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You're going to tell me this one's no big deal but let me tell you about being lonely. Humans are a social species. We rely on connections to survive. Even the most basic social interactions help keep us alive. Statistics prove the subjective feeling of loneliness can increase the likelihood of premature death by 26%. If it sounds like I'm quoting from a school textbook, I am. Too bad nobody bothered to read it. And let me tell you there's all kinds of ways to feel lonely.
— {{{SaidBy}}}, in "[[{{{Episode}}}]]"


Tape 4, Side A is the seventh episode of the first season of 13 Reasons Why. It is the seventh episode of the series overall. The subject of this tape is Zach Dempsey.

Synopsis

Another student sabotages Hannah during a class project. Clay's nightmares over Hannah spill over into the daytime.[1]

Plot

Flashback

Zach comforts Hannah at Rosie's Diner, after having been groped by Marcus. Zach tells Hannah that he likes her and not just for her "great ass." Hannah reacts badly as she's still not over the whole Alex's "hot" list. Zach tries to apologize but Hannah isn't taking it anymore. Zach goes back to his friends and plans some payback for her dissing him.

Hannah's communications class has set up a "compliment bag." It's this new thing that allows students to anonymously give their classmates positive feedback. When Hannah comes to school the next day, hers is empty. Apparently, Zach has been stealing her compliments as payback. Hannah sets a trap to catch him doing so by planting a depressing letter in her bag for Zach to find. She catches Zach reading it in the hallway. Hannah flips out and screams at him asking why he's picked her to bully. Of course, he doesn't respond.

Hannah puts a note in the class discussion bag asking "what if the only way not to feel bad is to stop feeling anything at all, forever?". The class determines the note is probably just someone seeking attention. Hannah could tell Zach knew it was her who had written it, yet he says nothing. This causes Hannah to fall deeper into loneliness.

Present day

Clay begins to have hallucinations about Hannah that interfere with his life. This leads up to the big basketball game in which Clay has daydreams of him beating up Zach for what he did to Hannah. He tries to hold himself together, until he hallucinates that Hannah is dead in the middle of the court. Clay yells at the players to stop the game before he realizes that Hannah isn't actually there.

Clay decides to carve Hannah's "Why me?" question into the side of Zach's Audi. Zach and his mom come over to Clay's house the next day. They accuse Clay of vandalizing Zach's car. Clay confirms that it was him who did it. Zach and Clay talk about what's on Hannah's seventh tape and about the letter. Zach says that he didn't throw it away and shows that he still carries it in his wallet.

Clay returns Hannah's tapes to Tony. He admits that he's not strong enough and that it's too hard to listen to Hannah anymore. Clay then goes to school in a noticeably happier mood; much to his classmates confusion. However, his hallucinations continue. Clay realizes even though he doesn't have the tapes, he can't escape his guilt over Hannah's death.

In the classroom, Clay tells his teacher that Hannah was the one who wrote the note in the class discussion. Before his teacher can respond, Clay is pulled out of class by Mr. Porter to give a school tour for the new foreign exchange students. While on the tour, Clay shows the new students Hannah's locker and makes a scene about all the school's new suicide awareness being too late. He is interrupted by Mr. Porter who takes him to the office.

Cast

Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Quotes

Why me, Zach?! Why me?!
— Hannah to Zach after he reads her letter.
Everyone is just so nice until they drive you to kill yourself. And sooner or later, the truth will come out. It's gonna come out.
— Clay Jensen
The kind of lonely I'm talking about is when you feel you've got nothing left. Nothing and no one. Like you're drowning and no one will throw you a line.
— Hannah Baker
We all need it. Human contact. And communications class, crazy as it was, was human contact for me. Until someone in that class cut my lifeline someone who is known for being sweet. I'll tell you who it is but you're going to have to wait. Just like I did.
— Hannah Baker

Trivia

  • Zach is the one taking Hannah's compliments, so she leaves him a letter to find.
  • Hannah stated on the tapes that Zach threw her letter away, however when confronted by Clay he revealed that he kept the letter.

Multimedia

Soundtrack

Song title Album Artist
The Stranger Actor St. Vincent
The Great Longing Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing Lost Under Heaven
That Thing You Do Superpop (That Thing You Do) Photronique
Huntress Sväva Sväva
The Walls Came Down Modern Romans The Call

Screencaps

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References

  1. Official Netflix Synopsis of Tape 4, Side A