin's mom and beats up Seth before he is arrested. Alex listens to the tapes and also discovers that he has become impotent.
The Good: The strongest part of this episode in my opinion is the Clay and Justin storyline. Justin's situation is pretty relatable and it's good to see that he isn't happy being clammed in Clay's room all the time. Furthermore I think that the humour with their interactions was easily the funniest the show has been with some nice setpieces. The scenes with Tony and Justin were pretty good too and nicely gave us more about what happened to them in between seasons while not feeling too forced or inorganic. I do wish that there was a more emotional edge to it, but it's perfectly fine the way it is.
I appreciate that the show is examining loneliness so much, it makes the show feel like it has a purpose. Loneliness is an easily relatable feeling and it allows us to connect more with the likes of Ryan and Olivia.
Some of the side stories were decent. I like Clay's quest to find the room and Alex attempting to deal with impotency is an intriguing storyline which feels fresh and will likely lead to some good developments.
The Bad: I hate that the show is seemingly making Hannah less lonely and depressed by revealing more about her. It ruins the effect of her suicide and also reinforces one of my biggest flaws in the first seasons regarding Hannah. I really wish that the show had developed more about her depression and loneliness in the last season.
While I liked that the show is examining loneliness, I think it has been overdone too much. With almost every character affected by it, it loses its power and feels repetitive.
I wasn't a fan of Mr. Porter fighting Seth. It was too forced and I didn't at all buy that Mr. Porter would just suddenly beat him up. Furthermore, why was he the only one arrested? Surely he would protest that Seth hit him first (which he actually did).
This episode felt particularly bland. There wasn't much of anything in terms of big developments and the show's slow pacing is really beginning to drag on me. Without many talking points, this episode feels mostly like a waste of time which was just there to fill in the time. It's blatantly clear that the writers have nothing for Ryan in terms of overall story so that makes most of this episode feel like filler.
The Unknown: Where is the room? Is it really in the school?
What was the significance of Hannah's poems about intruders and the clubhouse?
Best Moment: I'll go with the Clay and Justin humour setpiece because it was the only part that stood out.
Character of the Episode: Ryan.
Conclusion: There was nothing particularly good nor was it particularly bad. But what it was, was bland and fillerish. I really hope there is more substance in the next episode.
Summary: Marcus has to testify but he lies and says that Hannah wanted to date Bryce. Tyler pranks Marcus for lying in court. Andy returns and gets in an argument with Olivia. Clay discovers that Justin has heroine and Tony sends Sheri to take care of him to get him out of the addiction. Alex gets Clay to send him the tapes so he can listen to them.
The Good: There was some good drama created from Marcus lying in court. I think it's a welcome development that opens up the possibilities for what could happen in these court scenes to affect the case. With the idea being planted in our heads that some of these kids can lie, it raises a lot more intrigue for other characters like Mr. Porter and Bryce for when they choose to testify. Furthermore, the lies added a lot to the high school storyline with people wanting to attack Marcus for lying, which is a realistic follow-up that raised the stakes of the story. I'm excited to see more about how he reacts, if he will redeem himself and just what he does next in general.
I love that this episode added some depth to why Marcus did what he did to Hannah. I really wish we had gotten this last season as Marcus' character came off as wildly inconsistent in the last season. I appreciate that the writers gave him proper motives and a character arc to be explored. This is well set-up for some powerful storytelling down the lien as Marcus will likely have to do a lot to redeem himself for lying and trying to be somebody he's not, in an arc which should be similar to Sheri's from last season.
I really like the Alex and Jessica relationship, much more than the Jessica and Justin relationship. While I don't really care for them as lovers, I think they have a strong friendship and it's easy to understand the bond that they have developed.
I'm also pleased with Mr. Porter's story arc. While I really wish that we could see the immediate aftermath to him listening to the tapes and choosing what to do, I am fine with what we got. We can see that Mr. Porter has chosen to try to make a difference in whatever time he has left which is easy to sympathize with.
No Skye in this episode. Good.
The Bad: The problem with Marcus is that we don't know the hard-working and likable guy that he is supposed to be. The only part of him which has been explored is the person he isn't supposed to be, leading us to only being familiar with the bad parts of his character. This makes it so we have no chance of liking him, making his storyline not as interesting or emotional as it should be.
I also don't like the idea that Marcus was called up as a witness without giving any idea of what he was going to say. Surely if Dennis wanted to bring him up, he would have made sure that Marcus would say something beneficial to his case.
Andy inexplicably showing up was random and unsatisfying. His arrival felt forced and unnecessary, making me question why he was brought in anyways, other than just creating some cheap drama. Speaking of unsatisfying, the gun shooting also fell into that category. After all that build up last season with Tyler and the gun, this was the least interesting direction to go.
There were some big issues here that have plagued this entire season which I haven't had a chance to talk about yet, so I'll discuss them now. For one, this vision of Hannah that Clay is seeing is terrible. She offers nothing to the plot and doesn't even make Clay any more interesting. She just feels forced into the story and I really don't like it.
A few character arcs have been repetitive and poor. Alex's story hasn't gone anywhere in the past four episodes and I'm just thankful that he's finally listening to the tapes. Zach's story arc is also completely stagnant with nothing interesting happening with his duelling friendships with Bryce and Alex. These storylines haven't lived up to their potential at all.
I think the way that Scott has been portrayed is really bad. He's being so obviously framed as a suspect that it's clear he isn't a suspect.
I also don't like how Olivia's story for the past two seasons has only consisted of her being sad/angry about what happened to Hannah, and they continue to show this over and over again. It's powerful the first few times and Kate Walsh does a good job, but after a while it really drags on.
This narration needs to go away now. It only just occurred to me that the narration is supposed to be what the witnesses are saying at court which is just really bad writing. It's pointlessly pretentious stuff.
The Unknown: What was that memory that Alex had with the blood? Very interesting.
Best Moment: I'll pick the actual moment that Marcus lied in court as it was dramatic and tense.
Character of the Episode: Marcus.
Conclusion: This episode had some good aspects and moments but it was another overall disappointing episode because of lots of familiar and some new flaws.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.