'13 Reasons Why' Got The Final Gun Scene Very Wrong And Here's Why
22 May 2018, 16:47
"No kid or friend should ever try this. Ever."
After experiencing bullying from his fellow students at Liberty High, we watch Tyler reach what appears to be his breaking point. As it turns out, he doesn't reach breaking point until the final episode, "Bye", on season two.
The new season closely follows Tyler's life during the court case into Hannah's death. He finds a new group of friends, a motley crew of outcasts lead by Cyrus and together they plot their revenge against the jocks of Liberty High with pranks, a light spot of blackmail and vandalising the school's baseball field by burning the word 'rapist' into the grass (Bryce is the captain of the baseball team).
While some of the things Tyler and Cyrus do together isn't entirely ethical, you get a sense that their new found friendship is saving Tyler, pulling him back from the brink of committing a horrendous crime against his bullies and other school students. You feel a redemption storyline coming which, regretfully, never materialises.
It falls apart in the final episodes. Cyrus ends his friendship with Tyler because of the way he treated his sister, Mackenzie, after a bad date. Tyler is then violently beaten up and raped with the end of a mop in the men's bathroom by Monty, who is angry about Tyler's involvement in Bryce's sentencing. The scene is incredibly difficult to watch.
After this, Tyler reaches his rock bottom. Without friends and feeling like he cannot confide in his family, he decides to go to the ball to murder the students there. When Clay finds out about his intentions, he runs outside the hall where the ball is being held to confront Tyler and persuade him not to do it. Eventually, Tyler gives his rifle over to Clay and leaves in a car with Tony.
The ending has received mixed-to-negative reaction. Some feel like it was interesting to show what might drive someone to a school shooting while others felt it set a dangerous example of confronting an active shooter (something you should never do - more on that in a moment).
SPOILER ALERT ❗️❗️❗️❗️#13ReasonsWhy— Joycelynn ✨ (@X8LJ) May 20, 2018
This whole Clay talking to Tyler about shooting up the school is just unrealistic. If someone brings a gun to school with the intent to kill CALL THE POLICE. Don’t take your ass outside to “talk the gunman down” 😒😒
I don’t justify gun violence in school but I think #13ReasonsWhy showed the mental side to what bullying and tourture does to someone that maybe is quiet or different or shy...bullying can change lives in so many ways and it breaks my heart! People get pushed too much...— Shannon ❤️ (@ShannonMcauleyy) May 20, 2018
i am SHOOK after watching 13 reasons why season 2! If that show doesn’t show you the terrors that mental health can bring upon a person, how CRUCIAL it is to treat others in a loving way & the reality of gun violence & sexual assault then you’re missing the true reality of it all— Mads 🌻☀️ (@madisonhedding3) May 21, 2018
No matter where you stand on guns, we should all agree that using @netflix, one of the biggest platforms that teenagers use, to dramatize/glorify a school shooting is wildly irresponsible.— Jared Bouloy (@jaredbouloy) May 18, 2018
Want to know how we got Parkland, Columbine etc? It's stuff like this #13ReasonsWhy pic.twitter.com/epZx370o44
I did not appreciate the last scene if #13ReasonsWhy2 when Clay tried to talk to and stop Tyler. No kid or friend should ever try this. Ever. A shooter is not in the right state of mind and will shoot. Do not engage. They should've called the cops. Tyler should've been arrested.— Leanne Menninga (@LeanneMenninga) May 22, 2018
Just finished 13 Reasons Why season 2. Very entertaining show but they keep trying to raise awareness for certain issues and just keep getting it wrong. The school shooting scene and Clay trying to protect Tyler. Seriously?! Ugh.— Ola (@OlaCouturier) May 22, 2018
What's particularly bizarre about this choice of ending is that makers of the show are well aware that people should never approach an active gun man.
In Beyond The Reasons, the show-runner Brian Yorkey sits down with Miles Heizer (Alex), Dylan Minnette (Clay), Christian Navarro (Tony) and Rebecca Hedrick, M.D., who is the Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Ceder Sinai Hospital in California. The very first topic they discuss is the scene between Tyler and Clay, and Hedrick warns that Clay's actions should not be repeated under any circumstances.
"The safest choice would’ve been to go behind the doors and lock himself in with the rest of the kids and help everyone get to safety, to hide in closets or behind objects and make sure someone has called 911", she says. "We would never advise anyone who’s exposed to an active shooter to confront them, even if it’s a loved one. We would advise to get away."
So why did Yorkey decide to proceed with this storyline then? A little later on he explains that, “Unfortunately there are many many cases of school shootings over the past 25 years in the United States and there’s a tremendous amount of damage in the life stories of people who commit atrocities like those."
"There’s a tremendous amount of hurt and that doesn’t excuse what they do for a millisecond but long before a gun gets into anyone's hands we need to be taking care of each other and looking out for people who are hurting, and trying to find ways for them to cope with that hurt and express that hurt in ways that aren’t damaging and that don’t compound and repeat the hurt."
In a seperate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Yorkey said they did "as much research as we could" to understand the psychology behind people who commit such horrendous crimes. "The thing that's interesting for us is the journey and trying to understand what goes into the experience of a young man who goes that route."
"We did as much research as we could," he haid. "Unfortunately, there's a great deal of literature about a great number of troubled young men who resorted to or almost resorted to violence to act through their feelings. So we were able to study a great deal of the history there, and we tried to be authentic and honest and also accurate in our portrayal of the character."
If you're affected by any of the issues discussed in 13 Reasons Why, head to 13reasonswhy.info.