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!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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