My Thoughts on Hulu’s “The Act”

If you have not watched the show “The Act” on Hulu, I recommend watching it before reading this post! This show is based on a true story. Even if you know this story, I still recommend watching the show! (Spoiler warning.)

Like many people, I have a lot more free time right now. My family and I have been catching up on different TV shows lately, and we recently decided to watch “The Act” on Hulu. “The Act” came to Hulu in March of 2019. I remember thinking to myself that I really wanted to watch the show, but I never got around to it until now.

This show is based on a true story of a girl named Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Her mother had Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy, which is basically the need to care for somebody who does not need it. Gypsy’s mother made her sit in a wheel chair though she could walk. She shaved Gypsy’s head and told others that her daughter had Leukemia. She even had a feeding tube inserted because her mother would tell doctors that Gypsy could not chew her food. These are just a few of the ways that her overprotective mother controlled and manipulated Gypsy and those around them.

When I first heard about this story, I was completely shocked and disturbed. I felt a mix of emotions. I felt bad for Gypsy, but at the same time, I was frustrated with her choices. I was angry that a mother could do something like this, and to her own child no less. After watching this show and watching a ton of interviews as well as the documentary, I wanted to talk about this crazy story.

While watching this show, I questioned how much of it was true. I knew that since it is based on a true story, a lot of it had to be accurate, but I also understand that some things are dramatized for television. What I have found is that most of what I saw in the show was very accurate.

I first want to talk about the actor’s portrayal of these real life people. Patricia Arquette played Dee Dee Blanchard, Gypsy’s mother. Arquette was phenomenal, to say the least. I think that she was the perfect person to play this role. She made this character extremely believable, and I got chills watching her. She even won an Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series, so I know I’m not the only one who admired her performance!

Then we have Joey King, who played Gypsy. Again, I think she was the perfect choice for this role, and she did an amazing job. I grew up watching Joey King. She is my age in real life, and I remember first seeing her in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Ramona and Beezus. While I am not too familiar with other roles she has played, I think that this one is probably one of the most challenging ones she has ever played; partly because she is portraying a real life person who is still alive today. She truly stepped into this character by shaving her head, wearing false teeth, and perfectly imitating Gypsy’s voice. King had many vulnerable scenes in this show, and I admire the way she handled them with grace and maturity. While I am unsure of who Joey was up against for the Emmy, I still think Joey should have won some award because she was incredible as Gypsy.

And then we have Nick, played by Calum Worthy. This character really creeped me out. It was very clear early on that he had mental health disorders, and since I had watched interviews and the documentary, I knew the way that each of these characters spoke. Worthy was spot on. He sounded just like Nick, and I felt that he got his mannerisms right as well. While I was not familiar with this actor before watching this show, I think he also did an amazing job, and I think that each of the actors for this show did their research.

I couldn’t believe the lengths that Dee Dee would go to manipulate and lie to her friends, family, and neighbors. She even tricked celebrities into thinking that Gypsy had all of these medical issues when in reality, she was perfectly healthy. It was really terrifying because Dee Dee had her own mental health issues, and it led to a very controlling and restrictive environment for Gypsy to grow up in. She would tell Gypsy not to speak at doctor’s appointments, and she turned Gypsy into a great liar and manipulator. It was truly an abusive home. Gypsy’s father was not exactly a part of the picture. At least from what I understand, he was really not around much, so he was fooled as well.

Because Dee Dee was able to fool everyone, she and Gypsy were given money and donations, free trips, and a house was built for them by Habitat for Humanity. I believe that Dee Dee not only loved the attention and sympathy, but she loved the fact that they were getting all of these nice things handed to them. One of the things that this show and this story has reminded me is the way that family can really shape who you are as a person, whether that is good or bad.

I found myself questioning the doctors so many times while learning about this story. I first thought to myself: how on earth did no one see that Gypsy was healthy? I then realized that even if the doctors would tell Dee Dee that Gypsy was completely fine, she would still tell Gypsy that she wasn’t.  I truly don’t know how she got away with this for so long, but it blows my mind that doctors couldn’t really do anything about it. A doctor in the documentary had said that he can report cases when he believes a child is being neglected, however Gypsy wasn’t exactly being neglected; she was being over treated. Essentially, all he could do was write down the fact that he believed Dee Dee had Munchhausen by Proxy. The way I see it, over treating someone is just as bad as neglecting them.

