Spoiler-Free Review of “13 Reasons Why” Season 4 on Netflix: High School is Over

**Major spoilers have been left out for your convenience so feel free to read on!**

“Life is a pretty spectacular thing.”

The final season of 13 Reasons Why premiered on Netflix on June 5th 2020 with 10 new episodes (Approximately 58 minutes in length) in season 4. It stars Dylan Minnette, Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, and Miles Heizer.

The show is based on the novel written by Jay Asher. It follows a young high school student who suffers from depression after dealing with bullying and betrayal. The series allowed us to see things from Hannah Baker’s perspective in the first season, but the other seasons focused more on the lives of her friends and family members as they coped with grief and other significant changes.

If you are a fan of this show, then you know that it is like nothing else you have ever seen. It tackles a lot of important and sensitive issues without holding anything back. When the show first premiered, there was a lot of controversy surrounding it and there are several warnings that come up before each episode that should not be ignored.

Coming to the end of a brilliant series is not easily done, but does 13 Reasons Why give our beloved characters the proper farewell they deserve? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

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Images courtesy of Netflix

Moving performances by Dylan Minnette, Alisha Boe, and Brandon Flynn.

The entire cast is great, but this trio really gives us some heart-wrenching moments that will have you in tears. They are real, believable, and thought-provoking. You can truly empathize with them. You can easily imagine them as your own best friend or brother or sister. In a way, we have really watched them grow up on screen. 

When I first started the series, I had mixed thoughts on all of the characters and while Clay Jensen stole our hearts and compassion from the very start, Justin and Jessica really went through important character transformations throughout the series.

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Images courtesy of Netflix

Proper goodbyes.

A lot of series don’t really get the chance to give each and every one of their characters a proper send off. Some series are canceled too early and others drag things out too much. However, I thought that 13 Reasons Why did a really great job of allowing us to truly say farewell to each character.

High School can often feel like the end and unfortunately, it is the absolute end for some of our beloved characters. But for others, it is just the beginning of their journey and we can all relate to that.

While some characters discovered new relationships and passions, others went down dark roads of despair. But each one got enough screen time so that we could appreciate and understand their growth. Not just in high school, but in life.

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Images courtesy of Netflix

Episode 6

Each episode gave us some tropes about the end of high school. We got to witness a senior camping trip, college interviews, the prom, and graduation. However, I thought that episode 6 almost could have been a standalone for the series.

It was so intense and it really brought me back to that same feel I had while watching season 1, which I appreciated. Again, the warnings should not be ignored on this series and I strongly recommend watching it with someone else, but I thought the writing and direction for this particular episode was brilliant.

The Cons:

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Unsure of its plot.

A lot of season 4 focuses on Clay’s anxiety, especially after coping with what happened to Bryce and Monty. It is not easy to personify mental illness, but I could have done without the cheesy horror effects sprinkled in. They were kind of distracting and it took away from Clay’s actual issues. I thought it would have been better to stick with Clay’s revealing conversations with his therapist, which were extremely well done.

I’m still also not sure what the main plot was. Season 4 was kind of all over the place in certain aspects. In season 1, we focused on Hannah. In season 2, we looked at things from other eyes. In season 3, we watched things from a newcomer and also focused on a murder. However, season 4 didn’t really have much of a plot.

There were moments of pure brilliance and some really heartbreaking ones that still have me in tears, but I guess I was hoping for something to really captivate my attention like with the other seasons.

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Images courtesy of Netflix

Jessica Davis deserved more.

Jessica’s character transformation across the seasons has really been something spectacular. In season 3, she really embraced her strength and identity as a woman and became a leader. However, in season 4, she still talks a lot about these issues, but we spend too much time tangling her up in a love triangle that was unnecessary.

Jessica has been in toxic relationships, but she has also discovered her individuality. I just didn’t want that completely tainted and I thought that we could have moved away from the love triangle plot all together.

So am I in or out?

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Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in because I have a lot of respect for this show. There are a lot of teen dramas around that skim over important issues and I really thought that this particular one dove right in without censors. There are some moments throughout the show that are extremely difficult to watch, but sometimes we need to watch them in order to process all of these important issues in our lives.

The world can be scary and overwhelming and 13 Reasons Why reminded us that through all of the grief and difficult moments, there are also really beautiful ones as well and that life is worth living. While I had some personal preferences and issues with the final season, I will forever be a fan of this show.

It’s one of a kind and something that will stand the test of time for me.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on 13 Reasons Why in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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My performance of the week ending 3/21/20 on TV goes to…

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan on AMC’s The Walking Dead season 10.

