The Song Hannah & Clay Dance To In '13 Reasons Why' Episode 5 Has Tragically Fitting Lyrics
Netflix's 13 Reasons Why takes a fairly quick read and stretches it out over 13 episodes of television. While many stories may suffer from being stretched out, 13 Reasons Why takes the opportunity to dive deeper into the characters' relationships by adding new scenes, including a dance between Clay and Hannah at the Winter Formal in Episode 5. The song that Clay and Hannah dance to during the brief moment of peace that Hannah finds is "The Night We Met" by Lord Huron, and the lyrics to the song are all too fitting for everything that Clay is feeling in the wake of Hannah's suicide.
The song was specially selected by Tony, Hannah's friend and later Clay's guide through his own grief, to slow things down at the Winter Formal. Tony later gifts both Hannah and Clay mixtapes that begin with that song, to help them remember that brief moment in their lives where Clay and Hannah were together and the hardships in Hannah's life wasn't pulling her in a million different directions. The song itself, a slow folk-rock ballad, serves as effective slow-dance music, but the lyrics are a fitting companion to the series as a whole, speaking of love lost and the inescapable feeling of being haunted by the past.
We know how Hannah's story ends at the beginning of the series. There is no happy ending for her, and there likely won't be one for the people whose actions (or inaction) drove her to kill herself. Clay understands that — especially considering that he is on the very tapes that Hannah dedicated to those she held accountable for her actions. Similarly, "The Night We Met" is a song that happens after a story that has already ended, looking back on a lost relationship. The song begins:
Clay, much like the narrator of the song, is attempting to repay his debts, trying to make right what went wrong (even while others attempt to keep the tapes covered up).
The first verse establishes the feeling of aimlessness that Clay feels throughout the story, but the chorus manages to sum up everything Clay is going through in just a few poetic lines.
Clay often speaks of wanting go back in time, and to have known what Hannah was going through. He wishes that he could've helped, or at least been someone who Hannah could've confided in. But now, he's literally being haunted by her voice and her instructions. Perhaps he's hoping that Hannah's map will take them back to the night that they met, before everything went so wrong.