13 Reasons Why – Tape 4, Side A
By: Nicole Dintelman
Loneliness isn’t just a feeling; sometimes it’s a state of being. If you’re not careful it can take over your whole life, until it consumes you.
Last time on “13 Reasons Why” Liberty High celebrated Valentine’s Day and hearts were definitely broken. The cheerleaders held a fundraiser and students got their Valentine predictions for a dollar. This was a list of predictions of their perfect Valentine. Hannah (Katherine Langford) matched to guys she would never go out with and didn’t match to the one she wanted most – Clay (Dylan Minnette). However, Clay did get Hannah on his list and still didn’t ask her out. He’s a little inexperienced in the girl department. Hannah went ahead and said yes to a date with Marcus Cole (Steven Silver) against her better judgment. The date did not go well and she ended up alone in a diner booth crying over a milk shake. Zach (Ross Butler) did come to her rescue and comfort her, but it still did not make up for her night.
Alex (Miles Heizer) and Montgomery (Timothy Granaderos) came to blows when Montgomery almost ran over Tyler in the parking lot. Montgomery ended up suspended and Tyler did not receive a punishment for the incident. Clay and Sheri (Ajiona Alexus) ended up making out after a study session, but that was only because she didn’t want him to listen to her tape. So, we’re still wondering what she did that was so horrible. Jessica (Alisha Boe) is drinking like a fish to deal with her stress and Justin (Brandon Flynn) doesn’t even want to be around her. Mrs. Jensen (Amy Hargreaves) finally told Clay about taking the case against Hannah’s parents and Clay, once again, lied about how well he knew Hannah.
We hope you’re as anxious as we are to start on Tape 4, Side A as we are. Could Clay be on the next tape?
It should have been no big deal.
Clay’s mom wants to put him back into therapy because of the way he’s acting, but his dad doesn’t agree. Mr. Jensen (Josh Hamilton) says that a girl died and Clay barely knew her. Mrs. Jensen is insistent though and says, “Hannah Baker didn’t just die. She slit her wrists and bled out in a bathtub.” Lainie doesn’t know that Clay is standing in the hall and hears the whole conversation. Clay rushes out and heads to school. When he arrives he sees a girl trying to get Hannah’s locker open and he asks her what she’s doing. The girl tells him that she’s new and it’s her locker now. Clay helps her get the locker open, probably because he feels bad for yelling at her, but he’s having conversations in his head with people that are not happening also. Maybe he does need therapy.
In communications class, Hannah is getting anonymous notes with a cartoon rabbit on them. The class was human contact for Hannah, but something happened that made the notes stop coming. This leads Clay to believe he’s listening to his tape. Is it really Clay’s tape? In the last episode, Zach sat with Hannah at the booth after Marcus tried to feel Hannah up thinking that the rumors were true. Zach also apologized on Marcus’s behalf and tried to get Hannah to laugh by getting a spoon to stick to his nose. Hannah needed someone to be sweet that night and that’s exactly what he was.
Welcome to your tape Zach.
Zach tries to talk to Hannah after Valentine’s day in the cafeteria, but she yells at him and tells him to leave her alone. He pours his heart out to her telling her that he was hoping that she was the Valentine that he was hoping for. Hannah wouldn’t listen. She thought he was only telling her these things because he thought she was easy. When she yelled at him he tells her that the things that happen to her she brings on herself and Hannah very sarcastically replies, “Thank you for your insight, genius.” Zach isn’t the type of guy that gets told no very often so he’s not happy about this encounter with Hannah.
When Clay gets home from school Papa Jensen is waiting on the porch for him. He tells Clay that if he is having his nightmares again or if he’s in any trouble and wants someone to talk to they can get him back in therapy. Mr. Jensen tells Clay about all of the clubs he belonged to when he was in school and then asks Clay if he has anything at school that brings him joy. Clay tells his dad that he is going to go to the basketball game tonight to see a friend play. Wait, Clay has a friend on the basketball team? Does Clay even like basketball?
School spirit is contagious.
Courtney and Marcus both question Clay’s motives about why he’s at the basketball game and Tyler wants to take pictures. We all know what kinds of pictures Tyler prefers to take, but we suppose he can’t take those in the high school gym. Thankfully, Mr. Porter (Derek Luke) comes up and compliments Marcus and Courtney on the T-Shirts they’re selling so none of the arguments that are brewing get out of hand. Clay, on the other hand, decides to walk out on the gym floor when the game is getting ready to start. In his mind, he goes out and punches Zach in the face. In reality, he’s just standing there. Clay should really take his dad up on that therapist offer.
