13 Reasons Why Season 2 Episode 13 Finale Recap
It is possible that “The Box of Polaroids” was a little solitary, but “Bye” takes a completely other approach and is far too expansive.
Even if this episode is based on current events, there’s too much of it that doesn’t work for me in the way it’s being presented.
It’s an odd episode in and of itself, as it begins with what appears to be a conclusion. Bryce is put on probation for three months following the events in the previous episode.
In any event, the injustice of it is probably the point in this case.
Jess’ testimony at the court begins with a discussion of her own rape, but quickly shifts to a larger discussion of sexual violence against women.
In light of the judge’s decision to give Bryce a low sentence so as not to “cause any more damage,” everyone of the female characters in the show gets a turn speaking about an experience of sexual assault or abuse.
As a result of his mother’s disappearance, Justin has been sentenced to two additional years in prison, as well as being placed in juvenile detention.
This is an excellent moment in a show that has struggled to strike a balance between sadness and eliciting strong emotional responses from its viewers, but it is quickly overshadowed by the next scene.
That it opens rather than closes the show should alert viewers to the fact that something terrible is about to happen.
Now that Tyler has finished his behavioral guidance series, he appears to have made significant progress.
Although Tyler’s bridges have not been totally healed (Cyrus doesn’t think they should be friends again), they are not as bad off compared to what could have been.
Mackenzie, who is seeing someone else, is glad enough to see him and he has a conciliatory discussion with Cyrus.
Not so for the jocks, though. As Bryce is switching schools and doesn’t want to risk his probation terms, Montgomery, who is like the Über-Justin in how he relies on his connection with Bryce and the structure of the team to form a family, takes extraordinary action.
The jocks attack Tyler in the bathroom and rape him with a mop handle, blaming him for the premature end of the sports season.
A lot of people are upset about this scenario, and for good cause. The basic truth is that it isn’t required. While the issue of male sexual assault is one that needs to be addressed, I’m not sure this is the right approach.
A number of storylines on the current season of the show feel like a means to an end, and that end is gun violence.
Tyler brings an assault rifle to the school dance in the aftermath of the assault, which leaves him bleeding, and concludes that his only remedy is a school shooting.
In the midst of the chaos, Clay questions him about his belief in the power of a school shooting to change anything, arguing that the adults will grieve for a bit and then go on.
I think this is an excellent example of how guns are never the answer, but it also shows how deeply entrenched that way of thinking is.
A character that this series has gone to great measures to make likeable, and I’d say that trying to explain what drives someone to gun violence is different than explaining what drives someone to commit suicide.
Given the current American culture of gun violence, it’s weird to try and rationalize the path from A to B, especially when it involves white guys.
Sure, Tyler gives in, but what exactly is the point of this narrative? If Clay hadn’t intervened, who knows how many people he would have killed.
Because it trumps the episode’s emotional climax, Clay finally lets go of Hannah, it leaves a foul taste in the mouth. No room to let this information sink in.
It finishes with Clay pointing an assault rifle at police sirens as he stands outside the school.
A obvious attempt to secure a third season (which has already been approved) is made, as is the bizarre dismissing of Hannah’s storyline altogether.
Even if I’m being too severe, it’s difficult to say. Hannah Baker deserved better, and that’s all I know.