Season 10 has been quite the ride, but I may have just watched one of the most epic episodes I have ever seen (Season 10 episode 12) and part of that is because of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s beyond brilliant performance as our antihero, Negan.

**Please note MAJOR spoilers are ahead if you are not caught up on the series.**

Jeffrey Dean Morgan knows how to play a villain well. He’s ruthless at times, but he also has so much charisma and humor, really making him someone you love to hate and eventually transforming into more of an antihero rather than a villain. While I can’t forgive some of Negan’s actions that shattered TWD, I have been a fan of his for a while and I have enjoyed witnessing his character growth. Negan played the villain well, but he absolutely flourishes as an antihero.

Negan has many layers and he is no stranger to performing some unspeakable acts, but sometimes you need a villain to take down another villain and so our long con was created. Alpha is another villain who has been beyond ruthless, but Negan recognizes a lot of himself in her. Alpha talks about her decisions in terms of survival and destiny, but Negan also recognizes a vulnerability within her that Carol is determined to use to bring her down once and for all.

While many of the other characters on the show keep their moral compass steady, Carol has really lost her way after what happened to Henry and is completely driven by revenge. Carol recognizes that doing things the right way doesn’t always pay off and does what she has to do in order to bring down her enemy.

In season 10 episode 12, everything is revealed, as Negan approaches Alpha and explains that he has Lydia held up in a shack nearby. It has been obvious for quite a while now that Lydia would be Alpha’s ultimate downfall, even though she has been so obsessed with getting rid of her daughter in order to stifle this weakness within her.

Alpha clearly became somewhat intrigued by Negan and their tryst in the woods still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I think in a lot of ways, Negan truly did sympathize with Alpha and probably did connect with her on some level. However, Negan has always had a strict code about not harming children and we have witnessed his interactions with Lydia and Judith, suggesting that he would never let anything actually happen to them.

Negan’s long con works to perfection as he leads Alpha to an empty shack, immediately slicing her throat to put her down quickly before bringing her reanimated head back to Carol. Even though Negan did what was necessary, he tries to do so with compassion, holding Alpha gently while her life pours out of her, proving that Negan is not the same man anymore.

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Images courtesy of AMC

I thought that Negan’s discussion with Alpha about his own wife and how he shut down after her death was so important for his character growth. We have been witnessing the changes in Negan, but I think this may be the first time he actually sees it for himself and expresses it out loud. Negan certainly still has a long way to go until redemption, but I think taking down Alpha was a huge step in the right direction.

What’s next for Negan? It will be interesting to see how the rest of the group receives him now that he has taken down the other big bad wolf. Will they accept that Carol released him from his cell or will they still be cautious around him? I’m not sure, but I think it’s safe to say that we are done putting Negan behind bars.

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Images courtesy of AMC

I also thoroughly enjoyed the team-up between him and Carol and hope to see this dynamic duo get some more screen time together to take down the rest of their enemies. You have to admit, they make a pretty unstoppable team!

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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My performance of the week ending 8/10/19 on TV goes to…

Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia Blake on The CW’s The 100I know that Clarke gets a lot of the attention on this show and I am a huge Eliza Taylor fan as well, but there has to be something said for the “girl under the floor” who has grown into one of the most interesting female protagonists on any current show. 

Octavia started out unsure of herself, but she has always been a survivor and she has been trying to make up for her ruthless actions as Blodreina in season 6, but quickly realizes that it’s not an easy path toward redemption.  Please note some spoilers are ahead.

I was a little concerned going into season 6 about what would happen with Octavia’s character.  In season 5, she truly broke out of her shell and was absolutely captivating as Blodreina.  Even though her actions were beyond questionable, she had such a drastic character transformation and I was impressed again and again by Marie’s portrayal of her.

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In season 6, Octavia has taken somewhat of a backseat, but things get interesting when she teams up with Diyoza after Bellamy leaves her behind.  Octavia discovers a new potential destiny within The Anomaly and it seems like she has been chosen.  Is she a savior or a threat?  I’m not so sure, but this new plot has kept Octavia relevant, continuing her story.

It was heartbreaking to see Bellamy leave Octavia behind, but perhaps that is what she needed.  Octavia has had strong attachments to Lincoln, Indra, and Bellamy, but when she is left on her own, she is forced to deal with her guilt head on, coming face to face with everything she has done as Blodreina.  When Octavia goes into The Anomaly, she ends up on a journey of self-discovery, but Bellamy initially seems skeptical of her true intentions. 

