Thirteen Reasons Why: Season 3, Episode 2 “If You’re Breathing, You’re A Liar” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - Thirteen Reasons Why Season 3, Episode 2 If You're Breathing, You're A Liar
The rabbit's foot Chloe gave Zach.
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Bryce is discovered, and we learned what happened to Chloe’s pregnancy. This is alongside Ani continuing to guide us with a fresh pair of eyes.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Michael Morris
Writer(s) Allen MacDonald
Air Date 8/23/2019
Introduced This Episode
Amara Josephine Nana Mensah
Charlie Tyler Barnhardt
Dr. Singh Parminder Nagra
Dean Hart Denton

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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 3, Episode 2 "If You're Breathing, You're A Liar"Bryce is discovered, and we learned what happened to Chloe’s pregnancy. This is alongside Ani continuing to guide us with a fresh pair of eyes.
Director(s) Michael Morris
Writer(s) Allen MacDonald
Air Date 8/23/2019
Introduced This Episode
Amara Josephine Nana Mensah
Charlie Tyler Barnhardt
Dr. Singh Parminder Nagra
Dean Hart Denton
  • Zach, Charlie, Monty, Jessica | Trying To Change The Culture
  • Zach, Chloe, Dr. Singh, Tyler, Clay, Monty | Seeking Help
  • Bryce, Ani, Amara, Nora, Dean, Clay | Humanizing A Monster/ Finding Bryce
Season 3, Episode 1 "Yeah, I'm The New Girl" [Season Premiere]A new girl, Bryce missing, and everyone monitoring Tyler to make sure he doesn’t pick up a gun again – It’s all just another season of 13 Reasons Why.
Director(s) Michael Morris
Writer(s) Brian Yorkey
Air Date 8/23/2019
Introduced This Episode
Amorowat Anysia Achola – Ani Grace Saif
  • Courtney, Clay, Ani, Jessica | How Things Began For Ani
  • Tyler, Zach, Tony, Clay | The Night Of The Spring Fling
  • Bryce, Clay, Jessica, Tony, Zach, Alex, Ani, Justin, Tyler, Nora | The Monday After Homecoming
Season 2/ Episode 1 “The First Polaroid” [Season Premiere]With book writer Jay Asher not involved, 13 Reasons Why enters a new stage. One which seems ready to make Hannah less of a victim.
Director(s) Gregg Araki
Writer(s) Brian Yorkey
Air Date 5/18/2018
Actors Introduced
Sonya Allison Miller
Scott Reed Brandon Butler
  • Got A Secret: Tony, Tyler, Olivia
  • Can You Keep It: Jessica, Alex, Bryce, Mr. Porter
  • Pray This One You’ll Save: Clay, Skye, Hannah
Season 2/ Episode 2 “Two Girls Kissing”As Hannah establishes herself as the annoying voice in Clay’s head, Courtney takes the stand and you question if she may still to her lie or reveal the truth.
Director(s) Gregg Araki
Writer(s) Thomas Higgins
Air Date 5/18/2018
Actors Introduced
Nina Jones Samantha Logan
Chloe Anne Winters
Cyrus Bryce Cass
Dennis Wilson Cruz
  • Maybe You’d Be Better Off Elsewhere?: Tyler, Alex, Zach, Bryce, Jessica, Clay
  • The Blame Game: Courtney, Olivia, Sonya, Mr. Porter
  • It’s Hard To Compete With A Dead Girl: Skye, Clay, Hannah
Season 2/ Episode 3 “The Drunk Slut”It’s Jessica’s turn to hit the stand as Sonya breaks her down, Clay tries to figure a way for Bryce to be in Sonya and Dennis’ crosshairs for a rape charge.
Director(s) Karen Moncrieff
