Warning: this article touches on subject matter that some readers may find distressing
The Liberty High gang in 13 Reasons Why have come a long way since season one, with the show having moved away from Hannah Baker’s death to focus on the aftermath of her tapes being published.
From Tyler’s school shooting attempt and the murder of Bryce, to Clay’s hallucinations of Hannah and Tony’s family being deported – 13 Reasons Why has a lot of loose ends to tie up in the upcoming final season.
To prepare fans before the show’s final season lands on Netflix, we’ve put together a recap of the last three seasons to remind you of everything that’s happened in Crestmont so far. Strap in!
Season 1 – Hannah Baker’s tapes
13 Reasons Why begins by introducing Clay Jensen (Dylan Minette), a quiet student at Liberty High – a school currently mourning the loss of student Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), who took her own life. He arrives home to find a package containing seven tapes and a map of their town Crestmont. Clay listens to the first tape and learns that Hannah recorded the tapes before she died, detailing why she decided to end her life and sending them to each person she considered responsible for her death, who she mentions in each tape.
The first tape is targeted at Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn), who she had her first kiss with on a playground shortly after moving with her family to the Crestmont area. She details how Justin spread a false rumour that the pair had sex on the playground whilst sharing a racy photo he took of Hannah at an unfortunate angle. A flashback shows how Clay, who worked at the local cinema with Hannah, was actually in love with her and reacted negatively towards her due to the rumours. While Clay listens to the tape, his childhood friend Tony Padilla (Christian Navarro) arrives and reveals that he knows about the tapes but isn’t on them and is making sure that Clay listens to every single one. It is also revealed that Hannah’s parents are suing the school over Hannah’s death.
The second side of the tape is addressed to Jessica Davis (Alisha Boe), one of Hannah’s first friends at Liberty High who she used to go for coffee with after school along with fellow new student Alex Standall (Miles Heizer). However, Alex and Jessica begin to date and as a result, drift apart from Hannah. Jessica and Alex break up after Alex contributes to a list, which rates each girl in their year group, writing that Alex has the “worst ass” and Hannah has the “best”. Jessica argues with Hannah, accusing her of seeing Alex behind her back and saying that the rumours of her being a “slut” must be true, subsequently ending their friendship. In the present day, Jessica is now dating Justin, who fails to turn up to school. Clay sees Tony go into the Baker’s house and is puzzles as to why he’s talking to her parents.
Tape 2, Side A targets Alex Standall, whose comments about Hannah on the ‘hot list’ caused boys in school to sexually harass her, including popular jock Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice) who gropes her in a corner shop. In the present day, Alex reveals to Clay that he only mentioned Hannah on the list because he was trying to impress his new popular friends and he knew it would annoy Jessica, who was refusing to have sex with him at the time. Bryce and his friends begin to start intimidating Clay and pressure him to drink alcohol with them.
On the other side of the tape, Hannah talks about school photographer Tyler Down (Devin Druid), who stalked Hannah and took pictures of her. She discovers he is her stalker after she sets a trap with classmate Courtney Crimson (Michele Selene Ang), who kisses her during a sleepover. Tyler catches the kiss on camera and agrees to destroy the pictures, but after Hannah rejects him, he sends the photo around the school instead. As a result, Courtney stops speaking to Hannah. Meanwhile, in the present, Bryce’s friend Marcus tries to convince Clay to stop listening to the tapes, but Tony tells him not to listen. Clay decides to avenge Hannah by taking a picture of Tyler naked and sharing it around the school.
The third tape targets Courtney Crimsen, who spread a rumour that it was Hannah and another student Laura in the picture, embellishing details about Hannah’s sex life. In the present day, Justin, Alex and schoolmate Zach Dempsey kidnap Clay and interrogate him, telling him to keep quiet.
On the other side of the tape, Hannah talks about Marcus (Steven Silver), who went on a Dollar Valentine’s date with Hannah but humiliated her and assaulted her in public.
Tape four is about Zach Dempsey (Ross Butler), a jock who after being rejected by Hannah, decided to take the compliments from Hannah’s ‘compliment bag’ – a student initiative where students can leave each other anonymous positive notes. As a result, Hannah began to feel even lonelier. In the present, Clay begins to hallucinate Hannah.
