After a year and a couple months away, Netflix's controversial teen drama 13 Reasons Why is finally about to premiere its second season. Last year, the series introduced us to a whole cast of high schoolers dealing with massive issues, such as extreme bullying, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and suicide. Season 2 is dropping on Netflix super soon, so now is the time to refresh your memory about where we left off. Consider this your official 13 Reasons Why Season 1 recap to get you primed for Season 2.
1. The Basics: Hannah's Suicide Tapes
The main plot of 13 Reasons Why Season 1 revolves around the suicide of Hannah Baker and the seven cassette tapes that she left behind. Before her suicide, Hannah detailed how 13 people at Liberty High School led her to kill herself on the cassette tapes, and entrusted her friend Tony to distribute the tapes to each of the subjects. The season took place in two time periods: viewers saw the events of the tapes play out prior to Hannah's suicide, and also the tapes' subjects dealing with the fallout of her suicide in the present-day.
2. The Tapes' Subjects
The people mentioned on Hannah's tapes make up the main cast of the series. Let's go over the reason each of them found their way on Hannah's tapes:
- Justin Foley is a basketball star at Liberty High who spread a racy rumor about Hannah after bonding with her. He goes on to date Jessica Davis, and is revealed to have an abusive home life.
- Jessica Davis is a cheerleader who was once Hannah's best friend, before they had a falling out when Jessica falsely blames Hannah for breaking up her relationship with Alex Standall.
- Alex Standall was once Hannah and Jessica's close friend, but Hannah included him on her tapes after he publicly humiliated Hannah in front of the school.
- Tyler Down is a photographer who stalked Hannah and spread a salacious photo of her and Courtney Crimsen around the school.
- Courtney Crimson is a popular and very involved student at Liberty High, who spread damaging rumors about Hannah to deflect attention from a photo of the two of them kissing.
- Marcus Cole is a stellar student who goes on a Valentine's Day date with Hannah where he continues to sexually harass and humiliate her the whole time.
- Zach Dempsey is a basketball player who emotionally abuses Hannah after she rejected his advances.
- Ryan Shaver is a student writer who betrays Hannah by publishing a personal poem that she asked him not to publish.
- Sheri Holland is a cheerleader who drives Hannah home from a party, but refuses to report a downed stop sign that then leads to another classmate's death.
- Clay Jensen is the primary protagonist of the series, aside from Hannah herself. He was secretly in love with Hannah during her final days, and included on the tapes solely because Hannah feels he is an essential part of the story.
- Bryce Walker is the primary antagonist of the series, a basketball star who raped both Hannah and Jessica.
- Mr. Porter is the school counselor who offers no help to Hannah when she tries to tell him about her rape, leading her to kill herself after her meeting with him
3. The Bryce Problem
As you can tell from the character descriptions, Bryce Walker is the primary villain of the series. A privileged jock, Bryce is the most popular student at Liberty High, and bullies his fellow students into incredibly destructive activities for his own amusement. Throughout the series, he is revealed to be a serial rapist, having raped an unconscious Jessica after she got too drunk at a party, and then a Hannah in his hot tub.
In the season finale, Clay confronts Bryce and manages to record him admitting to his rapes. Jessica also finally confronts her abuse at Bryce's hands, and intends to move forward in prosecuting him. We know that Season 2 will heavily deal with sexual assault, so expect a lot more about Bryce.
4. The Rise Of Tyler
Liberty High's resident photog/stalker Tyler Down appears to have a much larger role in Season 2. Throughout Season 1, Tyler is bullied and ridiculed by many of his classmates for his peculiar behavior, and in the final moments, we see him purchase a gun and place it in a chest full of firearms in his room. Most fans assume this scene is foreshadowing a school shooting perpetrated by Tyler in the new season.
5. The Alex Cliffhanger
The Season 1 finale did not only show viewers Hannah's suicide, but it also hinted at Alex's. Throughout Season 1, Alex exhibited extreme guilt and depressive tendencies after Hannah's death, which led up to the news that he was in critical condition after a gunshot wound to his head. Now, there actually are theories that Tyler or Justin shot Alex, but it seems more likely that he also attempted suicide.
Alrighty — now you are all set to jump into the second season of 13 Reasons Why when it premieres on Netflix on May 18.