For three periods, Netflix’s teen drama has provided a harrowing portrayal of teenage life—but who, if anybody, is this tale really designed to enlighten?
This post contains spoilers for 13 explanations why Season 3.
Each period of 13 main reasons why now starts with a PSA. “13 reasoned explanations why is really a series that is fictional tackles tough, real-world problems, looking at intimate attack, drug abuse, committing suicide, and much more,” says Justin Prentice, whom plays a jock and serial rapist called Bryce Walker. Katherine Langford, whom for just two seasons portrayed Hannah Baker—one of Bryce’s victims, whom fundamentally killed herself—continues the advisory: “By shedding a light on these hard topics,” she says, “We wish our show often helps viewers take up a conversation.“ Then comes Alisha Boe, whom plays rape survivor Jessica Davis: for you,” Boe says“If you are struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right. “Or you might view it with a reliable adult.”
Netflix included this video that is introductory the show last year—just one of many updated content warnings the show included after an outpouring of concern and critiques from viewers, moms and dads, and psychological state experts. But the caution produces a paradox. 13 Factors why tackles conditions that a complete large amount of real-life teenagers face—yet those who find themselves currently working with those dilemmas aren’t generally speaking encouraged to look at the show. Who, correctly, is 13 Reasons Why for—and what, precisely, could it be wanting to let them know?
The show’s season that is first centered on Jay Asher’s popular young adult novel, was fairly self-contained: It examined why one teenage girl, Hannah Baker, made a decision to destroy by herself, as explained via a number of cassette tapes she recorded ahead of using her very own life. Her committing committing suicide played down onscreen in uncommonly visual information, alarming professionals who warned that such depictions could encourage copycats. But initially, the show’s creators defended their artistic alternatives, insisting that the scene had been meant to be therefore gruesome, therefore upsetting, it would dissuade watchers from attempting suicide themselves—even though professionals warned such techniques don’t really work. Just this current year did Netflix and 13 Factors why creator Brian Yorkey announce that the show had finally selected to edit probably the most visual details out of this scene.
Meanwhile, both in its 2nd period as well as its 3rd, which premiered on Netflix Friday, 13 reasoned explanations why has broadened its range. Given that it is completely exhausted its suicide-focused supply product, the show has included a dizzying wide range of other hot-button issues—including shooter that is active, medication addiction, and family members separations by ICE. But that foundational debate stays key to understanding this series—both its philosophy and its own limits. The disaffected, cynical teenagers of 13 explanations why distrust the kinds of organizations we’ve historically been taught to think in—schools and, at the very least in season one, psychologists and counselors—implying so it’s more straightforward to trust and purchase one another. But whilst the show’s season that is third, that message comes at a price.
Season three’s main mystery is easy: whom killed Bryce? The clear answer is complicated—but really, the summer season is mainly about comparing and Down, a set of difficult teenage boys responsible of committing horrifying, also monstrous functions. (Bryce, once we understand, is a rapist; in period one, Tyler secretly photographed Hannah Baker in a compromising position and disseminated the images throughout the college. In period two, he nearly committed college shooting after being raped by some classmates.) Both look for redemption. Bryce, he had caused as we find out over the course of the season, spent the final months of his life searching for ways to make amends for all the harm. Tyler spends the summer season in treatment.
The difference that is obvious Bryce and Tyler is, needless to say, the type regarding the wrongs they’ve done. Any kind of redemption tale for Bryce ended up being bound to be always a fraught workout, and 13 main reasons why demonstrably realizes that; for just two periods, it offered Bryce being a monster that is unambiguous. By period three, the show generally seems to genuinely believe that a young guy like Bryce could conceivably understand mistake of their ways—but it appears no accident that Bryce dies he would have really changed before we ultimately find out whether or not. In either case, the show spends more hours checking out this concern he caused than it does depicting the specific processes by which those who endured his assaults grieve and heal from the trauma. Hannah passed away from being raped, and their relationship is largely portrayed as a complicated but ultimately romantic undertaking before she had the chance; Jessica reclaims her sexuality this season by restarting a romantic relationship with Justin, the boy who could have prevented her. It’s striking that neither Jessica nor Tyler’s treatment makes any genuine look in the show.
For the period, figures debate whether exactly exactly just what took place to Bryce ended up being fundamentally “just,” and whether he and Tyler are designed for genuine modification. In any event, they tend to find justice by searching anywhere however the justice that is criminal; in the end, an endeavor last season finished in Bryce moving away from having a slap regarding the wrist. Therefore as opposed to reporting Tyler for attempting to shoot up their college, Clay tells their buddies that the team must band together to greatly help him heal and move forward away from the tried shooting—and avoid involving regional authorities. Though he believes Tyler might use professional assistance, “if we tell anybody what Tyler did,” Clay claims, “then he’s expelled at least and probably in prison, and probably attempted as a grownup, therefore he’s in juvie until he’s 21 after which they deliver him to jail after which what the results are to him?”
Toward the end of this period, we have our response: one of many classmates who raped Tyler, Montgomery de los angeles Cruz, does head to prison, where he’s swiftly beaten to death, presumably by an other inmate. The team then chooses to frame Monty for Bryce’s death. So, yes—13 Reasons Why season three ends with a (heroic? insane? morally ambiguous at the best?) work of deceit.
If all of this appears ludicrous, that’s because it’s. Clay along with his cohort consistently work beyond your legislation to resolve their problems—an strategy that is understandable provided everything they’ve endured, but the one that can toss the series into some exceedingly debateable tale lines. Give consideration to, by way of example, the way in which it treats a strange arrangement between Bryce and Justin. Bryce, whoever family members is rich, has solicitors who are able to “take care of” fundamentally any problem—even misdemeanor heroin possession, as Justin learns whenever Bryce springs him from jail after he’s arrested just for that. Whenever Bryce later realizes Justin is utilizing heroin again, he provides their friend prescription opioid pills to utilize rather, evidently presenting them as being a safer option to street drugs—a strange implication, as you would expect.
Just like the Monty choice, 13 main reasons why will not fundamentally treat the arrangement between Bryce and Justin—or some of the figures’ other baffling decisions—as a great solution. Rather, it presents these alternatives given that just available choices when confronted with countless systems that are broken. By “helping people begin a discussion,” as Langford puts it within the PSA, 13 Factors why appears to earnestly hope it will also help people re re solve conditions that feel insurmountable, also through techniques which are unorthodox at most readily useful and dangerous at the worst.