Hannah Baker sends 13 tapes to the people who played a role in her decision to end her life
EPISODE 4: “Tape 2, Side B”
1. We’re always being followed, and not just in a fun social media way.
Stalking someone in real life is a whole ‘nother thing. This truth, shared by Hannah at the top of the episode, pretty much sets up the fourth reason for her suicide and reveals the next culprit on Hannah’s list. The stalker in question? Liberty High’s very own student life photographer, Tyler Down, a.k.a. the skinny kid with glasses the popular jocks like to trip and pants in the hallway. Turns out that Tyler is a bit of a creep; he would stand outside Hannah’s window and take photos of her, preventing her from being able to sleep at night because she was so afraid. Tyler took away her sense of safety, so she wanted him to feel as scared as she did by bringing all the tape-listeners to his window to watch him – most of them end up throwing rocks at his window. Those Liberty High kids sure are stellar human beings.
2. Tyler is in love with Hannah.
He felt like he really “saw her” because when he put his camera on her, she didn’t smile or pose or fake it. (Probably because she was asleep and didn’t know you were snapping, Tyler!!) She was real and he fell for that, and he only took the pictures because he knew he couldn’t just hang out with her. Tyler calls Clay out for loving her too and just hanging out on the sidelines
3. Clay is not the best cyclist.
He crashes his bike into a car AGAIN (there’s no nasty head gash this time, though).
4. Pun costumes aren’t always winners.
It’s Halloween and the students of Liberty High are all dressed up for a costume competition, which comes with a $200 cash prize. Marcus opts for an “El Niño” tropical storm ensemble, complete with a sombrero adorned with hail drops and lightening sound effects, but loses out to Jessica and Justin, who go as the Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious and his soon-to-be-stabbed girlfriend Nancy Spungen, or “sexy punk rockers” – students at Liberty are not up on their ‘70s music scene.
5. Bryce is the worst.
But at least he and Zach didn’t win the costume contest. They show up as m–f divers. Roll those eyes.
6. Marcus is on the tapes, and he’s also a liar.
When he bumps into Clay outside Tyler’s house, Marcus tells him that he didn’t listen to the tapes in an attempt to get Clay to pass them on to the next person without listening either. Only he totally listened.
7. Clay thinks zombies are stupid.
In a flashback, after a night of refilling TP and popcorn containers at the movie theater, Clay and Hannah walk home together and discuss the merits of zombies. “What’s their story? They don’t want to take over the world. They don’t want to kill their masters or anything interesting. They’re not good or evil, they’re just hungry… for brains,” Clay explains. He has a point. Somebody tell the Walking Dead producers. There’s a moment where Clay could’ve/should’ve kissed Hannah, but he goes for the hug instead.
8. The sounds of a camera lens clicking is loud enough to hear from feet away.
Take note, would-be stalkers.
9. Tony only beats up guys that hurt his sister — apparently there are an overwhelming number of males in this town who are just plain s—ty individuals.
So when Clay followed Tony in the last episode and saw him relentlessly punching some guy, he at least had a good reason for doing so… kind of, I think… ?
10. Mr. Porter, the school counselor, has two babies.
One is two and a half and the other is 9 months old. There’s a high probability that the strain of having a young family is distracting him from doing his job properly. He also stops by the Bakers’ pharmacy and tries to warn Hannah’s dad about the perils of the recently opened Walplex: the megastore with great prices that’s stealing all the Bakers’ customers.
11. Kids in Hannah’s neighborhood suck.
Apparently a recently deceased daughter isn’t a sufficient reason to skip handing out Halloween candy, so some kids TP Hannah’s parents’ house. Clay is passing by and yells at them to stop, only to be caught by Hannah’s mom, who thinks he responsible. She threatens to call the cops until Clay shares that he knew Hannah. Desperate for all and any information about her daughter, Mrs. Baker invites him in and tries to get him to go through Hannah’s stuff with her to see if he has any insight. He quickly makes excuses and leaves.
12. Courtney is gay, but too scared to come out, even to herself.
After Hannah shares her fear that she’s being stalked and photographed by some creep, Courtney offers to sleep over and bring her bear-scaring-away super-bright flashlight to catch the culprit. So the girls convene at Hannah’s, and after partaking in a little liquid courage (Hannah mixes them a concoction of vodka, scotch and Kahlua and anything else her parents won’t notice is missing), Courtney apologizes for misjudging Hannah; she assumed she was a slut like everyone else. The girls start playing truth or dare and end up making out (totally initiated by Courtney because she’s apparently also in love with Hannah). Perhaps the worst time ever to act on a secret crush is when there’s a stalker with a camera on the loose, and sure enough, Hannah soon hears her shutterbug stalker’s arrival and grabs the ultra-bright flashlight, exposing Tyler as the stalker. Courtney freaks and leaves, and poor Hannah loses yet another friend. The next day, Courtney barely talks to Hannah, even though she makes every effort to get the pics back from Tyler. He gives her the negatives, but after Hannah laughs at him when he asks her if she’d like to hang out some time, Tyler gets his revenge by sending a photo of the girls making out to half the school. Nobody immediately knows it’s them, but Courtney decides to blame Hannah regardless.
13. Clay is out for revenge.
In an attempt to even the score, Clay sneaks up to Tyler’s window and snaps a pic of him changing. He sends the photo of Tyler’s naked butt to the whole gang — really not Clay’s best idea. Tyler also receives the text and cries alone in his bedroom. Tony texts Clay “What the hell?” and Clay responds that he’s making his own justice and cycles off into the night.
Episode grade: B+
Click ahead for episode 5.