Yeah, we cared about prom, who knew? I think we could feel that it was, like, not an ending and not a beginning. A moment suspended in time where we weren't one thing or the other, when nothing was lost. We were just there. Free. Alive.
— Clay narrating

Prom is the ninth episode of the fourth season of 13 Reasons Why and the forty-eighth episode of the series overall. It premiered on June 5, 2020.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

When the dean begins a new investigation and threatens to cancel prom, the friends decide to confide in their parents...but not about everything.

Plot[edit | edit source]

SPOILERS AHEAD


The episode unfolds with Charlie and Alex in his room. He stayed over his house, when they wake up Alex tells him to sneak out the house so his parents don't see they slept together.

It is revealed that the school was closed for a week following the student riot. There's a whole investigation into what Diego and Justin were fighting about which sparked the protest. As Clay's about to leave for school, Justin reveals he can't go with him because he's feeling unwell. He also admits to using drugs again. Clay asks if he needs rehabilitation, but Justin refuses to use more of his parents' money on getting him through it again. He doesn't want them to know he relapsed.

At school, Dean Foundry interviews the students about the riot. He questions Zach about why he vandalized the office and why he took the letter from Coach Kerba out of his file. Ani is questioned next. Foundry wonders who instigated her involvement and if she knows what the fight between Diego and Justin is about. She says her involvement was instigated by an oppressive police state trampling on student's rights. Later, Jessica hysterically remarks that his response to all this is just more punishment. She offers to take the punishment only if it means prom isn't cancelled. He says he can't help, the parents filed a gang injunction against the school. She will make prom happen without his help.

Caleb and Tony argue about his involvement in the riot and the University of Navada offer.

In the H.O. base, Diego confronts Jessica about her connection with Justin. He notes that Justin was overprotective of her during the riots and didn't want her arrested. He thinks she's involved in Bryce's murder, but she laughs off his threat. He gets angry at her response and threatens to go talk to Dean Foundry about it. Jessica stands her ground, the H.O. members beside her as she says "So talk."

At therapy session, Clay tells Dr. Ellman that he still hasn't told anyone about the graffiti, smashing of the cameras or the incident at Burnham Woods all due to his dissociation. Dr. Ellman thinks he should tell them as it may help alleviate his anxiety. And so he does. At first, his friends are pissed. Clay apologizes. They discuss the situation with Diego, Winston and Estela and acknowledge that they're on them. Foundry finally heard the tape too. Charlie says they're only doing this because of the parents. Members of the Booster club called his dad and asked for an investigation into the incident. He then suggests, what if they got the parents back on their side? Telling them half truths will at least get them to trust them again and get prom reinstated. That will then ease the security infrastructure at their school and then the investigation will quietly go away.

Clay and Justin admit to not knowing Gordon Lightfoot, they used the name as a code word. The parents say they've been lying to them, but Clay counters that they lied about putting tracking apps on their phones and they paid for that security and the drills. Matt admits that he thought those things might help keep them safe. As parents, they still have to know what's going on in their lives somehow. Clay proposes a new deal where they talk more openly, no more secrets, in exchange for earning back their trust. He then confesses to all the things he did in his dissociation episodes. He explains that he's working with integrating his trauma and learning to live with it rather than shutting it off. Justin then confesses to using drugs again and stealing a watch and necklace to buy. They ask him if he needs rehab, but Justin says he just needs a couple days to get back to normal. Clay then says they want to go to prom and asks for their help with making it happen.

Meanwhile, at Monet's, Charlie confesses to his dad that he's bisexual and that he has a boyfriend. His dad isn't surprised by this revelation and supports him. Charlie then asks his dad to help him get prom reinstated as he's the president of the Booster Club.

Jessica talks to Principal Bolan about her plan. Firstly, she addresses how exessive the police's response was and that even social media agree with that. Even the racial discrimination was evident and parents like her dad and Ms. Achola are prepared to ask why people of color were singled out disproportionately during the questioning. She will take responsibility for the riot, and get the suspension and charges for instigating instead of everyone else getting charged. Mrs. Jensen is asking for the gang injunction to be lifted and the Booster Club has agreed to chaperone prom, they just need the principal to sanction the dance and drop the investigation. She reminds him of his promise at the start of school year that he wanted to help keep students safe and give them a good high school experience. They need prom to be part of that experience. Bolan asks if the prom and graduation will go uninterrupted and Jessica agrees.

At the Standall house, Alex introduces Charlie as his boyfriend to his parents and they welcome him. They dine together and Alex's brother is present.

