It’s been more than one year since 13 Reasons Why Season 1 was released on Netflix and with Season 2 set to premiere on May 18, fans might need a bit of a recap before binge-watching the brand new episodes. So what happened during the finale of 13 Reasons Why? Well, a lot — to the say the least.
Not only did viewers actually watch Hannah Baker, played by Katherine Langford, take her own life, but they also saw the main characters’ lives crumble as Hannah’s secret cassette tapes, which could be considered her suicide notes, start to become public knowledge. In the episode — titled Tape 7, Side A — Hannah explained to Clay Jensen, played by Dylan Minnette, through a voice recording on one of her cassette tapes specifically dedicated to him, that she told the school’s counselor Mr. Porter about Bryce Walker, played by Justin Prentice, raping her.
Unfortunately, Mr. Porter brushed it off and didn’t exactly believe Hannah’s story. She went home, finished packing up the cassette tapes that she had labeled one through 13 — a tape for each person that played a part in her decision to commit suicide — got in the bathtub, and slit her wrists. Although Hannah’s story in the physical world ended there, the episode continued to show how the rest of the characters behaved in the immediate aftermath of her death.
After Clay finished his tape, tape 7, side A, he added one more to the set — a confession from Bryce admitting to raping Hannah. (Clay had gone to Bryce’s house during a previous episode and secretly recorded their conversation.) He showed the confession tape for Tony Padilla, played by Christian Navarro — who was the first one to receive the set from Hannah before she died — and the two decided what to do next.
With Clay determined to make sure everyone knew what really happened to Hannah, he went back to Mr. Porter’s office, confronted him about about his last meeting with her and doing as she directed at the end of the tape set, he gave the recordings to Mr. Porter to listen to. However, the rule was that the person who received the tapes was not supposed to know ahead of time that one was dedicated to them. They were supposed to find out as they listened in sequential order. Clay broke this rule and told Mr. Porter he is on the last tape.
During the rest of the episode, the main characters are questioned in court about their involvement in Hannah’s death. Before Tyler Down’s, played by Devin Druid, deposition, he hid guns and ammunition in his room and went on to officially reveal the existence of the tapes in court. Justin Foley, played by Brandon Flynn, can’t handle the guilt of playing a part in Hannah’s death and decided to leave town. Jessica Davis, played by Alisha Boe, broke down and told her dad about Bryce raping her, too, while at a house party in a previous episode.
At the end, it’s revealed that Alex Standall, played by Miles Heizer, was actually the one rushed to the hospital for gunshot wounds in the previous episode. So, does Alex die? It’s not clear just yet, but in the final moments of the episode, Mr. Porter got the call about Alex just as he’s started listening to his own tape.
With the Season 2 premiere just days away, fans should expect to find out what happened with Alex, how Mr. Porter will take responsibility for his part in Hannah’s death, and just how the rest of the cast will be held accountable now that the tapes aren’t a secret anymore.