Secrets. We all have them to some degree. Whether it was that vase you broke in your parent’s house when you were a kid or that time you outright lied to your spouse, we all have had them.
This week’s episode is narrated by Zach and he has a ton of secrets. He’s been riding the fence up to this point. He’s helping out Alex with rehab, while also working to be “best friends” with Bryce. These two opposing forces will eventually force Zach to make a choice, and I was interested to see what happened in this episode, and I was surprised by a third option that I never considered.
The episode begins with Zach reading a letter that Hannah gave him. He agonizes over the words while he prepares to testify. The suggestion is that there is more to their story than what has revealed, and the rest of the episode uncovers it.
Zach begins his testimony addressing the constant bullying at the High School. He shares that some of it is blatant but most of it is subtle. The prosecution pokes holes in his story by asking if he had more of a friendship with Hannah. It comes out that Zach and Hannah were much closer than we thought.
Over the summer between their Junior and Senior years, the two became lovers. They lost their virginity to each other over that summer, but they were more than just two kids having sex. Zach, having lost his father over that summer, needed someone to share with since his mother wasn’t emotionally available. Living in the household and pushing down his feelings was difficult, but he confided in Hannah and we believe he loved her.
Near the end of summer, Bryce invites Zach over and Hannah offers to go with him. Zach tells her that he would prefer to keep their relationship just between the two of them. That’s when the two start drifting apart.
After he testifies, he comes back to school and finds a pair of panties with Hannah’s name written on them and a red spot on the crotch. He looks up and starts yelling and pushing Bryce. Coach stops it, but their relationship is strained now. Later that night at home, his mom comes in and Zach is real with his mom about his feelings. He starts to cry and expresses that he can relate to Hannah’s struggle. His mom tells him that he hasn’t and that everything is fine, so Zach falls back in line with the family narrative that feelings aren’t OK unless they are positive.
The final scene we see the real anguish of Zach. He’s back at school and he begins sobbing and hitting the lockers with a bat.
Clay show Sheri the Polaroid pictures, hoping she will know where they were taken. While in class, Ryan asks Sheri about the “Clubhouse,” and she said she didn’t know and that Ryan should leave it alone. Later, Sheri shows up and tells Clay that the pictures were taken at the clubhouse.
Unfortunately, this is after Clay hears about Zach’s testimony. He is pissed at Zach, as he hoped that he was the only love interest in Hannah’s life. When Sheri tells him the news, he says he doesn’t care anymore, or so he thinks. Olivia and Andy decide that they need to strengthen their case so they call on him to testify.
Tyler and Cyrus
Since being caught shooting guns, Tyler’s dad takes them to the range to learn how to properly shoot a gun with Alex’s dad, the sheriff.
The two troublemakers continue to plot revenge against other kids. Cyrus hacks Zach’s phone and confirms that Zach’s story is true. At the same time, they find a video of Marcus getting a lap dance from a stripper and plan on using it.
The potential love interest between Tyler and Cyrus’s sister continue to get stronger. Late at night, they are found cleaning up after Tyler threw up on Cyrus’s favorite shoes.
Minor Storylines for this episode
- Justin shows up at school and goes straight for Jess. He tells her that he is back if she wants him or he can disappear forever. She tells him that she wishes she was dead. He goes to leave and faints, and Jess cries out his name. Jess later shares during her group therapy session that she doesn’t know why she cares about him after what he did. Her new friend Nina, tells her that she was brave for sharing her truth to the group and owning it.
- Porter is bailed out of jail by his wife. She’s upset that he got in a fight and he promises it won’t happen again. When at School, the Baseball coach stops by and lets him know that one of his buddies from the police called him last night about what happened. The coach told him that he vouched for Mr. Porter and that they were going to make it disappear. We can only imagine what will be asked of Mr. Porter later on.
- Andy has been showing up to support Olivia since the last episode. This episode he continues to stand by Olivia. He finally confesses that he lied to her and that he is living with his new girlfriend. We also get a peek into their marriage and see how each of them contributed to the separation.
- Alex continues to spin in his tornado of depression and self-pity. He remains angry at anyone that tries to help him. Near the episode, he misses his physical therapy session with Zach. Zach comes in and confronts him. The two start to wrestle and then they are surprised by Alex getting an erection. There is finally a little hope for Alex as he says “his dick’s not broken.”
- Bryce is shocked to see Justin is back at school. Chloe notices this and questions Bryce why he cares. They have a small fight and Chloe storms off.
- Justin is found by Clay’s dad after an intruder broke into the house and rummaged through Justin’s things. We never see who the intruder is, but we find out that he took something from Justin’s bag. Justin plays it off when Clay asks him and says nothing was taken.
- Tony goes to the gym to see his new boyfriend. When he arrives he notices one of the guys that is training and he storms out. We assume it’s the same guy that he beat up in season one.