’13 Reasons Why’ Season 3 Episode 4 is a tense affair. When Tyler, who was about to shoot up the school, admits that he has another gun on him, the entire group of people protecting him is on high alert. The episode toys with this tenseness, using Ani’s thought process to work things through. However, there are several moments when we feel that Tyler might have another outburst.
Episode 4 of the Netflix show drags this feeling along wonderfully until it reaches a climax where we are made aware of Tyler’s true motives and begin to see him in an entirely different light. All this while, the episode sets up a nice red herring in Bryce Walker’s case. The mystery of the rapist jock’s death seems to deepen as some unexplained factors enter the investigation. While the cops remain determined to explore every avenue, the students at Liberty High conduct their own investigation of sorts, trying to determine who might have committed the murder and if they were justified in doing so. As Ami comments, a lot of people wanted Bryce dead, but not all of them had it in them to carry out the deed. The hunt for the killer is on as Episode 4 begins.
13 Reasons Why Season 3 Episode 4 Recap:
Episode 4 of ’13 Reasons Why’ begins with Tyler admitting that he has another gun which he wants to hand off to Clay to dispose of, at the end of the school day. The entire day at school Clay and his friends are concerned that Tyler might have the gun on him and something might set him off into engaging in a shootout. Ani theorizes that Tyler has all the ingredients of a killer as far as psychological aspects are concerned. Things take a much tenser turn when Tyler discovers that Clay and his friends are spying on him.
The episode has a series of flashbacks, but one of the most touching scenes is the friendship between Jessica and Tyler. Technically they are both sexual assault victims and though Jessica finds Tyler a little creepy, she gives him some friendly tips about claiming back power from the abusers. ’13 Reasons Why’ likes to show all sides of the story, so we are presented with an obnoxious feminist in Jessica’s group, who calls Tyler out for not wanting to disrespect Bryce’s funeral. Ironically, she claims that he is not a sexual assault survivor so he should keep quiet and be an ally. However, Tyler has faced sexual assault at the hands of Monty and his friends, as Season 2 showed us. In fact, the flashbacks also show Tyler confronting Bryce about it, but he walks away from that without shooting him. Once again. the series does what it can to raise a little empathy for Bryce. He handles Tyler well and seems genuinely sorry for the way he treated people. We are reminded of Ani’s belief that people are capable of change and are left wondering if Bryce should not be given the benefit of doubt.
As for Tyler, his friends do not believe that he could have changed but they have a good reason. They saw Tyler’s darkness firsthand while helping him recover, so they are willing to entertain the possibility of a backslide. In fact, Clay is convinced that Tyler is the killer when he discovers the photos of Bryce on his laptop. The suspicion shifts to Tyler naturally when the news breaks that Bryce was shot. However, Tyler has an explanation. He tells Clay how he did not shoot Bryce when he confronted him and actually held on to the gun because he wanted to shoot himself. He also went to the bridge to jump off.
However, during this suicide attempt, he saw Bryce’s body and seeing him dead made Tyler want to live. Promising Clay that he wants to be better and stronger, Tyler hands over his gun. However, Clay and Tony are faced with a problem when the police begin searching the river for the actual weapon that killed Bryce when it is proven that he died of blunt force trauma. At the end of the episode, it becomes clear that the police have stumbled upon something that looks like steroids in Bryce’s car. Meanwhile, Justin meets a shady person connected to Bryce and asks him to stay away. The mystery is becoming all the more intriguing as the episodes progress.
13 Reasons Why Season 3 Episode 4 Review:
’13 Reasons Why’ Season 3 Episode 4 takes us deeper into the mystery of Bryce’s murder. It sets up a nice decoy by directing us towards Tyler by hinting at a shooting. However, now that we know he was beaten to death, the crime has become all the more brutal and points to someone with anger issues. That being said, what was wonderful about this episode is how it explores Tyler’s psyche. He has always been a quiet one and not much of his story has been told over the past two seasons of the show.
It is refreshing to see ’13 Reasons Why’ tackling pertinent issues like delving into the psyche of a possible school shooter, laying bare the hurt and anger behind the actions. The show also shows a shift in Tyler’s character towards the positive, which gives us hope for him in the future. That being said, the mystery is likely to get more complicated in the upcoming episodes and we have to see who else pops up on the suspect list.