Since Dee Dee wanted Gypsy (and the world) to believe she was younger than she actually was, Gypsy really did have the interests of a little girl. Even into adulthood, Gypsy had a love for Disney princesses and fairy tale endings.

What seemed to be the breaking point for Dee Dee was when Gypsy got older. Gypsy began questioning a lot of things that I feel many people at her age would wonder about. Her neighbor in the show, Lacey (played by Annasophia Robb), was speaking to her about a Christian dating site. She told Gypsy about a guy she met on the site, and Gypsy was certainly intrigued. Their conversation was very quickly interrupted by Dee Dee, however Gypsy had already come up with a plan.

On this dating site, she met a guy named Nicholas Godejohn. They spoke for a few years before ever meeting in person. At night while Gypsy’s mother was asleep, she would walk around, eat sugary foods (that she was apparently “allergic” to), and she would Skype Nick.

The more Gypsy pushed for independence, the more controlling Dee Dee would get. She did not want Gypsy to grow up and start disobeying her. Plus, the older Gypsy got, the more likely she was to ruin what her mother had created.

Leading up to the murder scene in the last episode, I truly was on the edge of my seat. I was actually scared to watch the scene. When Nick texted Gypsy that he was at her house, she seemed a bit hesitant to let him in. She handed him the knife, and as he walked to Dee Dee’s room, Gypsy locked herself in the bathroom. I was completely freaked out at this point. Soon, Nick murders Dee Dee, and watching Gypsy cover her ears as she tries to block out her mother’s screaming, was chilling.

At first, I wondered how on earth they believed they could get away with doing something like this. Then I was reminded that they were both very childlike. When Gypsy posted on her and her mother’s shared Facebook page that Dee Dee was dead, Nick reminded her to turn off the location, though he was a little too late. This is ultimately how they were caught.

Since I knew how this story ended in real life, I knew what to expect while watching the show. Gypsy got 10 years in prison, while Nick got life. I am sure that the opinions differ widely, but for me personally, I think that 10 years is somewhat fair for Gypsy, however life for Nick seems a bit extreme to me. I do think that he should’ve spent more time in prison than Gypsy because he is the one who actually murdered Dee Dee, but it was honestly heartbreaking watching his interrogation. Nick’s behavior was very childlike and I think he truly did not understand the severity of what he had done. I felt like the fact that he had mental health disorders was not necessarily taken into account (though I am not exactly sure). As for Gypsy, it is hard to say what she really deserved because although she is the one that planned out the murder and in some ways, manipulated Nick into doing it, she went through so many years of abuse. I honestly don’t have a solid conclusion for this because there is so much that needs to be taken into account. It’s all very complex.

I do feel, however, that Gypsy and Nick need therapy and mental health counseling.  What she went through will affect her for life. If she wants to live a more productive and healthy life, mental health counseling or therapy could be very helpful for her. As for Nick, he may not be getting the help he needs in prison, which is sad. I think that he really should be in a hospital setting so he can get the help he needs while still taking responsibility for what he did. The same could be said for Dee Dee. She needed help, and if someone would have been more proactive in looking into this situation further, things could have ended differently for all of them.

It was very clear that Dee Dee had mental health issues. If you are unfamiliar with Munchhausen by Proxy, like I was at first, you may not understand what could cause a person to do such horrible things to her own daughter. Since her mother had this mental illness, one would think that it would drive her own child to go crazy. While I do think that Gypsy was mentally affected by the abuse, she seems to be very smart and she is much more aware of the world than even her mother realized. When it comes to Nick, his mother said that he was diagnosed with Autism and Asperger’s. Nick himself mentioned that he has multiple personalities, and as an audience, we were introduced to Victor, his darker side (the side that murdered Dee Dee).

