When 13 Reasons Why premiered in 2017, the show introduced fans to the ultimate villain: Bryce Walker, Liberty High's resident jock. Bryce seemed like a nice guy at first, but his sinister side quickly came out once Hannah's tapes were revealed. What happened with Bryce in 13 Reasons Why Season 1? Bryce's story line will undoubtedly be a huge part of Season 2, so here's a quick refresher to make sure you're fully caught up before Season 2 hits Netflix on Friday, May 18.
In Season 1, each of Hannah's tapes explored a different reason why she ultimately chose to commit suicide, and each tape was addressed to a specific person whose behavior pushed her to that decision. Tape 12 was explicitly directed at Bryce (Justin Prentice), but in reality, he played a huge part in incidents on other tapes, as well. In pretty much every situation, Bryce showed his true colors by being an all-around gross guy, and hopefully, he'll face justice for what he did to Hannah and other Liberty High girls in Season 2. So what exactly happened?
Bryce's main story line kicks off in "Tape 6, Side A," the eleventh episode of Seaason 1. At Jessica's party, Hannah and Clay finally hook up, but things end quickly when Hannah becomes uncomfortable and tells Clay to leave. Clay is a nice guy, so naturally he obliges, and Hannah is left alone in the bedroom. Suddenly, Justin and Jessica burst in and begin making out, and Hannah hides in the closet to avoid being seen. Justin realizes that Jessica is too drunk to give consent, so he leaves her on the bed to sober up, but sleazy Bryce realizes what's going on and forces his way into the room and locks the door. As Hannah watches from the closet, Bryce horrifically rapes Jessica.
Naturally, Hannah is shocked by what she's witnessed, but things with Bryce get worse from there. In the next episode, "Tape 6, Side B," Hannah stumbles upon a party at Bryce's house, and she ends up in the hot tub with Justin, Jessica, and a few other students. When everyone else leaves, Bryce climbs into the hot tub with Hannah and rapes her. On Tape 12, Hannah reveals that the assault "broke her soul," and she begins to have thoughts of suicide immediately after.
Bryce is clearly a serial rapist — and viewers saw how his toxic masculinity manifested on the other tapes, too — but luckily, it seems like he won't get away with it for long. At the end of Season 1, Clay confronts Bryce, and even though Clay takes a beating from the football captain, he manages to get a taped confession from the abuser. After confessing, Bryce says, "If that’s rape, then every girl at this school wants to be raped." Gross. Bryce's confession is ultimately turned over to Hannah's parents along with all of her tapes, and the Bakers have made it clear that they want to press charges.
Based on the Season 2 trailer, it seems like Bryce will face consequences for what he's done. In one moment, Bryce is in the witness stand of a court room, likely during the Bakers' lawsuit against Liberty High. Outside the court room, Bryce is facing judgement from his peers: Someone has written "Rapist" on his locker, and it looks like Mr. Porter is trying to talk sense into him.
Kate Walsh, who plays Hannah's mom Olivia Baker, told E! News that Bryce's Season 2 story line will be a timely connection to the #MeToo movement:
We go off the book this year, and it kind of continues along the Bryce Walker storyline. [We deal with] sexual assault, and culpability, and responsibility and truth and relationships... I think this storyline is fantastic and really does reflect what is happening in the culture at large, with bullying and sexual assault and gender identity and everything in relationships.
These students desperately need something good to happen, and Bryce facing justice for what he's done would definitely fit the bill. Without Bryce prowling its halls, Liberty High will be a much safer place.
Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why hits Netflix Friday, May 18.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.