The other side of tape four is about Ryan Shaver (Tommy Dorfman), the editor of the school’s paper who encouraged Hannah to write very personal poetry before publishing it in his magazine without her consent. In the present, the group mentioned in the tapes begin to worry that Clay will tell someone. Meanwhile, Tony tells Clay that he was there the night Hannah killed herself – she left a copy of the tapes on his doorstep and asked him to ensure that the others listened to them.
In tape 5, Hannah reveals that she witnessed Bryce rape an unconscious Jessica, with Justin’s knowledge, at a party while she hid in a closet. After listening to the story, Clay confronts Justin, who doesn’t want to turn in Bryce as he does not want to cause Jessica more pain.
The other side of the tape reveals that Hannah was given a ride home from the party by Sheri Holland (Ajiona Alexus), who knocked over a stop sign whilst driving. Hannah wanted to alert the police but Sheri didn’t want to get in trouble so left her at the side of the road. As a result, Clay’s friend Jeff crashed into another car due to the lack of stop sign and died.
The sixth tape is directed at Clay, who spoke to Hannah at the party, where the two kissed. Hannah freaked out after remembering all the boys who treated her poorly and asked Clay to leave. Clay listens to the tape and is distraught, thinking that if he’d stayed with Hannah he would have saved her. Meanwhile, Justin reveals to Jessica that Bryce raped her after she begins spending more time with him and Jessica breaks up with as a result.
On the other side of the tape, Hannah reveals that after losing some of her parents money, she ended up at a party at Bryce’s house and was raped by Bryce in his hot tub. As a result, Hannah wrote a list of the people who she felt were responsible for her current state. In the present day, everyone on Hannah’s list is asked to testify in Mrs Baker’s lawsuit against the school. Clay confronts Bryce about what he did to Hannah, and secretly records him admitting to it.
On the last tape, Hannah describes how to visited student councillor Mr Porter (Derek Luke) about being raped and feeling suicidal but he did not help her. She then recorded the tapes, sent them to Justin Foley and took her own life. In the present day, Clay has finished listening to the tapes and gives Tony a copy of Bryce admitting to raping Hannah. Tony then gives all the tapes to Hannah’s parents. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Alex tried to take his own life and is in a critical condition at the hospital.
Season 2 – the Bakers’ lawsuit
Season two takes place five months after the first season, when Hannah’s trial moves to court.
Tyler testifies in the trial and speaks about taking photos of Hannah. Clay has started to date his childhood friend Skye Miller but continues to hallucinate Hannah. Clay finds a polaroid picture in his locker with a note saying ‘Hannah wasn’t the only one’.
Courtney is next to testify in court, revealing that she had feelings for Hannah. Skye accuses Clay of still being in love with Hannah and is then hospitalised shortly afterwards. Jessica and Alex, who is recovering from his suicide attempt, receive anonymous threats telling them to keep their mouths shut during their testimonies.
An unknown vehicle tries to hit Clay as he cycles home in an attempt to intimidate him. Clay visits Skye in hospital but she breaks up with him. Alex asks Jessica to testify against Bryce, who raped her in the last season, but she refuses to. In court, she testifies about the ‘hot list’ and shows pictures of her calling her a slut which were posted around the school earlier that day. Meanwhile, Clay finds Justin, who is now living on the street, and invites him to stay in his bedroom.
Marcus is next to testify and lies about what happened during his and Hannah’s Valentine’s Day date. Clay discovers that Justin is taking heroin and tries to help him to quit while Jessica and Alex rekindle their romance. Clay finds a second polaroid photo in his locker, depicting Bryce having sex with an unconscious girl with a note reading: “He won’t stop.”
Ryan Shaver testifies in the Hannah trial and talks about her poems, saying that they were written about Justin. Clay studies the polaroid pictures he’s received and realises they were taken in school but isn’t sure where. Meanwhile, Bryce has a new girlfriend called Chloe (Anne Winters), who he introduces to his parents but during dinner, Bryce’s mother notices that Chloe is covered in bruises. Meanwhile, Jessica joins a group therapy session to help her come to terms with what happened to her and makes a new friend Nina (Samantha Logan).
