13 Reasons Why: Season 2/ Episode 13 “Bye” [Season Finale] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Hannah walking out church doors and onto the next life.

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Sometimes there isn’t a victory, perhaps not a redemption story like we see in movies, and there is just life. Something which, for one character, has made them decide to do the opposite of Hannah.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Writer(s) Brian Yorkey
Air Date 5/18/2018

Trigger Warnings: Assault at around 30 minutes in


April 18th: Bryce, Jessica, Tyler, Mackenzie, Clay, Justin, Lainie, Dennis

Within a month, Bryce and Justin’s trial is decided and Bryce gets off with probation for 3 months and Justin ends up in a juvenile detention center. Not necessarily because he doesn’t get probation, he gets 6 months, but more so because his mom, Amber, is nowhere to be found to fulfill custody. For with Justin more than a year away from 18, he has to be with an adult.

But, while things are bad for Justin, and of course Jessica because she told her truth and Bryce didn’t get punished, everyone else seems better. Bryce is transferring to a private school his parents are paying him to get in, since he doesn’t have the grades, and Chloe is seemingly still his girlfriend.

As for Clay, while upset about the verdict, he finally finishes his semicolon tattoo and when it comes to Tyler? He has finished his program, got a new haircut, looks a bit less boyish, and has returned to school.

Commentary

Bryce being told, by the judge, he is only getting three months probation.
“I’m sentencing you to three months probation. So ordered.”

With so many cases ending like Bryce’s, it may seem the show is just hell bent on aggravating you about the situation. The truth is though, as seen a lot of the season, the writers weren’t trying to give us a happy ending. What 13 Reasons Why wants to do is show you how things are. Which, yes, seems overdramatic at times, but taking not the situation a lot of the kids are in, can you not imagine that trauma either making you shut down or flip out? Especially considering a lot of them don’t have the most healthy of friendships, relationships, or even stable family lives.

But, focusing on the trial, let’s be real: Bryce has money and his parents have the kind of connections which could have influenced the judge. Jessica, as she noted, is a woman of color without a high-class lawyer or connections. So, to expect some triumphant victory, even with Justin’s testimony, might have just been a long shot. One I was still hoping for but this is the way of the world. You get 3 months of probation, no community service, not even forced to apologize or take classes. Just a slap on the damn wrist.

April 19th: Clay, Alex, Jessica, Montgomery, Tyler, Justin, Olivia, Hannah

With the trial over, it gets decided Hannah deserves a proper service now. When everything went down, it was just made sure she got a proper burial but now there is a service which might have been just what Clay needed. A chance to express his feelings about Hannah, his love as he says, though arguably it was more so an infatuation, and for Olivia to speak as well. And with that, it seems either Hannah is at peace or at the very least Clay can let Hannah go. Also, just to calm Clay’s mind a bit, Olivia, as she notes her leaving for New York, gives Clay reasons Hannah wouldn’t have commit suicide.

And as Clay finds it in himself to let Hannah go, Justin is brought in closer. For, in order for him to be released, the Jensen family decided to adopt him. So now Justin doesn’t have a play brother but now a legal one. Though, while being welcomed into the Jensen family is nice, it’s Jessica he really wants back. However, as he sits with brooding eyes, Alex makes a move and asks her out to the Spring Fling.

A day the newly returned Tyler was looking forward to, but with a rejection from Mackenzie, since she has a boyfriend, and Cyrus effectively ending their friendship, the party doesn’t really seem like fun. Plus, with him not invited to the funeral, or just not knowing, alongside not getting to go to the repast, he is back to being isolated. Which, for Montgomery, who is upset the baseball season got cancelled, for that means his career ambitions have been destroyed, he decides to take advantage of Tyler’s isolation.

Thus leading to Tyler experiencing not just being physically assaulted, but sexually as well. With the end of a broomstick, without lube or anything, Montgomery shoves it up Tyler a few inches. Which sets up the thing many have wondered about – Tyler shooting up the school.

Commentary

Hannah’s Reasons Why Not To Commit Suicide.

  1. Mom and dad: They will blame themselves, and it’s not their fault.
  2. New York: I could get there someday. If not college, then after college. And maybe I could start over there.
  3. Clay: He will also think it’s his fault, and it isn’t. He’ll think he could have saved me. But we can’t save people, not the way at least — it’s more complicated than that.
  4. Writing: I might —might— write something great one day. Get it published. Even be a writer. Seems unlikely — but possible.
  5. Dad: Loves me without question. Always wants what’s best for me. Even though I’m mad at him, it would be unfair to him to leave.
  6. Mom: I don’t know if she could live through it. She is always so on edge already. But maybe that’s already my fault. I know she loves me—I wish she knew that I know.
  7. Mom and Dad: Worked so hard to give me a better life. Would be letting them down.
  8. Helmet: Is a genuinely good guy. And I genuinely like him. And maybe we’re supposed to be together. Don’t know. But maybe. If I go, we’ll never find out.
  9. Maybe: Someday I could makea difference in someone else’s life.
  10. Maybe: I’ll have a kid of my own one day, and maybe she could be that someone else.
  11. Maybe: It’s not as bad as I tihink it is. Maybe it will get better.

Is it wrong to downplay Clay’s feelings and more so feel like he was infatuated than in love with Hannah? If only because, clearly, he didn’t know her that well and taking note of all these other relationships she had, while Clay was important, part of the reason was he didn’t have his major screw up yet? However, considering the way we have seen him this season, especially with Skye, I feel like sooner or later he would have messed up.

Heck, when rumors went around in season one, Clay wasn’t necessarily the most understanding and did add some fuel to the fire. So while you have to take note Clay was part of the 11 reasons not to, twice at that, there is also this show continuously noting we are not watching a fantasy. In 13 Reasons Why, bad people aren’t punished to the extent to make you feel better and there aren’t good people. All we really get are just complicated human beings. Who, depending on the perception, can be seen as saints or sinner. Maybe both if you get to truly know them.

