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S02.E12: The Box Of Polaroids 2018.05.18

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Threats against Clay and the others escalate. Tyler faces disciplinary action. Justin testifies about Bryce, putting his own future at risk.

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Who would have thought that Justin and Clay would be friends, and that Justin would be bringing Clay down from his ledge? I think they've handled Justin pretty well this season, considering that he was one of the worst offenders in season 1. It's easy to forget that kids can be assholes and jerks and make the worst decisions, but they also have the opportunity to grow, to change, and to learn from these choices, as long as they want to. Bryce doesn't seem to want to, but Justin does. It was noble of him to stick to his guns, even with the defense attorney hassling him.

Good on Justin and Jessica for going to the police, though. And finally, Clay says the right thing to Jessica, with Alex's help.

I saw the final verdict coming, in all honesty. It's really tough to prove something like that, unfortunately. However, seeing Bryce arrested at the courthouse was satisfying. You could just tell that Alex's dad purposefully did that to make a statement; at least that's what I want to believe. I also like that Justin still went through with the confession, even while knowing that he'd be arrested too.

So, I think they went with Monty harrassing the kids who were going to testify, but someone else stole the polaroids. For a moment, I thought it might have been Jessica herself, when Alex/Clay were at her front door. I guess that's a mystery for the final episode?

Tyler's going deeper and deeper down a rabbit hole and I fear it's way too late for him.

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Well, okay. They went halfway Broadchurch Season Two. It sucks that the suit failed, but there’s still some semblance of possibility of justice with Bryce getting arrested for Jessica’s rape.   

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That opening scene with Clay was awesome. Love Justin being a decent guy and talking back to Bryce. Dylan Minette played Clay's breakdown well. Really liked how Justin ignored the fact that Clay was talking about Hannah in the present tense when he said she wanted Bryce dead.

I loved that scene of Clay and Alex showing up at her door and then the reveal of everybody else in the car behind them. Good on you, kids on the tapes. Y'all have all shown some nice character growth (except for Marcus and Bryce).

The opening scene with Bryce helping Justin out in the flashback was so sweet...and then Bryce just walks over and takes some kid's Twinkies because he wanted it. I kind of like how they're humanizing him, but just a little because while he's human, he still made a choice to be a fucking rapist and all around terrible person.

Loved how Cyrus is calling Tyler out on his shit and admitting that he's been all talk. All season I've felt like the finale is going to have a school shooting by at least one of these two. Guess now it's gonna be Tyler. 

Suddenly thinking Chloe stole the Polaroids. Not sure why, but I feel like she's got to do something dramatic in the coming episode.

This and the previous ep have been my favorite episodes of the season.

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Wow, Justin stopping Clay from shooting himself or Bryce was amazing, especially because it was to save Clay, not Bryce. Who would have thought that of all the kids on the show, Clay and Justin would be there like that for each other?

Interesting that Tyler is the more idealistic "let's take down the system" one and Cyrus is the more practical "dude, you can't post pictures of us committing a crime!" one. I've never understood why people document themselves committing crimes. That's called EVIDENCE, you dummies!

It would have made more sense if Bryce and the other baseball players had learned about the clubhouse from other guys on the team instead of the coach, especially since Sheri said in the previous episode that the polaroids go back for years. It would be like other school traditions (most less rapey than the clubhouse) where the returning varsity players show the new guys. The fact that the coach not only knows about it but is the one who basically gave them the clubhouse makes him even grosser than before.

I spent the first season thinking that the actor who played Justin was a poor man's James Franco, but he has been doing great work this season. It helps that he's been given more to do, but he's really proven to be a good actor.

Although Tyler has been heading down a slippery slope this season, he was not exaggerating when he told his parents that if the principal was really interested in the truth, half the athletes at the school would be in that mandatory diversion program because the school is aware of what the jocks do and they don't do anything about it.

Ha, I was cracking up that we got a scene of just Scott and Monty. Even with just the two of them, I still couldn't tell which one was which. I had to wait until one of them said the other's name and then I was like okay, Scott is in the varsity jacket and Monty is in the plaid shirt. FINALLY! So Monty is Justin 1.0?

Listening to Jessica tell the police what happened to her had me in tears, but I loved seeing everyone waiting for her afterward. As much as the tapes tore everyone apart last season, finally this group of people has come together to support Jessica. It would have been nice to see Tyler and Sheri there too, but I'm just glad that everyone else was there (well, besides Mr. Porter because duh). I was surprised that even Courtney was there.

