13 Reasons Why offers an inside look at the intertwined lives of several high school students. The show focuses on Hannah Baker, recently departed, who left behind 13 tapes containing the stories which led to her suicide.
Though the show’s lead is Hannah’s friend Clay Jensen, everything that happens in the show revolves around Hannah – how her death affected all those around her and how her friends, family, and enemies are dealing with the loss.
Each episode puts the spotlight on a certain individual; Hannah narrates how that person wronged her.
In total, there are 12 people who star in the tapes. Each one of them did something to Hannah which eventually led her to end her life. Some were more awful than the others – not only when Hannah was still alive, but also during the aftermath, in the attempt to do some damage control.
The six people in the list are the worst offenders.
*Caution: Spoilers ahead.*
5. Marcus Cole
Marcus was Hannah’s One Dollar Valentine date. Initially appearing as a good person, Marcus eventually revealed his true nature during their date, wherein he appeared late and tried to touch Hannah inappropriately in a public place, all the while reasoning out that Hannah shouldn’t resist and that Hanna was “easy”. When Hannah stopped his advances, he humiliated her in front of everyone in the restaurant, rendering Hannah speechless and shook.
The reason why Marcus is on this list – and not someone else – is his actions after Hannah’s death. Marcus and the next person in this list share something – an obsession with maintaining a perfect image. Marcus is in the running to be valedictorian, and if what he did to Hannah gets out, his image would be irreparably stained.
He kept on insisting that Hannah was lying. He tried to recruit Clay to return the tapes. He will do everything to hide those tapes.
4. Courtney Crimsen
Courtney initially appeared as a friendly face to Hannah. Offering to help Hannah identify her stalker, Courtney was invited by Hannah to go back to her place. Eventually, the two became intoxicated, and following Courtney’s dare, the two shared a kiss, not knowing that the stalker, Tyler, was taking shots outside the window. The photo of the two spread throughout the school, but it wasn’t clear that Hannah and Courtney were in the photo since the subjects of the photo weren’t facing the camera.
With her reputation at stake, Courtney showed her self-interest by fanning Hannah’s reputation as the school slut by spreading more fake rumors.
It didn’t end with Hannah’s death, however. She kept on denying what she did, calling Hannah a liar. Courtney’s obsession with maintaining her image is outstanding, almost fanatical.
There’s a glimmer of hope with Courtney. In the end of the last episode, she was seen talking to her father apparently about the things that she did to Hannah.
3. Mr. Porter
Mr. Porter, the guidance counselor, is the focus of Hannah’s last tape. Hannah approached Mr. Porter in her last ditch effort to talk herself out of suicide – and it didn’t work out because Mr. Porter was half-hearted in giving advice. He told Hannah to just forget about Bryce’s indecent advances towards her and to just move on. He didn’t even follow Hannah when she left his office, even if it was obvious that Hannah was still troubled. As a guidance counselor, Mr. Porter obviously failed.
Even after Hannah’s death, Mr. Porter kept on showing his true nature. He hid the fact that Hannah approached him on her last day. Obviously, revealing that information would cause him to lose his job. But still, he did not do what he should have done, and he should own up to it.
2. Justin Foley
Justin Foley is the subject of two of Hannah’s tapes. Both deal with Justin’s inaction to events that could have been avoided.
The first tape is about Justin and Hannah’s short fling. It talks about Justin’s inaction when Hannah’s racy photo and a sexual rumor spread throughout the school, eventually destroying Hannah’s reputation. The second tape talks, again, about Justin’s inaction, but this time regarding his inaction when Bryce raped his intoxicated girlfriend, Jessica.
Justin Foley kept on denying his crimes, even telling Jessica that Hannah was lying. His justification for his actions – that he was trying to protect Jessica and that Bryce’s family took care of him when he needed it the most – shows a lot about his weak character.
Eventually, Justin paid the ultimate price with his actions – the only person he only truly loved, Jessica, left him. With Justin deciding to run away and leave it all, it’s unclear what’s in store for his future.
1. Bryce Walker
It’s not difficult to see why Bryce Walker appears at the top of this list. He raped not one, but two girls – Jessica and Hannah – and justified those acts by saying that they asked for it. His action had the largest effect on Hannah, and there’s a strong case that it is the major reason why she committed suicide.
Bryce is blinded by his ego and self-confidence; he doesn’t believe that he did anything wrong. He’s the main villain of the series. No one even comes close.
Most likely, Bryce is headed to prison since Hannah’s parents already have their hands on Bryce’s confession, the 14th tape.
Do you agree with my ranking? Did you enjoy the show? Do you think there’s a season 2?! Check out my post on possible season 2 storylines.