8:00am PT by Brian Porreca
'13 Reasons Why': Biggest Burning Questions for Season 2
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from season one of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why.]
The end of the first season of 13 Reasons Why left viewers with a slew of lingering questions.
From writer Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal) and based on Jay Asher's best-selling novel of the same name, the Netflix series followed lead character Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) and the 13 cassette tapes she left behind revealing what led her to commit suicide.
Although it was originally perceived as a one-off limited series, The Hollywood Reporter broke last week that 13 Reasons Why was nearing a season two renewal at the streaming giant, which means those questions may finally be answered.
Season one largely stayed close to the source material with some changes here and there. It also covered the entirety of the book, so a potential second season would mean Yorkey and the rest of the writers would have to craft completely new storylines. (It's a challenge facing another limited series adaptation: HBO's Big Little Lies. The book's author, Liane Moriarty, recently said she is prepping ideas for a potential second season.)
With so much uncertainty surrounding a potential second season of 13 Reasons Why, THR decided to take a closer look at which questions still need to be answered in a possible season two, with help from the show's cast.
1. What is Tyler plotting?
After the school's photographer, Tyler (Devin Druid), was exposed as Hannah's stalker, the character faced constant verbal and physical harassment. With that and after being rejected by the group of teens who were the subject of the tapes, the character was led into a dark place. By the end of the season, Tyler is found purchasing a gun as well as opening a case of what appears to be explosives. Is he planning to take down his classmates? This would introduce a school shooting storyline, a topic that has previously hit the small screen on shows including One Tree Hill, 7th Heaven and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Druid opened up to THR about the importance of exploring this story further. "This is a really logical step for this character to go toward. I definitely think there's more of a story to tell. That helps dive into a bigger conversation of mental illness and bullying and harassment and how a person can react when they're pushed to the end of their rope."
2. Is Alex dead?
After it was revealed at the end of the season that Parenthood alum Miles Heizer's character, Alex, suffered from a critical gunshot wound, some fans speculated that it was at the hands of Tyler. Others believed it to be Alex committing suicide. Heizer tells THR it was the latter, as the show explored warning signs to Alex's suicide all season long. "It was interesting to see similarities between Alex and Hannah, because there are a lot of warning signs throughout the season," he says. And just because he may have attempted suicide, Heizer says that doesn't mean he's necessarily out of the picture. "That's another subject that's very rarely shown onscreen and is probably a lot more common than people think it is. People attempting to take their lives and it not happening, I'm sure that will bring a crazy set of issues. It would be interesting to go into that."
3. Will Bryce be convicted?
After it was revealed that the school's star athlete, Bryce (Justin Prentice), raped Hannah and Alisha Boe's character, Jessica, the series never showed justice for the two victims. But that's something Yorkey says is sure to be explored in a second season, "There's a f—ing rapist at this high school that hasn't been brought to any justice. And one of the victims, that we know of, is still living and just beginning to confront the realities of being a rape survivor, which is another hugely important story to tell." And the takedown of Bryce is what everyone wants to see. Adds Heizer, "As a human being, I want to see Bryce go to trial and get what he deserves." Says Boe, "For me, Alisha and Jessica's sake, I f—ing hope that he's in jail. He deserves it so much."
Bryce will likely not be the only one facing court. After some of the major characters speaking about Hannah through their depositions, it's still left unanswered whether or not the case against the school will go to trial. "There's the trial still with Hannah's parents suing the school district, which happens more often than you'd think," Yorkey says. "To find out who is responsible for what happened to her is really interesting." And after Hannah's parents, Andy (Brian d'Arcy James) and Olivia Baker (Kate Walsh), receive the tapes, their reaction should lead to the school facing the music as to how much it was at fault for Hannah's death.
4. How much will Hannah be involved in the story?
Just because viewers heard all 13 recordings and Hannah is dead, that doesn't mean she won't play a major role in the second season of the series. "One of the things that is a fundamental element of our show is the weaving of past and the present," Yorkey says. "Hannah's story is still very much not finished. She's an integral part of whatever the next chapter of the story is, and she's very much still at the center of it." For Clay (Dylan Minnette)'s sake, hopefully that doesn't involve more tapes, given how physically and emotionally draining the first set was on him. As for Langford, the actress says, "There's definitely more story to tell. It would be cool to continue the dialogue of this story. There are so many cliffhangers at the end of the season."
5. How censored will season two be?
After the series faced criticism for its graphic depiction of Hannah's suicide along with her and Jessica's rapes, Netflix responded by adding more trigger warnings to the series. "While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories," the streamer said in a lengthy statement announcing the additional warnings. "Currently the episodes that carry graphic content are identified as such and the series overall carries a TV-MA rating. Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the first episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series."
However, Yorkey was vocal about the importance of showing these graphic scenes in detail. "It should be difficult to watch. If we make it easy, then we're selling goods that we didn't want to sell." This is sure to be a lengthy conversation in the writers' room as plans for the show's second act take shape.
What stories do you want to see in season two? What other burning questions do you have from season one? Sound off in the comments section below. Season one of 13 Reasons Why is currently streaming on Netflix.