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Do you want something beautiful? A teen romance like you haven’t seen awhile? Do you want something tragic? Something which won’t just lead to watery eyes but maybe a little bit of snot? Well, that is what you get in Tape 6, Side A – Clay’s tape.
Episode Focus: The Night Of – The Romance (Hannah and Clay)
Hannah and Clay’s interaction at Jessica’s party, it is everything you could have hoped for. It was pleasantly awkward with Clay fumbling, as usual, with what words would be best. Hannah, being patient, allowed him to recover when he didn’t say the right thing and also provided him opportunities to do so. Maybe even to make a move.
Which he does.
Clay takes her hand and initiates their first kiss. But, as we’ll see again in an upcoming tape, when Hannah pushed him away, he didn’t hold on. Which is perhaps the damning thing for him. As she ran through every guy in her head and what they did to her, leaving her feeling tainted, she felt Clay could become like them or, maybe she would turn him into someone like them. Yet, he didn’t know this until the tapes were played so how could he have known she wanted him to stay? For, lest we forget, Clay is very pro-consent and when she said get off, his hand got off her breast, and when she said leave, he may have questioned it, but once expletives started to get used, he was out.
Between Hannah and Jessica, there were tears and a bit of snot coming out of me. TMI, I know. But we finally got to see Hannah and Clay be cute together and Clay not say something stupid. Hannah, finally, didn’t just drop a hint but compensated for Clay’s lack of dating grace. And then as she noted how she can imagine herself happy with Clay, for a moment you forget she killed herself. Yet, then you are reminded of what every guy did whenever she got intimate with them and you are given a Jessica bitch slap™.
Something which, if we didn’t know Hannah or Clay, may lead you to think maybe Hannah is bipolar. However, with knowing Hannah’s story, you begin to understand why girls are so cautious, why many want to take things slow with someone. For, at the end of the day, they will be the ones who suffer for what they did or didn’t do so if they aren’t proud of it, comfortable with who they are doing it with, it has to stop. Otherwise, you add onto the memories and rumors that haunt you. The ones which really make it seem, when it comes to being loved, that isn’t an option for you. No. Guys, just want your body, they want your shell. They may like the soft parts of you, but only the places blood rushes to and they can get instant pleasure from. As for who you are, the person whose actions and thoughts you have some realm of control, they don’t care about that. That being is just a gatekeeper preventing them from their own pleasure and be it going over or under the fence or trying to sneak by, that is all they may ever do. Never realizing the gatekeeper would have gladly let them in if they were at least willing to care about what they wanted or needed too.
Subplot 1: The Night Of – The Rape and Aftereffects (Alex, Jessica, Justin, and Bryce)
Justin is going through it. His mom’s boyfriend is back and she chooses her boyfriend over him. Jessica, the one stable person in his life, she is dodging his calls. So, he starts checking with everyone. Not to learn where Jessica is but for a place to spend the night. To cash in some friendship chips and get some peace. Of all people, he ends up at Alex’s and, Alex being who he is, he lets him in, even lies to his dad about a reason he needs to spend the night. And, with Alex’s dad not being as big of a douche as he once seemed, he invites Justin in and offers him food. Food which is cooked, not a TV dinner, so he goes through an entire container full like a wilder beast.
But then Jessica calls and he learns she is with Bryce. Why is she with Bryce? She tells him that he is not her dad, but Bryce seems inviting so he goes over there. What happens next continues the heartbreak. Jessica is mad disrespectful. She plays on Justin’s insecurities as she thinks he has hers, with avoiding her need for affection and reciprocated lust. However, it is when she sits on Bryce’s lap that Justin goes off. This leads to him revealing the truth, that Bryce raped her and you can tell she knew, she just wanted him to say it. But the truth still hurts and with Bryce trying to play innocent, texting Jessica if she is Ok after the conflict, Jess just breaks down and cries.
There are so many questions when it comes to this Jessica thing. First and foremost, did she know, at all, Bryce was the one who raped her? Much less, did she think maybe she got the fooling around with Justin mixed up with a bad dream? On top of that, when did she get so frisky? How did she go to this girl who didn’t necessarily want to have sex, when with Alex, to this person who… I don’t wanna says craves intimacy but does make it seem that is the only way she knows how to validate her relationship. As if, when Hannah “took” Alex, it was just because she was willing to have sex. So, in order for that to not happen to her again, she gave in and decided sex was a way to keep a guy.
But, that facet of her thought process aside, I really do wonder if she knew about Bryce. She heard the tapes so she had to have suspected it, but with that story in the air, why spend so much personal time with this dude, alone? Why, in front of your boyfriend, sit on his lap? Was him pushing her off really the cause of all this? Could it be she just wanted the truth and knew, under normal circumstances, Justin wouldn’t speak it?
Child, these last two episodes, I feel, are going to blow our minds.