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13 Reasons Why - Season 4 - Review

We’ve finally come upon the end of 13 Reasons Why. It has certainly been a much talked about series, both in positive and negative ways. So for the last time, here are my 2 cents on this season of 13 Reasons Why. Beware, spoilers below. 

Why did you do that? For the past 3 seasons, there has been a system for the episodes. Each one focusses on a different character. I liked that system because it gave the side characters more screen time than they otherwise would’ve gotten. But for some reason the writers decided not to do that this season and I must say, I’m not a fan. There was way too much Clay this season. I get it, he’s the main character but there was still. And yeah, I’ve never really liked the guy. Between his possessiveness of Hannah (a girl he never dated) to the weird hallucinations in season 2 (which kind of got explained this season) to his overall shadiness last season (which was just the writers trying to confuse us). It all went downhill pretty quickly for him this season. I’m glad they showed him in therapy, but I feel like the writers could’ve done a bit more with that storyline. Did anyone else feel like it was resolved too quickly? There were the phases of not remembering what he’d done, where he basically terrorized himself and his friends, and then the breakdown at the police station. But after that things went from Justin’s death to graduation so quickly. Dealing with your mental illness isn’t that… easy. And yeah, he’ll be seeing a counselor at college but it still felt too easy for me. 

I’m so conflicted: By the time I finished episode 8, I was fully convinced that I hated this season. I was going to tear this show a new one. But then came episodes 9 and 10. And I finally realized what I’d been missing these past episodes (and in season 3 as well). These are kids, but we so rarely get to see them be kids. They spend all their time worrying about who will find out their secret about the murder cover-up. It was so nice to actually see them being honest with their parents (even if they had ulterior motives). They should’ve been doing that from the start. Trust me, if I had covered up a murder, I would definitely tell my mom. And then we got to see them at prom actually enjoying themselves. I think that episode might actually be my favorite, you know before it all went to hell. More on Justin later. Episode 10 had a large nostalgia factor but I didn’t mind (except for the part where they used old Hannah footage). I was glad to see them all end up in a good place. 

He deserved better: All except 1, of course. We should’ve known not all of them would make it to the end alive. But the fact that it was Justin really pissed me off. Don’t get me wrong, I thought his sendoff was handled beautifully. But he didn’t deserve to go out like this. After everything he’s been through, he finally got his life back on track. He was doing so well and then this happens. All of a sudden he’s dying of aids. Seriously?! And did anyone feel like the whole point of his death was to further everyone else’s character progression? This sucked, plain and simple. He deserved his own happy ending. And this is coming from someone who didn’t even like him when the show first started. 

I’m proud of you: After talking about Justin, it’s impossible not to go to Jessica next. I think that out of everyone, she’s grown the most throughout this show. It’s so great to see her fight for what she believes in and not let anyone tell her to be quiet. And if it scared the guys at school, that’s their problem. And I love how often she stood up to the principle, who made a lot of questionable decisions (more on that later). He must have been really happy to see her graduate. But I can guarantee you that if she hears anything she doesn’t like from Estela, she’ll be back there leading a revolt. 

Why is no one more worried? Something that bothered me all season was Zach and how no one seemed all that concerned about his behavior. Everyone was so worried about the secret and Clay losing but Zach was also showing some very destructive behavior but no one really seemed to care enough to help him. And, yeah, it all worked out in the end. But it very well might not have. Was I the only one bothered by this? 
They’re jerks but I kind of get it: Yes, Diego and Winston were annoying at times and they got in the way of our main characters a lot. But look at it from their perspective. Winston knows Monty didn’t kill Bryce. He knows they covered up who actually did and framed Monty. Him trying to uncover the truth doesn’t make him a bad guy. They did actually cover up a murder. And the same goes for Diego. He’s trying to clear his friend’s name. The only thing they did seem to forget was that Monty wasn’t in jail for murder. He’s in jail for the sexual assault of a minor. Which he actually did do. And that’s what got him killed. So it did annoy me that they kept acting like he was totally innocent and died because of Clay and the rest of them. He got himself into that mess. 

Cutest couple: If there’s one thing I saw a lot of online after the season was released, it was Charlie and Alex. I have to be honest here. I totally did not remember who Charlie was. When I started watching the first episode of this season I actually went “Am I supposed to know who this guy is?” And then I had to look it up. That said, Charlie quickly won me over and became one of my favorites. He’s such an amazing guy. His relationship with Alex seems to be one of the healthier ones on the show. I think this season was the first time that actually took Alex’s storyline in a better direction. He’s struggled a lot in the past and it’s nice to see him do better. 

I know, okay: I’m still conflicted about the outcome of Bryce’s murder investigation. I didn’t want Alex to go to jail for killing Bryce, because I still feel like the guy had it coming. But I don’t think it’s fair that Monty got blamed for it after he died. Yes, Monty did a terrible thing but that doesn’t mean you can just add murder to it when he can’t even defend himself. I’m not sure there was a right outcome here. 
Couldn’t have handled it any worse if you tried: I can’t believe that the principal actually gave himself a pat on the back for a job well done. The cameras and metal detectors were one thing, though it made it look like a courthouse or something. But helping parents spy on their kids. What happened to communication? I feel like those parents are the ones who need therapy if they think hacking into the computers and phones of their kids is healthy behavior. And then there was that brilliant idea of terrifying every student by making them think they were going to die. Nicely done. Because seeing this stuff on TV isn’t terrifying enough. Let’s have them actually live through it and traumatize them for no reason. I’m from Europe so all of this looks like some dystopian nightmare to me but I wanna know, is it actually like this in schools in the US? Or are the writers just exaggerating? Because I’ve seen metal detectors on several TV schools. The same with those weird cop/guard guys. And while I’ve always said the schools in my country should offer CPR and first aid in high school, patching up gunshot wounds seems like overkill. 

