13 Reasons Why: Season 4 — Character Thoughts

I’ve written about 13 Reasons Why twice before. Once when the first season came out and then last year I did a character breakdown for season 3. It feels a bit surreal to sit down and write what is quite possibly the last thing I ever write for this godforsaken Netflix show.

Here’s the thing, 13 Reasons Why has been a downright mess from the beginning. It is by no means a show that people should watch lightly or a show that should be consumed to understand mental health issues despite what it tried to market itself as. It was controversial for the sake of being flashy, it constantly disobeyed the recommendations from mental health consultants, and it was god awfully graphic when it didn’t need to be. And yet, despite graphically showing a suicide, showing multiple sexual assaults, and trying to get viewers to sympathize with rapists the worst thing this show has ever done is write season 4.

Now, here me out on this.

Were their amazing and heartfelt moments during this season? Yes, absolutely and they warmed my heart and made me smile. As a whole though, this season was a disoriented shit show that culminated in an almost two hour finale that left me sobbing so hard I gave myself a migraine.

I have a lot to say about the season and these characters and to be honest, this rant is probably going to be as disjointed as this season felt but I’m going to write it anyway. So here I go with another (and final) character analysis for the cast of 13 Reasons Why.

Clay Jenson

Netflix

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Clay Jenson has never been my favorite. And yet, I’ve spent four entire seasons hoping and praying that this boy gets the mental help he needs.

When the trailer came out for this season I was really upset because it made it seem that they were going to have Clay go to therapy with a therapist who was going to make his life a living hell. I was literally ready to write a rant about how disappointed I would be if this show ended with the message that “therapy isn’t helpful,” so I am extremely glad I didn’t have to do that.

Honestly though, I wasn’t sure why Clay was having such a strong reaction this season. After all, he wasn’t the one who spearheaded the cover up campaign nor was he a fan of Bryce or Monty. Clay should have been relatively okay this season and yet that’s not what we got.

To be honest, I spent the first part of this season extremely annoyed with Clay. One of his biggest issues, and issues for the entire cast of characters, is that they don’t reach out for help when they need it. Sure, Clay didn’t realize he was the one who vandalized the school and tormented his friends but he also didn’t tell the truth on how his depression and anxiety were manifesting worse than ever. Instead, he pushed everyone away…again.

Speaking of the disassociation, the way they shot those scenes and him coming out of them was bizarre. It’s almost like they forget 13 Reasons Why is an angsty teen drama and not some psychological thriller. I was definietly not a fan and truthfully almost stopped watching this season because of it (maybe I should have since it would have saved me a heartbreak).

The disassociation scene that really got me upset though was the one where he’s in the frat house with the passed out girl. I will never understand how the writers could write that scene. How could they put Clay and Bryce in the same room with an unconscious girl and have Clay actually consider raping her. I was floored and disgusted. This entire show is built on the fact that Clay Jenson actively despises rapist. That he would never and I mean NEVER take advantage of some girl for his own selfish gain. I hated this scene and the way the writers tried to make it seem like Clay was just like Bryce all along. That’s the furthest thing from the truth. Clay might be fucked up but he is no where on the level of Bryce.

I also don’t understand why Clay kept visualizing Bryce and Monty. Once again it felt like the writers were trying to get us to sympathize with these two rapists but fuck that. Bryce and Monty weren’t good people, they were monsters. And Clay actively hated them which is why I don’t understand why his subconscious kept dreaming them up. I understand the writers wanted to keep them in the show but I can’t stand behind the way they did it.

Something that really suck out to me was when Clay was in a therapy session and the therapist said something along the lines of you try your best to save everyone else but maybe you need to focus on you right now. Obviously, I’m paraphrasing here but that scene was impactful. For four seasons we’ve seen Clay set aside his trauma to help his friends. He tried to find justice for Hannah after her death, he talked Tyler down from doing something he’d regret, he literally saved Justin’s life, and he was willing to take the fall for Alex. All of his friends knew they could count on him and yet, Clay could never count on himself. I’m glad that started to change towards the end but I wish he would have realized it sooner and also confided in his friends to help him out.

