13 Reasons Why: Tape 3 Side A – Courtney Crimsen (S01E05) – REVIEW

The fifth episode starts out at a school dance. It looks like the perfect setting, but clearly not a favorite for Hannah. “Boys are assholes,” she narrates, “It’s just how boys are.” But there is a silver lining- “Maybe not all boys,” Hannah wonders.

We see Clay on the other side of the room, where he is clearly staring at Hannah. A friend convinces him to ask her to dance, and although he is shy, he takes a chance and approaches her. But not before Courtney literally stabs Hannah in the back with a knife. “Girls can be evil,” Hannah says, and it looks like she’s right.

Cut to Clay waking up- the school dance sequence seems like it was only a dream. Or more like a flashback…

A flashback to when Hannah was alive and at school. It was the time of year for the winter formal. Courtney and her friends (the Courtnettes) are selling tickets. Courtney tries to convince Clay to buy a ticket to the dance, and he agrees, just as Hannah approaches the table. There’s still some obvious tension between Courtney and Hannah (although at the moment, only they know why). Hannah isn’t planning on going to the dance, but Courtney tries convinces her, with no luck.

Hannah and Courtney have had a strained relationship since Episode 4- when Tyler sent a picture through the school of Hannah and Courtney kissing. Courtney is scared of people finding out about her sexuality, but Hannah wants to help. Hannah insists that she wouldn’t judge Courtney, and wants to keep a friendship with her. They were both in need of a friend.

Since the picture was sent around school, Hannah has been trying to get on Courtney’s good side, but with no luck. Finally, Hannah approaches Courtney at school. “We were in this together, weren’t we?” Courtney doesn’t want to talk, but invites Hannah to sit with her and her friends, so no one suspects that something is going on between them. Courtney’s friends (the Courtnettes) invite Hannah to go to winter formal with them. Happy to be on Courtney’s good side, Hannah agrees.

Things are looking up for Hannah: her and Courtney are talking, she has a group of friends again, her dad even buys her a new car to drive to the dance in. When they arrive at the dance, Hannah runs into everyone on the first few tapes, that’s right: Justin, Jessica, and Alex. She goes to say hello to Jessica, but leaves when Alex comes over.  Alex tries to convince Jessica that he loves her, but she’s having none of it. And right when she needs it, a handsome boy by the name of Justin Foley comforts her.

But back to Hannah- she’s trying to enjoy herself with her new friends. She even catches Clay’s eye (and his dream from the beginning of the episode becomes a reality). Just like in his dream, Clay’s friend, Montgomery, tells him to ask Hannah to dance.

Montgomery de la Cruz
  • Talks a lot to Clay
  • Brunette, good looking guy
  • Devious smile
  • Basically another version of Bryce

Clay and Hannah begin to dance, and Clay is a complete gentleman. The two start out having fun, and soon, fall into a slow dance. (Thanks to the DJ, who is none other than- you guessed it- Tony). They even have a picture perfect first kiss. But things can’t stay perfect forever. Montgomery recognizes Hannah and Courtney from the picture, and starts hitting on Courtney. Not wanting to reveal her sexuality, Courtney turns the rumor on Hannah, telling Montgomery obscene (and untrue) details of Hannah’s juicy hookup with Justin. Montgomery approaches Hannah about it, deeming her a slut for the entire school to hear, including a confused Clay.

Furious, Hannah finds Courtney outside the dance and demands an explanation. A scared Courtney doesn’t give her a full answer. Clearly she was scared that people would find out the truth about her sexuality, so she turned all the negative attention on Hannah. Hannah lets her anger out on Courtney, saying, “you don’t get to ruin my life.” Sorry Hannah, but, too late.


Hannah sees her former friend, Jessica, drunk out of her mind. Hannah steps in, only to have Montgomery call her names in front of everyone. Surprisingly, Justin Foley tells him to back off. Hannah takes drunk Jessica to her car, where all Jessica can think about is Justin. Hannah warns her against Justin (but clearly, that doesn’t work out.) But there conversation isn’t a total loss- drunk Jessica apologizes to Hannah for slapping her. In her drunk state, she seems truthful.

A little while later, Hannah needs help with her car, and DJ Tony comes to the rescue. At the end of a terrible night, Tony is the only friendly face that Hannah sees. As a friendly gesture, Tony gives Hannah something very close to his DJ heart- blank tapes. That’s right- the tapes that each of the 13 reasons are recorded on. And there we have it- our first clue as to how Tony is involved in all of this.

Back in the present day, it’s all about Clay, who hasn’t been holding up very well.