Netflix’s popular original series “13 Reasons Why” premiered its second season on the streaming service on May 18th. And as any fan of the show knows, season two of “13 Reasons” focuses primarily on the trial regarding Hannah Baker’s death. For the most part, I feel as if the second season overall was a great sequel to the first season that made audiences and critics take notice of the show’s take on real-life problems by addressing mental illness, suicide and its effects on others, drinking, partying, and so much more. Nevertheless, the harsh realities depicted in “13 Reasons” should be taken with a grain of salt, and season two is no exception to this.
As I binge-watched “13 Reasons” for two straight days in the row, you can believe me when I say that I had a LOT of thoughts while watching the second season. So let’s sit back, relax, and talk about the latest season of “13 Reasons.” Oh, and before I forget, if you have NOT watched the entirety of “13 Reasons Why” season two, it might be wise to open a new tab on your browser window now and it watch before I give you these spoilers… just fair warning.
1. Episode 1, “The First Polaroid”
“Bro, you need a recap before you go any further here.”
Okay, I know this is gonna sound stupid, but hear me out: I just needed a god damn recap of the show within the first five minutes of this episode. It’s been a while, okay? The first season premiered last year in March, so it’s been well over a year since I’ve last seen the show. If you were in the same boat as me, perhaps you needed a refresher as well.
2. Episode 2, “Two Girls Kissing”
“Courtney is so damn brave.”
I honestly was not expecting Courtney to out herself as a lesbian in court as she recounted the night she experienced her first kiss with Hannah. If you can recall, Courtney in season one was paranoid and afraid to come out since her parents were a gay couple and didn’t want to face ridicule for fitting the stereotype of being gay because her folks were. Her paranoia from season one is what made me so surprised when she actually outed herself when she was testifying. Aside from outing herself, she also faced her fear of hiding who she really was by confronting it head-on. Bravo Courtney, you were so brave to face your fears and put yourself out there to the world.
3. Episode 4, “The Second Polaroid”
“Wow, do people actually like leave school in the middle of the day and get away with it?”
At the beginning of a school day at Liberty High, Jessica and Alex decide to ditch for the day and go on an adventure to get away from the chaos happening around them.
I could be just jealous, paranoid, or perhaps both here, but dude, what the hell? Nobody, absolutely nobody, from the school administration stopped them from walking out of school? Dude, if I pulled that crap in high school, I’d be facing consequences! (Geez, maybe that’s why the Liberty High is facing the lawsuit against the Bakers, because of gross negligence.)
4. Episode 4, “The Second Polaroid”
“Oh, so that’s why Netflix canceled the premiere.”
In one scene of this episode, we see Marcus getting karma served to him as he is the center of a prank pulled by Tyler and Cyrus. The prank itself was awesome, however, it was the delivery of the prank being pulled is what made me have this thought. Tyler and Cyrus used a black duffel bag for their prank - one that eerily resembles the one we saw at the end of season one. At first glance, I thought that there were going to be guns in the duffel bag since Tyler and Cyrus had been learning how to shoot guns earlier in the season.
Now of course, I turned out to be wrong here since they were just pulling off a prank, but that nevertheless made me realize that the subject of school shootings in this season is the reason why Netflix canceled the season two premiere of “13 Reasons” in L.A. after the Santa Fe shooting in Texas.
5. Episode 5, “The Chalk Machine”
“Wait, so it’s actually possible to keep a journal/diary of poetry? So there is hope for me!”
Throughout the episode, viewers see Mrs. Baker sorting through Hannah’s journal of poems to search for clues about her state of mind leading up to her death. As pages upon pages of Hannah’s beautiful poetry are read aloud, I couldn’t help but marvel at how much Hannah took her “gift”, as Ryan called it matter-of-factly, so seriously and frequently. Props to Hannah for keeping the art of handwritten poetry going.
6. Episode 6, “The Smile at the End of the Dock”
“Holy s**t, I’m totally Team Zach now!”
Before I actually started viewing season two, I kept on seeing all this “Team Clay versus Team Zach” non-sense online. Of course, at the time, I had no freaking clue what that all meant until I saw this episode. After seeing the chemistry that Hannah and Zach had when their relationship was kept a secret, it makes me think that they would’ve made a great couple if they had actually decided to move forward in their relationship. But then again, after seeing Clay’s eulogy for Hannah in episode 13 (see #12 on this list), I’m totally back on Team Clay again (sorry Zach!).
7. Episode 7, “The Third Polaroid”
“Dude, the intro to this episode is… weird.”
The beginning of this episode is… yeah, weird. I had no idea what was happening. Later on in the episode, it’s explained that Hannah and Clay were trying out Molly for the first time. So, I guess the lesson here is not the classic “Don’t do drugs, kiddos” but rather, “Expect weird s**t when you’re tripping on Molly.”
8. Episode 9, “The Missing Page”
“Bruh, the actor who plays Kevin Porter is a freaking amazing actor.”
Derek Luke, the actor who plays Liberty High guidance counselor Kevin Porter, was phenomenal in the court scene where his character admits that he could’ve done more for Hannah. His crying made me cry, and that in of itself is top notch acting. Amazing!
9. Episode 10, “Smile, Bitches”
“The Clubhouse… How the hell does this even exist?”
The Clubhouse is flat out terrible, enough said.
10. Episode 11, “Bryce and Chloe”
“Bryce Walker is a white privileged douchebag.”
Not that I didn’t think this already in season one, but god damn I can’t wait til karma kicks this guy in the balls.
11. Episode 12, “The Box of Polaroids”
“God f***ing damn it, Clay, you just had to be that stupid, huh?”
Safe to say, that verdict of the trial was crap. If only Clay hadn’t been a fool and locked the box of polaroids in his trunk and not left it in the backseat of his car, then maybe Hannah and all the other girls at Liberty would’ve gotten the justice they deserved.
12. Episode 13, “Bye”
“Where the hell are my box of tissues?”
Dude, I think it’s just a tradition now that every season finale of “13 Reasons” is just gonna make me ball my eyes out. From Clay’s eulogy and letting go of Hannah to the Spring Fling dance scene where Clay was held by everyone in the gang as the song “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron played, I was searching for my tissue box multiple times fam. Not gonna lie.
13. Episode 13, “Bye”
“Yup, there’s gonna be a season three. I just know it.”
That ending though. SMH… You’re a fool for thinking Netflix is gonna canceled this show anytime soon. Despite the challenges that Netflix is now facing over the controversial scenes in this episode, I strongly believe that “13 Reasons” should continue for the very reason that many critics are calling for an end to the show:
This show addresses realities in our society that many turn away from. Many people find talking about teen death, rape, drug use, and gun violence to be too “hot-buttoned” or “too touchy” to talk about. What is the brilliance of this show does is that it shows you the good and bad side of humanity, and whether we like it or not, we have to face humanity for what it really is. I mean, after all…
Isn’t that what being human is all about?