Tyler states that he wants to get rid of his gun because he is “done with it,” which causes suspicion. Is Tyler’s gun the murder weapon? The group spends all day discussing and watching Tyler. Things get heated among the group as they debate about what is best to do next.
What Happens in Episode Four
This episode is titled “Angry, Young & Man” which is how the narrator, Ani, describes Tyler. The very first line of the episode asks the viewer to consider what a killer looks like, a question which haunts the characters the entire episode. Ani states Tyler has “killer characteristics” such as being weird, having a lack of social skills, having a “fascination with death,” being unpredictable, “primed to snap all over again,” and feeling rejected.
He apparently has “all the ingredients of that killer cocktail” which begs the question: Did Tyler change after the Spring Fling or did he pull the trigger? If it turns out that Tyler did kill Bryce, who is responsible? Is just Tyler responsible for Bryce’s death? Are the students who hid the Spring Fling incident indirectly responsible? What about the people who missed the red flags? What about the bullies, such as Monty? This episode makes the viewer question whether or not people are truly capable of change, such as Bryce and Tyler.
The news states that Bryce was shot. That very same morning, Tyler says he has a gun that he no longer needs. This puts the group on high-alert as they watch him all day and discuss what needs to be done next. What’s up with them monitoring him 24/7? Will they continue protecting Tyler, and, if so, at what cost? Will someone end up calling the police?
A suspicious-looking object in a paper bag is seen in Tyler’s backpack. They think Tyler is carrying a gun but it turns out to be a camera. The plan was for Tyler to give the gun to Clay at the end of the day. Clay follows Tyler around school and catches him outside. Tyler states that he avoids using the school bathrooms. This is possibly due to the sexual assault which took place in one of the bathrooms. Does he have PTSD from this traumatic incident? Is he exhibiting avoidant behaviors?
Flashbacks show Zach told Tyler that Bryce knew about the Spring Fling (the almost school shooting) incident. Zach says that could be Tyler’s motive for killing Bryce.
A discussion between Tyler and therapist Dr. Singh provides insight into Tyler’s despair and hopelessness. Tyler claims “no one thinks I can change,” and says he is friendless.
At an after school club meeting, Casey suggests a protest at Bryce’s funeral.
In the locker room, Monty angers Zach and Justin, saying they are either romantically involved with Tyler or Tyler killed Bryce and they are covering it up. Zach punches Monty in the face, leading to a fight.
After school, Clay snoops in Tyler’s room, leading to the discovery of pictures of Bryce’s dead body on Tyler’s laptop. Clay confronts Tyler, asking if he shot Bryce. Tyler admits he could have shot Bryce when he confronted Bryce about the sexual assault, but he did not. Rather, Tyler came across Bryce’s body and anonymously dialed 911 to report it. He was by the river because he was suicidal. Seeing Bryce’s body changed his mind. He no longer wishes to die, which is why he is giving up the gun.
Related: Help! I’m Having an Existential Crisis!
Turns out the news was wrong. Bryce wasn’t shot. He died as a result of blunt force trauma. It is officially a homicide case. The group is concerned the police will find Tyler’s guns by the river.
Another issue is anger management. As part of Tyler’s recovery process, Tony introduces Tyler to boxing to use as a healthy coping mechanism. In a flashback, Jessica tells Tyler “you have to take back their power to make you hurt,” suggesting that Tyler needs to find healthy ways to cope with his pain. Hopefully, he is recovering.
A major concern for me was about Tyler is that he may hurt himself. Ever since the Spring Fling, the characters have monitored Tyler 24/7. However, Tyler tells Clay he has been suicidal for months. The Spring Fling was indirectly a “suicide mission,” as Ani puts it. How can someone who is constantly monitored have suicidal signs go unnoticed? What should happen next? He appears more hopeful now, but that could easily backslide. He likely needs professional help to address his suicidal thoughts. He would benefit from creating a suicide/safety plan.
- What are some “red flags” or signs that someone may be suicidal?
- If you are concerned about someone’s safety, what is the appropriate course of action?
- What is a suicide safety plan? How can it be helpful for someone experiencing a crisis?
Let us know your answers in the comments below or by posting a thought on The Mighty using #13ReasonsWhy.