The following post contains major spoilers from up to and including the Season 2 finale of 13 Reasons Why.
All signs are pointing to there being a third season of Netflix's attention-grabbing teen drama, 13 Reasons Why. In between the buzz created by the recently released second season and the fact that the school location used to film the show has been booked for production later this year, we can be fairly confident the series will be back. But with Hannah Baker's story now fully exhausted and actress Katherine Langford suggesting on social media that her time on the show is done, what direction would Season 3 take?
Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why took us up to almost the end of what would have been Hannah's junior year in high school (i.e. Year 11). Although some of the show's teens, like Marcus (Steven Silver), and presumably Courtney (Michele Selene Ang) and Tony (Christian Navarro) were in their senior year (i.e. Year 12), many of the characters were in Hannah's year. A third season could follow their final year at Liberty High as the school community contends with the aftermath of the Bakers' lawsuit and the revelations that emerged throughout that process. Will anything be done to address the toxic environment of bullying and sexual assault?
The obvious direction 13 Reasons Why could take is to deal with what Tyler (Devin Druid) went through in Season 2 and his state of mind after he almost went on a shooting spree at the Spring Fling. Tyler is now in a similar position to Hannah, with the relentless bullying he faced culminating in him wanting to do harm—not to himself but to others. It would be useful to see how someone can be brought back from that situation and helped to cope with his horrific experiences, particular his rape by Monty (Timothy Granaderos), and whether the abusive jock will be held accountable for his actions. It should also be resolved what happened when the police arrived at the school and whether or not they found Clay in possession of Tyler's gun.
The other bombshell from the Season 2 finale was the revelation that Chlöe (Anne Winters) is pregnant with Bryce's (Justin Prentice) child. This opens up all sorts of storyline possibilities, including whether the head cheerleader will keep the baby, and whether she will confront the fact that Bryce raped her and she lied about it in court to protect him. Despite the fact that Bryce is heading to a new school, where he's "going in as a junior", his connection to Chlöe will provide a reason for him to still be in the picture.
Will Jessica (Alisha Boe) choose Alex (Miles Heizer) or Justin (Brandon Flynn)? Can Clay (Dylan Minnette) and Skye (Sosie Bacon) rekindle their relationship? Do they even want to? Will Tony stop running from love and enjoy his romance with Caleb (R.J. Brown)? So many questions and so many opportunities for 13 Reasons Why to continue to explore complicated teenage relationships. After everything all the characters have been through, the stage is set for some more emotional drama.
Justin and Clay
The relationship between the soon-to-be brothers has been one of the most interesting ones in the series. Their original heated antagonism towards each other—don't forget, Justin wanted to take Clay out during Season 1—has blossomed into a believable bromance, with each looking out for the other. Justin talked Clay down from shooting Bryce during Season 2 and Clay was instrumental in getting Justin's life back on track. Well, almost back on track, since he is still using drugs and has his mum's drug dealer boyfriend, Meth Seth (Matthew Alan), lurking around seeking revenge. But it would be great to see this complex friendship develop even further, and perhaps even have Justin be someone Clay could rely on as he fully deals with the mental health issues that have been hinted at so far but not fully explored.
Just as characters like Nina (Samantha Logan), Scott (Brandon Butler), Cyrus (Bryce Cass ) and Mack (Chelsea Alden), who were introduced in Season 2, helped take the series in new directions, it would be good to have some more students added to the mix to broaden the scope of the show. And it would be interesting to see what impact the new school counsellor, played by Parminder Nagra, and baseball coach Rick Wlodimierz (Ben Lawson) will have on the school going forward. Something tells us they won't see eye-to-eye when it comes to getting the school's bullies in check.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au. A dedicated website with resources, information and support lines has also been set up at 13reasonswhy.info.
Does Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why deserve all the hype and controversy? Is Riverdale too dark? And what about teen series of years past – do Dawson’s Creek, Gossip Girl, The OC and Beverly Hills, 90210 still hold up? This week’s special episode of WHO magazine’s TV podcast, Binge List, answers all those questions and more as we delve into hit teen dramas past and present. Plus, we look at under-the-radar series Veronica Mars, Scream and The 100, and millennial mystery Search Party. Join Matthew Denby, Clare Rigden and Gavin Scott as they celebrate the best of teen TV. Listen on iTunes: http://po.st/syE3JF or OMNY: http://po.st/Uj6J8R