If you haven’t seen the 2nd season of this show, then don’t continue because some of this content will include some mild spoilers!
13 reasons why season 2 premiered on May 18th, on Netflix. It is the second installment to the controversial series about suicide, high school bullying, self mutilation (cutting), rape and society/schools lack of involvement in preventing, working on and resolving these issues.
Season 1 provided the impact that was needed by a show of this type. Not much shows really focused on the cruelty that could be the high school life. A lot of people have experienced it and come off on the other end, unscathed but others unfortunately never made it pass graduation. Because of the latter, it was a story that was needed to be told. Clearly it could be a trigger that wouldn’t have been so hard to be pulled by someone suffering from what was portrayed in the show (which is pretty risky on the shows part), but it was a message that needed to be told and silence wasn’t an option anymore with the prevalence of suicides and the age of it getting younger. Netflix made sure to add precautionary warnings prior to each episode and made sure audiences understood that the content was for a mature audience only.
By the end of season 1, experiencing the private moment of someone taking their own life, the viewer was left with a sort of emptiness just as Hannah had felt leading up to that tragic act. The scene literally gave me goosebumps (not in a good way) and I felt my heart sink in my chest just knowing that this poor girl (as fictional as she was), felt there was no other way to end her pain, other than taking her own life. The fact there are people who feel this way and do the exact same thing or something else that ends their life, is just heart wrenching to think of.
13 reasons why season 2, although it is a continuation and is there to provide us with the answers to the questions we developed by the end of season 1, started off not as exciting as the first season. It took until about episode 6, for the show to become interesting. I understand that they had to spread the story over a few episodes but there was never a problem of catching your attention in the first season, even from the first episode.
Some of the interesting story lines presented in this season, involved the in between movements in Hannah’s life (in between as in, what wasn’t shown to us in season 1). You got to see the spunky side of Hannah, and then the girl who finally started to explore her sexuality. In the first season, you were made to believe that Hannah’s virginity was taken by the brutal act done by Bryce, but we find out in this season that that wasn’t the case. That at least she experienced her sexual side with someone who she liked. Frankly, it was a pretty crazy twist on who she ended up losing her virginity to, because you would have thought that chapter of her life would have been closed very quickly (and no it wasn’t Justin! 😛 ). We also get a chance to see what happened to Alex, after his attempt on his life and how he has to deal with the consequences of his actions. Justin is brought back into the picture after Clay goes looking for him with Tony, on his self appointed mission to bring Bryce to justice.
The story surrounding the perv that is Bryce, also gets expanded on and becomes a whole chapter of its’ own, as we find out that Jessica and Hannah weren’t Bryce’s first victims. In hindsight, with his boldness with having his way with an unconscious Jessica, even when Justin tried to intervene, goes to show that this wasn’t his first criminal act forcing himself onto a girl. In fact, it looks like Liberty High actually has a serial rapist.
By episode 7, the flash backs that were included in Clay’s testimony, brought back the feeling of season 1, and the essence that was the “13 reasons why”, story. The case was starting to pick up momentum and some very interesting things came to light. I wouldn’t speak too much on them or even mention what they were because that just takes away the thrill of it all because when it does come to light, you’re going to be taken aback for sure! This news can be shocking or saddening at the same time. Either way it brought up the interest in the show pretty high. It gave more than 13 reasons why, Hannah took her own life. The 13 reasons sometimes felt as if they couldn’t be so bad, until the last reason of course that included Bryce. But then the little incidents that happened in between, made it make more sense, unfortunately.
The drama that ensued as the episodes built upon each other, was nail biting and the stack of cards started falling apart. This, is 13 reasons why. This is the series we grew to love and hate at the same time as it exposed our inner vulnerabilities – being human and dealing with the cruel world we happen to be a part of.
I found the voice overs to be a decent touch to the overall series, giving you some extra insight into everything that’s going on. Possibly a lovely reflection for those who are watching it and can relate to the incidents that are being portrayed in the series, providing them with a 3rd parties perspective on the situation. Maybe one cannot speak to someone to get that 3rd party perspective, but hearing it on their tv or computer screen, may be enough for them to reach out and get help, the help that Hannah didn’t explicitly ask for.
By episode 9, the shit definitely hit the fan (pardon my french), but that’s literally what happened. The intensity of the movement of the series, just exceeded my expectation at this point. The many “what could have been”, moments in the show are just beyond depressing because all it took was a little extra effort on most people’s part that would have been able to pull Hannah out of the despair that she ended up in. Maybe those many “what could have been”, can be a lesson to those out there to try as hard as they can, because at the end of the day, there’s a life that is at stake and you only get one try at saving soemone’s life, because once they’ve taken it, it’s obviously too late.
A part of the story that I found was very appealing was the misconception of how women put themselves into situations that cause the problems they encounter. As if they are the catalyst and not realizing that it is the guys who are responsible for the situation in the first place. The society we live in, tend to victim shame when these girls are put into this situation not realizing that the situations are built by the accused. A girl finding herself at a party and being raped, isn’t the girls fault but rather the one who took advantage of her. Sheri is the one who was used to interject this very profound truth. I am not going to mention when, and why this very important discussion came up during the season, but even as short lived as that scene was, it was profoundly impacting on one of overall messages of 13 reasons why.
