Let's Unpack The Big Central Mystery Of '13 Reasons Why' Season 4
Every season of 13 Reasons Why has some sort of plot device as a part of its central mystery: Season 1 revolved around Hannah's tapes, Season 2 had the polaroids, and Season 3 centered on Deputy Standall's interrogation room. So, of course, Season 4 had to deliver one final mystery, and it's a doozy. After starting the final season, viewers will all be wondering who is doing the graffiti in 13 Reasons Why Season 4. The messages spray-painted at school threaten to expose the truth about all the terrible things the Liberty High kids have done, but who is attempting to out them is unclear.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers for 13 Reasons Why Season 4. After three seasons of lies, coverups, and schemes, Clay Jensen's group of friends is sitting on a dangerous amount of secrets during their senior year. As a reminder, the group has hidden an arsenal of guns, gotten involved in drug dealing and money laundering, and most threatening of all, framed their dead classmate Monty for Bryce's murder. Before the seniors could graduate Liberty High and move on with their lives, though, a mysterious graffiti artist threatened to expose the truth.
The second episode of the final season opened with all of Liberty High walking into school one morning to find "Monty was framed" scrawled across the doors of Principal Bolan's office with red spray paint.
Of course, the message totally freaked Clay, Ani, and everyone else out, and it only got more threatening when Clay found a spray-painted smiley face inside his locker and then a can of red spray paint by his feet on the bus. It became quickly apparent there were a ton of potential suspects: Tyler was somehow able to get photos of the graffiti before anyone else saw it, Zach was completely unfazed by the graffiti and had been acting recklessly since Monty's death, and Tony had traces of red paint on his hand. But the prime suspect was definitely Winston, the former Hillcrest student who had just transferred to Liberty with a mission of clearing Monty's name by uncovering the truth.
Things only kept getting weirder as more mysterious events took place, like a masked figure smashing the school's security cameras and someone stalking the group in the woods during their senior camping trip. In the end, the person behind all of these events was the person Clay would least expect: himself.
After Clay's therapist showed him footage of him burning Principal Bolan's car at the end of Episode 8, Clay suddenly recalled he was the one who had graffitied "Monty was framed," broken the cameras, and terrorized the jocks in the woods without even realizing it. Throughout the season, Clay had been unable to sleep and began realizing he was losing hours of time each night. His overwhelming guilt and all his secrets also led to some serious mental health issues and panic attacks, and they became so unsafe that Clay had begun entering fugue states, presumably in attempt to free himself of his guilt.
13 Reasons Why's final season was undoubtedly the most intense Clay storyline the show had ever done, and seeing him lose touch with reality became increasingly difficult to watch. Honestly, it did make sense that Clay became his own worst enemy in the end, though, and all the puzzle pieces finally came together when Clay was able to admit he was doing reckless things he could not remember.
13 Reasons Why Season 4 is on Netflix now.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.