13 Reasons Why – Tape 5, Side A

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By: Nicole Dintelman

When you feel like you need a change, find a new version of yourself, sometimes all you have to do is press the reset button to rediscover who you are.


Previously on “13 Reasons Why,” Hannah (Katherine Langford) joined a poetry group at the local library. At the first meeting, she learned that Ryan Shaver (Tommy Dorfman) was also a member. This discovery almost made her not come for a second meeting. She should have listened to her instincts because Ryan took a very personal poem Hannah wrote and published it in the school magazine. Hannah asked Ryan not to publish her poem and he went against her wishes and did so anyway. Everyone saw the poem and it was even read in their English class, mortifying Hannah.


After Clay’s (Dylan Minnette) incident with the Foreign Exchange students, Tony (Christian Navarro) took him rock climbing. Yes, we said rock climbing. Tony told Clay about the night Hannah died and how when she came over to drop the tapes off he didn’t answer the door. He says that maybe if he had she would still be there. Tony says that when he did answer the door and get the box he rushed over to Hannah’s house, but it was too late and Hannah was already dead. Now Clay knows why Tony is making sure Hannah’s wishes are carried out. Tony also tells Clay that he’s gay. Poor Clay, he’s so oblivious to so many things.


Let’s get started with Tape 5, Side A and see who is on it!

Schools out for summer!


It’s summer break and after the summer that Hannah has had she’s ready for the break. Clay is spending the summer at his grandparents so Hannah has a new co-worker at the theater and she’s feeling restless. She feels like she needs a big change, a shake-up of some kind before school starts again so she can reinvent herself. Hannah’s decided she’s going to start brand new and not be invisible anymore. Hannah goes into a hair salon to begin her transformation.


Clay tells Jessica (Alisha Boe) that he heard her tape about her party. Jessica tells him that night didn’t happen the way Hannah said it did. Clay says that he’s pretty sure that it did and he wants to help her. Jessica takes Clay into a classroom and tells him that she hooked up with her boyfriend that night. Clay tells her that Hannah said that Jessica was really out of it, but Jessica swears that she and Justin (Brandon Flynn) passed out afterward. Justin comes in and interrupts their conversation and tells Clay to stay away from Jessica and to mind his own business.

We need answers.


Mr. Baker (Brian d’Arcy Jones) goes to see Mr. Porter (Derek Luke) demanding to know why the school didn’t intervene when Hannah’s poem was published. Mr. Porter tries to explain that the poem was published anonymously and the magazine is done independently by one of the students. Mr. Porter also tells Mr. Baker (“Andy”) that he doesn’t think the poem is about suicide. Andy tells Kevin that in the poem the author is talking about disappearing forever and drowning with weights tied to themselves. Andy tells Kevin: “God help any student that comes to you.”


Clay is back from his grandparents and back to work. He asks Hannah if she’s going to go to the party at Jessica’s that night. Hannah asks Clay since when does he go to parties and Clay tells her since Jeff (Brandon Larracuente) told him he had to go. Hannah tells Clay that she made a deal with herself that she was going to try harder this year: do better in school, skip the parties and be a better person. Clay tells Hannah that’s funny because this is the year he’s decided to slack off.

To party or not to party…That is the question.  


Hannah knew she should stay home from the party, but she really wanted to see Clay. When her parents get home she tells her mom about the party and gets permission to attend. Hannah also tells Mrs. Baker (Kate Walsh) that she has a lot of homework so maybe she should stay in. Hannah’s mom tells her it’s Saturday night and she should go out and have fun or if she wants to stay home she can do that, too. Hannah wanted her mom to tell her she couldn’t go to the party and, in all honesty, she probably should have.


Marcus (Steven Silver) tries to talk to Clay about the way he’s acting, but Clay tells him to back off. Clay tells Marcus that this is the second tape where someone has committed a crime and it needs to be reported. Marcus tells Clay he needs to keep quiet or he doesn’t know what’s going to happen and he’s trying to protect him. Clay asks Marcus where was he when Jessica needed protection the night of her party. Whoa, what happened at this party? Jessica still swears nothing happened, but now Clay says that someone committed a crime. No wonder these kids are on edge.

All hands on deck.


Jessica is drinking all the time now. She carries it in a steel water container so no one knows it’s vodka. Courtney (Michele Selene Ang) asks her if she’s okay and Jessica tells her she’s not sure. Jessica asks Courtney what if Hannah really did see something that night? What if Clay is right? Courtney tells Jessica that Justin is her boyfriend and who is she going to believe, him or a dead girl? Hannah’s mother is upset with her husband for taking the poem to school. She tells him that he’s just showed them their entire hand. They had leverage for their suit and now they don’t.  