Now you’re just doing it on purpose: I’ve noticed, both this season and in previous seasons that this show loves to add shock factor elements. And I don’t mean twists and turns in the storylines. I mean blood and gore and graphic. It was one thing in season 1, with the rape scenes, the suicide scene, … There was a lot of backlash for that. And I still don’t understand why they changed Hannah’s method of suicide, in the books she overdosed on pills, to something way more graphic. But then there was that rape scene in season 2, which I still haven’t watched (thankfully I was warned by the internet). And sure, they added a warning at the beginning of the episodes. But I don’t really feel like that’s enough. How about just skipping the scene with the shower walls covered in blood? 

Was it really necessary? I keep going back and forth about this series when it comes to the number of seasons it had. I have to be honest, when I saw the renewal news for seasons 3 and 4, I asked: “Why?”. Usually, 1 book does not become a 4 season show. I mean, look at what happened to Game of Thrones when they ran out of books. I didn’t mind season 2. It delved more into the consequences of what happened in season 1 and it gave us more backstory. But once we got to seasons 3 and 4 I failed to see the point. The storyline dropped the Hannah angle and instead it became a “who did it?” show. While season 4 was basically “How to get away with murder”. I did like the closure that season 4 gave us, but they could’ve also done that in 2 seasons rather than 4. 
Best quotes: Clay: “Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you and what did you learn from the experience? I mean, fuck you.” 
Justin: “Don’t freak out.” Clay: “Why not?” 
Diego: “I mean, maybe assuming that calling someone gay is automatically an insult.. maybe that’s the fucked-up thing.” 
Clay: “Anxiety is a motherfucker. Excuse my language.” 
Clay: “Yeah, anxiety, panic. It’s not about what you know is coming. It’s about what you don’t. 
 Clay: “You think that this is the way to make us safe? You know what would make me feel safe? Not having to go to a school with metal detectors or video cameras or armed fucking guards!” Clay: “You are killing us! Don’t you get that? You made a drill with gunshots and hammered down the door to prepare us for what exactly? For what it feels like to be hunted? To practice getting ready to die, to make us feel afraid for our lives? We already know how that feels! You’re scaring us to death!” 
Clay: “Look, they’re gonna try to make us think that we’re the problem, but we are not the problem! We go to the school that they built for us. We live in the society that they made for us, and shit is broken! Shit is wrong! And they can’t fix it. They won’t! So it’s our turn now. We’re gonna make it right if we have to burn it down and start over. So I say fuck it all.” 
Jessica: “What’s really going on here… is hat we’re gonna have a prom. And I’m gonna fucking dance like I don’t have a care in the world, and for one minute, just one, I’ll be free from all of this shit.” Foundry: “And I wish I could promise that Jessica, I truly do, but I can’t.” Jessica: “I don’t need you to. I’ll make it happen.” 
Jessica: “I have a number of parents, including my father, the colonel, and Mrs. Achola, an immigrant, prepared to ask why students of color were disproportionately singled out in the questioning.” Bolan: “Do we know that they were?” Jessica: “Do you really want to count?” 
Charlie: “Yeah, Jessica Davis does not fuck around.” Jessica: “No, she doesn’t.” 
Jessica: “Look here’s the thing. There should be more of us here. And lately, I have been thinking about why they’re not here. I have a history of causing trouble with my speeches. Principal Bolan actually had to approve my speech just so I wouldn't make trouble. But that was a month ago. And my life has changed since then. But don't worry, I'm not causing any trouble today. Because I just want you to hear me. Some of you circulated a petition this year, demanding I be removed from office. Saying that I was a one-issue president, and I had made my point, and I should just shut up. Well, no girls signed that petition. So, news, boys, our point is far from made. And we're not shutting up. But you are right about one thing: I am a one-issue president. I'm a one-issue person. I spent the last couple of years angry. Hurt. Scared. But I'm not gonna do that anymore. I'm gonna focus on my one issue. Which is love. Oh, what? Does talking about love make you embarrassed? Is it girly? What? Because it's the thing. It's the only thing. It's easy to hate. It's easy to fear. It's goddamn hard to love. But it's not optional. It's essential. It's life or death. I challenge you. Love each other. Do it. Do it better. Now and every day. I love you all. Oh, and fuck the patriarchy.” 
Scott: “Wait, so you're gonna study music?” Zach: “Yeah!” Chloe: “That’s awesome, Zachy!” Zach: “It’s great!” Chloe: “And your mom is totally cool with it?” Zach: “Well, she thinks it's for violin, and it's actually for guitar and voice, but one step at a time.” Foundry: “I'm gonna forget I know that last bit.” Zach: “Probably for the best, yeah.” 

Well, that’s all folks. Let me know what you thought of this final season in the comics and be sure to share any overall thoughts on the show.

Please be respectful in the comments, any unnecessary rudeness isn't welcome.

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