Zach Dempsey is next to testify and reveals that he had a secret romance with Hannah the summer before she died. Clay confronts Zach about it after his testimony and fights him. Justin returns to school to talk to Jessica but she rejects him, and he faints upon seeing Bryce.
Clay takes to the witness stand and reveals that he did drugs with Hannah at a party, after which they spent the night together. Afterwards, Alex holds a birthday party at the local arcade but it is ruined when people start arguing over the trial. As he leaves, Clay finds another polaroid photo on his car, titled The Clubhouse. Clay then anonymously uploads Hannah’s tapes to the Internet and we see Bryce have sex with his girlfriend Chloe without getting her consent.
The next day, Bryce finds that his locker at school has been vandalised due to the tapes being released and after being blackmailed, Marcus calls Bryce a rapist during a speech he gave at a school ceremony. Alex saves Justin’s life after he overdoses on heroin and convinces him to return home to his mum.
Mr Porter testifies during the trial, revealing that he believes that Bryce raped Hannah and apologises to her parents for the part he played in her suicide. Bryce threatens Clay, believing him to have blackmailed Marcus, before Clay is beaten by four masked students. However, later in the day, Clay finds the location of the Clubhouse and texts Justin the details.
Tony testifies but does not reveal that Hannah left him the tapes as he looked after them as a favour after she previously helped him evade arrest. A girl Sarah, who went to Hannah’s old school, also testifies and reveals that she was bullied by Hannah. Sheri convinces male students to take her to The Clubhouse, where she discovers a box filled with polaroids. She learns the code to unlock the door, tells Clay and Justice, who then go there and find Zach. Zach hands them the box of photos, revealing it was him who gave Clay the first three polaroids. Clay finds pictures of Chloe, Nina and Hannah, who are victims of Bryce.
Bryce testifies but lies by saying he and Hannah had a casual sexual relationship and that her accusation of rape against him was false. Justin attacks him as a result. Hannah’s mum and Jessica ask Chloe to testify against Bryce, but she says that she consented when she had sex with Bryce. The polaroid box is stolen from Clay’s car and he considers killing himself and murdering Bryce as his hallucinations of Hannah worsen. Bryce also confesses to his mother than he did rape Hannah.
Justin then testifies and talks of Bryce raping Jessica despite receiving death threats beforehand. Alex realises that jock Monty (Timothy Grenaderos) has been the one intimidating and threatening people during the trial and that he stole the polaroid box. The jury finds that the school district is not responsible for the death of Hannah, but Bryce and Justin are both arrested for their involvement in Jessica’s rape and Mr Porter is fired.
A month later, Bryce is convicted but sentenced to just three months probation while Justin is sentenced to six months probation. Neither of Justin’s parents can be found to collect him, so Clay’s family adopt him. Tyler is brutally assaulted by Monty and two of his friends and then arrives at the school dance the next day with a gun, planning to carry out a mass shooting. Clay goes outside to confront and disarm him and Tony drives Tyler away as the police approach.
Season 3 – Bryce’s murder
At the start of season three, we learn that Bryce has disappeared and that Deputy Standall – Alex’s dad – has called in Clay to question him because his bike lock is found in Bryce’s room. In a flashback to the school dance, Clay and Tony dispose of Tyler’s weapons while Clay asks the group to monitor Tyler. New student Ani Achola (Grace Saif) arrives at the school and becomes friends with Clay, while Jessica decides to run for student body president.
It is revealed that Bryce’s girlfriend Chloe fell pregnant and moved schools after Hannah’s parents’ lawsuit. In a flashback, Zach, who has a crush on Chloe, takes her to have an abortion while Ani consoles Bryce, who also moved schools, after his breakup with Chloe. In the present, Monty threatens Tyler after being interrogated by the police and Ani discovers that Bryce was writing a letter to Jessica while the police find Bryce’s body in a river.
In another flashback, Jessica is elected student president and later confronts Bryce, who tries to apologise but is rejected. Jessica decides to break up with Alex and begin a casual relationship with Justin instead. In the present, Justin mourns Bryce and Clay, and Tyler’s mental state begins to deteriorate. He reveals that he still has a gun and we see at the end of the episode that Tyler has photos of Bryce, dead in the river.