Writer(s) Marissa Jo Cerar
Air Date 5/18/2018
Actors Introduced
Mackenzie Chelsea Alden
Mr. Cole Sean Blakemore
  • Find Your People & Cut Off Those Who Aren’t Good For You: Cyrus, Tyler, Skye, Clay
  • The Rules Are Different For Us: Jessica, Marcus, Clay, Alex, Sonya
  • The Return of Justin: Clay, Tony, Justin
Season 2/ Episode 4 “The Second Polaroid”It’s Marcus’ turn on the stand and with him supporting Sonya’s goals, unlike everyone else he lies. All the while the alliance against Bryce grows stronger.
Director(s) Karen Moncrieff
Writer(s) Hayley Tyler
Air Date 5/18/2018
  • Detox: Clay, Justin, Jessica, Sheri, Tony
  • Lying on the Stand: Marcus, Hannah, Bryce, Tyler, Cyrus, Mr. Porter
  • By Any Means Necessary: Clay, Zach, Bryce, Chloe, Alex, Olivia, Tony, Jessica, Dennis
Season 2/ Episode 5 “The Chalk Machine”As Ryan takes the stand, we learn more about his relationship with Hannah. Alongside seeing Alex and Jessica try to retain some sense of normalcy.
Director(s) Eliza Hittman
Writer(s) Nic Sheff
Air Date 5/18/2018
Actors Introduced
Nora Walker Brenda Strong
  • A Seed Was Planted: Chloe, Bryce, Jessica
  • A Return To Normalcy: Alex, Jessica, Justin, Tony, Nina
  • In The Lonely Hours: Ryan, Hannah, Justin, Sonya
Season 2/ Episode 6 “The Smile at the End of the Dock”As Zach reveals there was more to his relationship with Hannah, Clay deals with the fantasy in his head of who Hannah was not matching up with reality.
Director(s) Eliza Hittman
Writer(s) Julia Bicknell
Air Date 5/18/2018
  • Guess Who/What Is Back: Jessica, Alex, Justin, Clay, Lainie, Matt, Zach
  • My First Love: Hannah, Zach, Bryce
  • Reconciling The Ideal With The Real: Clay, Hannah, Olivia, Andy
Season 2/ Episode 7 “The Third Polaroid”Desperate times call for desperate measures as Clay fails to do much for Hannah on the stand and there are multiple incidents at Alex’s birthday party.
Director(s) Michael Morris
Writer(s) Brian Yorkey
Air Date 5/18/2018
  • Another Ignored Sign: Jeff, Hannah, Clay, Sonya
  • Trigger: Nina, Jessica, Tyler, Cyrus, Alex, Mackenzie, Zach
  • The Final Solution: Clay, Hannah
Season 2/ Episode 8 “The Little Girl”As Olivia and Andy take the stand, and everyone deals with the tapes coming out, we get an update on Skye.
Director(s) Michael Morris
Writer(s) Felischa Marye
Air Date 5/18/2018
  • You Can Only Do But So Much: Skye, Clay
  • The Aftermath: Jessica, Tyler, Mackenzie, Alex, Bryce, Zach, Marcus, Nora, Clay, Chloe, Cyrus
  • Jessica, Bryce, Sonya, Alex, Matt, Lainie
Season 2/ Episode 9 “The Missing Page”It’s Mr. Porter’s turn to take the stand and with him being guilt-racked, he runs through what he wished he did.
Director(s) Kat Candler
Writer(s) Rohit Kumar
Air Date 5/18/2018
Actors Introduced
Maureen Jeanette Pavini
Sarah Makenzie Vega
Damon Indar Smith
  • I Could Of Done More: Mr. Porter, Olivia, Hannah
  • Welcome to ASS: Tyler, Clay, Bryce, Mr. Bolan, Cyrus, Mackenzie
  • Things Could Be Looking Up: Justin, Jessica, Clay, Nina, Matt
Season 2/ Episode 10 “Smile, Bitches”As Tony reveals how he owed Hannah, and what pushed him to circulate the tapes, Clay enters the clubhouse and makes some discoveries.
Director(s) Kat Candler
