The episode unfolds with Clay narrating about the car accident with Zach from the previous episode. He says he’s unable to help, paralyzed in shock. Justin shouts at him while trying to stop the bleeding. The hallucination disappears and reality sets; they’re in an active shooter drill where the students have to demonstrate how to stop bleeding from gunshot wounds on a dummy. Clay and Justin fail, but Tyler, who’s paired up with Tony, demonstrates an impressive knowledge of gunshot wounds. Tony finds this unsettling.
At therapy, Clay is frustrated by the stop-the-bleed exercise. He thinks the focus is on the wrong place; the schools should be trying to prevent school shootings from happening, not training kids on how to cope under such conditions. Dr. Ellman empathizes with Clay. Clay thinks he deserves to be punished because he let his friends down, he’s not there for them when he should be.
At school, Clay apologizes to a now broken-armed Zach about the car accident. He claims to not remember what happened, but Zach says he crashed his car and left him for dead. He noticed that Clay didn’t even seem scared. It’s like he wasn’t there, like he was someone else entirely. Zach tells him he’s a nightmare and demands he stay out of his life forever.
By the lockers, Diego tells Jessica about how weird Clay is acting, especially during the stop-the-bleed exercise. He knows he’s hiding something and is on the hunt to find out what, starting with his friends. Jessica tells him to stop messing with Clay before walking off.
At the office, Clay learns a new Dean of Discipline, Hansen Foundry, has been brought to Liberty. Dean Foundry investigates the smashing of the cameras and questions Clay about his whereabouts between midnight and 7 am in the morning. Outside the office, Jessica congratulates Clay on getting an interview with a Brown college recruiter next week. Clay is confused at first, but then he remembers what he wrote on the application: “I covered up a murder”. Panic settles in.
At H.O. base, Estela is doing schoolwork when Winston arrives. They discuss Monty; she found a football playbook with 2 years worth of notes the members had been sending each other. Monty, Bryce, and Diego.
Code Red is issued by the principal and the school goes on lockdown — Code red means there’s an active shooter. Dean Foundry appears to be surprised by this and orders the students to barricade the doors and stay down. Tony notices Tyler is missing. He informs Charlie and Alex of Tyler’s rendezvous the night of the party and suspects he must be the active shooter. Elsewhere in school, everyone follows suit and barricade the rooms they’re in; Jessica’s alone in the H.O. base, Estela’s in the girls’ bathrooms, the football team hides in the locker rooms, Clay’s in a classroom and Zach finds himself barricaded with Winston in the photography room.
In the classroom, Clay texts Tyler but receives no response. He then texts Tony, asking if Tyler is with him. Monty appears to him as a hallucination, taunting him by saying the school shooter is Tyler. Though, Clay wants to believe it’s just a drill. Monty asks if he’s scared, to which Clay admits he is. Monty empathizes with him saying he knows the feeling. A halluciation of Bryce joins them and says what if another kid like Tyler is behind it? Clay says he’s had a gun to his chest and survived it and did the right thing. Bryce asks him if he’s a hero or a martyr, before the door handle rattles and his paranoia intensifies.
In the bathroom, Estela leaves her mother an emotional voicemail. She later finds Tyler in one of the stalls. They talk about Monty and how Tyler recovered from that horrible experience. When Estela asks who would do such a thing as a school shooting, Tyler explains that he almost did. He describes how a person comes to that conclusion; at first they just feel sad and hurt and that soon fuels their anger. They feel like they just need to hurt someone else to become strong again. She apologises for what her brother did to him and wonders if her brother would change if he had the chance. He fucked up but she loved him. Tyler said he was lucky to have him as a sister, he at least had something good in his life. The two become friends.
In the photography room, Zach and Winston get high on marijuana gummy bears. Winston confesses that he’s in love with Alex, he’s the kindest person he’s ever met. Zach loves Alex too as a brother, he’s the only one who doesn’t judge him on all the bad things he’s done. Winston inquires what kind of bad stuff. They then see a shadow go past the door and realize it’s not a drill. Winston says if he dies and Zach survives, he wants him to tell Alex that he’s the first boy he truly loved. Zach then confesses that he beat up Bryce the night he died. You killed him? Winston asks, Zach says no. He says the police said he died from drowning, not from getting beaten up. He still feels partly guilty though, that maybe he wouldn’t have died if he didn’t beat him up. He then tells him if he dies and Winston lives that he gives Mrs Walker his apologies. Winston promises to do so.
Back in the library, Tony goes through Tyler’s stuff and finds pictures of guns. They hear gun shots from the hallway and Tony decides he’s had enough. Despite Alex’s warning, Tony gives the pictures to Dean Foundry hoping it will change their current predicament, but he just thanks him for handing him the pictures and says he’ll look into it later after lockdown. Meanwhile, Alex has a panic attack and Charlie eases him out of it.
In the locker room, Coach Kerba and Justin barricade the room, but Diego and the football team want to go out and face the school shooter. But Justin finds that stupid. Diego taunts him about Jessica asking if he’s fine with letting her die then the two fight it out. When doing a head count, Kerba notices Justin’s gone.
In the H.O base, Jessica calls Ani and leaves her a voicemail. She misses her and tells her mom to get well soon. Afterward, she calls her mom to tell her she loves her. Later, Justin breaks in through the H.O window and meets Jessica who thinks it’s an intruder at first but then realizes it’s him. He confesses that if this is the last day of life, he wants to be spending it with her. They share a passionate kiss.
