Previously on 13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why – S2E11 – Bryce and Chloe
13 Reasons Why– S2E12 – The Box of Polaroids
13 Reasons Why– S2E13 – Bye
Boys, Boys, Boys
Boys will be boys. Some boys will be like Bryce, twisting his words in public like golden tendrils pulling people towards their simmering darkness. In the dark, they show their true selves, and whisper hateful truths they cannot face in the light. Some boys will be like Monty. Loyal followers eager to be accepted even if it means hurting or watching someone be hurt just so they are not the ones in pain. Some boys will be like Tyler, alone and friendless, afraid to reach out and punished cruelly when they do. Some boys will be Scott. They want to be a part of the team but not labeled with their shortcomings; they are athletes, not rapists. Some boys will be like Alex, consumed by guilt and learning to find a way to live with their mistakes. Some boys will be like Clay, angry and ready to lash out but in the end, the people they hurt most are themselves. Some boys are like Tony. They hold their friends on the dance floor as the dam finally breaks around them; they drive the getaway car. And some boys are like Justin, searching for a friend, unsure of what to do when that friend betrays them and wanting, but never trusting, that they’ve found a home.
Me As Well
The women and the girls know. The women and the girls know what it’s like to be groped, to be told that they must trade favors for jobs, popularity … for worth. They know a fear like Chloe and Nina’s, a fear of being victimized so deep they would throw other girls under a bus and burn away the only proof of what they endured. They know the freedom in truth like Sheri and Courtney. When the sin has burned away and all that’s left is who you are and who you make yourself into. They know a bravery like Jessica, to stand and face a world of men who would tell her that the crime of her existence is equal to the crimes committed against her. The women and the girls know Hannah’s pain and they are ready to say no more.
Dream for Yourself
It was really hard to write this recap after the week we just had. Two lives were lost to suicide, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Whenever someone takes their own life, it is a stark reminder of how hard it is to reach out for help and how necessary it is to do so. Hannah’s mother tells us to dream for Hannah because she can no longer dream for herself. It’s so important that we are able to dream for ourselves, because those dreams may be the reasons to hold on. Those dreams may be the reasons why not. They may be the reason to save lives rather than take them. And if you can’t dream for yourself, ask the people around you what they dream. I bet they dream to have you with them for just a little bit longer.
The Reasons Why Not
- Despite the critical response, this season of 13 Reasons was beautifully crafted. The writers managed to tease out little nuggets from season one (Zach’s guilt over Hannah, Alex’s self-hatred and animosity towards Monty) and make big reveals that complicated Hannah’s story while also building to its end. Now that we know about Zach and Hannah’s secret relationship and that Alex and Monty could have stopped Hannah’s rape, their actions in season one have more weight.
- Dates are never coincidental in this show. The date the first season premiered is actually before Hannah dies in the timeline of the show (the show premiered in March of 2017 and Hannah dies in the fall of 2017). That implies that the audience still has the chance to “save” Hannah before she takes her life. This season ends on April 20, 2018 with Tyler attempting to shoot Monty and the other jocks who sodomized him. April 20th is the anniversary of the Columbine shooting and this year it was also the day of a massive rally against gun violence organized by the students of Parkland High School.
- This season was about letting go of Hannah and by the end, the memorial in her honor and Clay’s tribute to her allows her specter to release its hold on Clay. Ironically, fleshing out Hannah’s story as a ghost made her feel more alive than she did in the first season.
- A lot was set up for season three: Jessica solidified her relationship with Alex only to turn around and sleep with Justin. Justin is still on drugs and his mother’s boyfriend is back and ready to take revenge. Chloe is pregnant with her rapist’s child. And Tyler’s sexual assault and attempt to attack the school will clearly be the major event next season.
It’s understandable that some people would have a problem with the second season of 13 Reasons, especially those who already disliked season one but the season was thoughtfully crafted and Liberty High School is a deeply troubled school and too preoccupied with covering up its misdeeds than truly getting kids help so obviously, their issues are compounding. What I find to be important (no pun intended) is the “why”. The “why” is the embedded, unwavering purpose behind this show and that is the idea that everyone needs to be kinder to each other. So while the actions might be hard to watch, the message is always this is not okay, we have to be better to each other and ourselves. And that’s something I can believe in.