[SPOILERS for 13 Reasons Why season 1 ahead.]
New story details have been revealed for 13 Reasons Why season 2. The show, based on the novel of the same name by Jay Asher, has proven to be a huge, if controversial, hit for Netflix and, although the story for season one was pretty much self-contained, such was the popularity of the show and its cast, that the streaming service quickly renewed 13 Reasons Why for a second season.
Season one focused on Hannah, and her reasons for taking her own life. Within that framework, we come to know a variety of other characters and learn more about the issues they’re facing in their own lives. The season ended with a graphic depiction of Hannah’s suicide in flashback, while in the present, Hannah’s schoolmates were being subpoenaed in her parent’s court case against the school.
“All the cliffhangers that we saw at the end of season 1 go back to the initial set of traumas that we’re talking about — go back to bullying, go back to Jessica’s rape, to Hannah’s rape. They’re all related, so I would very much like to explore where they all go and to see if there is, as I think there will be, some light for these kids. We’re going to continue to tell their stories really honestly. We’re going to answer all of the burning questions that people have about [the show]. Is Tyler going to do something? What’s going to happen to Alex? Will Bryce be brought to justice?”
While season one focused on Hannah’s suicide, another important issue it tackled was the subject of rape, with Bryce raping both Jessica and Hannah, and Clay forcing him to confess to it. We never saw any result of that confession, but we did see the heartbreaking moment that Jessica told her dad she needed to tell him something. Yorkey confirms that we will discover more about the impact the rape has had on her, and how the character goes about trying to recover from that:
“When people intimate that Jessica’s story is done, I find that a horrific thought because Jessica is just beginning the process of recovering from her rape, and we have a rapist who has not in any way been brought to justice. To leave those two things hanging out there in the world would be upsetting. I want to see how that at least starts to play out and I want to do Jessica’s story the deserved justice of following her as she goes back to school, as she tries to begin to recover from what happened to her, because it’s something that millions of young women go through.”
Seaon 2 will continue to work both in the past and present, picking up in real time just a few months after the events of season one. The flashbacks to the past will examine events from other character’s perspectives, so while Hannah won’t be returning as the narrator, she will still feature.
“I think one of the things that is still hanging out there is this question of is someone responsible for Hannah’s death? Is the school responsible? Who is responsible, if anyone is? One way we’ll explore that question is through the trial and also through all of these kids reflecting on where they are a few months down the road and what other secrets are being uncovered. That’s going to take us into the past, into Hannah’s story. We’re going to get some new context for events we already know about and we’re going to see a lot of things we hadn’t even heard about yet that fill in some really interesting gaps in our understanding of who Hannah Baker was and what her life was.”
With no source material to work from (there’s only one book), Yorkey can take 13 Reasons Why season two in any direction he may choose. However, it does sound as though he’s going to give the audience what they want, in tying up the loose ends and hopefully, bringing justice for Hannah and Jessica when Bryce is held accountable for his crimes.
13 Reasons Why season one is available for streaming on Netflix now. There is currently no release date set for season two.