The verdict was disappointing but not surprising. It's hard to prove something like that as soon as Olivia said she wanted to file a lawsuit last season, I knew it would be an uphill battle.

Loved that Alex's dad perp walked Bryce during the press conference so that everyone got to see it. Justin just broke my heart. He knew he would be arrested as an accessory and he testified anyway. Even if he ends up not being convicted, now he's in the system and there's no way that he will be able to avoid going into the foster system.

So who the hell stole the box of polaroids? Chloe knew about them, but I keep thinking that the baseball coach did it to protect the team. I keep hearing Puddy from Seinfeld saying, "I GOTTA SUPPORT THE TEAM!"

Did Clay ever figure out what was taken from his room when Monty broke in?

ETA: I totally forgot to mention that I clapped when I saw Scott was sitting with Clay et al when the verdict was read. Another defector from the baseball team!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo.
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I cried when they pulled back from Jessica's doorstep and showed the rest of the Justice League there to support her.  Although I was slightly miffed that the producers didn't think to include Sheri, since I don't think there's any way she wouldn't have been there within the fiction of the narrative.

The one black mark on an otherwise stellar episode was Clay telling Hannah that he couldn't forgive her.  What does she need your forgiveness for, asshole?

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55 minutes ago, starri said:

I cried when they pulled back from Jessica's doorstep and showed the rest of the Justice League there to support her.  Although I was slightly miffed that the producers didn't think to include Sheri, since I don't think there's any way she wouldn't have been there within the fiction of the narrative.

The one black mark on an otherwise stellar episode was Clay telling Hannah that he couldn't forgive her.  What does she need your forgiveness for, asshole?

Jessica pulled a similar thing on Alex at his party I think.
I guess someone taking their life leaves you so powerless that 'blaming them' can happen.. Just like all those people who feel suicide is selfish, because you should think of all the people around you. (Personally not something I completely agree on. Sure it's sad how much Hannah's decision affected most of these people, but in the end 'think about the others!' is not the most convincing argument to somebody who's depressed (as well as probably convinced people are better of without her))

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In the previous episode, Hannah asked Clay to forgive her.....I think just before the confrontation in front of Bryce's house. I'm not sure if she meant for killing herself or for not being completely honest with him but she said she needed or wanted him to forgive her. Of course, she's not really there and it's all in Clay's head, so I suspect it's all part of his processing all the new information coming out as a result of the trial and coming to terms with Hannah's death so he can eventually accept it and move on.

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20 hours ago, Zap said:

I guess someone taking their life leaves you so powerless that 'blaming them' can happen.. Just like all those people who feel suicide is selfish, because you should think of all the people around you. (Personally not something I completely agree on. Sure it's sad how much Hannah's decision affected most of these people, but in the end 'think about the others!' is not the most convincing argument to somebody who's depressed (as well as probably convinced people are better of without her))

I agree with your take. I lost a good friend to suicide a few months ago and I couldn't imagine blaming him. His troubled mental state, personal issues, and PTSD were well documented and the suicide was not particularly a surprise to any of us once we were honest with ourselves. I hope this doesn't come off as cruel, because obviously we all wish things had gone the other way, but he was just suffering way too much to be able to handle everything properly. Despite his troubles, it was very clear he knew how much we all loved him and he made it clear he loved us all back very much as well. Our love didn't make him want to stick around any more, and it might have just made a troubled young man leave the planet with more guilt than necessary.

I don't think I'm articulating myself properly, all I mean to say is you can love and be loved, and it may not affect your decision, but I don't think I can bring myself to blame him or call him selfish, despite missing him and wishing he'd made a different choice.

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40 minutes ago, monagatuna said:

I agree with your take. I lost a good friend to suicide a few months ago and I couldn't imagine blaming him. His troubled mental state, personal issues, and PTSD were well documented and the suicide was not particularly a surprise to any of us once we were honest with ourselves. I hope this doesn't come off as cruel, because obviously we all wish things had gone the other way, but he was just suffering way too much to be able to handle everything properly. Despite his troubles, it was very clear he knew how much we all loved him and he made it clear he loved us all back very much as well. Our love didn't make him want to stick around any more, and it might have just made a troubled young man leave the planet with more guilt than necessary.

I don't think I'm articulating myself properly, all I mean to say is you can love and be loved, and it may not affect your decision, but I don't think I can bring myself to blame him or call him selfish, despite missing him and wishing he'd made a different choice.

