Thirteen Reasons Why: Season 3, Episode 3 “The Good Person Is Indistinguishable From The Bad” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - Thirteen Reasons Why Season 3, Episode 3 The Good Person Is Indistinguishable From The Bad
Bryce's letter tp Jessica.
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Jessica reclaims her pleasure, and we see everyone scramble as Bryce’s body being discovered causes issues.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Jessica Yu
Writer(s) Hayley Tyler
Air Date 8/23/2019
Introduced This Episode
Casey Bex Taylor-Klaus

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Brian Yorkey

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Season Reviews

Season 1 | Season 2
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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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Bryce, Jessica, Casey, Principal Bolan, Nora, Ani, Clay, Justin | The Rise Of Jessica & Fall of Bryce

Jessica has won the presidency, but unfortunately experiences quite a bit of push back. Not just from the jocks but Principal Bolan. Leading to Jessica quickly gaining an ally in Casey who seems radical enough, and anti-Bryce enough, to be worth suspecting. Yet, like with the main cast, we don’t have anything concrete to say this for sure.

Speaking of Bryce, with his body found, so comes the question of what happened? Unfortunately, based on initial evidence, the answer isn’t cut and dry. One says it might have been suicide, yet Nora thinks it might be murder. Which, of course, thanks to Clay and Ani, spreads like wildfire before an official statement can be put out.

This leads to varying results. Some, like Jessica, are in shock but more so worried about people thinking they did something. Others, like Justin, are distraught. Don’t get it twisted, he hasn’t forgotten what Bryce did to Jessica or him. However, lest we forget, stability in Justin’s life didn’t begin until Bryce took him in when he was 8 and afforded him not just his lifestyle, but a sense of family. So while Bryce did the unthinkable, multiple times, there is this long-held love that lasted for nearly a decade which is tainted thanks to the events of one night which personally affected Justin.

Commentary

Casey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) talking to Jessica about Principal Bolan
Casey (Bex Taylor-Klaus)

It’s a very weird thing watching how this season is trying to humanize people who were monsters and try to show them as complicated figures. Something that, as noted for Tyler, isn’t working out that much. It has in other media, Rudderless being an example which comes to mind, but that would require Tyler getting the same kind of attention Bryce is getting and be connected to everyone on a deeper level. Not this strange thing they are doing of making it seem like keeping Tyler from going to jail, maybe out of fear of him telling their secrets, makes him someone worth noting.

But, getting back to Bryce, I must admit that the push to remind us that, to men, Justin in particular, he wasn’t a bad person all the time is jarring. Mind you, in a good way, since the show does balance the narrative of reminding you Bryce is a rapist, who assaulted multiple people. Yet, between what he was to Justin and his relationship with Ani, there is this idea pushed that maybe he wanted to atone.

Bryce, Ani, Justin, Alex, Jess, Clay | Reclaiming My Body & Sexuality

Which is one of Bryce’s main struggles right now. If you recall, while Bryce has done horrible things, as shown with Justin, and continued on with Ani, we are given this idea that he is capable of being someone who isn’t a sociopath. One could even submit, while his privilege has gotten him out of being punished, a part of him wanted back in people’s good graces. For while he is willing to be hated, even fight if you have a problem, Bryce is slowly morphing into the type who seemingly wants people to air things out, maybe fight if they need to, and move on. And, really thinking about it, that might have been his MO all this time.

Yet, while that works with boys and his platonic relationship with girls, it is when Bryce is in a sexual situation that things go wrong. Bringing us to Jessica who confronted Bryce before he died, and the ever nosey Ani listened to it all. The gist of said conversation? Pretty much Jessica seemingly wanted to note Bryce didn’t break her as a whole and what he did break is stronger than ever. All of which didn’t get some sobbing reaction from Bryce. But, he didn’t try to antagonize her either.

