This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Karthika S Nair. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

’13 Reasons Why’ Should Have Ended With Season 2

More from Karthika S Nair

SPOILER ALERT

I liked the first season of ’13 Reasons Why’, as I mentioned in a previous article. Unlike season 1, I binge-watched season 2 without paying any attention to the reviews or tweets related to it. As I finished the 7th episode, I came across an argument about a scene in the 13th episode that was too harsh. The first 12 episode showed many nerve-wracking processes that the school focused on to ruin Hannah’s reputation while defending themselves. We see Bryce being all cool before his peers. The witnesses are threatened one by one. Despite all that Clay, Courteney, Ryan, Alex, Justin and Jessica fearlessly combatted.

Since the trailer came out, I kind of knew the outcome of Baker’s lawsuit against the school and it pretty much turned out to be exactly how I predicted it. Along with that, the questions related to Bryce’s prosecution runs in.

Before I talk about the controversy, I want to point out that despite the heartbreaking outcomes from the lawsuit, the series shed light on redemption and character development. The character we hated the most (apart from Bryce) Courteney turned to be the best witness for Hannah. She did the right thing even if it meant having to reveal her big secret. And she stood shoulder to shoulder with Hannah and Jessica.

Justin returns and he became the anchor for Jessica to hold on to while finding the courage to speak out about her sexual assault. The scene in episode 12 where she and Justin report Bryce to the police is undoubtedly the most powerful moment from the whole show. Both of them walk out of the briefing room to meet their friends, most of whom are subjects in Hannah’s tapes. We see a smile on Jessica’s face along with the confident look. She finally did it and the truth, in a way, set her free. The creator of the show, Brian Yorkey mentioned in an interview with Netflix that the moment Jessica says “Bryce Walker” in her statement is the most courageous act out of all characters from the series. That teared me up a little and I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t care how bad the final episode turns out because this moment, the courage, determination and unity, definitely makes it worth it.”

And it is immensely satisfying to watch Bryce Walker in handcuffs at the end of the episode.

Then came episode 13.

Jessica speaks out against Bryce and we see a montage of women with their stories reflecting upon the #metoo moment. Through Jessica, we see how different sexual assault and its aftermath is for women of colour. Afterwards, Bryce gets away with just a 3-month probation and the show highlights the victim shaming culture as the judge (a white male) blamed Jessica for the decisions she made which brought her to the incident. It is never her fault. Bryce made the decision to rape her and the fact that he is should take up that responsibility is clear. According to Yorkey’s views, the intention is to piss people off because that is what happens in real life. Brock Turner, a well-known face of white privilege, got away with just 3 months in prison. I guess the show wanted to put these characters out there and make people question the system and if not more, act on it. Bryce got away but then Jessica’s courage and Justin’s willingness to sacrifice himself managed to bring Bryce to the book.

That being said, when you look at it plot-wise, the whole ending of the series is just underwhelming. Olivia Baker’s loss is disappointing in itself because what was the point of it all? More than that, it is Tyler’s plot point that ruined the essence of the whole show.

Then comes the controversy.

Tyler had been messing around with Bryce and his teammates by calling them rapists and by vandalising their field. Because of overconfidence and frustration, Tyler reveals that he did it on Facebook. After counselling, Tyler comes back and at one point he finds himself in the bathroom alone with Monty de la Cruz (with whom Bryce broke up to save his reputation) and his team. Monty assaults and afterwards with the help of his friends, rapes Tyler with a broomstick.  Well, the graphic depiction of suicide and rape in season 1 had been under scrutiny, due to which the makers had to issue a warning, so I had been counting on the writers to go a little easy and leave out the same in season 2. Instead, they had to make it 10 times worse and it led to an outburst on social media. And Tyler’s arrival at the party and Clay going down for it after disarming him makes the whole ending just pointless, just like Baker’s loss.

It makes you say, what is the point?

I just wished that they ended the whole series with this episode because I don’t see where the show is going to go without Hannah and judging by what is said at the end, even Bryce may not appear in the next season. Tyler’s storyline lead to this horrific scene and if the makers’ intention is to start a conversation then it shouldn’t be ruled out and Monty his friends should be brought to justice in season 3 because what happened cannot be limited to an incident with “violent” boys.

What did you think about ’13 Reasons Why’ season 2? Tell me in the comments below!

You must be to comment.
  1. Shahla Khan

    I just ended up watching season 2.
    True, the depiction of Tyler’s rape was way too intense. I guess, overall I liked season 1 much better, firstly because it was a new, suspenseful series, we were getting to know characters, but also because of the transformational cinematography where the past and the present were blended so well. That took the storytelling to the next level totally.
    The end of this season was weird. It did feel pointless.
    In one of the earlier episodes, they showed Tony burning some letters,,,, what was that about? They never revealed that either.
    I completely missed that storyline.
    In the next season, I think they will tie things up. You mentioned that Bryce will be gone probably. I don’t think so. I think Tyler was raped because they will bring all the rapists together, one will link to another and then all will go down by ratting each other out.

    I also did not like that the box of polaroids was stolen and that girl burned them all. It wasn’t her call. And how idiotic would someone be to leave such a crucial piece of evidence lying around in their car. That was stupid and seemed pushed over.

    Overall, this season was like a middleground, as in we are going somewhere for sure, but can’t say what the present is like.

More from Karthika S Nair

Similar Posts

By nipun tickoo

By Priya Prakash

By sakshi upadhyay

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below