One of my biggest complaints this season though has to be the way Clay treated his friends — in case that hasn’t been clear. Yes, he needed to focus on himself but that doesn’t mean he had to be so distant from his friends. He could have confided in them. He could have told Justin the truth just like he should have seen that Justin wasn’t okay. He could have talked to Tyler about the guns instead of being annoyed that Tony wanted him to help him stalk Tyler. He could have been there for Ani when her mother got injured. He could have been there for Zach who was clearly struggling. He could have been there for Alex who was clearly lost. He could have but he didn’t. Yes, he needed to focus on himself but alienating himself from his friends was the wrong move.

There is no denying that Clay Jenson has had a rough go at life. I did appreciate the fact that he got to give the graduation speech. Clay does have a way for words and he does have a thing for standing up for what is right. I like that Clay’s speech was honest but also hopefully, especially since he spent this entire season actively despising the future. After all, Clay has to live a life for himself and for the three people he loved who don’t get to have one.

I also loved that despite their rocky relationship this season the writers showed us that Clay and Justin were brothers, always. It absolutely broke my heart when Justin asked Clay to hold his hand in the hospital bed (and now I’m crying again). I’m glad in the end though, we got to have one more sweet and brotherly moment between these two when Clay found Justin’s college application letter.

There is a lot to unpack when it comes to Clay Jenson and I’m not quite sure I’ve had time to fully process him. One thing I do know for sure is that Clay Jenson loves so much and has been hurt so many times it’s unfair. He’s come so far from the jaded, out for revenge boy from the first season. I just wish he didn’t have to go through so much trauma to get there.

Justin Foley

Netflix

Of all the death on 13 Reasons Why of all the fucked up shit this show has explored, nothing could have prepared me to watch Justin die.

I can count on my hands the amount of times I’ve cried over a character’s death but nothing compares to the sobbing that occurred in the final episode. I literally had to stop multiple times because I was crying so hard I couldn’t even hear.

Justin Foley has been my ride or die character from the very beginning. It’s like Hannah said “so that’s where the trouble began, that damn smile.” I have never rooted for a character as hard as I rooted for Justin Foley because the boy had potential, he did.

In case I haven’t made myself clear, Justin Foley did not deserve to die and I will never forgive the writers for taking yet another character from us and from this group of friends.

Here’s the thing that’s so frustrating, Justin has the best character development of any of the characters on 13 Reasons Why. In the first season, he went from this cocky jock who felt he found brotherhood in his rich best friend to this broken boy who felt so alone and responsible for Bryce’s actions that he ran away and turned to the streets and drugs for comfort. And then Clay saved him because Clay saw two things in Justin. 1. He knew Justin could help them get Bryce behind bars and 2. He saw potential in Justin. And so from that moment on Justin tried as hard as he could to do the right thing. Did he fail at times? Of course, but no character in this show actively tried to do and be better than Justin. No character wanted to live more than Justin. And to have him die feels like such a slap in the face to his journey.

I had such high hopes for Justin this season when he came back home from treatment. He was taking his recovery seriously, so seriously he even broke up with Jess which killed them both. He was helping Coach with the team, he was doing well in school and not skipping classes, hell he was even excited at the idea of being able to go to college. He was finally able to see a future for himself and then, within a second it was gone.

Even though Justin relapsed after his mother’s death and pushed everyone away, he still came to his senses and realized he fucked up. He detoxed himself, again, and came clean to Clay and his family. He wanted to get better, even in his lowest moment. He even pulled himself out of bed because there was no way he was going to miss prom.

Thank god he got his fairytale dance with Jess before everything came crashing down.

