Fans of 13 Reasons Why were expecting the worst of Tyler after he bought several weapons at the end of Season 1, but Season 2 hasn't quite delivered Tyler's massive blowup that the show hinted at last year. The outsider student has had to answer for his photos of Hannah in Season 2, but his new friendship with fellow misfit Cyrus has led to Tyler's own special connection with Cyrus' sister. Who is Mackenzie on 13 Reasons Why Season 2? This post contains spoilers for 13 Reasons Why Season 2.
After meeting Cyrus in Mr. Porter's special skills class and bonding over their love for art, Tyler finds himself essentially adopted into his friend's band of misfits. Like with other new character additions Chloe and Nina, the group members seem to be Liberty High students that floated in the background last season rather than all of them being brand-new students. Tyler particularly vibes well with Mackenzie (Chelsea Alden), who he later learns is Cyrus' sister, but there doesn't seem to be any of that typical family drama that we see in TV shows when someone wants to date a sibling's friend. Although we see Tyler and Mackenzie exchange lingering looks during a library study session, Tyler's friendship with Cyrus takes dominance for a few episodes.
The boys' bond revolves around them conducting science experiments in Cyrus' basement, which definitely spiked my concern that they were building a bomb. After all of that speculation about Tyler planning a school shooting, fans certainly won't let Tyler off easy. However, Episode 4 reveals that their big project is a paint bomb of sorts targeted at Marcus, who allegedly lies about Hannah in court. Following this "revenge" against Marcus, Mackenzie eventually steps in to distract Tyler from Hannah's trial and asks him about going on a date together.
Both Mackenzie and Tyler are innocently awkward with each other throughout the season's first half, and their uneasiness only feels emphasized on their date to the movies, but Mackenzie looks to calm Tyler's nerves. She orders the same neurotic amount of popcorn as Tyler, clearly showing that she's on his side, and later starts kissing him during the movie. However, the kiss intensifies, and Tyler has quite the embarrassing adolescent moment in the dark theater, prompting him to quickly ditch Mackenzie.
Given that Tyler gets flack for taking photos of Hannah from outside her bedroom window, it's safe to say that he doesn't exactly know how to interact with girls. His date with Mackenzie proves that not much has changed, and he proceeds to avoid her for a few days. Meanwhile, she tells Cyrus that Tyler left the date because of a family emergency, but Cyrus isn't too accepting of the phony excuse.
At a concert, Mackenzie then tries to assure Tyler that he doesn't need to be embarrassed about his little incident, but Tyler lashes out, telling her that he doesn't like her. Of course, because this is a teen show, the moment quickly becomes as dramatic as possible, with Cyrus catching Tyler's confession and soon turning on him for yelling at Mackenzie. If this was any other character being isolated, maybe I'd sympathize a bit, but Tyler hasn't exactly proven himself worthy of sympathy this season.
Tyler definitely hasn't treated Mackenzie well, but she didn't exactly seem heartbroken in her last moment with him. While I'm still convinced that Tyler becomes violent later on (he did shoot guns in the woods, after all), Mackenzie also seems willing to take him back if he eventually realizes his mistakes. We'll have to wait and see if their relationship is revisited later on in the season, which is currently streaming on Netflix.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.