Warning: Every spoiler you can imagine for the first episode of 13 Reasons Why season two is below!
13 Reasons Why has come crashing back into our lives, and there’s a lot to sort through. While the first season follows Clay (Dylan Minnette) as he makes his way through each of Hannah’s (Katherine Langford) infamous 13 tapes, season two makes it clear from the get-go that the story won’t operate the same way.
Instead of Clay and Hannah acting as our faithful guides through Liberty High School, each episode focuses on a different person’s testimony in the court case between Hannah’s parents and the school district, opening us up to their unique perspective. Yes, the brand-new backstories can add depth to Hannah’s tragic tale, but they can also make the show’s timeline a little confusing thanks to all the jumps. Who’s lying? And who’s telling the truth? As usual, 13 Reasons Why makes us really dig to find out.
Ready to dive back in?
1. Tyler Delivers a Brave Testimony
Season two begins five months after Hannah’s suicide, opening with Tyler Down telling the courtroom that Hannah was “so pretty and so nice” to him. “We thought we could all just move on . . . but life is different now. The truth is, everyone’s still hurting.” He’s the first to testify in the case and explains how much “worse” the bullying at Liberty High has become after Hannah’s death. Because of this, Tyler is the first to be threatened: he finds photos of himself with “You ain’t seen sh*t” written on them with the eyes cut out. Nevertheless, he vows to stand up for Hannah and for everyone else who gets bullied at the school.
2. Tyler’s Flashback
During his testimony, Tyler gives us the first flashback to Hannah that we don’t get in season one. On the first day of sophomore year, he explains, Hannah was the new girl and offered to let him take her photo since other classmates were bullying him. She also agrees to do a photo shoot with him later on where she shows up after crying because her mom had criticized her makeup. The interaction gets Tyler mildly obsessed with Hannah, and he recounts watching her through her bedroom window and seeing her sexting someone. Without meaning to, he casts more doubt on Hannah’s morals (at least, to the misogynists in the room).
3. Clay’s New Romance
It turns out that car ride at the end of season one must’ve sparked something between Clay and Skye, the tattooed barista at Monet’s, because they’re dating in the first episode. The pair go to get matching semicolon tattoos in honor of Hannah, but Clay faints from the pain (it ends up being just a comma). Afterward, they head to some random warehouse where they’re spray-painting a mural (a totally normal activity, apparently), which leads to them kissing and attempting to have sex for the first time. Unfortunately, their hookup session isn’t all rose petals and rainbows – Skye accuses Clay of thinking of Hannah while they kiss, and then Clay gets upset when he finds cuts on Skye’s legs. She’s been struggling with self-harm for quite some time, and he begs her to call him next time (“We should take a mindfulness walk!”).
4. Mrs. Jensen Withdraws From the Case
Remember how Clay’s mom’s law firm was working for the school district in the case against Hannah’s parents? Well, no more. She recuses herself from the case due to her massive conflict of interest (Clay), but still fills her son in on a few things: the Bakers rejected the district’s final offer so the case is moving forward, but despite Bryce’s taped confession, they can’t do anything without naming the other girl mentioned on Hannah’s tapes (aka Jessica).
5. Jessica and Alex Return to School
Jessica and Alex have a pact to go back to school at the same time, since both of them have been away – Jessica taking time off to deal with her trauma and Alex recovering from an attempted suicide. Before Alex tried to shoot himself in the head and ended up in a coma, he wrote a note saying, “I could’ve stopped it,” but he can’t remember what the “it” is (later he tells Clay that he doesn’t think the note means he could’ve stopped Hannah’s death). Regardless, Jess tells him that they need to just keep their heads down and push through. “I don’t remember what happened to me and you don’t remember what happened to you,” she says.
6. Drama at Liberty High
On Jessica and Alex’s first day back, Zach Dempsey fills them in on what’s been going on since they’ve been out. Not only has the school made a rule that you can’t talk about Hannah, Alex, or suicide without getting suspended, but people also think Jessica purposefully cheated on Justin with Bryce. After Justin accused Bryce of raping her, he disappeared, so Bryce had time to spin the story in his favor (“she wanted it”).
7. An Update on Olivia Baker
There are for-sale signs in front of Hannah’s house, but they’ve been covered with graffiti saying threatening things like “Get out!” Olivia, Hannah’s mom, has also gone into full-on conspiracy mode with a bulletin board in her home laying out everything (and everyone) that happened to Hannah. Although her husband is nowhere to be found, she has the support of a new character, Jackie, who also lost a child to suicide.
8. Mr. Porter Confronts Bryce
It’s clear in season one that the tapes deeply affect Mr. Porter, who (rightly) feels like he failed Hannah. To make up for his grave mistakes, he tries to make sure that no other kids at Liberty go through the same thing. This means confronting Bryce in a bathroom, slamming him up against a wall and basically strangling him, as he threatens him not to bother Jessica now that she’s back. Bryce, obviously, couldn’t care less.
9. Ghost Hannah
Wherever Clay goes, he keeps seeing visions of Hannah. Whether it’s guilt, a sign that he can’t let go, or even that he’s suffering from his own mental illness, we have to wait and see.
10. The First Polaroid
Clay finds a Polaroid photo in his locker of Hannah and Bryce on the night he raped her. The back of the photo says, “Hannah wasn’t the only one.” So, who gave it to him? The episode hints it might be a baseball player named Scott Reed, but we can’t know for sure. Like the threats Tyler and Olivia both received, the mysterious Polaroid sets up another mystery to unravel throughout the new season.