I am so mad about his death because the writers had the ability to chose a different fate for Justin. They had a chance to actually do something good with their show and show that people with HIV can live happy and fulfilling lives and instead they bought into this bullshit that an HIV diagnosis is a death sentence. Instead of giving us the happily ever after Justin deserved they let him become another character lost.

And for what? For shock value? For controversy? For attention?

There was no reason Justin should have died. There was no hint that it was his funeral we were seeing until the last two episodes. Some might say that’s good writing since they mislead us but I think that’s bullshit. What was the point of showing us a happy and thriving Justin only to have that imaged ripped away from us?

Someone please make it make sense.

And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough they have Clay see Justin with Bryce after his death. Why are these writers so hell bent on making Justin and Bryce seem like brothers. Newsflash, Justin already had a brother and his name was Clay Jenson. While I understand the point of Justin’s forgiveness speech was meant to get Clay to realize that he needed to forgive Hannah I am so pissed that they framed it within the context of Bryce. Once again I say, Bryce was not a good person he was a serial rapist and a monster. Stop humanizing him! Thank god, that wasn’t Justin’s final scene because I would have been so pissed.

In the end, I’m glad we got to see and hear what Justin thought of Clay. I know we’ve heard and seen them be brotherly before but hearing Justin say that Clay was his positive influence, his brother, and the reason he was alive was everything. Here’s the thing though, Clay may have saved Justin but Justin was the one who stayed alive. It’s like Jess said “don’t love anything more than life.” And Justin didn’t. He loved life so much and they took that away from him.

What was the point of having the boy, this broken and soft boy, do all this work and come so far just to have him ripped away from the future he so desperately wanted. The show had already made its point that life isn’t fair and it sucks it didn’t need to take Justin too.

Justin Foley deserved to graduate with his brother, love of his life, and best friends. Justin deserved to go to college. He deserved to have more family breakfasts with the Jensons. He deserved to settle down and have a family of his own. He deserved so much more.

I am so proud of how far Justin came and the writers can fuck off for ending it all.

Jessica Davis

Netflix

I’ve always loved Jess but she is really stupid sometimes. Unfortunately, she was stupid most of this final season.

I know Jess was expecting to be in a relationship with Justin when he got home from treatment and I know it must have hurt having him tell her that he needed to focus on himself but she was so wrong for lashing out at him. She should have stood by his side. She should have understood! And maybe she did in the end because she did tell him not to love anything more than life ever again but fuck she needed to tell that to him in that moment.

So yeah I was annoyed with Jess this season. Not just because she left Justin when he needed support but because she, too, pulled away from everyone who cared and loved her.

I would like to preface this by saying that I read someone say something like “Jess can’t call herself a feminist because she fucks with boys to fuck with their emotions.” My response to that person and that thought process is fuck you. Newsflash, a person can be a feminist and like sex. A girl can be a feminists and still make mistakes.

Now that that is out of the way, I will say that I do not agree with Jess’s choices this season. She should have never got involved with Diego. I don’t care if she was “trying to keep him at bay” or “trying to see what he knew” she should not have been with him. After the thing with Justin, Jess should have taken the time to figure out who she was just like Justin was trying to figure out who he was. After all, no one really believed that Jess and Justin weren’t still in love with each other. Her story would have been so much more interesting if we got to see her support herself and support Justin in his sobriety instead of doing whatever the fuck she thought she was doing. Not to mention, she should never have walked away from him when she caught him relapsing in the ally way. I don’t care that he yelled at her, she should have pulled his ass out of there and taken him home. Not because it’s her responsibility to keep him alive but because she knew him better than anyone and knew that he didn’t deserve to be there again.

Not to mention, her dating Diego took away from all the cute Justin/Jess moments we deserved and now are never going to get.

The sad thing is, that’s not the only mistake the writers made with Jess.

Aside from abandoning Justin in the moment, one of my biggest issues with Jess was her complicated feelings around Bryce continued to be a big part of this season. Which again I say, Bryce was a rapist who didn’t deserve redemption so stop trying to make it happen.

