Fans have been waiting over a year for the Season 2 premiere of 13 Reasons Why, so I don't blame anyone for forgetting a few details about the first season. Hannah Baker threw a ton of information at us in those 13 tapes, and after all this time, I'm having a hard time remembering what exactly happened in each drama-filled episode. Like, who was on Hannah's tapes on 13 Reasons Why? And what was Hannah's final straw before she tragically committed suicide? Before I binge Season 2 on Friday, May 18, I'm going to need a quick refresher about the show's many tapes.
Each episode in 13 Reasons Why Season 1 focuses on a tape that incriminates a different student at Liberty High for Hannah's suicide. For various reasons — some more devastating than others — Hannah feels wronged by her former friends, and the tapes are meant to let them know how their behavior ultimately drove her to suicide. In many of the situations, Hannah was bullied or slut-shamed by the person at the center of the tape, and because each scenario is different, the show highlights the many sinister faces of bullying and assault.
Because the contents of Hannah's tapes were fully revealed in Season 1, it's possible that they won't feature as prominently in Season 2. But regardless, the tapes will still cast a long shadow over the new installment, so here are six things to remember about the tapes in 13 Reasons Why to prepare you for Season 2.
1. Who Was On Hannah's Tapes?
If the tapes are any indication, everyone at Liberty High played some role in Hannah's suicide. Over the course of Season 1, Hannah's tapes addressed Justin (twice), Jessica, Alex, Tyler, Courtney, Marcus, Zach, Ryan, Sheri, Clay, Bryce, and Mr. Porter, the school's counselor. Of these characters, only Clay's tape revealed that he's truly innocent: He was a good friend to Hannah, and when they hooked up at Jessica's party, he stopped after she told him she wasn't comfortable.
2. Why Did Justin Get Two Tapes?
Justin is the only character to receive two tapes from Hannah — one for something he did, and one for something he didn't. In the first episode, Hannah falls for Justin and they go on a date, but he's soon revealed to be a total slimeball: He takes a picture up Hannah's skirt and shows it to his friends. Of course, the photo gets forwarded to the entire school, and Hannah is devastated.
Later in Season 1, Jessica throws a party that basically all of Liberty High attends. Clay and Hannah hook up, but after she tells him to leave, she's left alone in the bedroom. Suddenly, Justin and Jessica come in and begin hooking up, and Hannah hides in the closet to avoid being seen. Justin realizes that Jessica is too drunk to give consent, and he leaves to let her sleep it off — but then Bryce realizes what's going on, and he barges in. Justin tries to prevent Bryce from getting in, but Bryce shoves him, locks the door, and proceeds to rape an unconscious Jessica as Hannah watches from the closet. In the tape, Hannah makes it clear that Justin didn't do enough to stop Bryce from raping Jessica.
3. Who Appears On The Final Tape?
The 13th and final tape represents Hannah's final straw — the last negative interaction she had before deciding to take her own life. After everything that happened during the school year, Hannah begins to have suicidal thoughts, and she visits the school's counselor, Mr. Porter, to discuss. Rather than offer support, Mr. Porter immediately slut-shames Hannah, telling her that if she won't name her rapist, she'll have to just "move on." Hannah records the conversation, and after finishing the final tape, she takes her own life.
4. What's Up With Tyler?
Of all the characters in 13 Reasons Why, Tyler is the most mysterious. Hannah's fourth tape reveals Tyler to be a stalker, and he's bullied mercilessly by Liberty High's students afterwards. At the end of Season 1, it's revealed that Tyler has a massive stockpile of weapons and ammo, and he seems to be planning some kind of revenge on the students who have wronged him. Many fans believe that Tyler could be planning a school shooting in Season 2, which would devastate Liberty High even more.
5. Who Gave Hannah The Cassettes For The Tapes?
13 Reasons Why's biggest mystery revolves around the tapes, but the show also creates some drama around how Hannah got the cassettes themselves. Over the course of Season 1, it's revealed that Tony gave Hannah the cassettes that she recorded the tapes onto, and his guilt over that fact seems to be eating him alive. To make up for this guilt — coupled by the fact that Tony didn't open the door for Hannah when she went to drop the tapes off, effectively ignoring her in her time of need — Tony goes to great lengths to make sure all of her posthumous wishes come true.
6. What About That Other Tape?
What about Clay's recording of Bryce's confession? In "Tape 6, Side B," Clay and Bryce get into it, and after Bryce beats the living daylights out of Clay, he admits to raping Hannah. But Clay, smart guy that he is, is recording their conversation, and he now has a taped confession from Bryce. At the end of Season 1, Tony hands over a digitized version of Hannah's tapes, plus Bryce's confession, to Hannah's parents, so you know the tape of Bryce's confession will come into play in Season 2.
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.