This episode highlights a death and a birthday. But more importantly, after half a season of watching Clay get pissed at everyone, it’s finally his chance to testify. Let’s jump right in:
Clay and all his self-righteousness are now on trial. He has a chance to rectify the other testimonies that fell short and didn’t help show who Hannah Baker was. He wakes up the morning of the trial and heads downstairs to get breakfast but finds that Justin is already there chumming with his parents. Clay’s jealousy begins to poke out. He heads outside to get the paper and someone wrote, “Hannah Lied,” in big red letters on the daily paper.
Clay’s testimony mimics what we’ve already seen with other witnesses. They sit on the stand. They share the good things about Hannah. All looks like it’s going well. The prosecution sits. The defense attorney pokes holes in the story and brings up secrets that they never wanted release, leaving Hannah looking worse than when the testimony started.
So what was Clay’s big secret?
Having been a bit of a control freak and nerd, Jeff is trying to help him loosen up around Hannah. He’s aware that the two have some chemistry, so Jeff invites them over to a small get together at his house (Jeff actually died last season and they put up a memorial for him in the gym in this episode).
Hannah, Clay, Alex, Sheri, Jeff and another girl all arrive at Jeff’s house. Jeff bought molly for them all to try. Clay feels pressured to take the pills but ends up conceding to the group. Clay and Hannah stay up late talking about life, love, and infinity.
After coming down off of molly, they head to the coffee shop to have breakfast. They are all feeling down (a side effect of the drug they took). Hannah is really depressed and expresses her desire to be dead. They all are saying similar things, but the look in Hannah’s eyes is intense; she means it.
This all came out on the stand with Clay. He knew that she was struggling, but he also didn’t do anything to stop it. If he didn’t do anything, then how could the school be responsible for taking action as well?
In the end, the testimony doesn’t paint Hannah in a great light. She was chronically depressed, doing drugs and nobody around her took her pain serious enough to do anything about it. Clay failed just like those before him.
To make matters worse, he also received the third polaroid during this episode. It was another picture of Bryce having sex with a girl and on the back, it said, “The Clubhouse.”
It’s Alex’s birthday, and he continues to spiral. Everyone is coming around him to make him feel special. His mom wakes him up with balloons. His parents are throwing him a party later that night. Zach, Clay, and Jess even made a banner for him and hung it up at school. While looking at the banner, Bryce comes by and verbally jabs him regarding his attempted suicide. Alex comes unhinged and barks out that at least he’s not a rapist like Bryce. Shocked, Zach tells him that it wasn’t cool to do that while Alex pushes back at Zach for still being friends with him.
Horrified, Jess tells him that it wasn’t his right to say that as she starts to break down. Alex tries to apologize but Jess runs off.
Later that night they all show up for his party at an arcade. When Jess arrives he is able to apologize to her. After they eat, Alex plays a first-person shooter game. His dad tries to get him off the game, thinking it might trigger something within Alex, which it does. Alex get’s mad at his dad and starts playing the victim card, saying it would have been better had he been able to successfully commit suicide. Jess steps up and calls him out on his selfishness (finally). She points out that everyone at the party loves him and that she needed him after the raping, but he wasn’t there for her. It seems that this might have actually gotten through to him.
Tyler and Cyrus
Tyler and Cyrus continue their shenanigans after having found a video of Marcus getting a lap dance by a stripper. Instead of blasting it out to the whole school, they blackmail Marcus and tell him that he needs to wear a dress to school or else they will send it out.
Marcus, concerned about his image, goes to Bryce for help, since Marcus helped Bryce out during his testimony. Bryce tells him that he wants nothing to do with it and that he never asked for his help, therefore he doesn’t owe Marcus anything.
Marcus, the MC of the pep rally, shows up wearing a cheerleader outfit with a skirt. This pisses Tyler off since Marcus used it as a publicity stunt and wasn’t humiliated as Tyler intended. They are going to up the stakes for the next round of humiliation.
Tyler’s pride takes a hit when he’s invited to Alex’s birthday party. He shows up with a present for Alex, but Zach and Jess see him walk in and tell him to leave before he has a chance to talk with Alex. He leaves feeling rejected and only adds fuel to his need for revenge.
Minor Storylines for this episode
- Andy continues to show up in support of Olivia. They head to the grave and have a kiss, will they get back together? Andy recommends that they grab some food and while eating he blindsides Olivia telling her that they need to finalize the divorce. Guess that was just a pity kiss, Olivia.
- Bryce and Chloe’s relationship continues to get more awkward. They are watching a movie at his house and he forces himself on her. She said it was OK, but then watching her struggle through them having sex was difficult to watch.
- Tony and his new boyfriend Caleb start heating it up a little more on set with a sweet kiss. Tony is conflicted as he asks more questions about one of the guys that Caleb is training. Caleb says that the guy was beaten up really badly and has some serious PTSD. Tony looks concerned and remorseful. Now we just have to wait until the two meet face to face.
- Tyler and Mackenzie (Cyrus’s sister) have a moment where she asks him on a date. I’m sure this will have an impact on his friendship with Cyrus, his only friend.
- Jess continues to have flashbacks of the rape. The one during this episode came as she was trying on clothes at a store. She ran out and her friend Nina follows her and provides support. We find out that Nina hasn’t shared her story with her boyfriend since she doesn’t see the need to reveal that part of her life with him since the past rape doesn’t define her.