The final scene after graduation where Jess sees Bryce and goes up to him ignited a rage within me that I actually stopped my inconsolable crying. In the scene, Bryce tells Jess that he won again to which Jess responds that they never would have all be friends if it wasn’t for him. Bryce then tells her “well that’s something right?”

While yes, this group of friends probably wouldn’t have been friends if it wasn’t for Bryce that doesn’t suddenly make Bryce a good person. Jess shouldn’t have even given Bryce the time of day. The ghost she should have seen should have been Justin. Let’s face it, Justin was the one who deserved to be in that final scene not fucking Bryce.

The only thing that Jess did do right, in regards to Bryce, was confronting Ani for sleeping with him. I’m glad she finally got hash that out because I truly cannot believe it was never a bigger issue with their friendship.

Another thing I still can’t get over is the fact that Jess dated Diego who spent the entire season trying to bring justice to Monty, a rapist who happened to rape one of Jess’s best friends. So yeah I’m anti Diego/Jess. Oh, and I also hated the fact that they tried to make it seem like Jess was going to end up with Diego “in a month.” Hello, the love of her life just died! The two of you are getting HIV tested because of his death and you think now is a good time to ask her out? Give me a fucking break.

I also didn’t understand why she pulled away from Alex and the rest of the group this season. Jess and Alex literally are ride or die and yet they basically ignored each other the entire season. I would have liked to see them bonding more. It would have been nice to see Alex confide in Jess about his sexuality. Maybe Alex could have helped Jess understand why Justin couldn’t have been in a relationship. I just wanted more of them together.

Again I will say, this cast is strongest when they rely on each other and no one seemed to rely on each other at all this season.

For all the negatives regarding Jess this season there were some positives. The scene where she leads the walk out after the fake shooter drill and the cameras and Diego being racially profiled was amazing. That is the Jess I love to see. The strong and outspoken Jess who stands up for what is right, even if it means she’s going to get in trouble. That episode was also extremely relevant in more ways than I can even begin to explain (but that’s a topic for another day).

I am glad we did get some quality Justin/Jess content. Though I would have liked more. I wanted to see the exchange that occurred when she found out his mother died. I would have liked to see them celebrate Justin getting into college and figuring out what Jess’s future was going to be since she got denied from her top three schools. Again, I wanted to see them support each other. However, I am so glad we got that dance scene at prom. If only the show had ended there. Truthfully that scene encompasses why I love Justin and Jess together so much. Are they a toxic couple, yes? But dammit, they love each other so much while also reminding each other not to put their love for one another above their love for life.

I’m also glad we got to see Justin and Jess in the hospital together even if it killed me. I’m glad Jess got to tell Justin one more time that he didn’t ruin her life, that he helped her find love. I’m glad they got to spend one more moment cuddled together in bed. I wish they had a lifetime more to spend together but dammit at least we got that scene.

When looking at Jess’s storyline as a whole from the entire series she really has come so far and yet this season she felt so stagnant. I just wanted and expected more from her.

Alex Standall

Netflix

Alex Standall went from “I’m not gay” to making out with three boys and landing the best boyfriend ever all in the span of 10 episodes and I could not be more proud.

Given all Alex has been through he honestly was way more composed than I thought he would have been considering he was the one who killed Bryce. And yet, the only time we truly get to see him deal with the complex emotions he feels is during the camping trip when he breaks down in front of his dad. To be honest, I’m kind of glad we didn’t get an entire season of Alex being “woe is me” for killing Bryce because he really is the fucking hero of the story if you ask me.

That’s not to say Alex’s story this season is without faults.

One of the biggest issues I had with Alex this season is his disregard for Zach’s well being. Zach spent the entire second and third season working with Alex to get better. Zach was there for him in more ways than he could imagine and yet when Zach was struggling Alex didn’t show him the same kind of support. Now, some might say that’s because he felt embarrassed for kissing Zach but that’s a coup out. While the moment might have been awkward, they moved on from it. So no that’s not a reason and Alex should have been there for Zach. Hell, even in his fucked up state Zach was still championing Alex and pushing him towards Charlie. I am glad that Alex did push him to see Justin in the end but the support was long overdo.