However, it is then revealed that Tyler kept his gun because he was planning on using it to kill himself, but couldn’t do it. In a flashback, he finds Bryce and pulls a gun on him but decides not to shoot. In the present, Clay worries that because he didn’t turn Tyler into the police after the school shooting attempt, Tyler may have murdered Bryce as a result. Jessica starts a new club for survivors of sexual assault, with the aim to destroy toxic culture at Liberty High. Tyler joins the club but doesn’t tell the group about what Monty did to him. Clay finds the pictures of Bryce’s dead body on Tyler’s computer, but Tyler says that he was the one who found Bryce’s body and called the police.
The police discover that Bryce was beaten to death and discover steroids in his car. It is revealed that Bryce was selling steroids to Alex because he was feeling insecure after the break-up with Jessica. Clay and Ani investigate Alex and discover that Bryce introduced him to a sex worker to get over Jessica and began blackmailing him over it. Clay and Ani search Monty’s car after becoming suspicious of him and find the ID card of a Hillcrest student named Winston. It is revealed that Monty and Winston had a sexual encounter but afterwards Monty beat him up in denial over his sexuality and Bryce paid Monty $2,000 to keep quiet.
The police interrogate Tony, who says he didn’t know Bryce very well. It is revealed that Bryce’s father called the immigration authorities about Tony’s family, resulting in them being deported to Mexico, making Tony a suspect. However, it is revealed that Bryce bought Tony’s mustang for double its worth as a way to make amends.
The police find footage of Clay pointing a gun at Bryce at his father’s old house and interrogate him and Justin about the footage. They show Clay underwear containing Ani’s blood and Bryce’s semen, but Clay knows nothing about it. It is then revealed that Ani and Bryce were sexually involved in the past. Clay and Ani argue about her relationship with Bryce, while Clay’s parents question whether Clay was involved in Bryce’s death.
In a flashback, we see that Mr Porter became Bryce’s counselor and during a counselling session, Bryce revealed that he thought his mother hated him. His mother finds out and tells Bryce that is not true. In the present, Tyler tells Clay about the sexual assault by Monty and Clay goes to confront him. Monty tells him that Justin is still using drugs and Clay searches Justin’s belongings, finding oxycodone as a result.
Clay confronts Justin about the oxycodone, who says he stole it from Bryce’s room during his funeral. However, it is revealed that Bryce gave Justin the oxycodone to feed his addiction and prevent him from overdosing. In the present, Jessica and Justin become an official couple.
Hannah Baker’s mother is questioned about police about Bryce’s murder, after she left Clay a voicemail wishing that he would murder Bryce. In a flashback, Clay threatens to kill Bryce after Bryce says that Ani isn’t the nice girl he thinks she is. In the present, Clay tells Jessica that Justin is still using drugs.
It is eventually revealed that Zach attacked Bryce by the river after Bryce attacked Zach and dislocated his knee, ending his football career in the process. Zach throws Bryce’s phone in the river and leaves Bryce to die. However, Alex and Jessica then find Bryce and help him up, but after Bryce threatens to get revenge from Zach, Alex pushes Bryce into the river where he drowns. In the present, Zach surrenders to police believing he killed Bryce, but Deputy Standall reveals that Bryce drowned. Tyler reports his sexual assault to the police, who then arrest Monty. Monty is killed in prison as a result.
Deputy Standall realises that Alex was the killer so he decides to pin Bryce’s murder on Monty as Monty had threatened to kill Bryce anyway during the Homecoming game. Meanwhile the group agree to cover up Alex’s involvement as the killer. Winston speaks to Ani and reveals that Monty was with him during the murder. The season ends with a fisherman finding the bag of rifles that Clay, Tony and Tyler hid in the river.
If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article please contact the Samaritans on 116123 for support or visit the website at www.samaritans.org.
Or visit rapecrisis.org.uk. You can call 0808 802 9999 between 12 noon – 2.30pm and 7 – 9.30pm every day of the year for confidential support and/or information about your nearest services.