Marcus goes to see Bryce (Justin Prentice) in the locker room to try to score some Mary Jane, which takes Bryce by surprise. Marcus tells Bryce it’s for a friend. We’re not liking where this is going. At all. Mr. Porter calls Ryan Shaver in his office about Hannah’s poem in his magazine. Ryan tells him that someone slipped it in his locker last year. Ryan tells him that he didn’t know Hannah wrote it. Lies, all lies! Mr. Porter tells Ryan that he can’t publish his magazine any longer. We’d like to call that karma.



Marcus planted the drugs he scored from Bryce in Clay’s backpack then went to Mr. Porter saying he was worried about Clay. Mr. Porter and the assistant principal initiate bag checks and find the drugs. Clay tries to say the drugs were not his, but no one would listen. The assistant principal tells Clay that it’s an automatic five-day suspension, but since he has a spotless record it will only be three days. He also has to enroll in a drug rehab program.


Jessica’s party is when Hannah found out for the first time that Jessica and Justin are dating for the first time. Hannah asks Jessica why she would date Justin after what he did to her. Jessica tells her Bryce was the one that sent the photo out, but Hannah still feels betrayed. Hannah finds Clay and still tries to have a good time. Clay makes Hannah feel special and makes her nervous all at the same time.

Justin Foley welcome to your 2nd tape.


Hannah is hiding in Jessica’s bedroom. What she’s doing in there will come later. She had to hide because Jessica and Justin came in making out. Jessica was so drunk that once she and Justin laid down on the bed she passed out. Hannah was afraid and didn’t know what to do so she just stayed hidden. Justin decides to go get Jessica some water, thinking it would help her sober up some.


When Justin leaves the room Bryce comes in the room and rapes a semi-unconscious Jessica. Hannah is in the closet unable to move or speak. Once it’s over she comes out of the closet and vomits in a trash can. She covers Jessica up and apologizes to her. Hannah says she can’t live with what happened to Jessica and doesn’t understand how Justin can either.

Coming Clean.


When Clay’s mom comes and picks him up from the school, he asks her to take him to the police station so he can register for his drug class. Mrs. Jensen (Amy Hargreaves) tells Clay she’s just at a loss with him right now and doesn’t understand why he’s acting the way that he is. Clay finally tells his mom that he lied about not knowing Hannah. He tells her that he knew her and he liked her. Clay says that he didn’t realize how empty it would feel with her gone. Our hearts are breaking right now! Poor Clay!


Clay goes to see Justin to tell him he has to tell Jessica what really happened the night of her party. Justin tells Clay that Jessica already knows. Clay tells Justin all Jessica knows is whatever Justin has told her. Justin begins to remember the details from that night: Bryce found him in the hallway when he was leaving Jessica’s room and wanted him to go play beer pong. Justin told Bryce how wasted Jessica was and Bryce saw that as an invitation. He told Justin “What’s mine is yours” and apparently that includes girlfriends.

Memories can be repressed for a little while, but eventually, they all come flooding back. When they do all you can do is brace yourself for impact.


Jessica remembers more about that night than people know. She knows that Bryce raped her and is starting to remember more details of the evening. Clay goes to see Tony and asks him how he can just listen to what happened and not do anything. Tony tells Clay it’s not that easy and he doesn’t know the whole story. Clay starts pushing Tony and throws his bike across the garage. Clay is seriously losing it. I mean, did they confiscate that marijuana? He needs to mellow out! Tony tells Clay to listen to all of the tapes and then if he still wants to get justice for Jessica he will help him.


With all of this going on, it’s no wonder why these kids are trying to protect each other the way they are. The question is: why are they protecting Bryce? He sexually assaulted Jessica, but instead of helping her they’re protecting her rapist. Courtney and Zach (Ross Butler) still maintain that Hannah is lying, while some of the others don’t say one way or the other. We know some things have been less than truthful, but others have been spot on. So far some members of the group have had more than one tape, but we still have yet to get to Clay. Could he be coming up next? One way or the other Clay is going to finish listening to the tapes and we’re going to be right here with him when he does.


Join us next time when we recap Tape 5, Side B.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault please contact RAINN 24 hours a day at 1-800-656-HOPE or www.rainn.org

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