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The truth is everyone's still hurting, some more than others.
Tyler Down

The First Polaroid is the premiere of the second season of 13 Reasons Why. It is the fourteenth episode of the series overall.

This episode focuses on Tyler Down's testimony. He narrates this episode from the stand of the trial against Liberty High School.

Synopsis

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.

Plot

SPOILERS AHEAD


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 County 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
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Clay and Skye kiss each other before attempting to have sex.

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, 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 states that they are going on a mindfulness walk which Skye doesn't take it seriously and just laughs. Clay stresses how important this is and she apologizes and promises she will call him.

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Clay and Lainie talk about the tapes and the Bakers' case.

When Clay returns home, he learns from his mother that the Baker family didn’t settle, as they rejected the Districts final offer at the last minute, so the case against Liberty is going to trial. Sonya, the litigator, told Lainie that Clay 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 her 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.

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Jessica on the phone with Alex about coming back to school

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 and it has to be now. His father asks if it's because of the trial, and Alex affirms this, also stating that there 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 two have a plan to stick to their stories, which is that they don't remember what happened to them. With Jessica's case her story is for people also outside the school is that she doesn't remember who raped her, although she does know. Alex then asks if Jessica feels okay with seeing Bryce again, to which she reluctantly affirms.

S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-028-Baker-Residence

Olivia comes home to see sale and rent signs graffitied with words on her lawn

The trial commences the following day, and Olivia Baker is at the shooting range, taking out some of her anger before the trial. When she returns home she has 'for rent' signs that have been graffitied, with threatening words, on her lawn that she takes up and puts on a pile of other for rent signs. She goes into her house and she looks at the evidence board she has created that has become her own personal investigation to figure out how the different reasons connect to Hannah committing suicide.

S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-037-Mr.-Down-Mrs.-Down

Tyler talks to his parents about testifying

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.

S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-043-Alex-reads-his-note

Alex reads his suicide note after asking his mother for it

Alex asks his mother if he left a note before he tried to kill himself, his mother affirms but doesn't want him to see it, after Alex demands to see it she gives it to him, she asks if he wants to talk about it, there are words pointed out to him: "I could have stopped it", he asks what it means, Carolyn says that it was just too much for him to take on. He thinks it's more so he brings it with him to school to see who can help him understand it.

S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-053-Olivia-Dennis

Olivia and Dennis talk about what they can bring in, say and do in court

Jackie and Olivia meet up at the Court, Olivia goes in and speaks to Dennis, she wants to get the tapes admitted into Court but Dennis says it's not possible to submit them because they "can't get Porter without getting Hannah drunk, Hannah taking her shirt off, Hannah leaving the scene of a crime". Olivia asks about Bryce and Dennis tells her that "unless there's corroboration, it's his word against hers. We have to establish a pattern of activity that the school was aware of.". Olivia isn't happy to hear any of it but knows he is right. Dennis, for the side of the Bakers', summarises what will happen to the jury and Sonya, for the side of the school, also summarises what jury will hear. They each make their summary lean to towards their side but not with too much bias.

S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-062-Alex-Jessica

Alex and Jessica walk down the halls of Liberty High together on their first day back

Alex and Jessica joke about their problems as they walk into Liberty High together. Alex says that they're "definitely going to hell" for joking about it, Jessica states that they're "already in hell". As they walk in and get to the lockers, Zach joins them and tells them that the school implemented a rule, after Alex attempted suicide, that no one can talk about suicide, if they do, they'd get suspended. Bryce and his friends walk by Alex, Jessica and Zach and Alex becomes angry, Jessica tries to calm him and walks off.

S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-072-Girls-Restroom-Graffiti

Jessica sees the rumors graffitied on the door of the cubicle she is in

Tyler is in court, he is asked if people told lies about Hannah Baker, Tyler affirms this, "all the time". Tyler also anonymously talks about "something" happening to Jessica, her leaving school and Bryce twisting the truth into rumors that at least most of the school now believes. Meanwhile, angering Alex, Zach tells Alex the same thing that Tyler told Dennis in court and Clay tries to avoid being seen by his mother in court.

