Warning: Spoilers for 13 Reasons Why below!
One of the biggest topics in the ever-evolving discussion surrounding 13 Reasons Why has been about the show's graphic rape scenes. Though strategic camerawork ensures that nudity isn't the focus of these sequences, the content is extremely troubling — and that's the point. It's important to show the disturbing nature of such a vile crime, but there may be reasons you want to skip the scenes. Whether you have young children whom you would prefer not to expose to those parts of the show just yet or you or someone you know have a history that includes sexual violence, it's good to know exactly when the scenes happen.
There are two rape scenes in the first season. The first happens about 40 minutes into episode nine (aka "Tape 5 Side A"). Jock Bryce rapes his best friend's girlfriend, Jessica, while she's passed out on her bed. The second occurs about 42 minutes into episode 12 (aka "Tape 6 Side B"). Bryce is alone with Hannah in the hot tub and forces himself on her. A warning flashes before both of the episodes, citing, "The following episode contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing and/or may not be suitable for younger audiences, including graphic depictions of rape and sexual assault. Viewer discretion is advised."
Although there's a sex scene between Bryce and his new girlfriend, Chloe, that involves a questionable amount of consent (i.e., barely any at all), the season's most disturbing moment comes in the final episode, "Bye," when Tyler is brutally sodomised with a mop in the high school bathroom. The scene begins 32 minutes into episode 13. In it, Tyler — who spends most of the season antagonising the baseball players, who viciously bully him — has just returned from a wilderness camp that was supposed to get his behaviour back on track. Monty corners Tyler in the bathroom along with a few of his other baseball buddies, and they proceed to beat Tyler to a pulp before dragging him into a stall and holding his face down in the toilet water. Monty then pulls Tyler's pants down and repeatedly sticks a broken mop up his rear while he screams.
Like in the previous season, the episode contains a warning at the beginning about how it will contain sexual assault. That, however, hasn't stopped the controversy that's erupted because of it. Showrunner Brian Yorkey recently defended the scene, noting how people seem to be more upset because male-on-male sexual violence is portrayed.
"But the fact is that, as intense as that scene is, and as strong as are or reactions to it may be, it doesn't even come close to the pain experienced by the people who actually go through these things," he explained in an interview. "When we talk about something being 'disgusting' or hard to watch, often that means we are attaching shame to the experience. We would rather not be confronted with it. We would rather it stay out of our consciousness. This is why these kinds of assaults are underreported. This is why victims have a hard time seeking help. We believe that talking about it is so much better than silence."