Something I questioned while watching the show was the relationship between Dee Dee and her own mother. In the flashbacks, we would see Dee Dee taking care of Gypsy, and then Dee Dee’s mother would interfere, telling her that she isn’t doing something right. Understandably, Dee Dee would get frustrated with her mother. She felt like she could handle it on her own. The relationship was obviously strained, but I was curious to know if this was what their relationship was really like in real life. I did not hear much about this in the documentary or other interviews I watched.

I also questioned the relationship between Gypsy and her father. In the show, it seemed that Gypsy was not very close to her father. When he came to visit her in prison, they almost seemed like strangers. It seemed as if she didn’t want to see him. In the documentary, Gypsy gave her father a hug, and she cried in his arms. They seemed to be a bit closer than what was portrayed in the show. I don’t think that Gypsy got to see her father very much, if at all once they moved out of Louisiana. (Also, can we talk about how much the actor who played Gypsy’s father looked like her real life father? That blew my mind!)

Of course, children are going to rely on and trust the adults in their lives, specifically their parents. This story shows what happens when the one person you think you should trust the most, does the unthinkable to you.

Though the story is a bit dark, I really enjoyed this show. The actors were phenomenal and as a viewer, I could see the amount of work that was put into the research behind the real life story.

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts about this show! Let me know what you thought of “The Act” in a comment below. Thank you so much for reading (and send some Netflix/Hulu recommendations my way)!

You: Season 2 Recap + Review

Alright, I am going to be honest; this show is not my favorite, but it is definitely entertaining. In December of 2019, season 2 of “You” came out and everyone started talking about it. I had never heard of this show until this year, so once I saw it all over the internet, I was interested to see what all the hype was about. Basically, what I gathered from all of the memes was that Joe is a creepy stalker who is willing to harm anyone who hurts the people he loves. I know I’m a little late to the game, since this show actually came out in 2018, but I decided to start watching it anyway! This show is based on a book with the same title, written by Caroline Kepnes. I had not heard of this book previously, but it came out in 2014.

If you have not watched seasons 1 and 2 of “You”, I would recommend watching it before reading this post.  There are spoilers ahead!

This season takes place in sunny LA. Joe felt that he needed a “fresh start” after everything that happened in New York. Although he is running, he can’t seem to get away from his past. It continues to haunt him throughout the season. We come to find that he stole the identity of a man named Will, who he kept locked in “the cage” for part of the season. (I am going to continue to refer to him as Joe. Also I am going to refer to that thing as “the cage” because I am not really sure what it is).

At the end of season 1, Joe sees a woman walking through the bookstore only to find Candace standing right in front of him. I had assumed that he killed Candace, but then she started to pop up and I believe Joe was only imagining it. Then, we get to season 2 and find out that she is in fact alive, and she’s back to warn the Quinns. We were able to see that Joe did try to hurt Candace and when he thought that she had died, he buried her. Seeing Joe’s face when he saw that Candace was actually alive was priceless.

Joe gets a job at a store called Anavrin. He quickly spots a woman and one thing that ALWAYS gets me laughing is when we hear Joe say, “Hello, you”. While his narration is necessary, I also find it a bit annoying at times as well. He and Love immediately hit it off with their clear understanding of one another’s use of sarcasm.

I felt that this season, at least at first, just seemed like a complete repeat of season 1. It also seemed like each character from season 1 was simply replaced but the plot stayed the same. Beck replaced with Love, Paco with Ellie, Karen with Delilah, and so on. In my opinion, this season was not as entertaining until I got to episode 7. Once the characters started to figure Joe out, that is when it got interesting to me.

This season, Joe really seemed to want to do better and be a better person than he had been in the past. This was almost impossible, however, he did let Will go after locking him up, and he also planned on letting Delilah go. He did not harm as many people as last season either, which if I am honest, I think is what made this season a bit boring to me.

The way the audience feels about Joe is contradicting in that we are both rooting against and rooting for him at the same time. I found myself going back and forth a couple times during the season. Going back to season 1, Joe killed 4 people. In this season, he actually only killed 1 and it was (kind of) by mistake. Although I obviously know that he is crazy and unstable, there were moments where we would see a kind and caring man, rather than a psychotic serial killer. For example, the way that Joe cared about both Paco and Ellie was sweet, but this barely mattered when the crimes he was committing were atrocious. I also had to wonder if Paco reminded Joe of his younger self. I think that maybe he wanted to look after kids who seemed to be on a difficult path like himself at their age.