The other issue I had with Alex this season was his relationship with Winston but to be fair, he didn’t know who Winston was when they started seeing each other so I’ll forgive him…I guess.

Now on to something positive, for once.

Alex Standall. Little Alex Standall who put Hannah and Jess against each other, who spent his entire high school career hating Justin for dating Jess, who nearly took his own life, who killed a rapist, who’s been through so much shit finally got his happily ever after. I know a lot of us were rooting for Alex and Zach to be endgame but I honestly could not be more thrilled that he got his happy ever after with Charlie.

To see Alex go from this broken and lonely kid to prom king with his boyfriend is the true definition of growth and happiness. Is Alex healed because he found love? Absolutely not, but he’s with someone who knows that Alex has a lot going on and he doesn’t care. He loves him regardless.

I really loved how causal Alex’s coming out scene was with his parents. And I loved that his brother was like “you’re dating the quarterback, that’s amazing.” It was not only heartwarming but it was funny and I loved it. I also loved that Alex didn’t have this coming out moment with his friends. He didn’t have to explain his feelings for Zach or Winston or Charlie. He didn’t have to say “I’m gay or bisexual ” to them. He just showed up with Charlie and that was that. I really applaud the writers for making that move.

I also loved that despite all their differences, Alex was able to be there for Justin in the end. It didn’t even feel like a forced thing, he wanted to be there for him. Alex even spoke, or tried to speak at Justin’s funeral and told everyone that Justin was there for him when it mattered. That showed tremendous growth for Alex who literally wanted to kill Justin more times than I can count.

Lastly, I would just like to say that I am so glad that Alex Standall is free. He didn’t deserve to go to jail for killing Bryce. There was a moment during prom where Alex, Jess, and Zach are all sitting there talking about Bryce and how he didn’t deserve to die. And I was so mad because dammit Bryce was a piece of shit who didn’t deserve to live but I think Zach really said it best, “he didn’t deserve to die, but we deserve to live.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m glad Alex gets to finally live.

Zach Dempsey

Netflix

All I’ve wanted for four seasons is for Zach to get the storyline he deserves and once again he was fucked over by the writers.

Here’s the thing, if Justin had the best positive character development of this cast, Zach Dempsey had the worst. After all, he spent this entire season regressing.

When Zach was first introduced back in season one he was this misguided jock who liked Hannah but had a weird way of showing it. And he was there for Alex in the second season and welcomed Justin back in the third season. We also saw him in the third season being cautious around the rest of the group after the Tyler incident. But he eventually warmed up to them all and realized that this group of friends are ride or die when it matters.

Sure, Zach had a hell of a season three ending after losing his entire athletic career at the hands of Bryce and beating the shit out of him but Zach knew he didn’t kill Bryce. In fact, the police flat out told him that in the third season which is why his choices this season made no sense to me. Perhaps, though, I’m being too narrow minded. Perhaps, Zach’s decision to drink and be reckless didn’t stem from his guilt over Bryce but rather his anger over the fact that his future was going to look completely different because of Bryce.

I will say this, Zach Dempsey deserved better from the writers but he also deserved better from his friends. I talked about this briefly with Alex’s breakdown but I’m going to say it again. Why wasn’t anyone there for Zach? Zach helped Justin get back on the football team so why the fuck didn’t Justin do more to help Zach? Surely he knows what its like to go down a destructive path. He knows the signs. Where was he?

And what about Clay? Clay practically leaves Zach for dead after crashing the car. Like what the fuck! Or Tony? I don’t think these two even say more that two words to each other this season and that’s pushing it. These two practically saved every single one of the people in the group and yet they didn’t care enough to reach out to Zach. And yes, I know everyone was going through their own shit but everyone is always going through their own shit. Zach deserved friendship. He deserved friends to call him out on his bullshit. I am glad that Alex and Charlie were able to pull him together to see Justin I just wished they had given him that pep talk sooner.