Jessica reveals to the HO members that prom is back on. Having no one else to go with, Ani convinces them to go together. Charlie tries to get Alex to be his prom date through a series of creative ways to ask someone to prom. After ignoring the first two attempts, Alex finally gives in and partially accepts to make him stop. Meanwhile, Tyler asks Estela to prom to which she excitedly agrees. At the auto shop, Caleb asks Tony to prom by giving him donuts which spell "go to prom with me".

At prom night, Clay gets ready and asks if Justin is coming but he says he doesn't care for it and he's not feeling well. Clay says he's worried for him and he says he is too.

The group meet up at prom and have a good time. Zach hired an escort and the two leave to do cocaine in the bathroom. Later, Alex and Charlie find him in the bathroom standing over the escort who's barely conscious. They send the escort home and get Zach back out on the dancefloor.

Diego approaches Jessica saying he doesn't want anything bad to happen to her. He misses her, and came along tonight. He thinks they have something and even if she doesn't want to tell him her secret he says he'll protect her. Though Jessica's not having it. He eventually gets the hint and goes back to his table.

Zach joins Alex and Jessica at their table and comments on how they look like they're in a funeral by the way they're just sitting there. Jessica says she put a lot on the line for prom and she's going to have a good time. Alex expresses guilt, he feels like Bryce should be here and that he didn't deserve to die. Jessica points out that he'd be drunk and choosing his next victim. Alex agrees he didn't deserve to die but they deserve to live.

Winston tells Ani that he knows Jessica did it and he has enough evidence to prove it. What he wants to know is why she covered for them. Ani says she came to the town and got to know all of them, they were messed up and human and loved her group of friends straight away. There may come a time for him where he has to make a decision, but all she can tell him is that she did it out of love.

Winston then sees a hallucination of Monty and he approaches him. The two dance as Winston tries to find some closure with Monty telling him to move on and live. After the dance and a bittersweet kiss they hug and Monty leaves through the door.

This year's prom king and queen are in fact both kings, Alex and Charlie. The crowd cheer for them to kiss, then the two dance. While they dance, Charlie asks if he's still sad, Alex says part of him will always be sad but the other part is the happiest he's ever been before. They profess their love for each other. As the mood shifts to a more uplifting beat, everyone joins the dancefloor and starts dancing. Clay sits and takes in the scene in front of him with gratification and narrates about everyone is free and alive.

Justin arrives at prom after all, dressed in a white suit. Everyone stops and Jessica sees him from across the dancefloor. Ani nudges her to go to him. Diego watches on as Justin and Jessica profess their love for each other. Jessica tells him to hold her and never let go. The two hug and then dance, the crowd cheering on.

Ani sits with Clay. He admits that he's never felt the kind of love between Justin and Jessica. The two then agree that they were ready for a relationship. Ani states that Clay has an unrealistic ideal that no girl can live up to and they agree to remain as friends. Ani goes off to dance, then Clay follows soon thereafter with his mother.

Dean Foundry approaches the two kings and congratulates them, saying it never would've happened during his times. He then reveals that he's gay and introduces his partner Josh.

The dancefloor is bustling with activity and everyone is having a great time, until Justin suddenly collapses and everyone stares in horror.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Starring[edit | edit source]

Guest Starring[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

  • Austin Aaron as Luke Holliday
  • Emelina Adams as Presmilla
  • Casey Ford Alexander as Josh
  • Tasha B as H-O Club Girl #1
  • James Cretan as Eric
  • Moises Chavez as Javier
  • Mason Guccione as Toby
  • Keon Motakhaveri as Chad
  • Jamal Trulove as DJ

