’13 Reasons Why’ Season 3 Episode 3 puts things into motion as promised. Bryce Walker’s dead body has been discovered and thus begins the game of secrets where everybody seems to know more than they are letting on. Even Ani, the narrator we are supposed to trust, seems to be lying about her relationship with Bryce. Whether she is hiding something more sinister, remains to be seen in the upcoming episodes.
Aptly titled “The Good Person Is Indistinguishable from the Bad”, Episode 3 of the Netflix series goes back to the theme that perhaps Bryce was not all bad. He seems to display some genuine regret at having ruined Jessica’s life. While this might be brought on by his treatment at the new school, he makes a point to apologize for his actions. He also tries to get on Justin’s good side, even reminding him of a time when they were as close as family members. All the attempts to portray Bryce in a more humane light cannot draw our attention away from the fact that plenty of people wanted him dead. ’13 Reasons Why’ smartly raises the point that the act of murder does not say as much about how the killer is as a person, but rather draws attention to how much the killer has to lose, which drives them to the act of murder in the first place. Episode 3 starts by putting us in this frame of mind.
13 Reasons Why Season 3 Episode 3 Recap:
Episode 3 of ’13 Reasons Why’ begins with the news of Bryce’s death being announced at Liberty High. Naturally, this puts Jessica in the show’s spotlight. She was hurt the most by Bryce and Ani already insinuated that she might have something to do with Bryce’s murder. A flashback shows Jessica confronting Bryce about his actions, trying to prove that she has moved on despite it. However, Bryce’s neutral response draws out the worst in her. This is also when we get to know that Jessica has become the student body president. She gives another fiery speech championing feminism. Meanwhile, Jessica also realizes that her relationship with Alex is passionless, and Ani steps in, helping her discover her own sexual needs. This leads Jessica down a reckless path as she begins a torrid relationship with Justin. Jessica begins to sexually experiment in the bedroom, finally gaining control over her own body after the rape.
In the flashback, we also see Justin confront Bryce, telling him to stay away from Jessica and not to interfere in their lives. It is also revealed here that Bryce knew about Tyler’s attempted school shooting at the Spring Fling. Episode 3 makes Bryce’s loneliness all the more evident as we see him playing poker with Ani on a Friday night. Coming back to the present, the news of Bryce’s death draws a lot of attention to Jessica. Even Clay begins to believe that she might have something to do with it, upon Ani’s insistence. The two see Justin get into a car with Jessica and believe that they both might be involved. Upon following them to a motel room, Ani and Clay stumble upon the secret affair. Ani has a working theory that Jessica was sleeping with Bryce which made Justin commit a crime of passion. This theory is proven wrong but Justin still seems to be hiding some secret. This is made clear when Seth, the drug dealer living with his mother, insinuates that Justin killed his rich friend. ’13 Reasons Why’ also points the finger at Tyler, who had the most to lose if the Spring Fling’s secret got out. Moreover, we see pictures of Bryce floating dead in the water on Tyler’s laptop, while he has a gun next to him that he wants to get rid of. As for the law enforcement officials, they are bent on exploring every avenue including Bryce’s own mother playing a role in his death. Episode 3 takes us deeper into the heart of the whodunnit.
13 Reasons Why Season 3 Episode 3 Review:
Episode 3 of ’13 Reasons Why’ begins with the investigation into who might have killed Bryce. The obvious suspect is Jessica, whose life Bryce ruined when he raped her. Naturally, all eyes are on her and the show is quick to clear her name so that the intrigue around who might have done it increases. As for tackling social issues, ’13 Reasons Why’ is making its feminist narratives overt, with a student even suggesting that Jessica should help in toppling the patriarchy and dismantling the system.
However, its stronger message comes when Jessica regains control of her own body. Ever since its conception, ’13 Reasons Why’ has dealt deftly with issues of the male gaze and Jessica’s regaining of control over her body from the way Bryce used to see it is an empowering move. Tyler seems to remain a character of interest, as his bare-bodied photos remain unexplained and now it seems he might have more to do with Bryce’s death. That being said, Episode 3 merely nudges us towards the heart of the mystery, keeping the really good stories for the future.