What about his family? Where was his mother or his sister? Why was no one watching out for this poor boy who was struggling? Where was his therapy session? Zach was just as worthy of being saved as everyone else.

Also, I absolutely cannot forgive the writers for making it seem like Zach was going to rape his barely conscious, sex-worker prom date. Just like Clay would never do that, Zach would never do that. He spent multiple seasons actively shutting that shit down so for the writers to even suggest he would become a monster like that is so disrespectful.

The one thing I can and will praise Zach on is his reaction when Alex kissed him on the rooftop. That scene reminded me of the sweet and innocent Zach that we had known prior to this seasons events. I love that he didn’t make things awkward or yell at Alex or anything. The two of them were able to laugh about it and move on. It never made their friendship awkward and they even joked about it later.

I am glad that by the time graduation came along Zach turned himself around. The death of Justin saved him in my opinion and in some ways I feel like Zach and Justin’s stories are eerily similar. They both saved each other at some point in time. They were both saved by their coach who gave them hell but saw potential in them. Perhaps, Justin was Zach’s cautionary tale.

Tyler Down

Netflix

While I was disappointed in the lack of Tyler this season it did somewhat make sense. In my eyes, Tyler has already gotten his redemption arc so it seems fair that he could have faded in the background this season. However, when you set up the first half of the season revolving around Tyler being called into the police for the guns and then don’t explain it there a problem.

Did I think Tyler was working for the police? Yes, but it still should have been explored more. If anything else the failed sting should have been explained more. That episode ended in a cliff hanger with a gun shot going off and then the next episode started with no mention of anything. I seriously thought someone got shot but apparently that wasn’t the case.

While I understand why Tyler couldn’t tell Clay and Tony about his involvement I do think he could have given them more than just an “it’s handled.” After all, when has had anything been handled neatly when it came to this group.

I did find his relationship/friendship with Estella to be quite interesting. In some ways it’s the biggest fuck you to Monty and in other ways its extremely confusing because why on earth would someone want to be hang out with the sibling of the person who raped you. But then again, we are not products of our families, we are products of our own choices and Estella actively chose to speak out against sexual assault.

Overall, I’ve been pleased with Tyler’s journey over the course of the four seasons. I’m glad he got to live. I’m glad he’s happy. I’m glad he’s healing.

Tony Padilla

Netflix

To me, Tony Padilla constantly gets treated like a secondary character when he has an important place in the overall narrative of this story. Last season we did get to learn more about his personal life and I am glad that continued this season. But I still think the writers could have given us more.

I did enjoy seeing him find himself in the boxing ring. In the first seasons Tony was this kid who was constantly getting in trouble for fighting and over the course of the remaining seasons he really learned to harness that anger into something a bit more positive. And he’s damn good at it. I’m glad Caleb and his father were able to talk him into going to college. Tony deserves the world after everything he’s been through.

One complaint I do have is how the show wants to write Clay and Tony as this ride or die friendship but they’re rarely ever there for each other unless a disaster is on the horizon. Why wasn’t Tony checking in more on Clay’s deteriorating mental state? Why wasn’t Clay present at any of Tony’s boxing matches? Why didn’t they have conversations that didn’t revolve around Tyler and the mysterious guns? If the writers really wanted us to believe that these two were ride or die they didn’t do enough to show us. And while the end scene of Clay and Tony driving off in the mustang was sweet and made the show come full circle, Clay should have been driving off with Justin.

