Going into Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why, fans' curiosity quickly focused on the meaning of the haunting polaroids floating around characters in the season's first official trailer. Once we all began bingeing new episodes, it was clear that the mystery of the polaroids wasn't the only concern for Liberty High students. While Clay receives a polaroid hinting that Hannah wasn't the only girl that a school athlete harmed, other students are sent even more extreme, dangerous threats leading up to their individual testimonies in court. I'm still shaking over the reveal of who was behind these other messages, so who sent the threats in 13 Reasons Why Season 2? This post contains spoilers for 13 Reasons Why Season 2.
In the early, innocent days of relying on the season trailer and vague promo photos to figure out what happens in Season 2, viewers were convinced that the polaroids tied back to Tyler, an avid photographer whose often controversial snapshots already got him into trouble in Season 1 and continued to cause drama for him this season. The theory definitely made sense, but we should've known that the explanation was too easy to be true. The show also worked right away to assure that Tyler isn't behind the polaroids, showing him receive his own threats and dismiss polaroids as a hipster trend when Clay receives his first threatening message.
Anyone who spent their weekend finishing the season knows that Tyler is far from being totally innocent, but when it comes to the recurring threats, he wasn't involved. In a big twist, it also turns out that the polaroids were completely unrelated to the other students' threats. Looking back, the polaroids' spooky messages do seem quite tame compared to the bloody dead animal left in Zach's gym bag, Mrs. Baker's vandalized store, Clay nearly getting run over, and other pretty intense threats toward people due to testify in court.
The end of the season finally reveals baseball player Montgomery de la Cruz as the source of the threats. Um, what?
Yes, despite the show briefly playing up suspicions about baseball player Scott Reed, it's Bryce's original top cronie who chased after anyone about to testify in court. At first, seeing as Monty has never seemed like the brightest of kids, I thought it was just sheer loyalty to his fellow athletes and Bryce that persuaded him to commit such crazy acts. However, as Alex slowly recovers his lost memory, he realizes that the message in his suicide note — "I could've stopped it" — applied to him and Monty overhearing Bryce rape Hannah. Flashback footage tells us that, instead of intervening upon the noise, both boys continue playing video games, which explains why Monty targeted anyone who could've spilled info tracing back to his own involvement in the rape.
Eventually, police bring Monty in for questioning, but he denies sending any of the threats, and the show leaves his fate up in the air for the time being. Meanwhile, back at school, Monty basically presents the "I did it for the team" front to Bryce, who doesn't exactly appreciate the extent Monty went to in order to protect his own name. Monty wants to get back at Tyler for vandalizing the baseball field, among other things, but Bryce is more careful, knowing that people won't believe that he didn't know about Monty sending threats. Proving that he's willing to stoop even further to protect the athletes' reputation, Monty begs Bryce for guidance on what to do, but Bryce essentially cuts him off, telling him, "We're done."
Monty's quick demise has 13 Reasons Why fans understandably shaken, with many particularly exclaiming over his extremely graphic sexual assault of Tyler on Twitter. Several fans think that the intense scene was a step too far, even for the likes of 13 Reasons Why.
Bryce's refusal to work with Monty definitely erases any disappointment fans had about the little-known Monty being the culprit behind the threats. While those shocking, slightly unrelated last minutes of Season 2 make me anxious for the debut of Season 3, Monty's reveal as a true baddie and his horrifying attack on Tyler definitely have me wondering about what punishment (if any) Monty will see next season.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.