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Season 2 of ‘13 Reasons Why’ starts 5 months after the end of Season 1, and focuses on the trial of Hannah Baker’s parents versus Liberty High. You’ll recall that Hannah’s parents decided to sue the school over their daughter’s suicide, arguing that Liberty High allowed Hannah’s bullying and did nothing to stop it.
While the show still follows the controversial topic of suicide and its aftermath in season 2, there are even darker themes showcased throughout this season.
The themes of rape culture and slut-shaming are explored through the continuation of Jessica’s story, as she struggles to deal with the emotional repercussions of being raped by Bryce last season. While Jessica took a leave of absence from school, Bryce changed the narrative and started rumors that he had consensual sex with Jessica while dating Justin. As a result, Jessica is slut-shamed at school, and before she testifies at Hannah’s trial, she receives a threat in the form of a blow-up sex doll with a noose around its neck, along with the word “slut” written across its stomach. Thankfully her story takes a more positive note when she joins a rape survivor group, where she finds a new friend in fellow student and rape survivor, Nina.
Another theme the show explores this season is coming out. Courtney, who we discovered was a closeted lesbian through her interactions with Hannah in season one, is questioned by the lawyer representing Liberty High. Courtney admits to being a lesbian after the lawyer asks her about a polaroid taken of her kissing Hannah. Despite having to come out so publicly, Courtney says she feels set free by coming out, and she’s greeted with support from her dad.
Speaking of sexuality, loss of virginity is also a topic covered in season 2. In a surprising revelation no one saw coming, it turns out Hannah and Zach had a full-on summer relationship, and during their time together she asked him to be her “first”. It’s just one of the many relationship-oriented themes explored in this season.
Season 2 also tackles the topic of drugs and addiction. It’s revealed that Justin, Jessica’s ex who had a difficult home life last season, is living on the streets of Oakland after he’s run away from home. Clay tracks him down to bring him back to town so that he can testify in Hannah’s trial, but it soon comes to light that Justin has become a heroin addict, and he must go through a brutal withdrawal process before getting clean. And that’s not the only time the show depicts the theme of drug use. In one episode Liberty High’s baseball coach Rick makes it clear that he’s more than okay with helping his players find a way to pass mandatory drug tests, and in another episode, it’s shown that Clay and Hannah, along with a few friends, took molly together.
Despite the many dark themes in ‘13 Reasons Why’, perhaps one of the biggest and more empowering themes is healing. All the characters are trying to heal from the past and present tragic events and struggles in their lives, and the show does its best to show how recovery is as much a journey as it is a destination.
Okays guys, now I wanna know what YOU think of the themes and topics explored in season 2 of 13 Reasons Why — did they go too far with the controversial issues? Sound off with all your thoughts and opinions below, and then click right over here to see why critics are SLAMMING the new season. Thanks for joining me on News Feed, and be sure to subscribe for more! As always I’m your host Ava Gordy and I’ll see you soon.
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