13 Takeaways from 13 Reasons Why: ‘The Smile at the End of the Dock’


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

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

1. Best episode of the season (so far).
OK, this is just my opinion, but I was so into this episode, that I didn’t pick up my cell phone once. It was brilliant all around; the writing, the story, the acting – it all worked. Special shout out to Ross Butler, who plays Zach Dempsey. He gave me all of the feels, especially in the last few minutes, as he released every ounce of anger, pain, and stress he held the entire series so far with a baseball bat and some lockers.

2. Hannah and Zach were a couple!
I knew Zach was a good person! It turns out, the summer before Hannah died, Zach apologized for stealing her compliments and being a jerk. Since all of his friends were gone in the summer, he spent a lot of time with Hannah. It started as a friendship, but the two eventually decided to lose their virginity to each other. The sequence of the two of them frolicking around town are the happiest scenes of 13 Reasons Why. I had to pause it because it made me cry; I cried because it relieved me that Hannah had some happiness in her life at some point, that her life wasn’t all pain and loneliness.

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They decide to keep their relationship secret. Zach doesn’t want his friend to find out. At first, you think it’s because he’s embarrassed. I’m sure that’s what Hannah thinks. But I think he did it to protect her from his awful friends. She goes along with it, reluctantly. When his friends are officially back from summer vacation, he is cold towards her, and she breaks up with him rather than hide their romance.

I wonder if she hadn’t ended it right then if she would have taken her life at all. Maybe their relationship could have eased into public knowledge. Maybe Zach would have stood up to his friends. We’ll never know.

3. Zach admits everything on the stand.
Because Zach admits his relationship on the stand, it sends a ripple effect through some of his important relationships. His mother, who doesn’t express her feelings and promotes that character trait to her son, is beside herself that he kept a relationship with her. She scolds him for showing emotion. And for someone so sensitive, it’s heartbreaking.

Of course, scumbag Bryce makes fun of Zach for his relationship with Hannah. Some friend, huh? He and his lemmings even hang a pair of underwear in Zach’s locker, with Hannah’s name on them. They’re so disgusting. I hope Zach ditches all of them now.

4. Clay is crazy jealous.
Another person feeling the effects of Zach’s testimony in 13 Reasons Why is Clay. He confronts Zach, first accusing him of lying, and then berates him for having a relationship with Hannah. He ignores Zach’s repeated apologies.

I think Clay built his relationship with Hannah up for so long. He could deal with knowing her crushes on other guys or a kiss with another guy, but it’s clear she had real feelings for him. He’s mad at himself for going away that summer because he believes that could have been him and Hannah. He takes it all out on Zach. When ghost Hannah asks him, “Do you have something to say to me?” Clay ignores her, turning away. I think he feels like he lost her all over again.

5. Clay WILL testify.
The Bakers decide to ask Clay to testify. After his encounter with Zach, Olivia calls Clay to come over so she could ask him personally. She also coaches him. Talk about your friendship. Tell them about her personality, and that she was a good person. The request couldn’t come at a worse time.

6. It’s the clubhouse.
Ryan asks Sheri about a place called the Clubhouse, something Hannah referenced in her poetry. Sheri pretends not to know what it is but knows it has some connection to the Polaroids. So, she goes to Clay to tell him, and because he’s so upset about Hannah and Zach, he blows her off.

7. Justin goes back to school.
Sitting in Clay’s house isn’t working for Justin anymore. He needs to see Jess. So, he shows up at school in the cafeteria to see her. Jess rejects him and tells him she wishes he were dead. Ouch. He apologizes to her. When he turns to leave, an angry Bryce walks up to him. Justin can only say, “YOU!” before he collapses. Clay and Tony get him out of there as quickly as he came.

8. Someone breaks into Clay’s house.
Some jerk in a hoodie breaks into Clay’s house. Justin, who just got back from school, hides in a closet. Since the burglar broke a window to get in, it can’t be Tony or Sheri since they know to come in through the window.

9. Clay’s Parents find out about Justin.
When Justin leaves the closet to try to see the burglar climbed through the window, Clay’s dad catches him. The Jensens decide to let Justin stay. However, because Mrs. Jensen is an officer of the court, she needs to report that Justin is back. After all, the court summoned Justin, and he never showed.

10. Tony sees a familiar face.
When Tony goes to his gym to see Caleb, the person Caleb is training is an older man with a noticeable scar on his face. Tony is shook. Is this the guy who he assaulted? And how is he connected?

11. I’m over Tyler and Cyrus.
This whole storyline is annoying. I’m sure it’s connected to everything else, but it’s distracting right now, and I don’t think it serves much of a purpose.

12. Alex won’t testify.
Even though Alex listened to the tapes multiple times, his doctor won’t clear him to testify.

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

13. Nina’s rapist is Mark Perry.
I thought it was interesting that they named Nina’s rapist. I don’t think it was by accident. Mark Perry was a senior, and I think he has something to do with Bryce. Maybe he taught Bryce everything he knows.

Read the yesterday’s recap for 13 Reasons Why.