However, I will say this, it absolutely warmed my heart when Tony realized that his friends and adults around him did care and want the best for him. For so long Tony has been the back bone of this friend group, the one that is there to clean up their messes and be a shoulder to cry on. And for the first time he gets to be the one who gets support. We see this happen during the school walk out when his friends try to tell him not to leave the fight but they realize he has to, to protect themselves. And eventually Tony does join the fight to protect Tyler. But then something happens, the police officer who’s been training him steps him and lets Tony go because he knows Tony can’t get arrested. He knows Tony will face bigger consequences for his actions and he doesn’t want that because he sees the potential Tony has to do great. It’s not just that scene though, we see Caleb and his father supporting him throughout the season too.

Overall, I think Tony is a character who grew into his own but also stayed true to himself.

Ani Achola

Netflix

Just like many of us, I am not a fan of Ani.

She was irrelevant and annoying in the third season and she became even more irrelevant in this season. Honestly, I think it was wise of the writers to have her take a back seat role during this season because of all the criticism they received from last season. I do feel sorry for Grace Saif who plays her though because she is extremely talented.

Ani was a bit all over the place this season, even more so than she was last season. To be honest, I wasn’t sure why she wasn’t on edge knowing Winston and Diego and the rest of the football team were trying to figure out what happened to Monty. After all, she’s the one who spearheaded the campaign to frame him. She felt too okay and too calm with everything going on — it’s almost as if she thrived on the chaos.

I’m glad that her and Clay ended up breaking up. They were never a good match to begin with and it never sat well with me how she introduced Clay as her boyfriend to her mom without even asking him. I think there need to fix people is what became their demise because neither one was able to confide in the other without having them try to be the rescuer.

I do applaud the writers for finally having Jess confront Ani about her relationship with Bryce. That was such a major part of last season and while they touched upon it they never really discussed it further. Ani needed to be held accountable for her actions so I’m glad Jess set that in motion. I’m also glad they were able to come away from that and still be friends. That took courage and strength from Jess that I don’t think I would have.

The scene between Ani and Mrs. Walker was interesting. At first I thought she was being dumb for not talking Bryce’s college fund for herself but then in the same breath I understand because why would she want anything from the person who ruined all of her friends’ lives, even if she did “see something in him.” The resolution to that plot point was perfect though. What’s better than using a rapists money to fund the anti-sexual assault club at the school? It’s the ultimate revenge.

I also am grateful to the writers that they didn’t give us an Ani scene where she talks to ghost Bryce. One of the few good choices they made this season.

My biggest complaint regarding Ani this season is the fact that she was completely missing when Justin was dying. Sure, we didn’t need a scene with her in the room with him but she wasn’t even in the lobby. Regardless of her feelings towards Justin she should have been there. She should have been there to support Jess and Clay and Alex and every one of her friends who sat in that hospital lobby waiting for their turn to say goodbye to yet another classmate gone too soon.

Overall, I think Ani was irrelevant as a whole. She had no business befriending all these people and while she may have saved them I think they could have saved themselves without her help.

Charlie St. George

Netflix

In the history of good Liberty High jocks, Charlie St. George is by far the best one and my favorite.

Standing up to your team especially when your the young player is a hard thing to do but Charlie did it last season so well. In fact, he even earned himself the captain spot this season and that’s a title he truly deserves. He constantly held his teammates accountable and put them in line when they were being disrespectful and assholes.

I also loved that his coming-out scene was just a casual conversation with his father who didn’t lash out or challenge his views. In fact, his dad joked about his obsession with Eli Manning and how he wouldn’t love him any less. Of all the fucked up things in this show, the one thing they often got right was showing parents who unconditionally love their children and that’s important.

Charlie’s greatest moments though are in his scenes with Alex. At first, I was a bit blind-sighted by their relationship (albeit I did support it right away) but then someone pointed out that in the final scene of last season, Charlie is watching Alex and that’s when I knew the writers had this planned all along. As much as we all wanted Alex and Zach to be a thing, Alex and Charlie was everything we wanted and more.