Writer(s) Kirk Moore
Air Date 5/18/2018
  • Karma’s A Bitch: Tony, Ryan, Hannah, Sarah, Dennis, Sonya, Olivia
  • The Dangers of Being a Coward: Jessica, Tyler, Cyrus, Mackenzie, Nina, Bryce, Zach
  • Clubhouse Rules: Sheri, Bryce, Justin, Chloe, Zach, Clay
Season 2/ Episode 11 “Bryce and Chloe”Once again Clay is at a breaking point as Bryce takes the stand and remixes what happened between him and Hannah.
Director(s) Jessica Yu
Writer(s) Marissa Jo Cerer, Thomas Higgins
Air Date 5/18/2018
Introduced Actors
Coach Rick Ben Lawson
  • The Struggle To Move On: Jessica, Nina, Zach
  • Strike Three: Bryce, Hannah, Alex
  • When Nearly All Hopes Are Dashed: Tyler, Chloe, Jessica, Justin, Clay, Hannah, Dennis
Season 2/ Episode 12 “The Box of Polaroids”Both sides have made their points, witnesses have been run through and final statements have been given. It’s time for the verdict.
Director(s) Jessica Yu
Writer(s) Hayley Tyler, Brian Yorkey
Air Date 5/18/2018
  • We Need To Talk About Tyler: Mr. Porter, Tyler, Mr. Bolan, Cyrus
  • Bryce Dependency: Justin, Bryce
  • One Reveal, Two Loses, And One Victory: Justin, Alex, Bryce, Montgomery, Olivia, Dennis, Jessica
Season 2/ Episode 13 “Bye” [Season Finale]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.
Director(s) Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Writer(s) Brian Yorkey
Air Date 5/18/2018
  • April 18th: Bryce, Jessica, Tyler, Mackenzie, Clay, Justin, Lainie, Dennis
  • April 19th: Clay, Alex, Jessica, Montgomery, Tyler, Justin, Olivia, Hannah
  • April 20th: Justin, Alex, Jessica, Clay, Tony, Caleb, Tyler, Mackenzie, Zach, Cyrus, Mackenzie
Season 1/ Episode 2 “Tape 1, Side B”As it becomes established that the series’ goal is fleshing out other people perspectives and how they are dealing with Hannah’s death, much less the tapes, you learn to appreciate the changes.
  • Episode Focus: What Clay May Know (Jessica [Alisha Boe], Justin [Brandon Flynn], Clay and Tony)
  • Subplot 1: A Long Time Ago, We Used To Be Friends (Hannah, Jessica, and Alex [Miles Heizer])
Season 1/ Episode 3 “Tape 2, Side A”Was, or rather is, Alex really the ass that Hannah paints him as? Is Justin such a bad guy? It seems just like they didn’t know the effect they had on Hannah’s life, Hannah didn’t know how terrible their lives were either.
  • Episode Focus: Humanize (Justin & Alex)
  • Subplot 1: Either Get Recruited or Beaten Down (Justin)
  • Subplot 2: What Is Tony Doing? (Tony)
Season 1/ Episode 4 “Tape 2, Side B”Remember the need to look for that red flag in the last episode review, yeah, now it is time to grip it as Clay is getting thoughts of being a vigilante.
  • Episode Focus: What Tyler and Courtney Did (Tyler [Devin Druid], Courtney [Michele Selene Ang], Hannah, and Clay)
  • Subplot 1: And It All Falls Down (Clay, Andy, Tony, and Olivia)
  • Subplot 2:  That Was His Last Chance (Justin)
Season 1/ Episode 5 “Tape 3, Side A”You know, it amazes me how you can separate yourself from a show for a few hours, and then be put right back in your feelings when you start it again.
  • Episode Focus: The Secrets You Keep – Part 1 (Hannah and Courtney)
  • Subplot 1: The Secrets You Keep (Clay, Justin, Alex, and Courtney)
