13 Reasons Why used to be good, until the Season 3 finale

Where one episode makes you look back and say “What was the point?”

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I’ve always been a defender of 13 Reasons Why. Not because its criticisms aren’t warranted, not because I think it’s revolutionary. Because it presented its theme to its audience and stuck with that throughout its season. Its cheesy and makes teens seemed far too overdramatic because it needs to be.

I was enjoying the theme season three was giving with whether or not someone can truly be irredeemable. This monster that the show created was the school’s serial rapist Bryce was despicable the moment he appeared on screen so it seemed like the most difficult of times to try and represent him as anything other than a monster. And yet they weren’t doing terribly.

As the season went on, it truly gave a sound argument that even the evilest of people deserved a shot at redemption if they acknowledged their heinous crimes. For some, that notion alone is completely false, but the shot the show made gave was a decent one and had great characteristics to follow-through with that theme. That was until the final episode.

The entire season, it was given as fact that “It is not ok to kill ANYONE and that whoever killed Bryce must be brought to justice”. Through 12 hour-long episodes, that’s how it was sold. So it kinda destroys its entire basis when, for the final episode, they justify it because it was one of the core members of the group. It comes off not as thoughtful but shallow and a complete 180° turn from what the entire rest of the TV series was going for.

I could get past the honed-in writing device Ani’s character was in order to give a narration to the story. I could get past the unnecessary need for 13 episodes that were just dedicated to others, I’ll admit serious but still unrelated, issues (I’m looking at episode two in particular). But it’s the moment that it takes its entire mystery aspect, deems it’s theme too unjustifiable, and then turn around and justify it in the final beat of the story due to the writers writing themselves into a corner. I can honestly say I can rewatch all of Season One of 13 Reasons Why. But Season Three is something I can only watch maybe four specific episodes, and skip all the rest and if that’s the case, its something I wouldn’t recommend checking out unless you’re already invested like I am.