Throughout 13 Reasons Why Season 4, Clay was spiraling with anxiety. With everything he did, he always had people getting him out of trouble.
Clay Jensen was spiraling out of control throughout 13 Reasons Why Season 4. Anxiety was getting the better of him. At one point, he took a cop’s gun and looked like he could have shot someone. And yet, he was able to get out of trouble; even when escaping out of the psych ward.
Did he get out of trouble too easily? Had it been any of the other characters, they would have likely been kept in the psych ward and even facing a prison sentence. That would have especially been the case when Clay walked into a police station shouting that he had a gun, even though he didn’t.
It screams white middle-to-upper-class male privilege throughout. Nobody ever brought it up, but we do need to talk about it. There is no way Tony, Jess, or even Justin would have gotten away with half of the things Clay did. Tony would have been arrested for the gun stunt in the school, even if he was mentally spiraling out of control. In fact, Tony would have likely been shot. I’m just going to say it now. Justin would have faced jail time. Jess would have been committed. Even Alex would have been facing some serious probation and that’s with a dad on the force.
The benefit for Clay was that he was seeing a psychiatrist for his mental health. His dissociative state was being recognized. He was being treated for anxiety. He happened to have the right people in his corner when he needed them.
Thirteen Reasons Why
Clay still got off too easily on 13 Reasons Why Season 4
In the end, it was Justin who died. We know it would be either Justin or Zach the minute we saw Charlie talking on the podium. Wearing the football jersey made it clear that it was one of the football players. While Clay grieved, he never had to face the consequences for his actions that he should have done. He was allowed to continue running around town freely, encouraging his fellow students to walk out of class and riot.
He literally got away with setting fire to the principal’s car. Surely that should have meant some sort of arrest! Yet, the principal just let him off with it?
In the end, Clay got a somewhat happy ending. Okay, he lost a friend that became a brother. He had to accept that he had lost three people he loved, and it’s not even like he wanted Bryce and Monty to die, either. Yet, the ending was a happy one. He got to graduate and he got into Brown. The ending was him and Tony driving out of town in comfortable silence.
13 Reasons Why has had its problems from the beginning. There are times the storyline has been on-point under the surface. What seems like just a heartbreaking ending actually has a bigger meaning to it. But Clay’s storyline is unrealistic and annoying. He should never have been able to just walk off freely and get into an Ivy League college after everything he did.
What did you think of the 13 Reasons Why ending? Did Clay get out of trouble too easily? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
13 Reasons Why is now available to stream in full on Netflix.