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13 Reasons Why Season 3, Episode 5 Review, 'Nobody's Clean'

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“13 Reasons Why” is one of the most talked-about shows within the mental health community. This season, we’re breaking down each episode to see how the show’s coverage of mental health issues has evolved.

Editor's Note

This post is a review of season three, episode five of “13 Reasons Why” and contains spoilers. 

Liberty High School is searched after steroids are found at the crime scene. Alex is revealed to have been taking them and his friends question him about it.

What Happens in Episode Five

Alex looks worried during the ride along with his father because they found a bag of steroids at the crime scene. The sheriff calls Mrs. Walker to inform her steroids were found and blood was on the ground.

Justin frantically looks around the room for something, possibly drugs, and fingerprints that weren’t his. Clay yells at Justin for leaving his gun on the bed.

The police search Liberty High School for drugs. Many guys got caught using steroids. The boys give the name Tim Pozzi to the officers. Alex throws something away, only for Justin to pick it up. It is revealed Alex was using steroids.

Jessica gets in a fight with her advocacy group, and later talks to the principal about a protest.

Alex gets upset when Clay and Ani confront him with the drugs. Alex admits he is insecure about his body, especially because Jessica left him. Alex and Jessica talk about their previous relationship. Alex lashes out at her, understandably frustrated. Alex gets upset and throws his cane into the street. He enlists Zach in helping him learn how to weight lift. Someone offers him steroids as “extra help.”

Monty is also using. Clay and Ani search Monty’s car and find someone’s ID. They follow Monty home and camp outside his house in Clay’s car. They are awoken by shouting. Monty’s dad is drunk and Monty goes outside to beat him. He sees them and confronts them angrily.

Justin gives away his gun in an alleyway.

The ID belonged to Winston Williams, who got a fake school ID for someone to take his SATs. Clay and Ani talk to Winston. Winston recalls a Hillcrest Party that Monty and Bryce attended. Monty and Winston make eye contact and end up alone in the same room. Winston kisses Monty, who resists at first, then forces him to perform a sexual act on him. Bryce sells Alex drugs and then Monty goes to leave. Winston approaches him saying it was nice to meet him. Monty calls Winston a “faggot” and proceeds to beat him. Bryce pays Winston not to tell the cops.

Alex lied to Clay and Ani about Bryce so they look at his bank account. They find that he had also been paying for a prostitute. They go to visit her and ask her questions about Alex and Bryce. Turns out Bryce convinced Alex to see a sex worker Bryce and Alex snort a drug and then go to rob his father’s house. Unfortunately, they get the wrong house. Bryce threatens a young boy who caught them and then runs. Alex sees the sex worker again, but instead of having sex, he just cries and hugs her.

Ani and a drunk Bryce have a conversation that turns violent and is shut down by Mrs. Walker. Ani finds Tony’s car in Bryce’s garage.

This episode dives into the insecurities many men face. Alex feels weak, like he isn’t good enough for Jessica physically. This leads him to turn to drugs to change his outward appearance. It starts a conversation that we rarely get to see on television.

We see some of Bryce’s toxic characteristics come out in this episode. Alex seems to be influenced by it, but then realizes he doesn’t want to be that way. Toxic masculinity is a growing problem and this episode only scratches the surface of it.

Rating: Three out of five stars

Previous review: Episode four

Need a refresher? Check out what happens in season one and season two

Originally published: August 25, 2019
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