13 Takeaways from 13 Reasons Why: ‘The Chalk Machine’


Each day, you will get a recap of one episode from the second season of 13 Reasons Why.

Here’s our recap of the fifth episode of the second season of 13 Reasons Why.

1. It’s Ryan’s turn to testify.
One thing that was interesting to me is that Ryan and Hannah were friends. They spent a lot of time together discussing Hannah’s poetry and talking about boys. He repeatedly said that Hannah was lonely and in need of human connection. Unfortunately, that bitchy defense attorney continues to paint Hannah as a jealous, boy-crazy slut. And she continues to infuriate me.

Related Story: 13 Takeaways from 13 Reasons Why: “The Second Polaroid”

2. Hannah kept up communication with Justin.
Another interesting takeaway from Ryan’s testimony and flashbacks is that Hannah and Justin kept texting each other even after their kiss and his embellishment of their night. Ryan urged her to delete his number and stay away from him. Ryan also assumed that the poems she wrote about longing for someone were about Justin. But was it? I’m not sold.

More from 13 Reasons Why

3. Tony comes clean.
It’s Tony’s turn to babysit the detoxing Justin. As they spend their day together, they both admit a few things. Tony tells him why he’s on probation. It turns out he and his brothers beat someone up, and the guy pressed charges against him. That was strike two. (What was strike one?) If Tony gets caught with Justin, it could be strike three, and he goes to jail.

4. Everybody finds out about Justin
Justin, almost aloofly, tells Tony he ran out of the $1,000 he stole from his mother’s boyfriend quickly. He couldn’t afford pills anymore, and heroin is cheap. Tony decides to get him out of the house to go for a walk. This proves to be a bad idea because someone from school sees them walking and word spreads like an STD in that school.

5. Chalk up a clue for Clay.
Clay asks Justin about the Polaroids, but he’s no help. As he talks to Alex on the football field stands, Clay sees a guy on the baseball field with a chalk machine making the baselines. He knows where he’s seen that before – in one of the Polaroids! So, he and ghost Hannah realize the pictures were taken at the school somewhere, and they begin their search to find the room.

During their search, Clay confronts ghost Hannah about Justin. He asks her, “I don’t understand why people choose people who aren’t good for them.” She replies, “We don’t choose who we fall for.” Clay’s response is perfect: “Tell me about it.” We feel you, Clay!

6. Alex listens to the tapes.
Speaking of Alex, though he has the tapes, he’s struggling to listen to them. His hands tremble as he is about to push play. He’s also worried about his… nether regions… working. He felt nothing when he kissed Jess, and porn doesn’t work either. The gunshot may not have killed him, but it took away his mental and physical abilities that he isn’t prepared to deal with.

7. Jess finally seeks help.
Chloe won’t stop bugging Jess about finding her a boyfriend. It’s annoying because we know why she’s doing it, and Jess does, too. So, Jess blows up on her. She doesn’t have time for a boyfriend. Jess quits cheerleading. Finally!

It turns out this random Nina girl who seemed to be stalking Jess all season is actually a fellow rape survivor. She heard the spun stories about her rape and figured it was BS, which is why she “lurked” around her to offer support. When Jess showed up to a support group, she looked as if a weight had been lifted. She slept in her own bed that night – a step in the right direction for 13 Reasons Why.

8. Mr. Baker finally makes a court appearance.
Olivia warned him it would be tough, but he said he wanted and needed to be there. Jackie, out-of-place in my opinion, warned her friend to beware of her estranged husband. I thought that was messed up and seems like she has other intentions. Olivia eventually follows him to his “girlfriend’s” house, where he kisses her and hugs the woman’s daughter. This was crushing for me, so I can’t imagine how Olivia felt.

9. Tyler and Cyrus are a**holes.
Tyler is pissed that he’s the only one who told the whole truth on the stand and he resents everyone. His new-found outcast crew is wreaking havoc on the school, and they don’t care. They make shirts that say “assholes” on them. They mess with Ryan through a Tinder-like app. But the thing that’s more awful than anything is how Tyler lied to his mom when she confronted him about the guns. The man who saw them shooting was a neighbor, and he recognized Tyler. He lied and said it was Cyrus’ BB gun. She believed him. Again, very disturbing.

10. Clay’s mom digs deeper.
Sheri mistakenly comes to Clay’s front door to take care of Justin, and his mom intercepts her. She asks Sheri a question, pretending it’s about one of her cases. “What does it mean when two teenagers are texting a lot and then abruptly stop.” We know she’s talking about Clay. Sheri tells her it’s probably a booty call.

11. Chloe meets the parents.
Bryce invites Chloe over to meet his parents. His dad asks Bryce in a cryptic way if she’s “loyal.” I want to roll my eyes. I see where Bryce gets it from. His mom chats with Chloe in the kitchen as they do the dishes and she notices bruises on her arms. Chloe passes it off as a cheerleading injury, but we know better and so does Bryce’s mom. Thank God!

12. Mr. Porter fights to be heard…literally.
After a brick carrying the message “know your place” flew through his car’s rear window, Mr. Porter is feeling the pressure. Jess tells him Justin’s prior living situation, and the look on his face reveals he had no idea. It tells me he wasn’t doing his job if there were kids that needed his help and he didn’t know it. He knows it now.

The guidance counselor shows up at Justin’s mom’s place that she shares with her abusive boyfriend and a fight ensues. He beats the crap out of the guy, rightfully so. Mr. Porter didn’t start the fight, but he sure as hell finished it. And now he’s in the back of a cop car.

Next: 13 Reasons Why facing controversy after Texas school shooting

13. Justin’s gone.
Justin is pissed because he thinks Clay lied to him about Jess wanting him back. Clay talks him off the ledge, but when Clay wakes up in the middle of the night, his couch is empty, and the window is wide open. Where did he go?

Read the yesterday’s recap for 13 Reasons Why.