13 Reasons Why – The Power Of Hannah Baker’s Death Scene

I recently wrapped up the series premiere of 13 Reasons Why, the Netflix program based on Jay Asher’s book that I read back in eighth grade. The story, for those who don’t know, is about 17-year-old Clay Jenson who receives thirteen tapes his former classmate, Hannah Baker, recorded with the thirteen reasons behind her choice to end her life. While the show takes places during the awkward, petty, dramatic years of high school, it explores the dark issues like bullying, sexual assault, and suicide that prevail in young adults. It is definitely a heart-wrenching watch.

Read no further if you don’t want to hear about the final episode, when Hannah Baker’s actual death is finally shown.

The final episode hit like a brick wall. Previously, Hannah’s suicide had been alluded to or half-shown in Clay’s hallucinations. It has never been explicitly put before the viewer. That all changes when Clay confronts Mr. Porter and Hannah’s final hours are recounted.

I have seen a lot of films. I have seen a lot of blood. I have seen a lot of implied suicide scenes in television and movies. But this – this scene I could not watch in full. I had to avert my eyes or pace around to make it through.

Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 8.47.36 PM.png

Still from Hannah Baker’s death scene

This is hands-down the most potent, graphic suicide scene in all films or programs I have seen. You watch Hannah fill the bathtub, sink in fully clothed, and drag the razors along her forearms. You see each cut, each spurt of blood. You hear her ragged breathing as she slowly bleeds out into the water, some of it splashing out and staining the white tiles pink. There is no merciful cutaway to spare the viewer any of Hannah’s pain. It is a completely unglamorized view of suicide, in a world that sometimes forgets to acknowledge the reality of taking one’s life.

This scene, according to Jay Asher, was integral in driving home the true meaning of suicide in the hopes of changing young viewers’ perspectives on the sometimes romanticized act.

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4 Responses to 13 Reasons Why – The Power Of Hannah Baker’s Death Scene

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I loved this series and watching the last episode was extremely painful to me as well. Watching her carry out the act was unlike anything I have ever seen and it has really stuck with me. Also, watching her parents find her after she is dead is truly terrible…what a great, tragic series to watch.

    –Maddie Turner

  2. mediaphiles says:

    This is such as good show i need to find time where i can just sit down and watch all of the new episodes straight through. I will probably find time after finals before graduation. I am kind of mad that i just read your blog but still excited to watch.

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I still have not took the time to watch this series just yet, but everyday someone is either talking about it or telling me to watch it. I promise I will tune in to it in the next month!

    – John Armstrong

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I’ve heard so many great things about this show lately. I can’t wait to give it a try! So, sorry I’ll have to skip most of your post… The topic chosen by this show is so attractive to me, and I believe it’ll be told in an interesting form. I’ll just need some time for this and BIG LITTLE LIES and the just out FARGO new season!
    -Kevin Yu

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