'13 Reasons Why' season 3 overshadowed Bryce Walker's redemption with Tyler Down's recovery and we are not complaining
Tyler's friends are not only invested in helping his recovery, but they allow him to work on healing at his own pace, without dumping on him their drive and need to see him do better.
This article contains major spoilers for season 3.
While the premise of 13 Reasons Why's third season is the mystery surrounding Bryce Walker's death and the revelation of his murderer, a lot of focus went into following up the cliffhanger that the second season ended on. For those wondering whether the show elaborates on the aftermath of Tyler Down's near-school-shooting the answer is yes. In fact this season is about Tyler's recovery and his friends practically babysitting him and him finding his own grounding all the time showing signs of a typically murderous sociopath.
In the beginning we see a very normal Tyler (Devin Druid) acting shocked about the missing Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice.) But in flashbacks and a jagged narrative separated only by hues (warm colours for the past, and cooler ones for the present) we find out how this road to calm panned out. In season 2, the last we saw of Tyler was Clay (Dylan Minnette) talking him out of shooting up their school during the Spring Fling dance, in what was supposed to be a suicide mission -- a cumulative result of the bullying he went through at school, and the harrowing sexual assault in the school's bathroom. Once Clay was able to talk him down, Tony drove to the spot to pick Tyler up and managed to flee with them to a secluded storage facility while the police arrived at their school because someone tipped them off.
Now, having stopped Tyler from carrying out his plan, Clay and Tony felt he was their responsibility and even drafted a time-table of sorts for all of their peers who knew about Tyler's plans to take care of him. Clay and Tony were joined by their friends Justin (Brandon Flynn), Jessica (Alisha Boe) and Alex (Miles Heizer) mostly to 'watch' Tyler because even though he hadn't told him about the bathroom assault they could tell something was broken inside him.
They watched him in class, gave him rides to school and back home, and even spent the night with the frightened boy who had been left shaken to the core and almost murdered their entire school. They would be at ther places of work and Tyler would be sitting in the corner reading or doing homework, but they never left his side. But as it turns out, Tyler wasn't at all that bad.
True, he showed signed of sociopathic, murderous behaviour with his odd communication and negligible social skills, often caught smiling at people or staring them down creepily after his friends started babysitting him, but he is not the murderer you have to watch out for, even though Druid does a pretty impressive job at convincing you otherwise. Druid's excellence in the role comes out in bits and pieces when during his initial days of recovery Tyler is asked by Tony to go back to the night of the dance and take out all that rage and anger on the punching bag in front of him. With Clay's constant support and tony's tough love, Tyler is able to come out of his victim shell and stand up to his abuser, demanding an apology.
But for all its seemingly unreal portrayal of life, '13 Reasons Why' shows the importance of taking care of each other and the impact it leaves. The best part about the process of Tyler's recovery is not how invested his friends are in his well being but how unbiasedly they allow him to work on healing at his own pace, and in all the darkness and depravity the show highlights, this truly proved to be the silver lining.
'13 Reasons Why' season 3 premiered on Friday, August 23 and all three seasons are available for streaming only on Netflix.