Throughout this season, we were able to see many flashbacks from Joe’s childhood whereas in season 1, I believe there were only a couple. This gave the audience some more insight to allow us to understand why Joe turned out the way he did. While it wasn’t a surprise, it was still upsetting to see his home life as a child. His mother was constantly in abusive relationships and she would always put Joe second. She would leave Joe without much care in the world, and this was heart breaking to see. Joe did not have someone to look up to, and he wasn’t loved the way a child should be loved. Joe was introduced to violence at an early age by watching his mother in these awful relationships, so it isn’t exactly surprising that Joe uses violence to solve his problems later in life. We ended up seeing that Joe, at 9 years old, shot his mother’s boyfriend. This led to Joe being sent to a group home for boys.

When Love explained her past marriage to Joe, and she mentioned that her husband got sick, my family and I actually thought that Love may have killed him. Something about her seemed off to us, and we ended up (almost) being right. While Love did not murder her husband, she did actually murder the family Au Pair for sexually abusing her brother, Forty. Love made it seem as if it was Forty who killed her (this flashback looked like a low budget horror film). Due to the family’s wealth they were able to get away with it, making it look like a suicide.

Love and her brother Forty had a unique relationship. They were very close, however the relationship was strained due to Forty’s drug addiction. Love was always the one looking out for him and taking care of him when he was struggling. The Quinn family was strange, to say the least. The parents were wealthy and they did not exactly have the best relationship with their kids, particularly with Love.

Candace (or Amy Adam) started dating Forty, who was unaware of Candace and Joe’s past relationship. It was clear she wanted him to get caught and pay for what he had done. Candace was able to warn Love about Joe and she told her everything from the fact that he tried to murder her, up to him killing Beck. This caused Love and Joe to break up, and they both “moved on”; Love with Milo and Joe with Delilah. The break up did not last long, and Love eventually forgave Joe for lying about his identity. I think that she didn’t want to believe that he murdered anyone. It was around this time that I realized that Love was not exactly sane either.

One night, Joe follows Ellie to Henderson’s house. While, again, his protecting of her is sweet in some ways, it is also creepy. He is concerned for her though, because he knows that Henderson was a child predator. Joe snuck into the house and watched as Henderson put something in Ellie’s drink. Joe threw something across the room to distract Henderson, and he was able to put a stronger dose of the same drug in Henderson’s drink. When Henderson wakes, Joe is somewhat interrogating him and trying to get him to admit that he has sexually assaulted young girls. Henderson eventually admits to this crime, but he tries to excuse the behavior by explaining that he was sexually abused by his stepfather when he was a kid. Henderson is able to escape and as he is running up the stairs, Joe tackles him. As Henderson falls down the stairs, he hits his head and dies.

Fincher, the police officer, calls Delilah when he realizes that Joe had murdered Henderson. He tries to warn her to stay away, but she doesn’t quite believe him. She ends up sneaking around Joe’s apartment to see if she can find anything suspicious, and she finds the keys to Joe’s storage unit. When Delilah goes to the storage unit where the cage is, I knew Joe was going to find her. After calling Fincher, Joe walks in to find Delilah in a panic. We then see Delilah wake up locked in the cage with a bandage on her forehead.

Joe asks Delilah to trust him, and he tells her that he is going to let her out. We see Joe buying a plane ticket so that he can escape before he lets Delilah out. Once the timer is up, the handcuffs will release Delilah and she can leave. Joe’s escape plan is almost ruined when Forty brings him to a hotel and keeps him there so they can work on the script for the movie that Forty wants to produce. The movie is based on the book that Beck wrote in season 1.

Forty and Joe end up at a bar, where Forty secretly put LSD in Joe’s drink. With both of them now on drugs, the rest of the night turns into a total blur. After Joe stops by Anavrin that night, he gets back to the hotel and heads to the bathroom. As he’s washing his hands, he looks down and sees blood all over them. He panics and wonders where else he went that night. He then speaks to Forty who also seems to be having an emotional breakdown. He walks over to him with a piece of glass in his hand, obviously intending on hurting him. Then, Forty talks about his guilt over killing the family Au Pair.

