Still upset about THAT death at the finale of 13 Reasons Why? You’re not the only one.
Thousands of fans were devastated after seeing Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn) die on screen after he was diagnosed with HIV. However, it turns out some of the stars of the show were in complete support of the “devastating choice” to kill off the character – specifically, Flynn himself and co-star Dylan Minnette (Clay Jensen).
Speaking about the death to EW, Minette said: “I remember all season Brandon and I were specifically hoping that it would be Justin, and we were pushing for it and we would plead to Brian making the case of why we feel like it should be him, because he and I both felt that it would have the biggest emotional impact on the series given Justin’s entire arc.”
He added: “Of course it’s devastating and tragic and we know that people would love to see him survive, but I think that’s what makes it all the more powerful.
“Obviously it’s the most depressing move the show could make, but I feel like it’s also in line with the show to make that choice in the last episode, to make the most devastating choice.”
Adding it was the “perfect bookend” to the show, Minnette added: “I feel like it was a strong choice to make and as devastating as it is, I am so happy that Brian ended up making the decision to do it because it just felt right. If we were going to do it to anyone, I feel like we needed to go there and put the bookend on it.”
Although many fans were blown away by Justin’s emotional death, HIV charity groups criticised the twist. Writing for RadioTimes.com, Terrence Higgins Trust representative Liam Beattie said the storyline fell “way short of the realities of the virus in 2020”.
Criticising Justin’s swift terminal diagnosis, he added: “Justin’s story arc couldn’t be further from the reality of HIV for the vast majority of people who receive a positive diagnosis. And, as a message to the show’s young audience, is potentially really damaging if they’re hearing about HIV for the very first time.”