13 Reasons Why Season 3 feels all but inevitable after Season 2's finale was so open-ended, but what exactly can you expect from the third visit to Liberty High School?
Although source material Jay Asher's YA novel of the same name was just one book and used for Season 1, 13 Reasons Why has become one of Netflix's biggest shows and so grown beyond the basic story of Hannah Baker's suicide, with Season 2 arriving in May 2018
The season has been the subject of mixed reviews; many rightly feel that Hannah Baker's story had been told in Season 1 and that it didn't need to be seen played out again from other angles. That said, 13 Reasons Why Season 2 also took a more in-depth look at other characters, such as Jessica, who managed to find the courage to speak out about Bryce raping her, and Tyler, who suffered a brutal sexual assault in the season finale, leading him to attempt a mass shooting during the spring dance. And, clearly, there's a lot of threads left for 13 Reasons Why Season 4 to pick up.
Hannah Baker Shouldn't Come Back For 13 Reasons Why Season 3
The story of Hannah Baker's suicide were told, fully and completely in Season 1. Perhaps afraid to let go of such a central character, showrunner Brian Yorkey decided that Season 2 would focus on the court case brought against Liberty High School by Hannah's parents. That meant that the viewers saw Hannah (Katherine Langford) again, through the eyes of her peers, and especially from Clay's point of view. In fact, he became so obsessed with getting justice for Hannah that he started seeing and talking to her ghost all the time. This impacted upon his relationships with Skye, his parents, and his friends.
It got to the point where Hannah's continual influence over 13 Reasons Why had become a huge drag. In the finale, when Clay (Dylan Minnette) gives a eulogy at her memorial service, we see Hannah walking out into a bright light. While you're probably supposed to feel a little wistful and sad, the moment plays with more a sense of relief. Regardless of impact, the moment makes it feel like 13 Reasons Why Season 3 simply cannot bring Hannah back again; in order for a third season to succeed, the showrunners have to shift the focus and put Hannah's story firmly behind them.
Bryce Also Needs To Stay Away In Season 3
It took long enough, but Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice) was eventually convicted of rape. The judge only handed down a three-month probation order, but Jessica still felt stronger at the end of it all. By the end of 13 Reasons Why Season 2, she was beginning to build a relationship with Justin again, forming solid friendships, and getting back on track at school. Bryce, meanwhile, had lost all of his college scholarship prospects and was transferring to another school where he had to start as a Junior.
For viewers who have been waiting to see justice served, it was a satisfactory outcome, and although Prentice has given an exceptional performance, it seemed like the right time for Bryce to exit the show. That said, in the season finale, it's revealed that his girlfriend Chloe, is pregnant. 13 Reasons Why Season 3 will surely pick up with her as she decides whether to keep the baby and if she does, that means Bryce could well come back.
Clay Should Be Given A Chance To Move On
Dylan Minnette gave an outstanding performance in 13 Reasons Why Season 2 as Clay Jensen, the troubled teenager trying to decide his future while still grieving his past. He was haunted (literally) by Hannah, and his constant feeling of inadequacy surrounding her death. At such a crucial time in his life, the last thing Clay really needed was Hannah's story being played out in court and, subsequently, the media. It all took its toll on Clay, who made some poor choices during Season 2. That said, he came good in the finale when he gave a calm but impassioned speech to Tyler and managed to talk him out of carrying out a school shooting. To the sound of distant sirens, Clay got Tyler safely into Tony's car, and consequently, he was left holding the gun.
The implication is that Clay will now end up having to convince everyone that he was not about to carry out a school shooting, and also attempting to explain how and why he came to be in possession of an assault rifle. Given that Clay has always tried to do his best by others, despite often being naive, it would be good to finally see things going right for him in Season 3.
Justin Needs A Happy Ending
Justin's arc during 13 Reasons Why Season 2 was pretty heartbreaking to watch. During the first season, we knew he had an unsettled and turbulent home life, and that his mom had a boyfriend whom she much preferred to her own son. In the end, Justin skipped town, but was found living rough an using heroin in Season 2. Clay secreted him away in his bedroom in order that he could get clean and then testify in the Baker's trial, with Clay's hope being that he would pin Hannah's rape on Bryce. Clay's parents discovered Justin and made him welcome, but he found it hard to quit the heroin altogether. That was seemingly no matter to the Jensen's, though, who decided to adopt him into their family.
Related: 13 Reasons Why Season 2 Review
Just when we thought things were looking good, however, we got a shot of Justin's mother and boyfriend lurking ominously. Now, at the end of Season 2, Justin is standing alongside Clay, who is armed, and it looks as though his mom won't let him become part of the Jensen family without a fight. In Season 3, what's really needed is for life to finally be kind to Justin. He deserves it.