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Jessica: "I'm sorry... for whatever you think I did with Diego. But you pushed me away. You wouldn't let me help you, then you gave up on yourself again and again. You're the one who left."
Justin: "I was trying to make my way back to you."
Jessica: "But you were so angry with me."
Justin: "You broke my fucking heart!"
Jessica: "I think your heart was broken way before you met me."
―  Jessica and Justin
Charlie: "I'm not one hundred percent straight. I'm not any percent straight. I'm bisexual, I guess, and I like people for people, and I have a boyfriend currently."
Mr. St. George: "Yeah."
Charlie: "What do you mean, "yeah"?"
Mr. St. George: "I mean, I love you so much. Always have, always will, and you make me so proud."
Charlie: "By not being straight."
Mr. St. George: "By being yourself."
―  Charlie coming out to his dad
Estela: "She's so beautiful. That's Hannah Baker, right?"
Tyler: "Yeah. Yeah, she was very beautiful. She was also... She was really nice to me when most people weren't."
―  Estela and Tyler about Hannah
Alex: "Are we ever gonna feel OK? Like, normally OK, ever?"
Jessica: "I haven't felt normally OK in a long, long time, but I'm going to find ways to be happy."
Alex: "I don't see that happening for me. He should be here. He should be alive."
Jessica: "He'd be drunk. He'd be choosing his next victim and making you feel poor and lame and not a man."
Alex: "I'm not a man."
Jessica: "That's bullshit."
Alex: "He didn't deserve to die."
Zach: "No. No, he didn't. But neither do we. And this, this isn't fucking living. He ruined our fucking lives, all three of us. So, no, he didn't deserve to die, but we deserve to live."
―  Alex, Jessica and Zach talking about Bryce
I came to this town, and I got to know all of them, and they were fucked up and messy and human, and I loved them right away. And there may come a time for you where you have to make a decision about whatever information you do have, and there will be no perfect answer. I promise you. I'm certainly not telling you what to do. All I can tell you is that I did what I did out of love.
— Ani to Winston about why she helped covering up Bryce's murder.
Winston: "I loved you."
Monty: "You didn't even know me. And I never would have let you love me. I didn't let anyone."
Winston: "But I didn't even get a chance to try. I miss you."
Monty: "You miss your idea of me. Listen to me. Live with the living."
―  Winston and his hallucination of Monty
Charlie: "Are you sad? Right now?"
Alex: "Some part of me will always be sad. And another part of me is happier than I've ever been before. I think... I think I'm in love with you."
Charlie: "I'm confident you are... because I know I'm in love with you."
―  Charlie and Alex during their dance as prom kings
Justin: "I love you more than life."
Jessica: "Don't love anything more than life."
―  Justin and Jessica at prom.
Ani: "Are your feelings mixed like mine?"
Clay: "I don't know what that kind of love is. I've never felt it. Sorry. I..."
Ani: "Don't be. I know where I stand."
Clay: "Look, when we were together, I wasn't ready for a relationship. I didn't know how to be in one. Still don't."
Ani: "You know, I think you have this ideal of what a girl should be, and you pushed me away when I turned out to be something different. But the truth is no one could ever live up to that ideal, and to be fair, I don't have a fucking clue how to be in a relationship either. How to love someone without... having to take care of them. So... friends?"
Clay: "Friends. Good friends."
―  Clay and Ani talking about their relationship when seeing Justin and Jessica dance.
As the night got later, we just kept dancing and dancing like there was nothing else. Like it was the end of the world. (Justin collapses) And it was.
— Clay narrating about prom.


Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Dylan Minnette, who portrays Clay, assisted in picking the music for this episode.
  • "The Good Side" by Troye Sivan was played during Monty and Winston's final dance reflecting how Winston had the good side of Monty and to portray a sad scene, leaving many viewers emotional.

Multimedia[edit | edit source]

Soundtrack[edit | edit source]

Song Artist Album Scene
Theme Song: "Oh In This World Of Dread, Carry On" by Eskmo
"Can't Take My Eyes Off You" Frankie Valli Frankie Valli: Solo Ani sings to Jessica when asking her for prom.
"Love Me Like the World Is Ending" Ben Lee Ripe Charlie asks Alex, Tyler asks Estela and Caleb asks Tony out for prom.
"You're Not Good Enough" Blood Orange Cupid Deluxe Clay and Justin talk as Clay prepares for prom.
"Banana Ripple" Junior Boys It's All True Clay, Charlie and Alex arrive at prom.
"Lick in Heaven" Jessy Lanza All the Time Diego tries to win Jessica back.
"Over Here" Mk.Gee Pronounced Mcgee Clay watches everyone dance; Tony and Caleb sit and talk with him.
"Just Hold On" Wolfgang Black TBA Winston and Ani talk about covering for Bryce's murder.
"The Good Side" Troye Sivan Bloom Winston dances with Monty; Justin tries on his suit.
"Would You?" Richard Swift Ground Trouble Jaw Charlie and Alex dance after being crowned as prom kings.
"Carry On (feat. Killer Mike)" Tkay Maidza Tkay Everyone starts dancing.
"Best Part (feat. H.E.R.)" Daniel Caesar Freudian Justin arrives at prom and dances with Jessica; Ani and Clay talk.
"Give Yourself a Try" The 1975 A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships Clay and Lainie talk; Clay asks Lainie if she wants to dance.
"True Feeling" Galantis The Aviary Everyone happily dances; Justin starts feeling unwell.

Images[edit | edit source]

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References[edit | edit source]


See Also[edit | edit source]

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