When Joe wakes up in the morning, he realizes that the timer on Delilah’s handcuffs is running out. He rushes back to the cage only to find Delilah lying in a pool of her own blood. When this happened, my family and I all tried to make a guess as to who killed Delilah. I guessed that it was Joe, which I know seems like it was the obvious first choice, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Other guesses included Milo and Forty. Joe goes around asking everyone where he went last night. He was worried about the fact that he had blood on his hands, and that he was out for around 3 hours before heading back to the hotel. Later, Ellie begins panicking when she realizes that Delilah may be missing.

Candace comes back and sneaks up on Joe to lock him in the cage. Candace texts Love to come to the storage unit and as they wait, Joe begins to think that this is what he deserves (which, he definitely does). Love shows up and is visibly upset, but she doesn’t believe that Joe killed Delilah. Although Joe doesn’t remember doing it, he admits that he murdered her. Love walks out only for Candace to follow her. Joe takes the spare key that he keeps hidden in the cage and he throws it so that he can’t get out. We then see that Love kills Candace, which actually surprised me.

When Joe finds that Love killed Candace and Delilah, Joe seemed shocked. It was clear that he didn’t really want to be with her anymore. Love tells Joe her plan to get Ellie in for questioning about Henderson’s murder. She would have the family lawyer to back Ellie up, and they would try to make it look as if Delilah’s murder was actually a suicide. Love lets Joe out only for him to begin to strangle her. Love quickly admits that she’s pregnant and Joe lets go. This really did surprise me, and at first I thought maybe she was only saying that so he wouldn’t hurt her. There are also some theories that the baby is not Joe’s which could possibly be true.

As the end of the last episode approaches, Love and Joe attend a friend’s wedding, where Joe starts to believe that he and Love are actually soul mates. He convinces himself that he loves her and that they should be together. He later meets up with Ellie and tells her that she should move away and he will send money for her.

After Forty comes back from speaking to Doctor Nicky, he is convinced that Joe is a murderer. He finds Love and tells her that she needs to stay away from him, but of course, she already knows the truth. As Forty holds a gun up to Joe’s head, Fincher rushes in and shoots Forty.

Some time has passed and now we see Joe and Love appear to be living a normal life. They bought a house in the LA suburbs, and Joe seems to be looking forward to meeting his daughter. All of a sudden, while he is sitting in his backyard, he hears a woman laughing. He takes a peek through the fence and sees a woman sitting in the sun with a stack of books next to her. Without even seeing her face, he is already trying to find a way to get close to her.

The end of this season was very different from the end of season 1. It almost looks like a happy ending. Although I knew a season 3 had been confirmed, I was still not expecting Joe to find a new “you”.  So, I guess in season 3, Joe and Love are going to have a daughter and Joe is going to be sneaking around with his neighbor. I have no idea what the rest of the plot will be like, but I am going to be watching season 3 when it comes out!

Thank you for reading! Let me know if you enjoyed this season, and if you have any Netflix recommendations since we’re all stuck at home! leave me a comment below!

The Bachelor S24E1 Recap + Predictions

If you have not watched episode 1 of The Bachelor (Peter’s season), go watch and then come back to read! I will be mentioning some spoilers ahead!

Who else is SO happy that The Bachelor is back?! I know many people dislike reality TV, and I understand, but this is one addictive show! I also know that a lot of it is dramatized and many of the relationships don’t end up working out, but it is still fun to watch! If you have not watched The Bachelor/Bachelorette, let me explain what the show is involves: first, there is ALWAYS a villain (sometimes there ends up being more than one). On at least one date, expect fireworks. On another date, expect a country music singer/band to appear. There may be times where both of these things occur on one date. Expect a ton of drama, tears, and wine, and lastly, understand that every season is just as dramatic as the last (even though Chris Harrison will try to convince you otherwise).

To be honest, Hannah’s season was not my favorite. I was hoping that the next bachelor would either be Peter or Mike. I think it would have been great for Mike to be the bachelor because I thought that he was charming and seemed to have the right intentions for being on the show. It was clear that he wanted to find love, but I wasn’t too disappointed that Peter was asked. I do think that the whole Bachelor franchise could try to diversify their casts a bit more. It’s crazy that just a couple of years ago we had the first black bachelorette!  The show has been around since 2002/2003 so it is definitely past due!