In the season 6 finale, Octavia is the first one to speak up about helping Gabriel, performing selfless actions to help save innocent lives, which is absolutely a step in the right direction for her.  Octavia knows that she has a long way to go for forgiveness, but it looks like she has looked within herself to find a way to keep going, which makes her a strong female anti-hero to truly root for.

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What’s next for Octavia?  We’ll have to wait and see, but we are left with an uncertain fate for her for season 7 after that cliffhanger ending.  Season 7 will be the last season for the series, but I’m hoping this is not the end for Octavia.  Now that she is finally on her path toward redemption, I want to continue watching her grow.

Octavia is strong and fearless, but she is also vulnerable, which makes her such a compelling and layered character.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “The 100” season 6 episode 13 Season Finale: “Tell Me It Was Worth It”

Happy Wednesday TV fans!  After watching the CW’s The 100 season 6 episode 13 season finale, I learned that sometimes accepting the truth isn’t always possible.  If we have been brought up on a lie, do our lives still have meaning when the lie is finally exposed or is there still a chance to discover the truth within ourselves?  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  

In last night’s episode, “The Blood of Sanctum,” Clarke continues to pose as Josephine, but things get a little tricky when she realizes that many innocent lives are at stake.  Meanwhile, Murphy tries out being a hero, Abby’s fate is revealed, and Octavia’s destiny becomes more complicated.  My top 5 moments from The 100 season 6 episode 13 season finale are:

5

“Who’s the hero now?”

You are, John Murphy!  Especially after you had that “interesting” kiss with that guy from Sanctum!  Murphy was really committing to the role, but he did say he was a good kisser.  Good thing Emori isn’t the jealous type.  Either way, I was thrilled to finally see Murphy do the right thing to help his friends. 

After the truth is revealed about the Primes, non-believers are being killed, but Murphy decides to get his friends out of there and brings them to the palace to move them out of harm’s way.  Murphy still contemplates just doing what is right for him and his friends, but risks it all and continues with this dangerous charade to help everyone in need.  Thanks Murphy!

4

“I am sorry for your loss.”

Meanwhile, Clarke realizes that she cannot let Russell and the other Primes kill any more innocent people and she decides to turn the tables on them, revealing her true identity.  Russell is beyond upset to find out that his daughter is dead and he turns further down his path of revenge.  We get a small glimmer of hope when Simone turns the gun on her people, telling Clarke that she is really Abby and that she has been pretending too.

Clarke holds on to this hope for just a second, but is smart enough to ask Abby what her father’s name is.  Simone’s plan fails and Clarke pulls the fail-safe switch, ultimately floating and killing Simone in Abby’s body.  I was already so incredibly heartbroken from last week’s episode, but I was still holding on to the hope that Abby might somehow be OK.  However, that hope was ripped away from us in the season finale, as we said goodbye to Abby Griffin for good.  May we meet again.  You will be missed!

3

“You’re as weak as her…”

After Clarke goes through the trauma of losing her mother, she cannot bear to lose Madi too.  However, the Dark Commander is not making things easy, as he continues to control Madi, manipulating Russell into following him toward an even darker path of revenge.  The Dark Commander tells Clarke that Lexa told him that she was strong, but he thinks that she is weak because of her love.  Clarke holds a gun to her head, trying to get through to Madi and is successful, as Madi is able to surface with perfect timing.

Raven comes in the clutch and reminds Clarke that they need to take out the flame to save Madi.  Clarke is beyond grateful and the two bond for a moment over losing Abby, which was touching to see.  Madi may not be the Commander anymore, but she is alive and we can all breathe a sigh of relief…at least for the moment.

2

“Tell me it was worth it.”

Despite all the heartbreak in this episode, we do get a beautiful Bellarke moment, as Bellamy and Clarke embrace after everything is over.  Clarke asks him if they truly did better and Bellamy tries to convince her that they are making a step in the right direction, but how will Clarke cope without her mother?  Now that we know that The 100’s season 7 will be the last season of the show, is there hope for Bellarke to finally be together?  Fingers crossed!  Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed this small moment and pretty much any embrace between Bellarke makes me swoon!

1

“Side by side…like it was meant to be.”

Even though a lot of the attention is centered on Clarke in this episode, Octavia continues to try and redeem herself, making her an even more interesting character.  Octavia never ceases to surprise me and she is the first one to tell Gabriel that she is willing to help save the innocent people of Sanctum, truly embracing the role of a hero.  Octavia continues to make courageous decisions now and it looks like her destiny is about to be explored even further when Gabriel discovers that the Anomaly Stone has formed tattoos on her back.  Gabriel has been studying these for quite some time and believes that Octavia is the key...but the key to what?

