How 13 Reasons Why season 4 failed Zach Dempsey


The much-anticipated last season of 13 Reasons Why premiered on Friday, bringing to a detailed the Liberty Excessive gang’s highschool expertise and sending them off to school.

All through the season, we noticed the group resolve varied points that had plagued them throughout the present’s run – Clay sought assist along with his psychological well being, Alex handled the guilt of killing Bryce and Justin managed to kick his heroin dependancy (earlier than tragically passing away within the sequence finale).

However there was one character who didn’t get the identical pay-off or catharsis: we by no means noticed fan-favourite Zach Dempsey (Ross Butler) correctly overcome his demons after spending everything of season 4 in a self-destructive downwards spiral, and after every part Zach went by way of, he deserved higher from the 13 Reasons Why writers.

Within the build-up to season 4, showrunner Brian Yorkey teased followers by saying that Zach could be taken to a spot he “had not anticipated” this sequence, because the character would develop in an “fascinating” method. Regardless of these extremely imprecise hints from the present’s boss, viewers have been excited to see what would occur to Zach, particularly because the occasions of season three would have left him with some trauma to unpack.

Not solely did his finest friend-turned-enemy Bryce Walker die, however he performed a giant hand in his demise, having brutally crushed him up earlier than Alex Standall pushed him into the river. On prime of that huge fats guilt, Zach was additionally coping with his unrequited emotions for Bryce’s ex Chloe, the deaths of his former lover Hannah Baker, good friend Monty de la Cruz and his father, in addition to the truth that his future soccer profession was in tatters after a battle with Bryce left him completely injured.


As season 4 unfolded, it seemed as if Zach was paying a psychological worth for his experiences from the seasons earlier than. In episode one, he arrived drunk to Justin Foley’s ‘welcome dwelling from rehab’ social gathering, and from then on, Zach would stagger into each scene with a hip flask in hand, it doesn’t matter what time it was. Faculty? Drunk. Tenting journey? Drunk. Faculty tour? Drunk. The Discover Your Drink half? Much more drunk.

Whereas his fixed intoxication was by no means correctly confronted by any of his associates all through season 4, even if they spent the entire season reiterating how they all the time look out for one another, Zach’s new penchant for alcohol led him to unhealthy decision-making. He let a drunk Clay drive them dwelling from a celebration in his automotive, leading to much more accidents for Zach, a wrecked automotive and authorized payments after Clay flees from the scene, whereas in a later episode, he’s crushed to a pulp by Diego after falsely telling him that he was the one who killed Bryce.

Though Zach ought to be in an intensive care unit at this level after all of the bodily trauma he’s endured, he drunkenly smashes up the college throughout a college walk-out and within the penultimate episode, takes an escort to promenade, with the pair spending a lot of the evening taking cocaine within the faculty bogs.

13 Reasons Why - Zach (Ross Butler)


Zach’s drunken antics are used as mild reduction, sandwiched between Clay’s psychological breakdowns and large, dramatic occasions such because the traumatic faculty taking pictures drill or the Valentine’s Day prank. Whereas Zach technically is given a cheerful ending, with the college providing him a training job earlier than he finally decides to pursue music at college, this decision looks like an after-thought – as if the writers forgot about Zach’s story arc and wanted to discover a approach to shortly wrap up that remaining unfastened finish.

It’s implied within the last episode that Zach not wants to show to the bottle for emotional assist, however this ending feels pressured and inauthentic. We spent 10 episodes watching Clay’s journey by way of remedy with Dr. Ellman as he initially resisted the method earlier than deciding to utterly open up – why couldn’t the writers have given Zach a equally gradual acceptance of the equally traumatic occasions that he  confronted all through highschool?

The remainder of the group, specifically his finest good friend Alex, may have staged an intervention for Zach in an earlier episode, or we may have seen a instructor attain out to him in the identical method that Deputy Sheriff Ted did with Tony and boxing.

The ultimate season of 13 Reasons Why may have developed Zach’s story in a extra useful and academic method, particularly when coping with subjects similar to alcoholism and trauma, however the present sadly failed him as a personality.

If in case you have been affected by the problems raised on this article, contact Samaritans without spending a dime from any telephone at any time of the day or evening on 116 123

13 Reasons Why seasons 1-4 are actually accessible on Netflix – try our lists of the finest TV reveals on Netflix and the finest motion pictures on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Information


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