13 Reasons Why season 2 finale: ‘Bye’

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Photo Credit: Netflix

Each day, I gave you a recap of one episode from 13 Reasons Why’s second season.

The 13 Reasons Why season 2 finale was eventful, to say the least. There is a lot to cover, so here are my thoughts, feelings, and recap of episode 13.

1. This is the most challenging recap to write.
I say this as a takeaway because as a writer, I have dreaded writing this recap for episode 13. This can’t be just a regular recap article. The things I watched as a 34-year-old woman were horrifying. And I can’t imagine being a teenager watching this episode. Now, I recognize I am lucky. I am not a victim of rape or sexual assault. While I can relate to some bullying as an adolescent, none of it compares to the degree of abuse some of these characters endured on this series, and especially in this episode.

Maybe I should have begun each recap with a warning. The show, after experiencing immense controversy from its content last season, decided to add a disclaimer before every show. They also direct viewers to the show’s informational website 13reasonswhy.info, which includes numbers to hotlines for those who need help, during the credits.

So, please know as you read, I will detail events from the episode, but I will also offer some links to information in addition to my usual commentary.

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2. Jessica’s address to the judge is poignant and powerful.
The 13 Reasons Why season 2 finale picks up one month after Bryce’s and Justin’s arrests. Bryce, with his sorry attempt at looking innocent by wearing glasses, stands up and says how sorry he is for what he did. In my opinion, he is sorry he got caught.

It’s now Jessica’s turn to address the judge. She recounts the details of her rape.

“I may not remember all of the details, but I will never forget the sheer terror of feeling your weight on top of me. Of not being able to breathe.”

Her description just proves how far her character came from the beginning of 13 Reasons Why. In her speech, she is directly taking back the power Bryce stole from her. Then, to make the moment even more powerful, Jessica transformed into other female characters of the show, like Olivia, Mrs. Jensen, Nina, Courtney, Sheri, Mackenzie, and Jess’ mom. Each woman describing their own #MeToo story. I mentioned before, I never experienced a moment like that, but it made me think of the women who have and don’t have the voice to say anything.

I hope if anything good comes out of this show, it’s that one young woman who’s watching it feels empowered to share her story or that a young man will watch and realize he should change his attitude towards women.