EPISODE 10: “Tape 5, Side B”
1. The episode starts with Clay back on his bike, listening to the tapes while riding around — which is basically how the entire 13 Reasons Why novel goes.
For my fellow book fans, this scene feels the most like what I pictured while reading it.
2. On this tape, we’re still at Jessica’s party: This is going to be story No. 2 from that night, and we learn that there was a car accident.
The only thing we know at first is that it involves an old man we’ve never met.
3. Jeff and Clay chat briefly outside the party.
Jeff asks Clay how it’s going with Hannah, but Clay says he doesn’t know, he never knows. This is a scene we haven’t actually seen yet, and won’t during this episode. They talk about how they’ll see each other Monday, and it’s clear once more what good friends they are. Why aren’t we seeing more of Jeff in the present day? We’ll find out soon.
4. Jeff needs to leave the party to go on a beer run, but Sheri’s car is blocking him in. She was about to leave anyway, so they both head out.
Neither Jeff nor Sheri seems to be drunk — and they both explain it to their friends in different ways before getting in their cars. Sheri offers to give Hannah, who looks miserable, a ride home. But on the way, when Sheri is looking for a charger for Hannah’s phone, she crashes into stop sign and totally flattens it. Hannah wants to call the cops, but Sheri freaks out and drives home, leaving Hannah on the side of the road. When Hannah runs to a gas station to call 911 and report the stop sign being down, the operator tells her the accident at that intersection has already been reported. Hannah is confused, but relieved. She shouldn’t be.
5. Tape club has another meeting: This time poetry Ryan is here.
They’re starting to fragment and question each other’s decisions. Ryan asks the same thing Clay has been asking all of them: Why are they defending Bryce, a rapist? Courtney says they can’t let Clay pass the tapes to anyone else and still tries to convince everyone they’re not sure what really happened at the party. “Really?” Ryan asks. “That’s still your position? Hannah’s lying?” What is Courtney’s problem? Is she more involved than we know right now? Is she really only hiding her sexual orientation?
6. Clay talks to Sheri about the tape and the accident, but she asks if before he enacts his version of revenge on her, he could please meet her after school so she can show him what she’s doing.
“I didn’t want you judging me for the worst thing I’ve ever done,” Sheri tells Clay. Because of the felled stop sign, there was a car accident: The old man we saw at the top of the episode getting carried away in an ambulance was injured, but he lived. Turns out Sheri hasn’t exactly told the old man and his wife that the accident was her fault, but she started showing up at their house, and now she helps them with chores and errands and spends time with them. She’s making amends for her actions without exactly telling the truth, but still, her heart is very much in the right place. She wants to prove to Clay that she’s not like everyone else on the tapes, and I think she does a good job of it.
7. For some reason, people think Jeff was driving drunk. Wait, Jeff? We still don’t know exactly how he’s involved… but I feel sick.
8. Alex starts talking to Clay on the bleachers outside — and it’s hard to tell at first whether this action is in the past or present, because they very cleverly style Clay’s bangs over the place his forehead cut would be.
“Aren’t you sad?” Alex asks him.
“I’m more pissed off,” Clay says. Alex says he thinks you can be both and tries to encourage Clay not to judge someone. Turns out we’re in the past, and the accident has already happened.
9. Hannah comes crying to Clay about what happened, but Clay gets angry at her.
“What are you crying about?” he asks. “You barely knew him… Every drama has to be your drama, or it doesn’t count.” It’s clear at this point, though they still haven’t said it outright, that Jeff died in a car accident after he left the party. Clay is in so much pain, and he can’t see that Hannah is, too. But I think, at least in this moment, she has to understand that. Jeff was his best friend!
Sheri won’t talk to Hannah anymore either, though — she thinks it’s best they stay away from each other. Now Hannah has absolutely no one. “This was starting to be more than I could live with,” Hannah says on the tape. The events in Hannah’s life seem to be reaching their tipping point. Between witnessing and not stopping her former best friend’s rape, and then indirectly leading to Clay’s best friend’s death, Hannah is going through hell.
10. Justin and Jessica hook up in the theater, but Justin stops it.
They get into a fight, where Justin asks her why she’s acting so crazy, and she shoots back, “Why aren’t you?” Angry, she finds Bryce and convinces him to come back to her place so they can get high. When they get there, she opens her father’s safe and takes out a loaded gun, teaching Bryce how to hold it and shoot it. What on earth is she doing? I thought for a minute that she was going to shoot him. I wish she had.
11. The Bakers and Mrs. Jensen have a legal meeting, where Mrs. Jensen, in her position as the school’s lawyer, tries to convince the Bakers to settle the case.
But the Bakers’ lawyer is tough and won’t back down. After the meeting, the two moms run into each other in the bathroom, and Mrs. Baker asks how much Mrs. Jensen thinks Clay’s life is worth. She asks if Mrs. Jensen would settle for $200,000, and Mrs. Jensen says she’d only settle for the truth. I still don’t know why Mrs. Jensen doesn’t remove herself from the case, but at least she gave Mrs. Baker advice as a mom, and not necessarily what she should have said as the opposing lawyer.
12. We finally learn the truth about Jeff’s accident — and Clay tells Jeff’s parents.
Turns out Clay was on his way home when he heard the crash, and he sprinted to the scene. He was the first one there — and he’s the one who called 911. He never said anything to them before because he was angry that Jeff had lied, that he really was drinking. But now that he knows the truth, he wants Jeff’s parents to know it, too. He also finds out that he meant as much to Jeff as Jeff meant to him, even though he always thought Jeff was so cool, older, and nice, and that Clay himself was just “nobody.”
13. Clay and Tony are on a swing set as this tape ends, and Tony tells him that the next tape, No. 11, is Clay’s.
Clay doesn’t want to listen before getting the answer to one question. He asks Tony flat out, “Did I kill Hannah Baker?” Tony dodges it with, “We all let her down,” until he can’t anymore, and finally answers Clay’s question. “Yeah,” he says, quietly. WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN? What kind of an answer is that?!?!
Episode grade: B
Click ahead for episode 11.