After more taunting from Bryce and Monty, making him feel helpless and useless, Clay decides he wants to try to save anyone he can and leaves the room. Out in the hallway, Clay sees the shooter run up to him and puts his hand up shouting “don’t shoot”. The shooter slows down and removes his hood, revealing himself to be Clay. Another hallucination, this time the shots fired at him from a hallucination Clay almost feel real.
Principal Bolan appears from the main office and drags him inside. It was just a drill after all. Bolan explains it was a hard lock down; the bullets were blanks, the officers tried the doors, the alarms were to make sure that students and teachers followed protocol. The only one who didn’t was Clay. The point being, if this wasn’t a drill, he’d be dead.
Bolan announces the lockdown is over and everyone starts leaving the rooms. Tyler is still shaken by the drill. Alex thanks Charlie for helping him during the panic attacks and the two share a kiss. Along with Tony, the three are concerned about what this might mean for Tyler considering it was a drill after all. Zach also realizes that he revealed a big secret to Winston and tells him to keep quiet about it. Winston says even though he didn’t kill Bryce, he must know who is the killer.
A traumatized Clay walks out to the hallway and sees Bolan congratulating the officers. Clay unleashes his anger upon them, shouting aloud about how the school is killing them all. The students gather as Clay shames Bolan and the police for their horrifying drill. It was cruel and unnecessary, teaching kids how to be hunted and practice getting ready to die. He says they are kids, they should be living their lives, not practicing how to cheat death because everybody dies. Bolan reasons that they’re trying to keep them alive, but Clay sees it differently; them trying to check a box or regulation. When an officer tries to calm him down, Clay grabs his gun in hysteria. When he starts lowering the gun, an officer tackles him and he shouts for them to get off him. One of the SROs knocks Clay out and is subsequently taken to the hospital via stretcher. The episode ends with Clay struggling against the safety restraints on his wrists and ankles as the rest of the students, including Justin, Jessica, Zach, Charlie, Alex, Tyler, Winston and Estela, watch in a state of shock.
Guest Starring Edit
- Estela: "Why would someone do something like this?"
- Tyler: "Maybe they're in a lot of pain, and they think that this'll make it stop."
- Estela: "Why would hurting someone else make it stop?"
- Tyler: "It doesn't, but you don't know that. You're just... You're so sad, and that sadness makes you angry all the time. Like you thought making a fist would feel good, and it does. You feel strong again, but then you can never... never unclench that fist, and you just feel like... like you just need to hurt someone else."
- Estela: "Did you hurt someone else?"
- Tyler: "I almost did, but my friends... helped me get better."
- Estela: "I'm glad that you didn't do anything. (...) I'm sorry for what my brother did to you, everything that you had to go through. (...) I wonder if Monty could have gotten better... if he had the chance."
- Tyler: "I guess, yeah."
- Estela: " He fucked up, but I loved him."
- Tyler: "He was lucky to have you for a sister. It means he had something good in his life."
- ― Estela and Tyler about Monty and why someone want to shoot up a school
- Dr. Ellman: "Do you worry that you're beyond help?"
- Clay: "Yeah."
- Dr. Ellman: "A few sessions ago, we talked about how you punish yourself. Do you think you deserve to be punished?"
- Clay: "I think I do. I feel like I've let my friends down and I'm not there for them like I should be."
- ― Clay and Dr. Ellman
- Justin: "Has he done anything? Said anything weird?"
- Tony: "He's Tyler. He says weird shit all the fucking time."
- ― Justin and Tony
- Estella: "Why would someone do something like this?"
- Tyler: "Maybe they're in a lot of pain, and they think that this'll make it stop."
- Estella: "Why would hurting someone make it stop?"
- Tyler: "It doesn't, but you don't know that. You're just so sad, and that sadness makes you angry all the time. Like you thought making a fist would feel good. And it does. You feel strong again but then you can never, never unclench that fist. And you just feel like...like you just need to hurt someone else."
- Estella: "Did you hurt someone else?"
- Tyler: "I almost did, but my friends helped me get better."
- ― Estela and Tyler
|“||It's that sweet young Roddy. He just couldn't go on. Or it's another kid. Gets beat at home. Trying to figure out his sexuality. Angry all the time. Why aren't you saving him?||”|
|— Hallucination Monty|
|“||If there's someone that needs to be saved, I'm gonna try to save them. And if this is the day that I die, then I die standing up. Though I still think it's a fucking drill.||”|
|— Clay to Hallucination Monty and Bryce|
|“||We were hiding in the locker room, and I was just thinking, what if this is the last day of our life, you know? And then I realized, if this is the last day of my life, I wanna spend it with you.||”|
|— Justin to Jessica|
|“||You think that this is the way to make us safe? You know what would make me feel safe? Not having to go to school with metal detectors or video cameras or armed fucking guards! (...) No, you're killing us! You're killing us! Don't you get that? You made a drill with gunshots and hammered down the door to prepare us for what, exactly? What it feels like to be hunted? To practice getting ready to die, to make us feel afraid for our lives? We already know how that feels! You're scaring us to death! Every day! Every day! Every day!||”|
|— Clay to Principal Bolan and police|
- This episode includes a content warning as it contains images of school violence.
|Theme Song: "Oh In This World Of Dread, Carry On" by Eskmo|
|"Today I'll Have You Around"||Florist||Emily Alone||The lockdown ends and everyone leaves their hiding spot; Charlie and Alex kiss.|
|"Melt the Guns"||XTC||English Settlement||End credits.|