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Tyler talks about meeting Hannah for the first time in court

Tyler, re-telling a story, flashes back to when he first met Hannah Baker. He recalls that he took a photo of her for yearbook and then helped her pry open her new locker. Hannah and Tyler then agree to do a photoshoot, Tyler tells her to come "camera ready", and when Olivia hears it, she remembers Hannah getting ready for a photoshoot. She remembers telling her to take her make up down a notch otherwise people would get the wrong idea. Olivia begins to have a look of shocked realisation on her face, Tyler remembers that she was crying that day because he could see it on her face, "I could tell she had been crying, I wasn't sure why, she didn't need the make up anyway, she was so beautiful and she was so nice to me", Tyler ends with "I wondered who made her cry, who made her feel like that when she only ever deserved to be happy".

S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-095-Hannah-Baker

Hannah takes make up off after her Mother tells her to "take it down a notch"

Olivia understands what happened that day and wonders if she was part of the problem. Sonya asks if it's true that because Hannah liked the attention, no real bullying resulted from the photos he took, Tyler denies this, talking about the picture Justin took of her saying that it affected her. Tyler also talks about stalking Hannah to give her photos to make her see that she was beautiful. He then recalls seeing Hannah sext to "some guy" adding to the "Hannah the Slut" reputation that she had. This makes things slightly worse for the Bakers' case.
S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-117-Mr.-Porter-Bryce

Mr. Porter pins Bryce up against the wall and threatens him

Zach confronts Clay about what is happening in court, Clay expresses no interest in the case anymore and tells Zach he doesn't need to worry as he wasn't the worst person on Hannah's list of reasons adding that he wasn't the one who raped her. Mr. Porter confronts Bryce in the boys restroom and threatens him while pinning him up against a wall. Alex tries to make sense of his note with Clay in class. Bryce confronts Tyler about talking about him in court, Tyler says he is not afraid of him. Clay receives a Polaroid and catches up with Tony, who tells him that the school has called on him to testify for the school's side, also telling Clay that he isn't sure how he is apart of the schools story. He tells Clay that Clay doesn't know everything that he did for Hannah or with Hannah.

S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-131-Rick-Wlodimierz

Coach Rick and Mr. Porter educate the jocks on "affirmative consent"

Mr. Porter and Coach Rick coach the jocks on affirmative consent, Coach Rick shows less enthusiasm than Mr. Porter, who tells Scott, joking about rape, that he can arrange he take the season off, Coach Rick is unnerved by this. Jessica is welcomed back by her friends on the cheerleading team. Chlöe is introduced as the new team captain and welcomes her back with excitement. Over on the other side of the field, Bryce is watching Jessica while his concentration messes up and he is missing points with their game. Alex and Tyler are hanging out in Tyler's room, Tyler goes to the bathroom and sees the bullet mark in the wall, Alex explains, "That's where it went, the bullet.. I had never shot that kind of gun before, so, it was heavier than the other ones, and I flinched and the bullet when up and then in and out of my skull and into the wall, that's what they told me", Tyler asks if he remembered anything himself, Alex denies it, he knows about the tapes and that everyone did things, but he doesn't remember listening to them. Tyler tells Alex that he took photos of his journey from coma to now, Alex asks to see them at some point.

S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-139-Chlöe-Rice

Chlöe and Jessica's friends on the cheerleading give her a warm welcome back

Jessica tries to avoids Bryce, but he makes an extended effort, Bryce acts like a friend to her, even trying to touch her arm, which Jessica evades and then cuts corners to walk away from him. Jessica hears Chlöe and looks back to see that Chlöe and Bryce are kissing, realizing that her rapist and team captain are dating, she looks defeated and walks away. Olivia looks through photos of Hannah and talks to Jackie. Clay and Tyler confront each other in Monet's. Clay rides to meet Skye and they attempt to have sex, however his hallucination of Hannah interrupts them twice and Clay and Skye agree that he should go home, so he does, leaving Skye confused and upset.

S02E01-The-First-Polaroid-168-Tony-burns-Hannah's-Note

Tony burns evidence

Tony burns evidence: two letters from Hannah, revealing that he had more to play in his role after Hannah's death. Jessica and her father talk about her going into court to testify, Jessica's father isn't warm to it and Jessica says she has to do it "for Hannah".

