First, while it’s assumed (and told) that Alex tried to kill himself, that is not confirmed. It could well turn out that Tyler actually shot him, hence the guns in his backpack. That said, it’s also known that Alex has been struggling with everyone else’s seeming lack of guilt over Hannah’s tapes.
At the end of season 1, Alex is alive, but critical. Once he begins to recover, it’ll be interesting to see what he has to say. If he did try to kill himself, why did he feel that was the only option open to him, especially after seeing the effect Hannah’s suicide had on everyone? If he was shot, though, then a manhunt begins, and Tyler won’t be the only suspect. Bryce is violent, we know that already. Could he have decided to try and shut Alex up? Justin apparently left town, but he was armed. Did he pay Alex a visit before he finally left?
Justin Finds His Feet
None of the characters in 13 Reasons Why really had that great of a time, but the rejection of Justin by his own mom was incredibly sad. No one seemed to care about him at all. It was understandable that Jessica was withdrawn and focused on other things, but no one else really seemed all that bothered for his welfare. In the end, with no place to call home, Justin left town with a gun, some alcohol, and a bit of cash.
We’d like to see him back, and we’d like to see someone out there showing him some affection. At such a vulnerable age, how Justin is treated going forward will have a huge effect on the man he goes on to be. Justin wasn’t blame-free in Hannah’s story, but he seemed genuinely remorseful. It would be nice to see him back in town, finding his feet, and making a future for himself.
Tony Facing the Music
More of Tony is very much needed. Though he featured heavily in season 1, he’s still something of an enigma. He seems like he’s the most grounded and pragmatic of all the characters, but Tony is also feeling some pressure. After all, it was he who gave Hannah the tape recorder, and when he did, he didn’t ask any questions. Not only that, but he listened to the tapes, delivered them to all the recipients, but didn’t alert any adult; Hannah’s parents, his own, or a teacher, to the nature of them.
In the end, we saw Tony putting the cassettes into an audio file and handing them to Mr. and Mrs. Baker, seemingly suggesting that in light of the court case, Tony had realized the importance of them. Going forward, in season 2, we’d like to see Tony showing some cracks in his armor. He needs to come to terms with the fact that he is not blameless in Hannah’s story.
Mr. Porter and the School Making Changes
There is no one person to blame for Hannah’s suicide; ultimately it was a choice she made for herself, but there are plenty of people who failed her, and one is most definitely Mr. Porter. As a guidance counselor, he should have persisted the final time he saw Hannah in his office, when she told him about her rape, and said she was depressed. Human error saw him distracted, but it’s hard to see how he will keep his job now that Hannah’s tapes have come to light; remember, she recorded their conversation.
The school must also face up to the fact that it badly failed one of its pupils, and is failing many others, too. It’s allowing jock culture to rule its halls, and Bryce has assumed the position of King. The fact that Jessica felt she couldn’t report her rape, and couldn’t confide in anyone at school, speaks volumes. It would be a lesson to educational establishments across the globe for Liberty High to be seen taking steps to improve its student welfare and to promote openness and discussion.