I'm so sorry that you lost your friend. I think people who accuse someone of being selfish don't understand the overwhelming sadness and depression that these people are feeling. They're not trying to hurt their friends and family. They just want to make that feeling stop. Unfortunately, knowing that people love you doesn't make the bad feelings go away.

People are so much more understanding when people with terminal illnesses choose to stop treatment or turn to physician assisted suicide but it's a similar situation in that they are suffering from a disease that's causing an immense amount of pain and suffering. Unfortunately, mental health is often looked upon as an issue of weakness or lack of self control rather than a "legitimate" health problem.

My dad became depressed during/after cancer and my mom told me that she didn't want him taking anti-depressants. I told her that she was taking my dad to get treatments and medication for his cancer and that anti-depressants are the same thing for your brain. It's no different than a diabetic taking insulin. There's a chemical your body isn't producing enough of so you take medication. When my dad FINALLY got some anti-depressants shortly before he died, he was like a different person. He went from sullen, moody, angry, brooding over slights from decades ago, and crying to smiling and laughing again.

Anyway, Clay blaming Hannah for being selfish because she left him when she died is CLAY being selfish. It's not anyone's job to stay alive to keep you happy. Besides, how many times has Clay been selfish? How many times has he hurt people by choosing to do something that HE wanted to do, even if he didn't intend to hurt anyone? We all do that. Aren't we all inherently selfish because we want to do what we ant to do? Of course you should think of other people and try not to hurt them (Wil Wheaton's "don't be a dick" rule), but by the same token, you can't live your life for other people. I'm not saying that Hannah made the best possible choice (I wish she'd gone to a good therapist or transferred to a different school), but what should NOT have been on her list of reasons why not: "It might make Clay mad."

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I admit it, I actually did an "awwww" when the kids on the tape (except for Shari, which was weird, unless shes off planning something) all showed up at Jessica's house to support her. I like to think that Hannah would be happy about that. Maybe a more idealistic read on the tapes wasn't just because she wanted her story told, but she wanted people, many of whom she was friends with at some point, to realize what they did and work on being better people, and, with the exception of Bryce and Marcus, thats actually happened. 

And then theres Tyler, who I feel bad for, but am also pretty concerned for, and a little scared of. Kid looks like he has been planning a death list all episode, and when Cyrus friend dumped him, I knew it would get worse. I dont blame Cyrus for telling the principle that Tyler was stockpiling weapons and talking about "making them pay" because, sadly, I think pretty much an kid nowadays would know where that might be leading, and Cyrus might want to take down the system, but not to the point of fucking his life up or actually hurting people. Although, Tyler wasn't wrong when he said the asshole jocks would be going to this program if they really cared about students with disciplinary problems. Between all that and Porter leaving Tyler's file up as his number one kid to watch, I dont think this is going to end well. I am very very nervous. 

I figured that the trial would end this way for the start, as proving the school was to blame was always going to be a hard sell, but it still sucked to see that Olivia went through all of that for a not guilty verdict. At least Bryce got arrested, and in front of all those cameras! That made me practically punch the air in glee! But, because we cant have nice things, Justin got arrested to, to the horror of Jess and Clay. I hope Clays mom can help, because I fear that Bryce will get off with a slap on the wrist because of his rich parents and fancy legal team, while Justin, a homeless recovering addict and the son of a junkie, will either get the worse punishment, or end up lost in the system until they dump him out at eighteen. I did enjoy all of the Clay and Justin stuff with week, and how much they had each others backs. Who would have imagined that last season, Justin and Clay would be living together and risking their necks for each other? They really have done a good job of showing Justin being redeemed, and becoming a better person this season, whole still being the same guy we met last year.

So Monty is our A this whole time! Bryce really does have some weird affect on people, doesn't he? My God, this school is crazy! Abusive parents everywhere, rape is rampant, possible shooters, its one bus crash away from being Neptune High from Veronica Mars! I loved the dramatic of everyone showing up to circle him in the abandoned lot, and Scot defecting to Team Baker. He even sat with them at the court! I love that Bryce is finally losing supporters, now that its sinking in how awful he is. 

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On 5/23/2018 at 1:23 PM, starri said:

Although I was slightly miffed that the producers didn't think to include Sheri, since I don't think there's any way she wouldn't have been there within the fiction of the narrative.

