Warning: The following post touches on issues of sexual assault. It also contains spoilers about the season 2 finale of 13 Reasons Why.
There is no shortage of people doing the wrong thing on 13 Reasons Why. In fact, the poor choices that the teens on the controversial Netflix series made are what led to Hannah making them the subjects of her "13 reasons." However, the true villain of the second season of the popular, controversial Netflix series was ultimately revealed to be someone who Hannah did not mention on her much-discussed reasons why. Montgomery (Timothy Granaderos) is proof that hurt people hurt people, and we, the audience, really should have seen it coming, even without Hannah's narration.
Monty was a familiar face on the first season of 13 Reasons Why. He rolled with Bryce (Justin Prentice) and Zach (Ross Butler), and was generally a jerk. He relentlessly bullied Tyler (Devin Druid)... but a lot of people did that. He slut-shamed Hannah (Katherine Langford) and sexually harassed Courtney (Michelle Selene Ang) — all written off by those around him as the idiotic behaviour of a stupid high school guy. It was only in season 2 that we saw the full scope of Monty's anger, and where it possibly came from.
As Monty was not an important piece of Hannah's story in season 1, we never got to learn why he behaved so abhorrently. It's revealed in season 2, however, that Monty's father is physically abusive: He even tells fellow baseball player Scott (Brandon Butler) that his dad came at him with a hammer. Things are so bad with his family life that Monty sometimes doesn't come home at all, camping to escape his dad's wrath.
This is not an excuse for Monty's behaviour, but explains his awful actions — like the threatening messages he sent to students taking the stand during the Bakers' trial. Monty knew that Bryce's sexual assaults could come up in the trial, which could threaten the entire baseball season.
Monty needs sports to escape his crappy home life, and his teammates are the only support system he really has. Bryce is a big part of that team — he's their leader. In Monty's mind, exposing Bryce could lead to his entire world crashing down.
That's what leads to one of the most disturbing scenes depicted on 13 Reasons Why. As a retaliation against Tyler over the cancellation of baseball season, Monty and a few jock friends corner him in the bathroom. They bash his head against the sink before dragging him into the stall, where they shove his head in the toilet. Monty pulls Tyler's pants down and sodomises him with a janitor's broom as Tyler screams in pain.
The scene is chilling, and an example of how toxic masculinity and rage can lead to destructive, criminal behaviour, including assault. Monty is fully to blame for his actions, but it's worth wondering if we would have gotten here if someone had intervened: If someone saw how troubled Monty was, how enraged, and stepped in. Yes, Tyler ultimately had the "X" factor that led to what could have become a school shooting, but as 13 Reasons Why reminds us, over and over again, everything affects everything else. Monty's father hurt Monty. Monty hurt Tyler. Tyler could go on to hurt other people.
Will Monty receive justice in the show's potential season 3? Judging by what happened to Bryce, it's hard to say.
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.