Five months after Hannah's death, the case against Liberty goes to trial, with Tyler as the first witness. Clay finds a troubling photo in his locker.
NOTE: PLOT IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION
The episode unfolds five months after Hannah Baker's suicide, with the trial of the case of Andrew and Olivia Baker vs The Evergreen School District. Tyler Down is the first witness to testify in the courtroom. Tyler begins by describing Hannah as a kind-hearted girl who befriended him when others didn't. Dennis Vasquez, the Bakers' lawyer, argues that Tyler just testified that life at Liberty High School was bad before Hannah Baker killed herself, so how is it now? It's worse, Tyler responds. From Tyler’s words, nothing has changed at Liberty and things are actually getting worse, with bullying persisting.
One day earlier
Clay truly believes he is recovering from Hannah’s death. He goes with Skye to get a semi-colon tattoo (a symbol representing suicide awareness) but faints halfway through and only gets a comma. Later on, Skye paints a mural when Clay admits how disappointed he is that even just getting the tattoo, he somehow failed. It turns out, that Clay and Skye are actually dating now, as they embrace each other in a kiss. Clay states that he has not been thinking about Hannah, but Skye reassures him that it's okay if he is. Nevertheless, Clay still persists that he isn't and he hasn't for months. Clay then contemplates how messed up the situation is with Hannah, the Bakers, the trial and Bryce. After Clay tells her he cares about her, they start passionately kissing. In the sofa, Clay Skye proceed to have sex, when Clay notices the cuts on the lower part of her body. Skye, growing uncomfortable, tells him she used to cut herself a long time ago, but Clay knows they are recent. Clay seemingly been helping Skye out with her own issues, but is upset to learn she has started cutting herself again. Angry, Clay tells her that they made a deal that she would call him whenever she feels like doing it. Clay asks about her alternatives and why she clearly doesn't seem to be doing it. When Skye says she doesn't like the alternatives, Clay suggests a mindfulness walk. Skye doesn't take it seriously and laughs at this suggestion, but Clay stresses how important this is. She apologizes and promises she will call him.
When Clay returns home, he learns from his mother that the Baker family didn’t settle, as they rejected the Districts final offer, so the case against Liberty is going to trial. Sonya, the litigator, told Lainie that Clay Jensen is not on either witness list. Lainie explains that each side chooses witnesses based on a variety of factors. Clay becomes understandably pissed off, and firmly says "Bryce raped Hannah, why is nobody talking about that, you heard his confession, you heard everything before you dropped out of the case." Lainie tells him she withdrew because his involvement created a conflict of interest. Lainie argues that if the girl on tape 9 came forward about the rape, then it would make the case stronger. However, Clay counter-argues that he had Bryce's confession on tape. His anger makes Lainie worried about his mental state. Clearly, she sees that he's still troubled by Hannah's death, and that is clearly shown by the long hours he spends outside his home. Clay is still in denial about moving on. When Clay goes up to his room, He then starts to see a hallucination of Hannah outside.
At the Standall residence, Deputy Standall talks to Alex about his decision to go back to school so soon. Alex reasons that he has to go back with Jessica, as they'd made a promise. It has to be now, Alex says. His father asks if it's because of the trial. Alex affirms this, also stating that they have been gossip about him going around the school for months and doesn't want to hide anymore, he also wants to be there for Hannah at her trial to help tell her story. Alex's father tells him to be strong and that he'll tell his mother that he is feeling stronger. Alex asks if he'll be able to testify and his father tells him that it depends on what the doctors say. Shortly after, Alex calls Jessica and tells her of his parents' decision to allow him to go to school. The trial worries Alex. He's worried about what people were saying about them, to which Jessica replies that they're going to find out. The the two have a plan to stick to their stories, which is that they don't remember what happened to them. Alex then asks if Jessica feels okay with seeing Bryce again, to which she reluctantly affirms.
The trial commences the following day, and Mrs. Baker is at the shooting range, taking out some of her anger before the trial. When she returns home, she looks at the evidence board she has created in order to figure out how the different reasons connect to Hannah's suicide.
Meanwhile, Tyler is at school talking to his parents on the phone about being the first to testify, before he goes to the dark room and finds a threatening message, warning him before the trial. At home, his parents disagree with him being the first to testify, but Tyler wants to be first, because they want him to talk about the environment at school and how they bully him. He's not just doing this for Hannah, he's also doing this for himself and Alex.
I am, I'm ready, It's like you said, it'll help me put that part of my life to rest. It shows I found closure
— Clay Jensen to Skye Miller on being ready to get a semi colon tattoo
Clay: "It's just a fucking comma."
Skye: "So, it signifies a pause. As in you paused getting a tattoo in order to faint."
Clay: "Even just getting a tattoo, I fucking fail."
Skye: "Hey, Hannah will forgive you."
― Clay and Skye on Clay's half-finished tattoo
Each day in this trial, you’re going to hear testimony from students who knew Hannah Baker at Liberty High, from adults at Liberty, from Hannah’s own parents. You’ll hear about a girl in crisis, a poisonous school culture and an administration that could have averted a tragedy, but didn’t.
— Dennis to Mrs. Baker
This trial going forward, it affects the whole town. We all have to think about it all over again, how Hannah lived, and how she died. And how it changed all our lives.
— Tyler on Hannah's trial, while testifying
You hurt, worse, you feel, powerless. And I know some people don't want us to talk about what happened. But if we don't talk about it, it's never going to change. So it's important for everyone to understand how it all happened, the whole story; you know. Cause things at Liberty are as bad as they've ever been. And I don't wanna be afraid anymore. I don't wanna be afraid.
— Tyler about Hannah's story and Liberty High at his testimony
What does this mean "I could've stopped it." What does that mean? And how could I have stopped it?