Hannah Baker sends 13 tapes to the people who played a role in her decision to end her life
EPISODE 5: “Tape 3, Side A”
1. Boys are a–holes; some are a–holes all of the time, all are a–holes some of the time…
…Apart from Jeff, the baseball-playing kid Clay tutors. He seems to be just lovely and encourages Clay to ask Hannah to dance at the winter formal.
2. Girls are even worse than boys; in fact, they’re evil.
Courtney is particularly terrible, even though she seems like she’s “just so nice.” Still upset about the photo Tyler took of her and Hannah making out (even though people think it’s Laura, a lesbian girl in class), she continues to ignore Hannah. Finally Hannah ambushes her at lunch. She tells Courtney that she knows what it feels like to have people judge you. Courtney relents a little and tells Hannah she should come to the upcoming winter formal. Her other basic pals ask Hannah if she’ll drive, so Hannah asks her parents if they’ll rent her a limo for the night — to which she receives a resounding no. But her dad does upgrade the lease on the jeep he already has so she can drive her new kinda-friends to the dance in style. Courtney pretty much abandons Hannah as soon as they arrive at the dance, but at least Jessica is nice to her for half a second, until she’s distracted by a pining Alex and a flirting Justin. When Hannah catches up to Courtney, they start dancing in a group until Bryce comes over throws his arms ’round them and asks if there’ll be an encore performance tonight – referencing Tyler’s pic. Afraid she’s going to be discovered to be a lesbian, the “just so nice” Courtney tells Montgomery that Hannah did a lot more than just kiss. Later, Clay overhears Montgomery accusing Hannah of having oral sex with Justin, and for just a moment, he appears to believe it could be true, upsetting Hannah further.
3. No, Clay did not shower.
Back in the present, he overthinks the whole standing-under-water process and decided he can’t do it. It’s a lot.
4. Clay’s mom is representing Liberty High School in the lawsuit the Bakers have brought against them.
She works for a big firm, and the school is playing to win. She tells Clay and asks how he feels about the whole thing. Once again he lies to her, saying he didn’t really know Hannah that well.
5. Clay is trying to do something, anything to make up for what everyone else did to Hannah.
6. Mr. Porter is terrible at his job.
Tyler is sent to the office to see him after he’s pantsed in the halls, and Porter suggests that Tyler figure out what he’s doing that makes the kids pick on him. Solid advice. Tyler also wants in with the cool kids on whatever they’re planning against Clay, but they unceremoniously tell him to get the hell out. Zach even goes as far as to threaten to break his arm.
7. The tape concerning Jessica’s party seems to contain some really damning information.
The cool crew is really worried about what will happen when Clay listens to that tape. They keep reiterating that Hannah was lying on that tape, even though everything else so far has turned out to be true.
8. Clay has some moves.
At the winter formal (Clay’s only there because he lost a bet to Jeff when he did better than a C on a paper), he and Hannah enjoy a slow dance to some of DJ Tony’s sweet beats. It’s yet another missed opportunity for Clay to seal the deal with a kiss.
9. Jessica decides she really likes Justin.
She gets pretty drunk at the formal, and Hannah offers to drive her home. Jessica apologizes for slapping her when she thought she was stealing Alex.
10. Headstones take a couple of months to make.
Clay takes Courtney to Hannah’s headstone-less grave. He accuses her of causing Hannah’s death by sending yet another a–hole in her direction just because she was scared of her sexuality. Courtney opens up a little, saying she doesn’t want her gay dads to think they’re the reason she’s a lesbian and put them through any more hardship than they’ve already faced. She apologizes, but Clay tells her he wasn’t the one who needed to hear that. He really needs someone to pay for what happened to Hannah.
11. Mixtapes are a lost and essential art, according to Tony.
After the dance, he gives Hannah a tape that starts with the song she and Clay danced to that night.
12. Alex can get away with speeding because his dad is a cop – so long as he’s home in time for dinner.
Justin, Zach, and Alex pick up Clay and race at a crazy speed to try and scare him into silence. They’re soon pulled over by the police for going 50 miles over the speed limit, but since it’s Alex’s dad who stops them, he just playfully warns his son not to be late for dinner. Alex is unhinged and needs help. His dad may be impressed by the show of manly bravado that it takes to drive recklessly, but clearly Alex is not doing so well.
13. The jocks think they’re bulletproof, and Clay can’t touch them since Alex’s dad is a cop.
Episode grade: B
Click ahead for episode 6.