The new season of 13 Reasons Why set up the final run of the hit Netflix series. After pivoting to reset the controversial high school drama around a who-did-it murder mystery, the third season opened with the death of convicted rapist Bryce Walker and spent 13 episodes questioning nearly every character who has appeared on 13 Reasons Why in a big way.
The season finale provided a three-part answer to the central question of who killed Bryce. Though the main mystery was solved with the dead burying the dead, things seem poised to unravel when the show returns.
Below, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) rounds up the biggest burning questions heading into the fourth and final season of 13 Reasons Why. Spoilers ahead!
Why is the series ending?
Originally developed as a one-off limited series, the Paramount Television show from showrunner Brian Yorkey was renewed for a surprise second season after a celebrated run. While the series received rave reviews, the graphic depiction of protagonist Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) suicide caused massive controversy. More than two years after sparking an ongoing conversation about teen mental health and depression, the 13 Reasons Why team decided to edit out the suicide scene from the series among other serious issues tackled in the young adult drama.
The first season used up all of author Jay Asher’s book material and the subsequent ones have not matched the praise of the show’s debut. The third installment is also the first without Langford, which means the storyline goes way beyond the much-loved source material.
Is Bryce Walker’s Story Done?
The recently released season served as an exploration into the complicated life and actions of Bryce, played by Justin Prentice, who turned out to be a serial sexual assaulter over the course of the show. After being outed to the group as the high schooler who raped Hannah before her suicide, the Liberty High characters hoped to seek justice for their friend’s tragic ending. After the second season’s trial delivered a mere slap-on-the-wrist punishment, the group indeed took justice into their own hands by killing Bryce in the third season.
“I feel like we have put a nice bow on Bryce,” Prentice told THR when speaking about the season. “I don’t know in what capacity I’ll be in season four or if I will be in it. I hope so. I’d love to keep working with these wonderful people. All of the other seasons we’ve had flashbacks, so there could be the possibility.”
Can they all get away with murder?
The characters who know the truth about who killed Bryce (in addition to Zach, Alex and Jessica) are Clay Jensen (Minette), Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn), Tony Padilla (Christian Navarro) and boyfriend Caleb (R J Brown), Tyler, new athlete Charlie Saint (Tyler Barnhardt) and new character and narrator Ani Achola (Grace Saif).
After appearing to be an unreliable narrator for most of the season, the finale revealed that all-knowing new student Ani was spinning the group’s web of lies to Deputy Standall in order to blame Monty for the death of Bryce. The fourth season will presumably explore the consequences of the groups actions, who must keep each other’s secrets and choose one another over themselves. If their lying web falls apart, Ani — who had the idea to “let the dead bury the dead” — and former person of interest Clay seem poised to take a bigger fall among the group.
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