Netflix's new series has everyone (including us at Refinery29) talking about its depictions of sexual assault, bullying, and depression, which it does through heavy use of flashbacks. That's because Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a high school junior who commits suicide before the events of the first episode, leaves behind tapes explaining the reasons for taking her own life — which, in the show, are told through flashbacks of the months leading up to her death.
When we pick up on the people Hannah has left behind, Clay, Hannah's co-worker and long-time admirer, has the tapes, and we follow him as he listens to Hannah's story. One thing you may notice about Clay? He's perpetually getting hurt, specifically in the "head" region.
Early on in the series, he hits his head while riding his bike, and sports a bandage for the rest of the season. He then knocks his head on a boulder during a therapeutic rock climbing session, adding a fun bruise to his forehead. Finally, he gets beat up by Bryce (Justin Prentice) just when that original scar might have healed.
The reason Clay is constantly getting injured? According to Seventeen, it's simple: The show didn't want to confuse us.
The series often blended flashbacks into present day — through some very clever cinematography choices — which meant if you weren't paying attention, it could be a little confusing as to which version of Clay you were watching. The scar is an obvious clue to the audience — even if, as DeVoe points out, it's real weird that Alex's (Miles Heizer) face, which was beaten to a pulp by Montgomery (Timothy Granaderos), heals before Clay's scar clears up.
So next time someone points out Clay's damaged face, just remember that the show likely did it for you. Thank the scar for keeping your Netflix viewing experience streamlined.