  • Subplot 2: It’s Going to Trial (Olivia and Lainie [Amy Hargreaves])
Season 1/ Episode 6 “Tape 3, Side B”More and more we see how often people avoid doing something when they could of and the show leads you to reflect on how many things you just watched, ignored, or avoided just because it would have required effort you weren’t willing to expend.
  • Episode Focus: If Only You Stepped Up (Hannah)
  • Subplot 1: The Need To Be Punished (Alex, Jessica, and Justin)
  • Subplot 2: The Secrets We Keep (Tony, Sheri [Ajiona Alexus], and Clay)
Season 1/ Episode 7 “Tape 4, Side A”Clay is losing his mind. He is seeing images of a dead Hannah, hearing things, and not in the privacy of his room but in public. The guilt is weighing on him so much he turns back into a vigilante and seemingly is ready for the truth to be revealed.
  • Episode Focus: We Are All Lonely, But I’m The Loneliest of All (Hannah and Zach)
  • Subplot 1: The Guilt Is Killing Me (Clay)
Season 1/ Episode 8 “Tape 4, Side B”As the show continues, it becomes more difficult to remain loyal to Hannah and demonize the people who contributed to her demise.
  • Episode Focus: You Exposed My Thoughts & Secrets (Hannah and Ryan [Tommy Dorfman])
  • Subplot 1: Insecurities & Dysfunction (Alex, Jessica, and Justin)
Season 1/ Episode 9 “Tape 5, Side A”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)
  • Subplot 1: How Could You Do Nothing? (Tony and Clay)
Season 1/ Episode 10 “Tape 5, Side B”Did you ever wonder what happened to low-key, hopefully, fan favorite Jeff? The guy who, alongside Tony, pushed Clay to participate in life? Well, prepare for your answer.
  • Episode Focus: Repentance (Sheri, Hannah, and Clay)
  • Subplot 1: Jessica’s Downward Spiral (Jessica, Justin, and Bryce)
  • Subplot 2: How Much Is Your Child Worth? (Olivia & Lainie)
Season 1/ Episode 11 “Tape 6, Side A”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)
  • Subplot 1: The Night Of – The Rape and Aftereffects (Alex, Jessica, Justin, and Bryce)
Season 1/ Episode 12 “Tape 6, Side B”What can eventually break someone? What ultimately kills the flicker of hope? One can ask all these questions but to see it happen to someone, f— heartbreaking. That set of words is not powerful enough. No words are.
  • Episode Focus: The Last Flicker of Hope (Clay, Hannah, and Bryce)
  • Subplot 1: The Walls Are Closing In (Ryan, Tyler, Courtney, Alex, Sheri, Justin, Zach, Jessica, and Marcus)
Season 1/ Episode 13 “Tape 7, Side A” [Season Finale]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.
  • Episode Focus: The Final Day of Hannah Baker (Hannah, Clay, Olivia, and Mr. Porter [Derek Luke])
  • Subplot 1: The Existence of the Tapes Are Revealed (Zach, Courtney, Tyler, Jessica, Tony, and Olivia)
  • Subplot 2: Questions Left Unanswered (Alex, Olivia, Justin, and Tyler)
Season 1/ Episode 1 “Tape 1, Side A” [Series Premiere]Though there are a few minor changes, mostly which are understandable, Thirteen Reasons Why starts off with things being very close to the book. Well, with the exception of us getting to experience Hannah with our own eyes and perhaps Clay not being as much of a saint.