Sheri asks Clay if he’s ok and Clay quips back with “Do you care?” We take it Clay is still upset by her using him. Tyler joins Clay in the stands to watch the game, but Clay tells Tyler to go away. Tyler, of course, doesn’t listen and Clay proceeds to have a fake conversation with him in his head. Heads up! The ball comes to Clay and in his head, he threw it and tries hit Zach with it. In reality, he just stands there with it and eventually Tyler has to throw it back. Jessica is late to the game and is benched for three games. Bryce comes to her rescue and tells her to come sit with him and then shows her the booze in his coat. Wait, why is Bryce in the stands? We thought he was on the team?
No more compliments.
After the incident in the cafeteria, Hannah stopped receiving compliments in her compliment bag in communication class. She decided to set a trap for Zach because she knew he was the one stealing them. Hannah wrote a heartfelt letter to him and told him things she had never told anyone. She told him how lonely she was and what those compliments meant to her. Zach took the bait, read the letter in the hall, crumpled it up and kept walking. Hannah was watching this and yelled after him “Why me Zach? Why me?” Zach turned to look at her, but then turned back and just kept moving.
Zach continues to score basket after basket and Clay continues to be the craziest one in the gym. Instead of a polished gym floor, he suddenly sees Hannah laying in the middle of the floor in a pool of blood. So, he does what any hallucinating person would do; he stands up and yells “Stop it! Stop playing! Stop the game!” Everyone turns and looks at Clay. He blinks and the vision is gone and Clay is mortified and runs from the gym. Clay gets outside and sees Zach’s car, which fuels his anger towards the basketball star. He takes out his keys and scratches “Why Me” into the paint.
Skye catches Clay vandalizing Zach’s car and tells him that it needs a question mark at the end. Clay tells her that he thinks he’s losing his s**t and he doesn’t think he can do this anymore. He says that Liberty High is a horrible place. Skye tells him that she can’t believe he’s just figuring that out. She also promised him that she wouldn’t tell anyone what he did to the car. Clay calls Tony (Christian Navarro) and asks him to meet him at Monet’s. Tony tells Clay that no matter what you don’t mess with another man’s car. Clay heads home and when he sees the tapes sitting on his desk he throws them across the room. Hannah is really doing a number on him.
The next morning Clay is woken up by his dad banging on his door telling him to get downstairs immediately. Zach is there with his mom regarding what happened to Zach’s car the night before at the basketball game. Oh no, busted! Clay fessed up to keying the car and when the parents went inside to discuss the damages the boys stayed outside to discuss Zach’s tape. Hannah said that Zach threw her letter away, but he didn’t. He had it with him in his wallet. This makes us wonder what else Hannah is lying about on the tapes.
Everyone is lonely at some point.
Hannah sent Jessica a message and asked her to meet her because she needed someone to talk to about what happened with Zach. Jessica said she would come, but Hannah waited at Monet’s and she never showed up. It was at that point that Hannah felt she had no one, no friends, no one at all. Hannah then took out a napkin and wrote: “What if the only way not to feel bad is to stop feeling anything at all forever?” That napkin turned up in the anonymous bag in communications class the following day. Zach knew that Hannah wrote it, but he said nothing. This was the second time that Hannah asked Zach for help and he ignored her.
Clay’s parents ground him for two weeks in addition to paying for the damages to Zach’s car. Clay asks for one of his parents to drive him over to Tony’s to return the tapes. Clay has decided he’s done. When he gets to Tony’s he tells him about Zach not throwing away the letter and that he can’t listen to the pain in Hannah’s voice anymore. The next day Clay goes to school feeling lighter than ever before. He’s smiling, saying hello to everyone and, of course, they all think he’s officially lost his mind. Just when Clay thinks he has a handle on things he realizes that he’s still hearing and seeing Hannah everywhere.
Sooner or later the truth is going to come out and we will be right here when it does.
Courtney and Clay signed up to be mentors to the school’s new foreign exchange students. While it’s probably not the best time for Clay to mentor anyone, he goes along anyhow. They’re giving the students a tour of the school when they come across Hannah’s locker and Clay officially loses it. He tells the new students that this is the locker of a girl who killed herself because the students at the school treated her so bad. Oy vey, Clay. A small crowd has gathered to watch Clay’s nervous breakdown and Mr. Porter comes to try to get things under control. If we were the foreign exchange students we’d be booking the next flight out of there!
We’re not sure if Clay can handle listening to the tapes anymore, but we know that he needs to. He has to learn what he did to end up on them and we have to know all of the reason’s why Hannah decided that she could no longer go on. Hopefully, Tony will be able to convince Clay that it is in his best interest to continue to listen to the tapes. We know there’s a whole lot more to this story, we’ve just begun to scratch the surface.
Join us next time when we recap Tape 4, Side B!
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts or feelings of suicide please contact The National Suicide Prevention Line 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.