However, with Bryce speaking to Jessica, and Justin hearing about it, so comes Justin presenting a death threat. One that Bryce tells Jessica about, since he is trying to atone the best he can, but is struggling to do. Mostly since he is expecting that sort of instant change, like when guys fight and make up. So having to regain trust, tolerance even, and nothing he is saying working, it makes him mad.

Though, when it comes to Ani, so comes one reason to continue. While she does note their friendship, if you want to call it that, is partly based on her mother working for his grandfather, there seems to be more than a sense of obligation there. Plus, with making a female friend, there seems to be hope.

Bringing us to how Alex fits into all this. Unfortunately for him, for reasons Jessica makes seem to be all on her, he just doesn’t get her off. Justin, on the other hand, especially after hearing how he confronted Bryce, that shifts something. So after breaking up with Alex, Jessica approaches Justin, and since he is a bit more laid back, she takes control and finds herself liking it. Mind you, she goes beyond just cowgirl and all that. For between Ani introducing her to sex toys, to Jessica realizing she likes to play a dom, she has the time of her life.

Making her feel a little guilt, hence why she has hidden it thus far. After all, how can she be so anti-jock yet is sleeping with one? Especially considering a jock has done so much to her, and people like Tyler, among many others.

Commentary

Jessica pushing Justin to join her somewhere private to have sex.

What’s important about this whole topic is Jessica reclaiming her body and learning what pleasures her. That and Ani letting us know that the child-like haircut and soft voice shouldn’t fool you into thinking of her the same way Clay did Hannah. She may not talk about sex and all that, but it doesn’t mean she is unaware either.

But, getting back to Jess, what you have to appreciate is that her arc has touched upon the immediate aftermath of being raped, recovering in terms of being touched, as well as dating again, and now her figuring out how to gain pleasure again. In most shows, movies even, this is either rushed, or we only get the first two parts. So to see it all and go step by step brings yet another means to argue that 13 Reasons Why doesn’t do what it does to be sensational. Yes, if you don’t really watch the show and just get the headlines, you may think this show is all shock value. However, like how other shows start off with a murder and then unfurl, so does 13 Reasons Why handle many of its storylines. It’s just, unfortunately, most of its major moments happen towards the end of the season and unfurl in the following seasons.

Justin, Clay, Ani, Tyler | So, If That’s The Truth You Claim, Who Killed Bryce?

With Justin revealing his situation with Jessica, so comes the question of who could have killed Bryce? Mind you, no one has presented an airtight alibi yet. However, despite Ani and Clay playing amateur detectives, they have yet to uncover the truth. Though, let’s be real, considering Clay can’t even figure out if there is something between him and Ani, what is the likelihood he can find a killer? Never mind Ani seems to love inserting herself into drama, possibly adding her flare to it. So, in the long run, will she be an aid or liability? Not just to Clay, but the cops we assume she’s speaking to as well?

Commentary

Tyler looking at his laptop at graphic pictures - likely of Bryce.

We have to note this person, maybe Justin’s father or someone else, who seemingly played a part in what may have happened to Bryce. He makes a claim they killed Bryce, but who knows really? Plus, when you add in the images Tyler had of someone who looked like they had their head bashed in, and him asking Tony to get rid of a gun for him, anything is possible. I can’t say the whodunit angle is necessarily getting me hyped, but I will admit the build to the homecoming game is definitely of interest.

Characters Introduced This Episode & Noteworthy Information

Casey (Bex Taylor-Klaus)

Casey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) talking to Jessica about Principal Bolan
Casey (Bex Taylor-Klaus)

Character Introduction

All we know about Casey is that she supports Jessica, especially in taking down the jocks. However, whether or not she should be seen as a suspect in Bryce’s murder? That’s hard to say. It is also hard to say whether her hatred for jocks comes from something done to her, her friends, or just generally hating what they do without being punished.

Noteworthy Information

  1. Ani is Kenyan and Amara took her to the UK when she was 4, and to the US around the time she was 14.
    1. While from Kenya, Ani says the way her mother cooks is actually Ugandan.

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