The fourth and final season of 13 Reasons Why premiered on Friday, and its final 10 episodes packed in plenty of twists, turns, and devastating traumas for the long-suffering kids of Liberty High. In addition to wrapping up the stories of all our faves like Clay, Jessica, and Tony, the season also introduced a handful of new players who shook things up for the gang. The most significant new addition seemed to be Estela de la Cruz, Monty’s sister, played by Inde Navarrette. Here’s a quick primer on Estela’s whole deal. We know you’re wondering. Warning, there are some spoilers ahead.
Alright, tell me how Estela fits into the cast.
We all remember Monty de la Cruz, the sociopathic jock who sexually assaulted Tyler and was such an all-around monster that he made Bryce look slightly less demonic, right? Monty died in jail under mysterious circumstances at the end of season 3, by which time we’d met some of his family—most significantly his abusive father. But one person we hadn’t met yet was his sister, Estela, who is then introduced at the beginning of season 4.
In her first scene, it’s not yet clear who Estela is: She approaches Jessica and Ani during Liberty High’s school fair, hoping to learn more about HO (Hands Off), the support group for sexual assault survivors that Jess started last season. Both are understandably startled to learn that Estela, who’s interested in joining the group, is Monty’s sister—and it’s particularly complicated since Tyler is part of HO and still very much recovering from what Monty did to him. It’s very complicated!! But Jessica lets her into HO and develops a cautious friendship with her.
Okay, so what’s Estela’s storyline in season 4?
Clay is initially suspicious of Estela’s intentions, afraid that she’s really interested in trying to uncover the truth about her brother’s death. After the school is vandalized by someone who wrote “Monty was framed” on the wall in red spray paint, Ani suspects Estela may have been the culprit. When the two go for coffee, Estela insists that she didn’t transfer to Liberty High because she’s trying to redeem Monty but does admit that she finds it hard to imagine him killing Bryce. Later, Winston ends up revealing his suspicions (that Jessica and the gang killed Bryce and covered it up by framing Monty) to Estela, who doesn’t believe him.
Estela’s most significant relationship of the season doesn’t actually begin until episode 6, when she and Tyler end up locked in the bathroom together when the school is placed into lockdown. The trauma of the moment is doubled for Tyler because he’s stuck in the bathroom, the place where he was assaulted. He ends up opening up to Estela not only about the assault but also about how he came close to committing a school shooting in the aftermath of it.
He admits that he came very close to doing the same but that his friends helped him to get better. “I’m sorry for what my brother did to you,” Estela says tearfully, before wondering out loud if Monty would’ve ever had a chance of getting better had he lived. “He was lucky to have you for a sister,” Tyler replies. “That means he had something good in his life.” Estela and Tyler’s relationship gets even better from there, and the two attend prom together in the penultimate episode of the season.
What happens to Estela in the season 4 finale?
At the party after graduation, Jessica asks Estela to take over running HO, since she’ll be heading off to Berkeley soon. Estela is thrilled and says, “Tyler will be so proud! Can I tell him?” She then runs off to stand by Tyler’s side, strongly implying that these two are now a couple.
Oh, also, who plays Estela?
Great question! Estela is played by Inde Navarrette. She’s been acting since 2018, and although 13RW is her first major role, TV fans will soon be seeing a lot more of her. Navarrette will play Sarah Cushing in The CW’s upcoming series Superman & Lois, a new spin-off of Arrow that’s set to debut in 2021.
A post shared by Inde Fabiola Navarrette (@indenavarrette) on Jun 5, 2020 at 10:52am PDT
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