Thirteen Reasons Why: Season 1/ Episode 9 “Tape 5, Side A” – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Everything all leads to Bryce. The reason for so much of Hannah’s troubles all have his name involved. Yet, even with what is noted in this episode, with everyone refusing to go after him, what can be done?

Episode Focus: I Know What You Did That Summer (Clay, Hannah, Jessica, Justin, and Marcus)

Clay comes upon the tape in which Bryce rapes an intoxicated Jessica. Something she knows that happened, but between Justin and alcohol, she lies to herself it did. As for why Justin lied? Well, maybe it is to protect Bryce? After all, whose pool house did he stay in after the faculty started to investigate everyone? Another way to put it is, he didn’t want Jessica to live with the idea of being raped. Much less, having to hold himself accountable for what he both did and didn’t do which allowed the situation to happen.

The situation Hannah revealed to Clay and which, once more, leads him to desire justice. However, everyone sees things as all for one and one for all since if one tape gets out there, the others may end up out there too. With that, they will be called to witness, their names and faces will be on the news, and that means all these scholarships, these dreams of going to fancy colleges, they are dead. They will die just like Hannah did.

Commentary

This is such a draining series to watch. To the point that sometimes I have to separate myself, go onto Youtube or something after an episode. For while watching a rape scene is nothing new, the way it is handled with Jessica doesn’t at all feel familiar. I mean, just imagine you are in her shoes. You are pretending you weren’t raped, like you was knocked out the whole time and are relying on your boyfriend, who likely knew what happened, to validate your lie.

Now, that lie is coming apart. The tapes are spreading and more people know, you have to drink to forget and with someone like Clay constantly poking the bear, there is no peace. The façade is hard to keep up.

Making it where you understand why Marcus planted drugs on Clay. It makes it so his credibility can be shot. Though, he doesn’t take into account Alex’s dad is a cop, and he seems to be on the punishment train, and Clay’s mom is a lawyer. And, as Courtney said, what would planting drugs on Clay do besides pissing him off? Remember the whole scare tactic with Alex? Driving 90+ miles an hour? After that incident, didn’t he key a car? Much less, openly admit to it? Retaliating against Clay will only justify his actions, for it leads to him recognizing how scared you are of the truth and how you are not sorry at all about what you did, but because you got caught and someone wants to call you out on it.

Subplot 1: How Could You Do Nothing? (Tony and Clay)

But, with that said, why has Tony been silent? How can he be silent? Granted, Bryce and him don’t interact at all, but he has all the evidence he needs? Well, the answer is, as always, doing what Hannah wanted. Which Clay doesn’t understand. In fact, he is so pissed by all the inaction he tries to pick a fight with Tony. Someone who, unlike Montgomery, doesn’t whoop the ass of the person who has no chance to beat him. He lets Clay push him, throw his bike around, and then gives him an ice pack for his leg,1 and explains himself. For on top of Hannah’s wishes, there is also the issue of it becoming open season on Hannah Baker. Though, considering the part of the tapes we are at, it seems Clay is lucky that Tony is next to him and loyal.

Commentary

Can we just note how Tony is a national treasure? Ok, maybe that is going a bit far. But with all the craziness going on with this show, he seems to be the only one emotionally grounded, which I love. For with Clay often going off the rails, and everyone else being kind of extra, Tony is basically our new Clay. He is the one we can tap into as all this drama goes down and who we can experience all this with. All the while, getting emotional, but not being over the top about it.

Though I gotta admit, Tony aside, with all that is happening, I’m still unsure how I feel about this expansion of the book. If only because it seems, on certain topics, like how well Hannah and Clay knew each other, it keeps conflicting between how close they seem in the show and how distant they seemed in the books. Which, as noted before, is mind boggling since it makes you wonder why Clay was never pushed to take on the role of her friend?

A part of you may want to say, “Because she was shy,” “Because she wanted him to step up” and what have you, but as things got bad, it is amazing she didn’t grab onto Clay tighter. For yeah, he said some dumb stuff and didn’t stop things he could of, but Hannah has been hot and cold with him so much that would you know what to do in Clay’s situation? And, I know, for the past few episodes I’ve been questioning Hannah and putting blame on her, but Clay, and his relationships, is the one thing which hasn’t been translated well from the books.

He isn’t this quiet and sort of generic guy anymore. He is passionate, kind of dramatic, and as much as he is socially awkward, it isn’t on a Tyler level. As shown through his interactions with Jeff and Tony, all he needs is a push. All he needs is someone to force him out of his comfort zone and then he adapts. Yet, that person is the polar opposite of who you liked in the books. He now seems like someone straight out of a Freeform drama and with him going nuts, it being implied he used to be on anxiety medication, and more, it is hard to question if there is too much changed here.

Not to imply the show is being handled like Recovery Road was, where they basically just took the characters’ name, a small part of their stories, and then threw the book away, but in an effort to modernize the book, I feel like they are being extra. For with every showing of diversity, trying to be inclusive, you wonder if this may collapse under the weight of its lofty goals.

2.5/3 (1)

What's Your Take?

Things To Note

  1. he kicked his bike,

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?

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