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Zach, Charlie, Monty, Jessica | Trying To Change The Culture

As class president, Jessica vowed to hold the jocks accountable in her campaign speech, which included cursing. As head of the football team, Zach is also trying to do his part to undo the enabling of bad behavior. However, for both Jessica and Zach, Monty presents a challenge to that. For whether it is him continuing to bully kids, due to his home life, or trying to influence the next generation, like Charlie, he clearly wants to continue Bryce’s legacy for it gave him a sense of power he likely doesn’t have in his home life.

Commentary

Charlie (Tyler Barnhardt) being advised by Zach.
Charlie (Tyler Barnhardt)

I get bad behavior doesn’t just come out of nowhere, but are we going to give every person who is an ass on this show a sob story? Not that Monty’s issues weren’t talked about last season but with him filling Bryce’s shoes, it seems he is supposed to be the person we hate the most. But, it’s like going from The Joker to Riddler. Yeah, Monty still is villainous, but Bryce was a serial rapist. Monty was just an enabler who, not to forget, did sodomize Tyler and likely will trigger Tyler doing something drastic, but the charisma isn’t the same. The love to hate isn’t there.

Which, granted, could change as we see more of Monty beyond being Bryce’s former sidekick. However, there remains something cartoony about Monty, like a villain who is only evil to prove something, than just because it comes naturally to him, that throws things off.

Zach, Chloe, Dr. Singh, Tyler, Clay, Monty | Seeking Help

Speaking of Monty and Tyler’s relationship, with Monty having the sheriff talk to him, he threatens Tyler, and this puts Tyler on edge. For while he has regular meetings with Dr. Singh, and Clay sort of pays attention to him, gives him the friend experience, that may not be enough. At least, considering Tyler goes into a restricted area and climbs up to a height he can possibly die from, if he jumps, it seems Clay may have to switch up the schedule he made. Meaning, converting it from a schedule that would prevent Tyler from harming others to one which keeps him from hurting himself.

But, at least one person he won’t have to worry about is Chloe. For while she is going through things, especially with Bryce disappearance, and still dealing with guilt embedded from those who protested her abortion, she has Zach. Someone who likely wants to be more than Chloe’s friend, but is in an odd position. One where he doesn’t want to take advantage yet seemingly doesn’t want to be there, be a part of her healing process, yet not receive a reward or benefit from sticking by her side.

Commentary

Dr. Singh (Parminder Nagra) counseling Tyler.
Dr. Singh (Parminder Nagra)

One of the main issues with the Tyler situation is, with there being so many shootings in America, it sometimes feels like Tyler is supposed to represent those shooters. The ones who, if only someone closed to them tried to stop them, talk to them, monitor them, maybe the tragedy wouldn’t have happened. Yet, with every moment Tyler and Monty are in, including Tyler taking pictures, maybe making videos without his shirt on, there is this vibe Clay only delayed the inevitable.

But, considering Tyler may jump off that structure he is climbing, that maybe the shock of the season? After all, isn’t that what Thirteen Reasons Why is known for? Something which can seem gratuitous but thanks to the built-up to the moment, one can say we actually were seeing someone who felt like they had no other options?

That aside, I must say I appreciated Chloe’s abortion storyline. Mostly in showing how challenging it can be to find a clinic which does the procedure, when there are those which seek to trick you and circumvent you towards having the baby. Then how zealous anti-abortion people can be at a legit clinic. Following that, while I don’t know how long an abortion takes, the time length we watched Chloe go throw made it feel like, without anything graphic, we got an idea of the experience from start to sitting in a resting room after the procedure. Which, for a show not rated for teens but seen by them, feels important. Mostly since abortion is something talked about but the details in how you get one, what happens, and how people will try to stop you, usually aren’t handled in this manner.

Bryce, Ani, Amara, Nora, Dean, Clay | Humanizing A Monster/ Finding Bryce

One of the consistent benefits of Ani is that, with her being an outsider, she gives a fresh take on everyone. Clay seems less whiny and instead is just someone dealing with immense trauma. Which, in an unhealthy way, he deals with it by avoiding his own issues and deep-diving into other people’s. Trying to be their hero since he didn’t get to be Hannah’s.

But it is primarily Bryce who may benefit from Ani’s arrival. For while he is getting what is due to him, which includes being bullied at his new school by Dean, then comes the reminder of not just how lonely he is, or how Nora is indifferent towards him, leading to Amara stepping in – to a point – but also why Nora is distant.

