If you have not watched season 3 of 13 Reasons Why, I recommend you go watch it and stop reading here. If you’re sticking around, this post is pretty long, so grab a snack.
When I first watched season 1, I didn’t really feel like they needed to make any more seasons since the show is based on the single book “13 Reasons Why” by Jay Asher. I will admit however, I was excited for a season 2. After watching season 2, the audience, myself included, had many questions that we were left with after the season finale: What is going to happen to Tyler? Is Justin going to keep using drugs? Is Clay’s family actually going to adopt Justin? What is Chloe going to do about her pregnancy?
Now… Let’s talk season 3!
I feel like we have been waiting FOREVER for this new season, and when the cast started posting the trailer for season 3, I was SO excited! As we have seen in the past two seasons, there are always flashbacks in the show. I believe the creators do this to give the audience more context and to show us what we “missed” but they never really showed. This season was no different. For season 3, the mystery was “who killed Bryce Walker?” Before and during the season, I tried to make a guess as to who it could be. It kept changing, but there were a few characters that seemed sort of quiet and suspicious to me throughout the 13 episodes. Alex, Zach, Bryce’s father, and Charlie all popped into my head at different times. I also thought that maybe it was a group of people, but each episode was about someone different so it was hard to tell.
Before I get to the major plotlines that I really want to talk about, I wanted to mention a few characters and their storylines that I feel are necessary to bring up. First, the new character Ani. If I am honest, I really did not care for this new character, however we as an audience could see that she was an important character from the get go. She just seemed to know too much about everyone and everything. It can be difficult to bring a new character into a show that is already so loved and that has a very devoted fan base. Something that I actually did like about her character was that in some ways, she did help Bryce on his journey to becoming a better person. He felt like he could trust her, and he was pretty open with her. Her relationship with Clay however, seemed a bit too unreliable. I felt like there were moments where she was playing with Clay’s feelings toward her and leading him on a bit. In the end, she and Clay announced that they were dating, so we know Ani will be likely be in season 4.
Tony’s storyline really stood out to me this season. When coming home to introduce Caleb to his family, he finds his family is missing. He quickly realizes that ICE took them, and his family was deported back to Mexico. The scene where he and his younger sister look in the mirror and imagine that they see their family broke my heart. The show has never really shied away from portraying difficult real life issues, and they continued with the theme this season. Real people are going through this, and sadly it is so relevant to our world today.
The Last minor storyline I wanted to briefly mention was Chloe’s. Early in the season, we saw that Zach and Chloe got very close after she broke up with Bryce. Zach went with her so she could get an abortion since she was pregnant with Bryce’s baby. I am not sure if it was a good idea for Chloe to confront Bryce at the homecoming game and tell him about the pregnancy, because all it did was upset him and he started to question the relationship between her and Zach. Then we saw that Bryce attacked Zach during the game, leading to an injury.
Now onto the Major plotlines of the season…
First we’ll start with Jessica. As we all know, she had been struggling ever since her sexual assault, but in this season we see her becoming stronger and using her voice as the student body president to make a change. I sort of felt bad for Alex when Jessica got back with Justin, because we could tell he was still upset about it. We got to see Jessica confront Bryce about what he did to her, and although she was getting stronger, it was clear that the sexual assault was not something that she would be able to ever forget. When Jessica became the student body president, she created a club called HO (Hands Off) for sexual assault survivors. Tyler would be at every meeting, but everyone just assumed that it was to support the members and to be an ally. Although I loved that she started this club, I did not like the part where the club members decided to crash Bryce’s funeral. I couldn’t believe they actually did it. The funeral was already an emotional time for quite a few of the characters, so for them to stand up and call Bryce a rapist to “make a statement” was not the right move in my opinion. Jessica became an advocate for ending rape culture in high schools, and I really like that she got to a point where she felt strong enough to share what had happened to her. One of my favorite scenes relating to this was during the assembly where she made her speech about sexual assault. One by one, students stood up and stated their names and the fact that they were survivors. We saw Tyler look over at Clay, and with tears in his eyes, he stood up. Another boy ended up standing and then, to our surprise, Justin stood up as well. This scene seemed so powerful because it opened the students eyes to sexual assault and that there are survivors that they walk by everyday and they don’t know it. Even Jessica seemed surprised by the response. I loved being able to see Jessica become more confident throughout the season, and I hope that her character continues to fight for change.
