13 Reasons Why Season 3, Episode 13, “Let the Dead Bury the Dead” plays a scenario requiring the audience to suspend their belief way too much, but the finale does serve an answer.
This recap of 13 Reasons Why Season 3, Episode 13, “Let the Dead Bury the Dead”, The Finale, contains significant spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.
After 12 episodes of 13 Reasons Why, Episode 13 musters up the solution to all the problems facing these teens. Ani has a plan. The plan is utterly absurd, but Clay agrees to it.
Before I discuss this plan, it must be noted that you have to ultimately elevate your beliefs to embrace it. Ani decides to go to the police to hold an interview; in that interview, she discusses her various theories, observations and her conclusion as to who killed Bryce. She tells them about Alex trying to be a man, Tyler having the guns, Justin’s drug addiction — in a nutshell, she details why everyone wanted to kill Bryce, and summaries the third season.
But Ani conveniently leaves out one character in the Season 3 finale, “Let the Dead Bury the Dead”, and that person is Monty. Ani tells the police Monty is the killer, and after the football game, Monty followed the Hillcrest bus, met Bryce at the pier, saw that he was injured and threw him into the river.
The only issue is that her narration does not match the actual events; Episode 13 shows that Monty went to meet Winston, and they had sex. Jessica and Alex went to meet Bryce at the pier. Bryce wanted to share Jessica his tape, and as Jessica and Alex went to leave, he begged them to help as he had broken limbs. As Alex tried helping him up, while in pain, Bryce screamed a few things which triggered Alex. It’s hard to forget that Alex’s life has been destroyed by Bryce as well, so he pushed him into the river, knowing he wouldn’t be able to swim. Alex was the actual murderer, not Monty.
But Episode 13 reveals that the group decided to band together and think of a plan where the least-worst scenario took place; Monty was already in prison for his sexual assault on Tyler, so they made a choice. They planted Bryce’s tape in Monty’s tape, so it does not come back to hit Jessica. Their plan was dampened somewhat when they heard that Monty was killed in prison. “Even the dead deserve the truth”, Alex’s Dad proclaims in the interview with Ani, but she stays with her story.
And then the group waited for the police decision. Jessica asks Clay to play Bryce’s tape; in the recording, Bryce is wholeheartedly honest about what he did, and how he plans to be a better man, but his truths are brutally honest, where he does not try and make any excuses for what he did. The group listens to his voice in silence as Bryce confesses to raping several women.
The next day, Alex’s Dad says the case is closed, and that Monty is the killer. Interestingly, his dad burns some clothes after, presumably Alex’s.
13 Reasons Why Season 3, Episode 13, “Let the Dead Bury the Dead” ends with everyone looking happy. Tyler shows his photography gallery of everyone he’s taken pictures of, Clay meets Ani’s mother, and Ani confirms they are dating. Clay is grateful that Ani saved his life.
But predictably, the finale ends with the stash of guns found in the sea by a fisherman, and Monty’s lover Winston confronts Ani about the case; he knows Monty had a credible alibi that night; he was with him.
My issue with this episode is not that they dragged it all out to the end, it’s the absolute audacity of the writing team conjuring a story that someone can walk into a police station and relay any story they please and the police go with it without evidence. That’s not how the world works.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.