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"13 Reasons Why" Thoughts And Theories

Updated on April 15, 2017
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I'm an 18 year-old undergraduate Psychology student from Greece, with a passion for movies, TV shows, music and people(sometimes).


"13 Reasons Why" is a Netflix original TV series, based on the 2007 novel "Thirteen Reasons Why", written by Jay Asher. It was originally supposed to be a movie with Selena Gomez on the lead but ended up being a TV series with her as an executive producer. It was released on Netflix on March 31, 2017. It stars Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette as Hannah Baker and Clay Jensen respectively, the show's main characters.

I saw "13 Reasons Why" popping up everywhere on social media so I thought I'd give the first episode a go and I ended up binge-watching the whole season in one sitting.

Clay Jensen
Clay Jensen


Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Clay, a junior in high school, receives a box containing a series of audio cassette tapes where his deceased friend Hannah explains the reasons why she made the decision to end her life. There are 7 tapes with 13 recordings overall. Each tape is dedicated to one of the people that contributed to Hannah killing herself and only these people are the ones to receive those tapes. Meanwhile, her parents are filing a lawsuit against the school for leading her to kill herself.

Her first recording is about Justin Foley, her first kiss. He wronged her by spreading a rumor about her being "easy" and sharing an unflattering, kind of explicit picture of hers, even though they only just kissed.

Her second recording is about Jessica Davis, a friend of Hannah's who ended their friendship because she believed that Hannah was responsible for her breaking up with her boyfriend.

The third subject of the tapes is Alex Standall, Jessica's ex boyfriend who created a list where Hannah is listed as "best ass" and Jessica as "worst ass". That not only crushed the girls' relationship but also somehow gave everyone the right to comment on and harass Hannah.

The fourth person on Hanna's tapes is Tyler Down, the school photographer. He stalked and took pictures of Hannah at her house and even released a picture of her and another girl kissing in Hannah's bedroom while they were drunk.

Fifth on the list is Courtney Crimsen. She was the other girl on the picture that Tyler released. Trying to protect her reputation and the fact that she is actually gay, she spread rumors about Hannah being the gay one.

Hannah's sixth recording is about Marcus Cole, her "dollar valentine" date. Not only was he 1 hour late to their date, but he also embarassed her when he tried to get sexual with her in public without her consent.

Her seventh subject is Zach Dempsey. After rejecting him, he stole her "positive notes" from a class project, which actually made her feel a bit better about herself.

Number eight is Ryan Shaver. He makes the decision to take a very personal poem of Hannah's and publish it on his journal without her knowing. It was anonymous, but students were quick to figure it out.

Her ninth recording is dedicated once again to Justin Foley, who is now dating Jessica Davis. Jessica threw a party at her house, she got drunk and Justin allowed his friend Bryce to have sex with her while she was unconscious. Hannah witnessed the whole thing because she was in the room.

Subject number ten is Sheri Holland. After Jessica's party, she offered Hannah a ride home, but, while driving, she crashed at a stop sign destroying it. She didn't want to call 911 immediately and afraid of what her parents might think, she left Hannah and drove off. The destroyed stop sign caused a crash later that night, leading to another student, Jeff, dying.

Tape number six, side A is about Clay. Hannah admits he doesn't deserve to be on these tapes, but when she freaks out after almost having sex with him, even though she was the one to command him to leave her, she didn't want him to leave.

Second to last of the recordings is about Bryce Walker. He was the one who raped Jessica at her party, and now, at one of his own parties, he rapes Hannah too.

Last subject of the tapes is Mr. Porter, the school counselor. Hannah visits his office and admits she's suicidal, but he doesn't seem to believe her and tells her to move on.

Hannah Baker
Hannah Baker
Alex Standall
Alex Standall
Tyler Down
Tyler Down
Justin Foley
Justin Foley


So at the ending we find out that Alex has shot himself, Justin is homeless with a gun at hand, Tyler is packing and has his own collection of guns, and Jessica is about to confess her rape to her father.

A theory suggests that Tyler was the one who shot Alex, as we see him taking down Alex's picture in his darkroom. I do not think that's valid as, before that scene, we see Tyler recalling Alex defending him once in front of another kid who bullied him. Also, before Alex's attempted suicide, we can see him tiding up his room, just like Hannah did before taking her own life.

Another theory about Tyler is that he's about to pull off a massive school shooting. This sounds more probable as every single kid at school made fun of him. I guess he decides to spare Alex's life as he stood up for him once, but Alex is already hospitalized in a "critical condition". This theory also explains why he owns so many guns now.

There's also a probablity of Justin shooting himself too. His girlfriend Jessica hates him, he left his house as his drunk mother and her boyfriend forced him to, he decided to cut off Bryce of his life so there's not much left for him anymore. We also see him carrying a gun so he might be already headed to that direction.


I have to admit that "13 Reasons Why" is one of the best TV shows I have ever watched. Critics and fans alike seem to agree with that, though. It touches some very important subjects, like bullying, rape and depression and it's a great way of raising awareness on those. I thought the acting was very professional and Katherine Langford definitely stood out. This is her first major acting credit and I don't think anyone could have done a better job, her expressiveness is just tremendous. Also, I loved the editing, with the light differences from scene to scene indicating if we're in Hannah's tapes or in the present and the music copmlements the picture very well. I just hope we get a second season!


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