Next, I want to talk about Tyler, who I believe has had one of the greatest character developments in the series so far. Tyler really freaked me out at the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3. I always just felt so bad for him after what he went through. He made me cry SO MUCH this season. I love that Clay was so present and that he always tried to help Tyler in any way he could even though he was going through a difficult time himself. He talked to Tyler about seeing the counselor, Dr. Singh, and eventually Tyler did start to talk to her. Tony and Alex were also very good friends to Tyler this season, and they spent a lot of time boxing at the gym which seemed to help boost Tyler’s confidence. We eventually saw Tyler walking up to the top of a bridge in what seemed to be a suicide attempt, but before he could do anything, he spotted Bryce’s body in the water. We found out that Tyler actually confronted Monty and Bryce in the past, and he even went to see Bryce with a gun in hand. Soon after this, we found out that he told Bryce about his sexual assault and Bryce was shocked. For me, the most heart breaking scene with Tyler this season was when he told Clay about his assault. Seeing the pain and the hurt on Tyler’s face as he relived what happened was so devastating. We could tell that Clay was shocked by Tyler telling him the story, and when Tyler cried and screamed into Clay’s shoulder my heart broke a little bit more. Tyler actually told Bryce about his assault first, then Clay, and then Jessica. He showed Bryce and Jessica the flash drive which was essentially a goodbye and an explanation for why he was about to show up to the school dance with a gun. Seeing Tyler slowly get better in every episode was something that I really loved to see. I loved the scene in the last episode where he showed his friends the display of photos that he took of them over the past few months in Monet’s. Although it is clear that Tyler is in a much better place now, I think that he still needs professional help, and I hope that we see more of Tyler’s progression in season 4.
Now I really wanted to talk about Monty and his shocking storyline. I don’t think that there has been a character on this show that has scared me more than Monty. As we know, Monty was capable of doing some pretty disturbing and brutal things to people. For this season we continued to see a bit of Monty’s dark side, but I was glad to see that we were taking a look at his home life and his softer side (although his home and family life were terrible). We found out that Monty came from a homophobic and abusive family. Monty did not have a good relationship with his father at all, and we did not get to see his mother, but I am assuming that she had similar views to the father. I was actually very surprised to find out that Monty was gay. I really was not expecting it, but it made his storyline a lot more interesting. One thing that I really did not like was that the other characters were trying to frame him for Bryce’s murder. Obviously we knew that Clay could not have killed Bryce. There was never really a question in my mind about Clay committing the crime, but the cops definitely thought otherwise. There was so much “evidence” that led to Clay. He was seen threatening Bryce on multiple occasions, one of which was caught on video, so this did not help him in any way. No one wanted to see Clay actually go to jail, but when we saw that Monty was with Winston when Bryce was killed, I felt that it was even worse that they tried to pin it on him. Monty eventually got arrested for sexually assaulting Tyler, which I do feel he deserved, however he didn’t deserve to die. Before he was killed in jail, he seemed to be trying to accept himself, but it was not at all easy for him. I really began to sympathize with Monty, and I felt bad for him. Although he did some terrible things to people, in the words of Winston, “he was a human being” and “he didn’t deserve to die like that.” I also thought it was strange that they killed off his character the way that they did because Monty was only 18 years old and even though he was an adult, I began to wonder where they placed him in the jail that caused him to die so suddenly.
