The third season of 13 Reasons Why brought in a lot of important new characters, like the narrator Ani, the feminist activist Casey, and the sensitive jock Charlie, but in the end, probably the most pivotal new character was one that only had a couple scenes. After finishing your Season 3 marathon-watch, you will probably be wondering who Winston is on 13 Reasons Why and what role will he play in the fourth and final season of the show. He could definitely shake things up in a major way in Season 4.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from throughout 13 Reasons Why Season 3. Winston first appeared when Clay and Ani were investigating Monty over his possible involvement in Bryce's murder. The sleuths found the ID of someone named Winston in Monty's car along with a note saying that he "won't tell." But upon searching the full name, they discovered Winston's real identity did not match the face on the ID. They tracked Winston down and he explained what was really going on with that ID.
In a flashback, Bryce brought Monty along with him to a rich-kid party that Winston also attended. At the party, Monty ran into Winston alone in a bedroom, and picking up on signals, Winston went in to kiss Monty. Although Monty reflexively pulled away at first, he quickly kissed back and initiated an aggressive hook-up. That passion turned to rage soon after, when Monty violently beat up Winston after he said goodbye to him in front of other partygoers. The scene made clear what 13 Reasons Why had been hinting at for a while now: Monty's disturbing aggression stems at least partially from hiding his same-sex attraction.
So what did all that have to do with Winston's fake ID? It turned out, Bryce was accustomed to covering for Monty's outbursts and paid Winston off to not press charges, and also arranged for another student to take the SAT for him to help get him into Princeton.
In the season finale, viewers discovered Monty and Winston's hook-up was not just a one-time thing. Although Monty had claimed he was drinking at Charlie's after the homecoming game, in actuality, he went over to Winston's house and the two spent the night together. Of course, the ferociously closeted Monty would never reveal his true alibi, so he became a suspect in Bryce's murder... especially after it was revealed that Bryce had threatened Monty on the night of homecoming to try to protect Tyler.
Once Tyler told the police about Monty's sexual assault on him from Season 2, Monty was arrested. Ani eventually learned that Monty had been killed in jail shortly after is arrest, and she hatched a plan to quickly end the investigation into Bryce's murder by pinning the crime on the now-dead Monty. Thanks to Ani's ability to lie super convincingly, she protected prime suspect Clay and actual murderer Alex with an airtight report accusing Monty of Bryce's murder. So, it all seemed to work out in the end... except Ani did not account for one person: Winston.
As the Liberty High crew celebrated making it through the murder investigation, Winston confronted Ani, telling her he knew she lied to convict Monty of murder and argued that Monty did not deserve that, even if he was dead. The moment set up a big threat for Season 4: Will Winston reveal Monty's true alibi to clear his name and reopen the murder case? It sounds like the Liberty High kids may not be in the clear just yet...
13 Reasons Why Season 3 is on Netflix now.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit rainn.org.