Shipping Saturday: Justin Foley and Alex Standall of “13 Reasons Why”

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Netflix as officially announced that its hit drama 13 Reasons Why will be back for a second season. While I’m a little leery of what direction the show is going to take, I’m glad we get to watch this amazing group of young actors for another thirteen hours and delve deeper into the complex characters they portray and tangled web of relationships among the gang at Liberty High. There is one relationship in particular I hope gets explored in season two and that is the budding friendship between outcast Alex Standall and popular bad boy Justin Foley. (Well, if Alex survives that gunshot wound.)

To say Alex and Justin don’t see eye to eye on much is a pretty big understatement. In fact, these two spent much of season one at odds at pretty much every turn, especially when it came to the issue of Hannah Baker’s tapes. They argued. They needled each other. When pushed, the other pushed right back. Yet, as each episode peeled back the layers of each character, these two actually seemed to have a lot in common. Alex and Justin both struggled with unhappy home lives, their relationships with popular girl Jessica Davis, and trying maintain their fragile masks day in and day out. They both knew what it was like to drown from the weight of past mistakes in ways the rest of the group just couldn’t understand. Eventually, both Justin and Alex found themselves on the outs with the core group. Alex carried too much guilt over his part in Hannah’s demise to really commit to any plan while Justin’s role in Jessica’s rape drove him completely off the rails.

This all cumulated on the night Justin showed up on Alex’s doorstep. Kicked out with nowhere to go and no of his friends answering his calls, Alex was Justin’s last resort for a safe place to sleep. Instead of telling his rival to take a hike, Alex welcomed him into his home despite Justin’s protests that he could sleep in the garage. He was right by Justin’s side when he stormed Bryce’s place to get Jessica, and he encouraged Justin to just tell Jessica the truth about the night she was raped. It was an uneasy truce that barely lasted a night, but it was a small step in the right direction for two outsiders looking for a place to belong.

Will Alex and Justin ever be best friends or at least be able to offer an olive branch? Guess we’ll have to wait until season two drops.

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