Yeah, it didn't make sense that Sheri wasn't there, honestly.  It was great to see some solidarity, though.

I hope Marcus is somewhere having his Harvard acceptance rescinded.

There was no way the Bakers were winning the case given what we were shown of the testimony.

Seeing Bryce handcuffed in front of everyone was satisfying.  I can't imagine his threatening Jessica in front of multiple witnesses was a great idea on his part, which: good.

Most importantly, Jessica, you are a hero.

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Sucks for him, but not surprised Justin was arrested too. 

Edited by truthaboutluv.
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I feel more and more annoyed with Clay during each episode. Why is he so "woe is me" about Hannah having a life outside of him? They weren't even boyfriend and girlfriend let alone friends for very long. He keeps whining and crying that "how dare she  have talked to another guy besides me" which is very confusing to me as a viewer because even though they both had a crush on each other while she was alive, it never struck me that they were that close outside of working together and having a few talks.

I know i'm in the minority and I 100 % understand why Olivia wanted to pursue a court case out of anger and being hurt, but I'm not on board that Hannah's suicide was the schools fault. Could they have done more? Yes. They could have. I cringed when the guidance counselor said "just move on."... but to not bring up mental illness at all during this and just put the blame on other people feels irresponsible and I don't blame the jury for voting the other way. What Bryce did to Hannah should be on trial but everyone else? I don't think so.

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In my school, the teachers knew what was happening, but when I went in with my mother, after dropping out, to talk to the head of year, she said they would never do that sort of thing (the kids I named), and that I should see a therapist. Mum dragged me out of there, saying I never had to go back. Other girls were beaten up. One girl came to school covered in bruises, and it was all because the boyfriend of one of the bullies had looked at her approvingly. 

This episode annoyed me, because the one person from the school who feels guilty, is the one that got fired. 

I liked the kids all being there for Jess, and hope that Justin can get a decent lawyer. 

Tyler and those guns... I remember people predicting a school shooting, and he seems to be heading in that direction. 

Loved Bryce being arrested in front of the press. 

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Baby Bryce is empathetic, kind and tactful. Too bad he grew up into a monster.

It's nice to see a family that is a good blend of loving and communicative, that discusses past mistakes and ways to move forward. So many TV families are over-dramatic.

Justin and Hannah are adorable together. God, is there anyone with whom she doesn't have insane chemistry? Even Bryce was charming and un-thuggish with her.

Freeze the screen at 19:23, when the coach is scolding Bryce. There are a couple of angles around that time where he looks EX-ACT-LY like an older Bryce--same nose, same cheeks. Which I guess is appropriate since the coach is likely more of a father figure than Bryce's own dad.

The kid playing Justin is NAILING his courtroom scene. Just beautiful, heartfelt acting. Is this series eligible for Emmy Awards? He and Derek Luke are good enough for them.

Sonya makes me want to punch her smug face right through the screen.

I think it's really cool that Cyrus and his sister talk to a therapist.  Tyler is (as always) a POS for mocking that. Tyler, nothing says "punk rock" like a guy in a sweater being hustled away by his clueless parents. You're not exactly Sid Vicious.

I love how one by one, Not-a-Rapist Jock (Scott?), Clay, Zach and Tony step forth and Monty's bravado is intact but when Alex limps forward on his cane--shit just got REAL.

 

On 5/23/2018 at 5:34 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Loved that Alex's dad perp walked Bryce during the press conference so that everyone got to see it. Justin just broke my heart. He knew he would be arrested as an accessory and he testified anyway. Even if he ends up not being convicted, now he's in the system and there's no way that he will be able to avoid going into the foster system.

ETA: I totally forgot to mention that I clapped when I saw Scott was sitting with Clay et al when the verdict was read. Another defector from the baseball team!

That's a total dick move, Alex's dad--and I loved it. Well played.

Justin has incredible courage to risk himself like that. I doubt he'll even go to trial, his testimony is too important--he'll get a plea bargain.

Welcome to the team, Scott! Well-spotted, ElectricBoogaloo.

On 5/26/2018 at 3:21 AM, NUguy514 said:

Seeing Bryce handcuffed in front of everyone was satisfying.  I can't imagine his threatening Jessica in front of multiple witnesses was a great idea on his part, which: good.

Jesus, that was a dumb move.

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14 hours ago, CeeBeeGee said:

Is this series eligible for Emmy Awards?

Should be.  Just like Netflix's original movies can be nominated for the Oscars.

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