When Octavia touches the stone, the intense green light is released and our favorite characters are greeted by….Diyoza’s grown-up daughter, Hope, who stabs Octavia, causing her to vanish before their very eyes.  Bellamy screams out for his sister and our favorite characters are left out in the open.  We can only assume that this is either the Anomaly itself or it has somehow taken over Sanctum.

We know there are other planets that still exist based on what Russell said, but I’m not sure where are characters are now, but it looks like we have our setup for season 7.  Will Octavia be OK?  Is Clarke stuck in the same Anomaly?  We’ll have to wait and see, but I can’t wait to see how it all ends!  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The 100 in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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My performance of the week ending 8/3/19 on TV goes to…

The cast of  Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black season 7.  The cast of OITNB is so incredibly talented and I honestly cannot narrow it down to one standout performance.  I really can’t even narrow it down to a top 3 because they are all so compelling.  One of the reasons why I love this show so much is because it’s truly about the characters.  Everyone has a past and sometimes these characters learn from their previous mistakes and really grow, while others spiral out of control, but that’s what makes these performances so incredibly real and heart-wrenching.  **Please note that spoilers have been left out for your convenience so feel free to read on.

I have been a fan of the series for seven seasons and it’s honestly really difficult for me to say goodbye to it, but I think that these episodes will continue to stand the test of time.  Each reflection into a different character’s past makes you see them in a whole new light, as you start to really sympathize with characters that perhaps seemed horrible in earlier seasons and maybe you even start to root for them.

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Season 7 certainly jam-packs a lot into the final season of OITNB, as we get to see some favorite characters return and explore some new plot points as well.  Perhaps what I found the most interesting was seeing certain characters truly understanding one another and bonding now, where we used to witness some pretty ruthless feuds between them before.  In the earlier seasons, many of these characters were guarded and divided, but they are now all coming together, recognizing the importance of loyalty and friendship even when all hope seems lost.

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What’s next for the characters of OITNB?  Well not much since this is the final season of the show, but I am planning on re-watching the entire series in the near future because I was so incredibly moved by all of the performances and I really started to think about each individual journey.  It truly was amazing to see how much some of these characters have grown and how scary the world can be outside these four constricting walls.

Even though it seems like freedom is the obvious goal, some of our characters end up facing even more struggles outside of prison, reminding us that the journey of self-discovery is far from over, but it’s important to have the love and support of those around you, even though it may come from an unlikely source.  I fell in love with this show when it first aired and each season continued to inspire me.  We got a mixed bag of hilarious, heartbreaking, romantic, and tense moments, which kept us entertained until the very end.

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At the end of the day, it’s about each and every one of these characters…these strong women who have to continue fighting even when the world is against them.  Each character has so many layers and even if you think you have them figured out, they may surprise you, reminding us that it’s never too late to change and that it’s about the small moments in between that sometimes have the biggest impact on us in the end.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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My performance of the week ending 6/8/19 on TV goes to…

Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark on Fear the Walking Dead.  As the last Clark standing, our girl Alicia has gone through so much and yet she is now even stronger than before, emerging as a true leader and someone our characters can count on.  Please note some spoilers are ahead.  In the season 5 premiere, Alicia proves just how bad-ass she is.  She works so well with Morgan and the two have formed quite the dynamic duo, taking out walkers left and right, but there is something so magnetic about Alicia.  It’s almost like she has just become the slayer or chosen one in the Walking Dead universe and walkers everywhere better watch out!

I was blown away by Alycia’s performance in season 4, as she really dug deep to unravel the emotions and grief going on within Alicia Clark, but I love that she is continuing to grow more and more as the show goes on.  Alicia is smart and aware of her surroundings, recognizing the potential for threats and bad omens even more so than Morgan, who always wants to find the silver lining in every scenario.  Her mother, Madison, would be so proud of her, as she has really embraced the role of a leader, which is no easy task.

What’s next for Alicia? I’m not sure, but it will be interesting to see how the dynamic shifts once Dwight arrives.  Alicia always has her guard up and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as she is always looking at things from every angle.  These new potential enemies better look out because our girl is not messing around.  There is a sense of empowerment surging through Alicia Clark and I think she may have just become one of my favorite characters on television.  I can’t wait to see what she does next!

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

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Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

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