Leading to Tyler’s assault? Now, while I get why Montgomery would punch, swirly, slam Tyler’s head and all that, not that I condone it, the shoving the broomstick up his rectum seemed to be for shock value. For really, just him getting beat up in the bathroom could have been enough to push him over the edge. Alongside getting rejected by Mackenzie and also Cyrus. But this? What happened to Tyler seemed like the kind of desperate maneuver to not only get press but stir controversy. Perhaps one up the show’s depiction of Hannah being raped.

Which, in doing so, it makes it where the journey about personal responsibility; dealing with life post being raped; how trials dealing with rape work; and so many other topics get buried in one action that… at least for what we know about Montgomery, seemed way beyond what you’d consider him capable of. Even taking note how he harassed everyone thus far.

April 20th: Justin, Alex, Jessica, Clay, Tony, Caleb, Tyler, Mackenzie, Zach, Cyrus, Mackenzie

The night of the spring fling is quite magical. Alex and Jessica dance, Clay conjures up the spirit of Jeff to push Justin and Zach to dance, and things seem to be going well for most of the cast. However, then Justin seemingly finds himself dealing with the effects of his latest dose of heroin and needing to isolate  Alex, she has sex with Justin. Maybe to just flush him out of her system.

But, while they are getting it on in the locker room, Mackenzie learns that Tyler is on his way and he is coming with some firepower. Which, of course, freaks out those who become aware of it and cops are called and Clay decides he is going to confront Tyler. Someone who is seriously packing heat with one assault rifle, two pistols and, well let’s just say wherever he is getting these guns from, he has been stockpiling. Yet, somehow Clay talks him out of shooting up the dance.

And I say somehow for a lot of what Clay says, like talking about what he did to Tyler and how that didn’t help, would lead you to believe that would be enough for Tyler to set aside his reprieve. As in, not telling Clay to go home but shoot him and press forward. However, it seems with Clay being the only semblance of a friend Tyler has left, he has the ability to break through and this leads Tony, who was enjoying the dance with Caleb, who never went to one in high school, driving him off.

Leaving Clay holding an assault rifle as the cops come.

Commentary

Tyler pointing a rather big gun at Clay.

Was it ever noted if the dad ever took issue with having to purchase all these additional bullets because Tyler decided to go through multiple clips at a time? Also, how did he get that machine gun, assault rifle, whichever is the proper term? Heck, considering they are in the suburbs, why were there even guns in the house? Did his family feel unsafe or something?

Moving on, anyone else think, realistically, with what Clay was saying, if this was real life he would have been shot? Particularly for bringing up the nude picture he circulated in school and being part of the catalyst for Tyler’s current situation? Also, in terms of him choosing to do a shooting at the dance, for those who saw And Then I Go, did you get the desire to want to give props to the writers for having a fresh idea but also feel the need to be a bit fearful of someone replicating that idea?

Tyler and his actions aside, when the cops pull up with Clay holding that gun, what’s going to happen? Also, what was the reason behind Jessica having sex with Justin? Was it really to just get it out of her system? Maybe rewrite how that night, so many months ago, to what she was expecting to happen? Was it pity sex? I mean, yeah, she wasn’t official with Alex, but she did allude to the idea that, in time, they could get back together. But I guess when she started to move past what Bryce did, she moved past Justin’s role in it as well. Making things very complicated.

Oh, and one more thing, why the hell they put Tony in the situation to drive Tyler away? He may not have that big ass gun but he has two handguns and cops were already in the area. Do they really think a young Hispanic man speeding away from where a disturbance was noted won’t get pulled over? Especially considering Tony has a record and has ran from the cops before? Are they trying to put that boy in jail?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Nina stole the Polaroids and has decided to burn them all.
  • Olivia is moving to New York.
  • Courtney got a girlfriend named Tameka!
  • Chloe is pregnant. Which perhaps explains why she had second thoughts about turning Bryce in. For, depending on how long she has known, she may have figured the kid would have a better life if Bryce was free than disowned and in prison.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

I say “go on” and not “move on” because in some ways, we’ll never completely move on from what happened. […] And I don’t say “get back to normal” because life will never be normal again.

I know that hurt won’t ever go away, but there will come a day when I don’t feel it every minute. And the anger won’t be so hot, and the other feelings will fade, and I’ll be left with only love.

I think you’re used to people chasing you and you’re used to getting away.

No matter how many reasons there might be ‘why,’ there are always more ‘why not.’

Highlights

  1. The scene when Jessica was testifying which had nearly every female character note some negative experience they had due to a male being disrespectful or violating them.
  2. At the dance, everyone gathering around Clay as Hannah and his song played.
  3. The sweetness of Clay and Justin’s relationship at this point.
  4. The pastor being quite sweet to Olivia and Andy in terms of his beliefs and letting them have the service at his church.
  5. Tyler, for a moment, really seeming like he was doing better. Maybe having gone somewhere Clay should go.
  6. Courtney having a girlfriend being confirmed. Even though we, sadly, didn’t get to see her awkwardly approach and date her.

Low Points

  1. Montgomery shoving a broom up Tyler’s bum seemed more about sensationalizing and getting press than anything else.

On The Fence

  1. Recognizing how the real the situation is, the idea of Bryce getting probation and getting to go to a new school to start over is frustrating. Almost as much as Chloe being pregnant and you realizing she put the baby’s future before whoever Bryce may encounter in the future. Unless the idea is, as long as he is with her, there won’t be others.
  2. Tony constantly finding himself doing favors for Clay which could put him in prison.

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About Amari Sali 2789 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.