And now let’s talk about Bryce. This season, similar to Monty, we got to see the softer side of Bryce. I really loved the flashbacks that showed him bonding with his mother and speaking to Mr. Porter about his struggles and how he’s trying to change. We also got to see much more of Bryce’s family life, which was very sad and broken. We found out that Bryce’s father was not really in the picture very much, especially before his death, and he actually had a mistress and a 12 year old daughter with her. I think that Bryce really did want to have a relationship with his father, but his father couldn’t care less. Throughout the season, we saw that Bryce was trying to make amends with those that he felt he hurt in the past. This included Jessica, Tony, Tyler, and Alex. We got to see that he actually got sort of close to a couple of these people at one point. Tony even let Bryce listen to Hannah’s tapes because he never had a chance to. When Bryce told Tony that he wanted to speak to Hannah’s mom, I knew it was a bad idea. If I were Hannah’s mom I would never want to see or hear from him for the rest of my life. We only saw a couple scenes of Bryce at Hillcrest, but we did see that Bryce was being bullied a bit, and that he was struggling to make friends, which only added to his loneliness. Ani was really one of the only ones to see Bryce for who he was deep down. On the other hand, Clay still couldn’t stand him and he got jealous quite a bit when it came to Bryce and Ani’s relationship. While watching the last episode, I thought that Bryce’s death was going to be brutal and one of those disturbing scenes that the show always adds in the season finales, and although it was brutal, I was not really expecting this kind of death. I thought that it was going to be an actual murder, but it turns out that Zach beat up Bryce to the point where he couldn’t walk and he threw his phone in the water. When Alex and Jessica showed up, Bryce asks for them to help, but Jessica is still furious with him. He gave them a tape that we later found out was an apology to those that he had hurt. Alex helped Bryce stand, but he sees the fury in his eyes and he heard him saying that he wanted to kill Zach. Alex ended up pushing Bryce into the water and since he had a broken leg and arm, he quickly drowned. Like Monty, I don’t believe Bryce deserved to die. Yes, he definitely had some things to try to make up for, and he still needed to work on becoming a better person, but his death was tragic because we knew he was really trying to change. This season had the audience sympathizing with the characters we did NOT want to sympathize with. It showed viewers that sometimes those who bully and hurt others are bullied or hurt themselves (often at home).
And lastly, I wanted to talk about what I believe we may see in season 4. I am going to be honest, the last episode was not as exciting as I was hoping it would be. I feel like we weren’t left with any major cliffhangers or any crazy events that were happening. It really seemed like this could have been the last season, but we already know a season 4 is coming. I am not even sure what they are going to be able to make the next season about, but there were a few things that happened that could potentially become major plotlines in season 4. First, the bag of guns that was found in the river. Earlier in season 3, we saw that Tony and Clay “took care of” Tyler’s guns. We never found out what that meant until we saw the last episode. A fisherman found a bag of guns in the river, so this could possibly become important next season. Next I wanted to talk about the scene where Ani was telling Deputy Standall that Monty killed Bryce. Somehow, I think that he knew his own son killed Bryce. The tire marks of Alex’s mom’s car and the limping made it pretty clear that it was Alex. Since it was his own son, he decided to protect him and close the case with the final statement being that Monty killed Bryce. Deputy Standall burned Alex’s clothes that he wore the night that Bryce died. I am not really sure why Alex still had the clothes or why he gave them to his father, but I think that if anyone were to find out the truth, Deputy Standall could lose his job and Alex could get in serious trouble. The last scene is one of the more important ones that I feel could become a big deal in season 4. In the last episode, Ani walked out of Monet’s and talked to Winston. We could see that he was upset that she pinned the murder on Monty because he knew that Monty was with him. I think that Winston might talk to the police next season and try to find out who really killed Bryce.
Overall, I do think that this was a great season. There were certain parts that I felt were a bit unnecessary, but I am very curious as to what season 4 will be about! I know this post was pretty long, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned the most important parts! Let me know what you thought of season 3 in a comment below, and tell me what you think season 4 will be about! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, and share with your friends! Thank you for reading!