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Jessica finds a threatening sex doll painted with the words "SLUT"

Jessica checks outside after hearing a noise and is alarmed to see a sex doll with the word "SLUT" painted on it, hanging from a rope, indicating a threat from someone. Clay is in his bedroom looking at the Polaroid he received, he hallucinates Hannah and she asks him what he's going to do about the Polaroid, Clay comments that she can now talk, as before she just appeared to him, Hallucination Hannah affirms, "apparently".

Cast

Starring

Co-Starring

  • Phil Austin as Walker Lawyer
  • Brandon Butler as Scott Reed
  • Joey Chacho as Ramón Ordoñez
  • Mikiko Edwards as Cheerleader #1
  • Austin Green as Hipster Artist
  • Richard Gross as Judge
  • Emily Radosevich as Girl #1
  • Callan Taylor as Cheerleader #2

Guest Starring

Quotes

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?
— Alex to his Mom after reading his suicide note for the first time.
Alex: "You look beautiful today"
Jessica: "So do you."
Alex: "I look damaged"
Jessica: "It's a good look on you. See everybody's checking you out."
Alex: "They're checking you out. You're pretty and sad. People love that."
Jessica: "You have a cane and a scar. All my scars are inside. "
Alex: "We're definitely going to hell for joking about this."
Jessica: "Alex, my friend, we're in hell already, I plan to look like I'm enjoying it."
―  Alex and Jessica on why people are staring at them, after coming back to Liberty High for the first time.
Alex: "I meant to ask you guys about my note."
Zach: "What note?"
Alex: "My suicide note. [takes it out]"
Zach: "Jesus, put that away!"
Alex: "It's not radioactive. No, I know, it's just... we're not allowed to talk about suicide. Or you, or Hannah."
Jessica: "Says who?"
Zach: "Says the school. They made a rule, the day after you... after that day. And if you talk about it on campus, you get suspended."
Alex: "That's so fucked up."
Zach: "Yeah."
―  Zach, Alex and Jess on the new suicide-suspension rule at Liberty High.
Alex, stop. I'll see you guys after third. I'm gonna take the long way. It's gonna be a good day.
— Jessica to Alex and Zach after Alex retaliates at Bryce welcoming them back like nothing happened.
Tyler: "People tell lies about you and other people believe them. And it gets to the point where...the lies might as well be the truth."
Dennis: "And did people tell lies about Hannah Baker?"
Tyler: "...Yes, they did. All the time... And, another girl I know [Jess]. She had something happen to her. She had to leave school for a while. While she was gone, the story got totally twisted. "
―  Tyler on the bullying of Students at Liberty High, Jessica's rape and the allegations that got twisted by Bryce about him sexually assaulting her.
I love how the Wal-Plex locks up their spray paint but not their ammunition.
— Clay to Skye on Wal-Plex making it easier to get ammunition than spray paint.

Soundtrack

Song Artist Album Scene
Love Vigilantes New Order Low-life Clay and Skye ride into town on a motorbike to Hot Ink.
Bad Dreams John And The Volta Low Life Clay and Skye hang out in an abandoned building.
Somebody You Found The Japanese House Saw You In a Dream - EP Flashback: Tyler takes photos.
Euphoria Eagulls Ullages Zach asks Clay about the trial; Clay walks away from Zach and continues through the hallway in slow motion as he sees Bryce; Mr. Porter confronts Bryce in the boys restroom.
Tin Pan Boy YUNGBLUD YUNGBLUD Tyler shares junk food with Alex.
Wolves Still Cry Lawrence Rothman The Book Of Law After confronting Tyler, Clay hops on his bike and meets up with Skye as she paints a mural at the abandoned building.

Original Score

Song Artist Album Scene
Court Eskmo 13 Reasons Why (Season 2 - Original Series Score) Tyler’s testimony. (28:26)
Polaroids Eskmo 13 Reasons Why (Season 2 - Original Series Score) Clay finds the first Polaroid (37:41)
Golden High[1] APM Music Lush Harmonics (not part of original score) Ryan talks to Tony at Monet's.[2]

Gallery

References

  1. apmmusic.com - "Golden High"
  2. tunefind.com - 13 Reasons Why Soundtrack (S2 · E1 · The First Polaroid)