Written By: Angelica Bitto
I recently just finished this series in 2 days. I had binged watched until 3 am trying to finish because I couldn’t stop watching. I had been hearing about all the problems that have been associated with this series but for some odd reason I wanted to watch it for myself and figure out how I felt about it. I honestly believe that this show is a bit heavy and some episodes are a lot harder to watch then others but I am going to take you through some of the episodes of “13 reasons why.”
Episode 1: Tape 1, Side A
First episode introduces Clay Jensen. He finds a shoe box filled with audio cassette tapes that have been dropped off at his door. He asks his dad for a boombox and its funny because he has no idea what one of those is and while playing the first tape “Hey, it’s Hannah. Hannah Baker. Don’t adjust your…whatever device you’re hearing this on. It’s me. Live and in stereo.” He realized that it’s a classmate who has recently died. He breaks the eject button of the boombox then rushes to Tony’s house a friend and realizes he has a Walkman in his car and ends up taking it with him. Clay listens to the first tape where she admits that each tape represents a person and what they had did that led her to her death. The first tape introduces Justin Foley her first kiss and the person who started that rumor that Hannah was easy but mass texting the high school a picture of her going down the slide exposing her underwear because she was wearing a skirt. Clay has flashbacks of working with Hannah at the cinema and how she was training him. I enjoy when different stories come together and I believe this show is going to do that very well.
Episode 2: Tape 1, Side B
On this tape, we are introduced to two new people that Hannah once considered her friends. A guidance counselor had introduced Hannah to Jessica a new student who moves a lot because her father is in the Air Force. At first Jessica and Hannah didn’t like the idea of being forced friends but they had their spot at the coffee shop where they would go almost every day. One day they thought a boy was eyeing them so they went to sit at his table. Soon they found out that he was also a new student his name was Alex. Jessica and Alex ended up getting together and started to leave Hannah out of everything. They would even go to the movies on days she wasn’t working to avoid her. Alex breaks up with Jessica but Jessica blames Hannah for the situation. Olivia, Hannah’s mother then finds a note with a list of names on it in one of her textbooks and she believes that this has something to do with Hannah’s death. So, she tells her husband that she strongly thinks that Hannah was bullied. Later, during the episode you find out that a lot of people in Bryce’ friend group know that Clay is listening to the tapes and they are afraid of what he might find.
Episode 3: Tape 2, Side A
The reason Hannah’s relationships with her friends Jessica and Alex wasn’t working was also because of that list that Hannah’s mother found in her text book. It was a ‘best/worst’ list that was created by none other than Alex. Who put a “target” on Hannah by saying that she had the best ass and her friends Jessica had the worst. Making their friendship more unstable because Jessica thought she had slept with Alex and accused her of being a bad friend and the reason why they had broken up. Hannah’s mother after finding the not went to the school principal to ask a few questions about bullies at the school and if he believe that Hannah was being bullied. But he said that it was hard to keep track of all the students and Hannah’s mother got upset and went to the lady’s room and found a wall that had very terrible things written on it about different students. Since Clay was on Alex’s tape he went to him for more answers for but the only answer he gives him is not to trust Tony (who had given him the tapes) and you later find out in later tapes why everyone didn’t really trust Tony. After getting into an argument with Tony, Bryce takes Clay and Alex and challenges them to a drink off where Clay gets home and throws up all over the dinner table. Which makes the mother more suspicious about how Clay is taking Hannah’s death and making her believe that they were more than just work pals.
Episode 4: Tape 2, Side B
This episode is kind of one that starts to hit a sensitive spot for people. After this episode, I started to really dislike some of the things that were happening to Hannah. Hannah hears camera shutters from outside her window and confides in a friend Courtney that she hasn’t been getting enough sleep because she thinks she has someone stalking her. Courtney says that she can help her and offers to catch the stalker in the act. While waiting for the stalker they end up drinking because they were nervous about the whole situation because they were alone in the house. Things get heated up when they start playing truth or dare which leads to a kiss but Hannah hears the shutters going off and grabs a light and shines it out her window to find that it was Tyler the schools yearbook photographer. Courtney sees that it’s not just a creepy neighbor and is afraid that the kids at school are going to bully her like Hannah. Later the next day Tyler had sent the photo around the school anonymously but no one could figure out it was Courtney and Hannah. Clay started to think that it was best to get revenge on him, instead of throwing a rock at Tyler’s window like Hannah suggests in the tapes he takes a naked photo of Tyler and spreads it around the school thinking that Hannah would have wanted that.
Episode 5: Tape 3, Side A
Instead of Courtney admitting about her sexuality or telling anyone she starts spreading a rumor about Hannah and another girl who is openly gay in the school. Courtney didn’t want anyone figuring out it’s was her in the photo but it was easier for her to blame someone else. (Therefore, you can see how frustrated I am getting with her character for instead of not making things worse for Hannah but making more rumors about her). Clay decides again that since he is on Courtney’s tape that he should show her the wrongs she did and brought her to Hannah’s grave. Courtney wasn’t ready and she quickly leaves because she knows that she did something very wrong. All the people that have been mentioned on the tape know of the things Clay has done and now they are scared that he will come after them. Justin suggests scaring him into silence (which aggravated me into thinking that they were protecting each other because they knew that they all did something much worse). They take Clay on a ride where Alex drives over 100 and is stopped by his father who is a police officer. Justin proceeds to say that Clay would not be able to touch them now.
I won’t go into any more detail about the episodes because I don’t want to give anything more away. But my opinion on the show continued to change as I continued watching because I wanted to hear Clay’s tape and I wanted to figure out what everyone else did that was so bad because each character continued to say that it just got worse as you go down the line of tapes. I was captured by the stories and was horrified about what kids in high school were capable of. But you do end up feeling bad about the situation and you start to put yourself into her shoes for a little because she narrates the whole show making it seems like you are the next tape and you were the one that was in the situation. So, I do believe that the show is hard to watch and if you are a person who puts themselves into a series then maybe you need a clear head to go into this with because it does make you upset. So watch with caution.