’13 Reasons Why’ Review: ‘Tape 5, Side B’

I had a discussion with one of my friends the other day about 13 Reasons Why. She took the stance that it was harmful and I just wish that I could see it through her eyes, but I can’t. Whatever side you are on, we can all agree on one thing – it’s caused a reaction, big or small, positive or negative, good or bad – it makes you feel something. That’s a TV show doing it’s job.

But that’s a story for a different article.

We’ve been making our way through the series and we’re on episode 10. We know we’re getting closer to the end, we know that every episode gets harder, more in depth, and more heartbreaking. Everything is a step closer to finding out more about Hannah, the reasons why.

Whose tape are we on? Well, that would be Sherry’s.

After the party, Hannah gets a ride from Sheri. They get into a small accident and hit a ‘Stop’ sign, but Sheri refuses to call the cops. While Hannah is on her way to find a phone, a tragic accident occurs at that same crossing, causing the death of Jeff Atkins, a friend of Clay’s. When Hannah tries to tell Clay about the ‘Stop’ sign he pushes her away thinking it’s one of her drama moments again. In the present, Jessica’s behavior becomes more erratic.

Let’s break it down…


So here’s the thing – parties are a bitch. Especially in high school. But Jessica’s party – well shit that happened there should not have happened anywhere. Seeing it all play out breaks my heart.

I can’t even imagine where Hannah’s mind was. I can’t imagine how she was able to get up and walk down the stairs. I can’t imagine the shit she felt. Look, I get what people say, that 13 Reasons Why didn’t deal with the mental illness aspect. But, I will say that I believe that it does. It doesn’t outright say it, but you can see that Hannah is depressed. You can also see that she is hiding it well from her parents and all the adults in her life right now. I think that it’s a conversation that we need to have in society now, that mental illness – there is no shame in it. But there is a need to talk about it, to take away the taboo.

Sherry left Jessica’s party and offered Hannah a ride. Hannah took her up on it and I can’t say that I blame her. Who wants to walk. So they are heading home and Sherry hits a stop sign. You would think that is nothing, but it is so important. Because that stop sign would lead to an accident that cost Jeff his life.

Hannah tried to make Sherry call the cops and tell about the sign. But Sherry was so scared that her Dad would be mad that she drove off leaving Hannah.

The thing I will give Sherry credit for is that after her accident, she tried to help the couple that was part of the accident. Jeff was gone, but she wanted to be a better person and learn from what she had done. But Clay was right, she would never make things right until she told the truth. Until she told Jeff’s parents that he wasn’t drinking, that the stop sign was broken by her. Not by Jeff.

Look, I can see where Sherry’s mind is, but what she did is wrong. Keeping the secret is wrong. I am glad that Clay is not laying off and wants her to see that.


What we didn’t know, until we see it is that Clay was the first person on the scene of the accident. He saw Jeff when he was dead. He saw the person that was there for him, the person that was pushing him to believe in himself, dead. And my heart broke.

Because I know what it’s like to be angry. I know what it’s like to think that you know something, to think that someone was so careless with their life that they took it for granted.

So for Clay finding out about what caused Jeff’s accident, that he was telling the truth, that he wasn’t drunk. I get why he had to go to Jeff’s parents and tell the truth. I think that him finding out was necessary for his well being, but I don’t think that is why he did that. I think that he went to their house to tell them the truth because he knows that they needed to know, they deserved to know.

And I will always think that Clay did something that most of never had the courage to do.

Clay admitted that he was angry at Jeff because he thought he lied to him. That he was drunk. I was glad that some people were able to get some closure over Jeff’s death.


We know that Jessica is going through a lot and we know that she doesn’t get exactly why. But she’s playing dangerous with her life and quite frankly it’s a little scary. Like she’s looking for validation however she can.

But maybe she’s remembering more of that night. Maybe she can’t forget. We’re not in her mind, but we do see is that she’s towing the line of loosing her mind and numbing it.

What angers me about this whole thing is that no one is telling Jessica that Hannah wasn’t lying. She deserves to know what happened to her.

If she did, I don’t think that she would have gotten in a car with Bryce and smoked out with him. Just saying. She wouldn’t be self medicating.


At the end of the episode we see Clay talking to Tony and he won’t leave. Why? We find out that Clays tape is next. That’s why Tony won’t leave his friend. Clay suddenly becomes afraid to listen, he doesn’t want to hear why he’s on the tapes. He’s scared.

And we don’t blame him.

He asks Tony, he says he’ll listen if Tony just answers one thing – did he kill Hannah Baker? Anyone else shocked when Tony replies yes?

13 Reasons Why is streaming now on Netflix.

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