Let’s talk about this season! Since Peter is a pilot, tons of puns were being thrown around on night one and this was no surprise. I’m sure we are going to hear many more pilot jokes as well as more talk of the “windmill situation”.  I really like Peter because I feel like he is such a sweet and genuine guy.  I love that he has a close relationship with his family as well.

On night one, Peter met 30 women. A couple of the women who I believe stood out to Peter the most were Hannah Ann, Kelley, and Madison. I also think that these three are going to make it really far. He may even pick one of them. Throughout the first night, as expected, some of the women weren’t afraid to interrupt another woman’s time with Peter. This of course caused drama between a few of the girls, specifically Hannah Ann and Shiann. There was a pretty awkward conversation between them after Hannah Ann spoke to Peter three times. There was also some tension when it came to Kelley. I think the other girls felt a bit threatened when they found out that Peter had met Kelley before. Many of the women were incredibly bold and went in for a kiss on the first night! Hannah Ann ended up getting the first impression rose, which I definitely didn’t like but I saw it coming. At the end of the night, Victoria F. was incredibly worried about being sent home because she spent her time reminding Peter what she said when she walked out of the limo…yikes!

The next day started with a group date. The women went to learn some terms related to flying, and then they all tried out the gyroscope and completed an obstacle course. The prize? A mini date with Peter flying over the sunset. Toward the end, it was between Shiann and Kelley. Kelley ended up cheating and riding her bike straight through the course while Shainn was staying on track. Peter took Kelley on the plane ride, and the other girls were upset that Kelley cheated. Another awkward conversation came from this as well.

Madison got the first date and this was a pretty personal first date. She got to go to Peter’s house to watch his parents renew their vows. Any time a contestant meets the person’s family very quickly, I always try to put myself in their shoes. I can’t imagine meeting someone’s parents on a first date. I would feel incredibly nervous. Madison handled the situation well, and she seemed to get along with his mother. Toward the end of their date, she told Peter that she feels like she’s known him forever. They ended the date by SURPRISE, slow dancing to some live country music. I think that Madison is going to go far this season, but I don’t think she’ll be the one Peter chooses.

And now for some drama. After Peter met all of the women, one last person stepped out of the limo and that was Hannah Brown. I think it was most likely the producers who wanted her to come back to add some drama to the show, but I guess she was ok with making an appearance. She gave Peter back his wings that he gave her when they first met, and she wished him luck. We thought that would be the last of her, but then on the second group date, she came back.

This group date started in a very uncomfortable way for the girls and for Peter. Hannah was on stage and she shared a bit about her time in the windmill with Peter. To say that the other girls looked uncomfortable is an understatement. No one wanted to hear it. When we began to question where this date was going, Hannah explained that Peter and the girls were going to share a personal intimate story with a live audience. The episode ended before we got to hear any of these stories, but Hannah and Peter did have a private talk before it was over.

Hannah and Peter talked about their past relationship and the regrets that they had. Peter asked Hannah what she would say if he asked her to come back to the show, and although she hadn’t really given a clear answer, I do not believe she would come back. It seems that many people think Peter is going to end up with Hannah B., but I am not so sure. I think he will possibly pick one of women I mentioned earlier! I think that Peter needs to move on. It was obvious that he was not her first choice, and even though I understand that it takes time for that love to disappear, he deserves to be happy and to be with someone new.

I love going on Twitter to see what people are saying when I watch an episode. Whenever the show is on, it is always trending! I love when something awkward or crazy happens because everyone on Twitter goes wild posting hilarious gifs and tweets about it.

I plan on sharing a few recaps throughout the season. I won’t share one every single week because I feel like it would be too much, plus I have other exciting posts to share with you all! In these posts, I will go over the highlights and the biggest talking points! If you are a fan of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, leave me a comment below and tell me what you thought of episode 1. Also, tell me your predictions! Thank you for reading!

13 Reasons Why: Season 3 Review (Spoilers Ahead)

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!