Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why assured us that no one emerged from the aftermath of Hannah's death unscathed, but if we had to play "who has it the worst," Clay definitely didn't seem OK. Throughout the season, he had disturbingly real hallucinations of Hannah, who seemed to imply that she was a ghost, but several fans think differently. This 13 Reasons Why Season 2 Clay theory suggests that Clay's own mental health could be a priority in future seasons. This post contains spoilers for 13 Reasons Why Season 2.
Clay's bumpy Season 2 path wasn't limited to his inexplicably relentless visions of Hannah. From nearly shooting Bryce to ending up with Tyler's gun in the season finale, Clay also briefly considered killing himself, yet no one really seemed to check in with him in the same way adults consistently did with other students. The lack of concern among the adults was startling, but what was even more odd was that Clay's friends didn't even seem to notice his personal struggles. I mean, everyone was busy watching over themselves, but nobody else manages to ask Clay how he's doing?
On Reddit, 13 Reasons Why fans called out the show for breezing over the status of Clay's mental health, which definitely hints at something being seriously wrong with him. User SunnyPixie wrote:
I so, so hope that that were a third season to happen that his wishes (and ours, clearly) gets listened to. I waited ALL season for anyone to confront him about what was happening with him, and nobody did- not even Justin, who spent the most time with him, shared a room with him, had to talk him down from shooting Bryce and himself, and, while trying to talk him out of either of those clearly saw him reacting to something that wasn't there and rambling about "what Hannah wants... can't make her stop". For the love of god, can he please get Clay to admit he needs help?
This isn't the first time people have taken issue with the show's portrayal of mental health. Upon the launch of Season 1, many experts found the depiction of reasons behind Hannah's suicide too vague, and as Clay has yet to be diagnosed with a specific mental illness, the same kind of backlash seems to be brewing online. Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay, spoke to BuzzFeed about Clay's Season 2 journey, but also avoided mentions of any specific issues the character faces:
It’s a very emotionally and physically demanding season for Clay this year. I think this season takes even more of a toll on Clay than last year. It tortures him…Clay is a troubled boy with a troubling life.
As for theories about what mental illness Clay could have, many viewers are pointing toward schizophrenia, citing his close call of killing Bryce as a strong sign of him having it. Reddit user fatethatb*tch wrote:
Clay has schizophrenia. Serious schizophrenia. I’m a schizophrenic so I know for a fact what it looks like. I waited literally all of season two for someone to notice his visual and auditory hallucinations. He had a psychotic break where he nearly killed Bryce. And nobody ever noticed or tried to get him help for it. They just hugged him when he became triggered by a song, but like, what about everything else?
Of course, everything on the show is up to interpretation, and other fans are seeing the visions of Hannah as Clay simply wanting that connection to her that he had a semblance of in real life. But seeing as 13 Reasons Why covers the topics that it does, there's obviously a deeper meaning behind Clay's struggles. Hopefully the show explores his own problems in a possible Season 3.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.