Long story short, Bryce is the product of a physically abusive grandfather and emotionally abusive father. Which, depending who you ask, he has the worst qualities of both people. Thus, you can understand why Nora is conflicted about raising someone she knows she can’t change and why Amara, while she pities the boy, doesn’t want to get too close.

However, Ani can’t help herself for she is nosy. Thus she seems to befriend the monster we know, and that might be the reason she seems keen on uncovering how he ended up dead in the river, bloated from his time floating.

Commentary

It’s a curious thing to watch and see Nora recognize she has a monster for a son, worse than her own physically abusive father and husband, yet still care for him. Maybe not to the degree he wants, but still. In my mind, it gives Nora that rare role of being the mother of a monster and there being no shock or awe, just acceptance. Which will make fully getting to see how she handles Bryce’s death interesting. He may be a monster, one she says shouldn’t have been born, but she did still raise him to adulthood. So while she has shown some care, through her interactions with cops and a few others, it should be interesting to see how her tone and actions shift.

Amara Josephine (Nana Mensah) talking to Ani.
Amara Josephine (Nana Mensah)

Nora aside, I must admit I’m curious about Amara and Ani. For one, there is this need to wonder where is Ani’s dad and whether Amara and her move so much due to Amara’s work or maybe something unrevealed? After all, between Ani being nosy and likely having secrets of her own, there seems to be more to their story. Surely Ani can’t just be here to give fresh eyes to old characters right?

Not to imply she isn’t good at it, since a part of me was trying to calculate how far karma would need to go for me to feel bad for Bryce. Does he need a Monty in the bathroom moment? Would Dean making his life hell be enough? Maybe the families suing in a civil suit and making Bryce’s family broke? What kind of restitution and punishment would equate to Bryce’s karma being paid and him deserving of sympathy? Or is he simply damned for life?

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Does Ani have a crush on Clay or is he close to her out of fear something could happen to her?

Characters Introduced This Episode & Noteworthy Information

Amara Josephine (Nana Mensah)

Amara Josephine (Nana Mensah) talking to Ani.
Amara Josephine (Nana Mensah)

Character Introduction

Amara is a home health aide and mother to Ani. In season 3 of Thirteen Reasons Why she and her daughter live in the Walker’s guest house as Amara takes care of Nora’s hateful and racist father. She also gets involved in making meals for the family at times and treating Bryce’s wounds after he gets bullied. However, Amara does not cross over into becoming a confidant or some kind of mammy to compensate for Nora often giving Bryce the cold shoulder or lacking affection.

Charlie (Tyler Barnhardt)

Charlie (Tyler Barnhardt) being advised by Zach.
Charlie (Tyler Barnhardt)

Character Introduction

Charlie is someone new to the football team, and someone Monty is trying to use to continue Bryce’s toxic legacy. However, Zach is trying to intervene in an effort to change Liberty High’s culture. Especially the jocks contribution to it.

Dr. Singh (Parminder Nagra)

Dr. Singh (Parminder Nagra) counseling Tyler.
Dr. Singh (Parminder Nagra)

Character Introduction

The person Tyler talks to so that he can manage his emotions and take on life better.

Dean (Hart Denton)

Dean (Hart Denton) making it clear everyone knows Bryce's past.
Dean (Hart Denton)

Character Introduction

A member of Hillcrest’s student body, as well as their sports team, the HillCrest Knights, he is someone who does not like Bryce at all. He is well informed about the rape charges and, together with many of the members of the football team, they bully Bryce. However, Bryce writes it off as hazing at home. Not that Bryce’s mom doesn’t blame him for what happens.

Noteworthy Information

  1. Bryce and Zach haven’t gotten along since 5th grade Pop Warner, and it was Zach who got Chloe’s number for Bryce.
  2. Ani is 17

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