Through 13 Reasons Why, you get to understand both the cause and effect a person’s suicide has. As well as how and why some may consider it selfish, as well as why others considering it the last, and eventually only, solution.
Trigger Warning(s): You Will See Hannah Commit Suicide - piercing and slitting her skin and all.
Episode Focus: The Final Day of Hannah Baker (Hannah, Clay, Olivia, and Mr. Porter [Derek Luke])
One last shot. That was what Mr. Porter was given the opportunity to do. For despite Clay talking to her, initiating conversation, despite Katt seemingly being accessible, despite her parents seemingly moving on from her losing the money, she felt hated, unwanted, and worthless. Yet, Mr. Porter, she thought, would change all that.
However, like Clay for most of the series, he never said the right thing. She wanted certain words and answers, and he didn’t use a single keyword. She didn’t want to give up names and information, just asked for guarantees and be it because of his job, legal reasons, or maybe even personal, Mr. Porter couldn’t give her what she wanted. He couldn’t take this weight off her and handle it.
So, on that day, she took a tape and some razors, finished side A of tape 7, and then ran herself a bath. In the bath, she took the blade and made three lines, at least 4 inches, down her wrist. Not like Skye, not like those who want relief, she cut herself to die and that is what she did. Leaving her mom to discover her.
I want you to imagine Olivia’s mind in all this. She was the one who discovered her daughter. She was the one who likely thought, yeah, Hannah maybe going through something, but when does a parent think it will come to that? Do they ever? Is the need for open doors, or ones not locked, so that they can perhaps save you in case you ever try to end your life? I doubt that is in most parents’ mind when they come up with rules like that.
But what about Mr. Porter? Again, like nearly everyone else, on the tapes, you want to damn him for what he does and does not do, but you can’t so easily with this show. There is now a person we’re dealing with. A person who has their own problems and wants to help, but doesn’t know how. For you can tell, by how hesitant he sometimes is to speak, he doesn’t necessarily know what to say. Yeah, he may have went to school and been trained, but ask a cop if they are ready to come face to face with someone who has a gun pointed at them. Ask a doctor, a surgeon, someone who has gone to school and got some experience under their belt, are they ready to be the factor of what will either lead to someone’s life or death?
You can be well trained to do anything, even have experience, but Mr. Porter wasn’t dealing with a machine, he was dealing with a person. Someone who, as shown, always wanted one particular thing and someone to say certain keywords and, when they didn’t, she felt rejected and disappointed. Clay didn’t push further, Mr. Porter didn’t push further, so they get damned for not loving Hannah as she thought she deserved to be and wanted to be.
But what about her mom? Why punish her? That is perhaps what pisses me off about Hannah the most and her suicide. She didn’t want to become a burden, she felt empty, used, and neglected, so she killed herself. I get that, the option didn’t allude my thoughts when I was in primary school and on Tyler’s level, but there was never that moment when it seemed her parents broke her. She disappointed them once, but neither harped on her about it. The lack of money did remain an issue, but was Hannah so self-absorbed to not think how her mother, who she doesn’t even list as a factor, would feel discovering her child who killed herself in such a violent way?
I could really go on and on with this because the series makes it so complicated. For while you understand Hannah’s point, why she felt the way she did, you also understand Tony’s sort of hesitation when it came to maybe approaching Hannah when she dropped off those tapes. She is the type of girl who analyzes your words as fast as a computer, who can be hot and cold sometimes and, as shown with Clay, even if you try to love her, can it ever really be enough?
Her parents, and many others, asked themselves if they changed one thing could they have prevented the suicide. Katt among them who wonders if she stayed if that would have changed anything. But, let’s be real, even before Bryce raping her, Hannah’s issues went beyond what Clay and the 10 people noted before her did. Hannah was dealing with demons that all the people on this show fed and let grow stronger. Most of which didn’t do it intentionally, but while in the books you can point fingers at everyone but Hannah, with the series you feel the need to look toward Hannah.
After all, now she is the one being talked about and analyzed. No longer are you seeing her just from Clay’s infatuated point of view. You are forced to put yourself in the place of anyone you choose and ask if you really could have done anything? Clay makes this seem possible by hanging out with Skye to perhaps prevent her from becoming like Hannah. But if you were there, if there is or were a Hannah in your life, do you think that would be enough? All of which I don’t say to damn [note]For I do feel I am being a bit callous or tough on the character[/note] Hannah in all this, but in a world which tells you “It Gets Better,” anyone who proves that often it doesn’t, well it makes it harder to keep that false sense of hope. So you sort of wonder what went wrong for them and want to fight the idea you are on the same path.
Subplot 1: The Existence of the Tapes Are Revealed (Zach, Courtney, Tyler, Jessica, Tony, and Olivia)
The depositions lead to Tyler revealing the tapes exist and with Tony giving a USB drive to Olivia with them on them [note]Also, Clay skips Bryce and gives the original set to Mr. Porter[/note], the tapes are officially out and in circulation. But what perhaps matters most is who tells half-truths and who all out lies. Courtney lies, as expected, and for some reason, we don’t get to see if Marcus does as well. Jessica lies about the tapes but confirms the bullying, and Zach, he owns up to his part in Hannah’s death but doesn’t say how.
But we don’t get to see what comes of all this. All we see is Jessica revealing to her dad what happened the night of her party and Tyler laying out all that he went through on tape. Including us seeing him in the dark room with pictures of all those who tormented him, including Clay.
The way this show is setup, I feel like an epilogue is needed. That or Jay Asher writing a chapter for a special edition of the book. For while Clay, Skye, Tony, and Brad ride off into the sunset, the butterfly effect is still rippling throughout everyone else’s life and after Big Little Lies, the idea of not getting closure because life goes on whether we are watching or not, feels like bullshit. For isn’t that one of the reasons most people read books? Just because they know the last chapter won’t end on an ellipsis and we will get the answers we seek. Even if it requires tweeting the writer for an answer.
With that said, I was kind of missing Marcus not being part of this. If only because I wanted to know if he would have stuck with Courtney’s plan or told the truth. But, then again, with there being this deep-seated desire to see what came from all these depositions, it would have only made things worse. In terms of not getting a definitive ending.
Subplot 2: Questions Left Unanswered (Alex, Olivia, Justin, and Tyler)
What will happen with the case and Olivia being given the tapes by Tony? After Alex shooting himself in the head, will we know what was the final straw for him? Will Tyler go Columbine and shoot up the school? Hell, with no one in his corner, where is Justin going? Much less, with a gun in his bag, and not using it on Bryce, as of the last scene the two have, what may it be used for?
So they saved using some unnecessary creative license for the end of the show huh? It is almost like, last minute, it was decided, you know, let’s set this thing up for a second season. I mean, who knows, maybe people may want it? After all, with Tyler, couldn’t you imagine another 13 Reasons Why happening? Just instead of killing himself, he is killing 13 others?
Maybe I’m being morbid but I did just watch multiple actresses get raped and one slit her wrists on screen – in vivid detail. So forgive me if thinking someone may have pitched the idea of Tyler doing his own spin on Hannah’s tapes was discussed. Especially with the type of machinery you know isn’t going to be used for hunting no deer or bears.
You try going to school with a bunch of Neanderthals who are told they are the only thing of value at school, and the rest of us are merely there to cheer them on and provide them with whatever support they need.