This post contains spoilers for Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why. There's two sides to every story, and Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why proved this with the Season 3 path of its controversial character, Monty de la Cruz. In order to protect Bryce Walker's actual killer Alex, new girl Ani framed antagonistic jock Monty for the murder. The case seemingly closed when police reported Monty died in prison, but Timothy Granaderos' theories about Monty in 13 Reasons Why Season 4 suggest fans may not have seen the last of his character.
It's instantly clear Granaderos is far removed from his onscreen counterpart as he happily introduces himself as Tim and talks about his day when his interview with Elite Daily begins. As a member of Bryce's (Justin Prentice) posse of football players, Monty became one of the series' most disliked characters in Season 2 when he horrifically sodomized Tyler (Devin Druid) in a school bathroom. But while Monty's actions could never be excused, Season 3's portrait of his character, who was mourning and enraged in the wake of Bryce's death, began shifting viewers' perspectives of him. Before he was arrested for sexual assault, Monty's storyline depicted his shameful feelings about his sexuality and the complicated relationship he had with his father. Monty then apparently died in jail, abruptly cutting short his character development and inspiring Ani (Grace Saif) to successfully frame him for the murder.
Seeing as Monty's secret hookup Winston (Deaken Bluman) confronted Ani about Monty's innocence in the Season 3 finale, viewers shouldn't write off Monty's importance in the series just yet. "There’s always more opportunity for more of his story, but at this moment, who knows?" Granaderos says. "I feel like there’s so much left to unpack with his story. [It] tragically ended too soon and you were just getting to see the different shades of Monty."
In addition to pointing out that 13 Reasons Why's liberal use of flashbacks could revive Monty in Season 4, Granaderos has ideas for how the final season could utilize his character's story in a present-day timeline. "I hope that Winston kind of finds a way to hold the people accountable that pinned me for the murder," he says, "but I think it’ll be interesting because he’s one of the only ones that knows where he was."
In addition to the show not specifying how he died, Monty's death occurred off-screen, and this ambiguity has inspired audiences to theorize that the other characters persuaded Seth (Matthew Alan), Justin's (Brandon Flynn) mother's drug-dealing boyfriend, to kill Monty while in jail. Although he first laughs off the popular theory as "bullsh*t," Granaderos then says, "I think that’s so smart. In a lot of ways I feel like it was convenient for [Monty] to die because then he was the perfect scapegoat for the story, but if that’s the reason why, then I hope that Winston uncovers all of that."
Monty's grim ending feels like some form of vindication for his actions in Season 2, but as Season 3 seemed to attempt to accomplish with Bryce, Monty's development warmed many fans up to him. "They totally like me now!" Granaderos says about viewers. "When I heard that [fans liked Monty] before [Season 3], I was like, 'You shouldn’t.' I was confused. But now, like, they’re totally down with Monty’s story and his growth, and I think people can actually relate to him now."
"In Season 1, he’s kind of introduced as this one-dimensional kind of bully who’s just roaming the halls of Liberty," Granaderos recalls, "But by the end of Season 3, you see he’s evolved into this multi-dimensional character with so many layers that you’re only just beginning to explore, and he’s come a long way."
Granaderos, who stars in the upcoming comedy Keep Hope Alive, can't say much about Season 4 of 13 Reasons Why, but regardless of whether he'll appear at Liberty High again, he has high hopes for the teen drama's legacy. "I hope that it remains this platform for conversation for young people and hope," he says. "A cool byproduct of being on a television show is that we get to be on the center of these conversations ... [Fans] relate to these characters in these very visceral ways, so I just hope that the conversation keeps being had."
Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why is currently streaming on Netflix. Season 4 is expected to premiere in 2020.