Hannah Baker’s story is more than meets the eye in season 1. The questions we needed answering, were finally being answered and beyond what we would have expected. Then the reality of life after being raped, was a huge part of the plot. A lot of big stories being brought up in this one tiny show. It’s just mind blowing.
When Bryce’s testimony came around, it just shows how sometimes the victim can end up reliving their assault by the words of the accuser being absolutely skewed, just to make the victim look like the one with the problem rather than themselves. Although Hannah wasn’t able to obviously view this testimony, just seeing her mother having to endure that, was equivalent or probably even worst because Hannah wasn’t alive to confront the lies of her rapist.
They always say that sometimes when we try to go looking for the truth, we get more than we bargained for. Even when we think the truth is the right thing, sometimes it isn’t. This is a lesson Clay unfortunately has to learn, and it clearly affects him mentally, to the point of a huge break down.
Then there’s the continuous letters that everyone was getting. Wondering who it was throughout the whole season, was an interesting touch. At first it didn’t seem that big of a deal but then the letters became a little more personal and alerting, to say the least. You started wondering who this mysterious person was. Then when you find out who the person is and why, you’re left with even more questions that obviously couldn’t be answered as it would take away the spotlight of the show and place it on someone totally irrelevant to the overall story.
There were certain parts that the suspense was just nerve wrecking. But the story was building up to a climax that would be definitely beyond uneventful. As I was waiting to hear the verdict, my heart was pounding in my chest, and was as anxious as the characters in the show.
The final episode of 13 reasons why, is very empowering. Speaking about the reality that a lot of women live with, but few speak about. 13 reasons why is the show that starts the conversation not only about suicide, but bullying, rape culture and accountability. It also feels like 13 reasons why, of course created based on the book of the same name, clearly took some influence from recent media coverage of the laughable defense ever; affluenza, during this second season. As laughable as it may be, it’s a serious issue because affluenza doesn’t only create kids who believe they are untouchable, but also creates a judicial system that actually encourages it. This episode was also one of the hardest episodes to get through. When you think of the pain that someone must have gone through, and that they felt they had no worth that life wasn’t worth living anymore; it’s heart breaking. Clay’s speech brought me to tears, and that is how I know this show touched me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. The story that was told so tragic, beautiful and overwhelming all at the same time but a story that yet again, for the 100th time, needed to be told. It needed to be said with such emotion that it illicit a conversation among us and within us, so situations like this become a thing of the past and that no family would ever have to endure what the Baker’s did. As fictional of a character as they were, they represent all the families who have lost loved ones to suicide and are left without knowing 100% why; why they didn’t turn to them, why they felt they had no other choice and why they truly did what they did. But then on the other spectrum of this episode, was the extremity you will notice happening to Tyler, which was uncalled for (in the sense that something like that should never happen to someone) but it was the shocker that this show is known to produce in the last episode. Season’s 1, final episode was intense and the writers of this series didn’t fail to produce the same effect in season 2.
In some warped way, 13 reasons why shows the pendulum that is high school and the madness teenagers have to go through. Once we come out from the other side, we tend to forget whatever our experiences are, whether they are good or bad. Forget whether we were the instigators to the madness, or the recipients or accept whatever it is that it was and try to become a better person for it. Whatever it may be, forgetting it, detaches us from the reality of what children have to go through during high school and we become disassociated with how technology has contributed to that experience. That in actuality, it may be worst nowadays and because it is, it is the most important time to have a ballsy show like 13 reasons why.
At the end of season 2, we are left with a set of questions that opens up this series to have another season. When we thought 13 reasons why would be completely over after season 2, we failed to remember the other issues that are plaguing our high schools and stories that need to be told that may be too painful to be heard but that is desperately needed at this time. Throughout this season, we are introduced to the handling of guns by minors, for the feeling of empowerment that they fail to establish or aren’t allowed to grab onto throughout their every day lives because of the experiences they have in high school. The minor detail that was sprinkled throughout the season, is lifted up and exposed as the ugly reality facing the school’s in the United States. It’s a discussion that started off recently and have been quieted down by other tragedies in the media but something that we need to never forget. I am hoping that with that ending of season 2, that 13 reasons why is going to start a whole new discussion that hopefully catches the attention of those who have the ability to make change. We can all just watch this series and admire the writers for the courageous efforts in shoving these realities into our faces, but there is only a minor set of us who are able to actually do anything about it.
When I started watching season 2 of 13 reasons why, I thought I was going to be disappointed. It started off like another teenage movie, even though it is a series. But that slow momentum it had in the beginning was necessary to tell the whole story and I am absolutely ecstatic to know that there’s a huge possibility of a 3rd season, and that the aging actors would not have any effect on the story line, at all.
So go on, watch the second season of 13 reasons why, you wouldn’t be disappointed!