Not only was Charlie an amazing friend to Alex and willing to cover up a murder when he hardly knew him but he’s also a loving and supporting boyfriend, even before he had the label. Charlie researched Alex’s TBI and knew how to calm him down when he was having a panic attack and hearing things. He knew when Alex needed a shoulder to cry on and when Alex needed some space. And he knew, even when Alex didn’t want to admit it, that Alex deserved him.

I loved their first kiss. I loved the scene at the pier where Alex tries to push Charlie away but Charlie won’t let him. I love the promposal sequence. And I absolutely loved prom.

Liberty High’s Class of 2019 having two prom kings was everything we ever wanted.

I think what made it even better was the fact that they won at the hands of the football team. A team that was previously lead by two rapist who were constantly making fun of people’s sexual orientations and being homophobic assholes all the time. To see that team supporting and rooting for Charlie and Alex was a truly magical moment.

While I was and still am a bit confused why he got involved with this messy group, I’m glad he did. And I’m so glad there isn’t a fifth season that will ruin him because he needs to be protected at all costs.

Winston

Netflix

I’m going to say something controversial here and I’m not sure how people are going to take it.

Winston is a gay version of season one Clay who falls in love with his made up version of people and then seeks revenge so that he’s not the only one in pain.

Literally, if you look at Clay’s arc in season one and Winston’s in this season you see they are the exactly same person. Winston may have transferred to Liberty after getting kicked out of Hillcrest but his true motivation was to figure out who framed Monty. And for what? They hung out what, two times? And the first time Monty literally beat the shit out of Winston!

Winston had this idolized version of who Monty was in his head. He essentially turned Monty into this manic pixie dream boy, just like Clay did with Hannah. This is proved in the prom scene when Winston dances with ghost Monty. In that scene Monty confirms that there was never a possibility that the two of them would ever be able to dance like this together, that Monty would never have let Winston fall in love with him. In fact, he tells Winston to live with the living. It’s the only thing Monty ever did right.

What’s even better is that Winston ends up falling for Alex, next. In fact in one scene he’s telling everyone that Alex is the first boy he loved and yet a minute later he’s back to seeking revenge for Monty because he loved him. Which is it Winston? And doesn’t that remind you of Clay?

I don’t feel sorry for Winston and I’m not his fan. He spent the entire season being a rape apologist and even went as far as befriending Tyler to get more information about Monty. That’s despicable. He doesn’t get a gold star for not telling the police the truth because he only didn’t do it because he “loved” Alex.

But unlike Clay who supports his friends and does this out of the good of his heart, Winston only did it to seek revenge. And I truly don’t think he cared about anyone.

For all I care Winston can go rot with Bryce and Monty.

Diego Torres

Netflix

I don’t have much to say about Diego other than I wasn’t a fan.

The only redeemable thing about him was that he supported Charlie and Alex and wasn’t a homophobic asshole. However, being a decent human being in one aspect of life doesn’t make him worthy of anything. Especially when we spent most of the season being a rape apologist and tormenting Clay who was already in a fragile state.

Also, I absolutely hated his final scene with Jess when they were getting the results of their HIV test. How on earth could this dumbass kid ask Jess out after she just lost the love of her life to AIDS and they’ve just been HIV tested. How selfish and stupid can he be?

I will say that he did not deserve to be racially profiled during the fight scene between him and Justin. And I’m glad that Justin stood up for him and Diego in turn stood up for Justin during the fight with the police. Again, though, that doesn’t excuse the rest of his actions this season.

Perhaps if he would have admitted his wrong doings and apologized to Clay I could have gotten behind him but he didn’t and therefor he can rot with the rest of them.

While I have a lot more to say about these characters and this season I think I’m going to have to end it here. Perhaps, I’ll end up writing another post or review for this show but we’ll see. As I’ve said before there’s so much to unpack about this show that it’s hard to analyze everything.

You can stream the final season of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix.

What did you think of the characters this season? Do you think Justin deserved to die? Were you happy with the outcomes? Let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me @3RsBlog.

One thought on “13 Reasons Why: Season 4 — Character Thoughts

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