13 Reasons Why season 3: Everything you need to know

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

From Digital Spy

Note: Contains spoilers for 13 Reasons Why season 2. This article also mentions topics covered in the programme including suicide, rape and sexual assault.

13 Reasons Why was officially renewed by Netflix in June of last year, and now we're only weeks away from the third season.

Producers had already been making preparations for a third instalment, as the West Sonoma County Union High School District board had approved a third licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures to film scenes at Analy High School.

So what else can we expect from 13 Reasons Why season three? We're glad you asked.

13 Reasons Why trailer: Where can I watch?

Answer: right here!

After Netflix re-released a YouTube season one recap on July 29, the full season 3 trailer arrived on August 1 – and it revealed that the show will next morph into a murder mystery surrounding the death of Bryce Walker.

Eagle-eyed fans should watch closely to see if they can figure out who the culprit is before the show returns.

While we're on the subject...

13 Reasons Why season 3 release date: When will it arrive?

The teaser video that accompanied the season three announcement confirmed that it would arrive in 2019, with no specific date.

But along with the trailer it has now been confirmed that the new season will drop on Netflix on August 23.

Fortunately, Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay Jensen, still assures fans that the wait will be worth it.

13 Reasons Why season 3 cast: Who's coming back?

It looks like everyone will be back from the main cast, including the likes of Minnette, Christian Navarro (Tony Padilla), Brandon Flynn (Justin Foley), Justin Prentice (Bryce Walker) and Alisha Boe (Jessica Davis).

There's also a possibility that Katherine Langford will be back as Hannah Baker, as we know she was in season two despite Hannah's tragic suicide. "There's a whole life that Hannah had, and there's more we can learn about her. Overall, learning more about her is more important to the entire narrative," Minnette outlined.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

For his part, Yorkey isn't ruling out a return for Hannah but has hinted that she won't play such an integral role. "The loss of Hannah will continue to be the inciting traumatic event for this group of kids and parents. It will always be part of the story," he explained.

"But I don't see a tremendous continued presence for Hannah because I think we needed her to finish telling everyone else's side of her story and we needed her so that Clay could get to a point of saying, 'I love you and I let you go'. If the story does continue, and certainly there is lots more to know about a lot of these characters, then the spotlight focus on Hannah Baker is probably done."

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

However, Langford appears to have ruled out a return for Hannah in season three after saying that season two "felt like time" to "officially say goodbye to her". "Even though she may not be part of another season, I think that her presence and the importance of her and her story will always matter and will always be there," she added.

And to make the goodbye even more official, Langford shared a touching Instagram post and wrote: "'Hannah...I love you...and I let you go' Those are the words I was able to say six months ago, and now can finally share with you."

Meanwhile, Riverdale fans and 13 Reasons Why fans have been doing some detective work and have concluded that Hart Denton could be about to join the latter's upcoming third season.

Photo credit: The CW
Photo credit: The CW

The information comes via IMDb, which shows that stuntman Dalton Rondell has acted as a double for Denton in two episodes of 13 Reasons Why, alongside two other stunt doubles for cast newcomers.

However, this should be taken with a slight sprinkling of cynicism, as IMDb can be updated by any member, which means there’s a chance this news hasn't come direct from the set.

Still, Denton would make a fantastic addition to the 13 Reasons Why cast, so here's hoping it's true.

13 Reasons Why season 3 plot: How did season 2 end?

Season two certainly ended in controversial fashion as Tyler Down (Devin Druid) was brutally sexually assaulted by Montgomery de la Cruz (Timothy Granaderos) and a few of his fellow jocks.

This led him to bring an assault rifle to the Spring Fling to seek revenge against his bullies, but Clay is able to talk him out of it and get Tyler to hand him his gun, with the season ending as Clay is holding the gun as police sirens are heard in the distance. "What do we do now?," he is asked by Justin.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

"We had a character who was obviously severely bullied, suffering from social isolation, and was thinking of making a very tragic choice in addressing those feelings for himself," Yorkey explained of the divisive ending.

"I think you'll see in the balance of the episodes that it's very much about trying to understand Tyler's character and how a troubled young man might be driven to consider this very difficult choice."

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Yorkey also added that there was never a version of the season-two finale where Tyler carried out the school shooting. "We all felt that that would be a step too far," he noted.

As for Bryce, the trial ended with him receiving only three months' probation after sexually assaulting both Hannah and Jessica.

"I always knew Bryce was going to get off easy because this show is kind of a reflection of reality and reality sucks sometimes," Prentice explained. "We see it with the Brock Turner case. This is very much kind of a mirror of that."

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

However, it turns out that Bryce won't get off so easy now, after all. The new trailer reveals that season 3 will revolve around his death, asking the question: "Who killed Bryce Walker?"

Here's the official synopsis from Netflix:

"Eight months after preventing Tyler (Devin Druid) from committing an unthinkable act at Spring Fling, Clay (Minnette), Tony (Christian Navarro), Jessica (Alisha Boe), Alex (Miles Heizer), Justin (Brandon Flynn) and Zach (Ross Butler) find ways to shoulder the burden of the cover-up together while helping Tyler move toward recovery.

"But when the aftermath of a tumultuous Homecoming game culminates in the disappearance of a football player, and Clay finds himself under police scrutiny, it's up to a shrewd outsider to steer the group through an investigation that threatens to lay bare everyone's deepest secrets.

"The stakes are raised as the consequences of even the most well-intended actions can alter a life forever."

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Like season two, the third run won't have any source material to go from though as the first season covered all of Jay Asher's novel, but we do at least know that it will be a continuation of the characters' stories, rather than the producers' original plan of an anthology series with a new cast each year.

"When we sold the show, we said... we think it could be the kind of show where you follow these characters year after year, and we also thought… we set up the show back in the heyday of True Detective on HBO, and we said we really think it could be a True Detective for teens, where every year you start with a new group and a new set of 13 reasons," Yorkey told Digital Spy.

"And we sort of said, let's make it and see how we feel. And there came a point where I said, I want to know what happens next. I don't want to leave these characters right now and leave them hanging."

Yorkey also teased a bit more about what season three could focus on at a Netflix For Your Consideration panel. "It's a question of, is there more story to tell, do we want to see these kids not only continue to recover, but, how do they bring forward into their lives the thing they've learned about what they've been through?" he said.

13 Reasons Why season 3 backlash: How will Netflix respond to criticism?

In July 2019, Netflix confirmed it had edited 13 Reasons Why's controversial suicide scene from season one after consulting with experts.

In a statement, Netflix said: "We've heard from many young people that 13 Reasons Why encouraged them to start conversations about difficult issues like depression and suicide and get help – often for the first time.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show.

"So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one."

Earlier in May of this year, a report claimed the suicide rate among teenagers rose following the release of the first season of 13 Reasons Why.

The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry published a study funded by the National Institute of Health, and Netflix quickly responded.

The study stated that there were almost 200 more deaths by suicide than expected over the nine-month period following the March 31, 2017 release of 13 Reasons Why season one, and more deaths by suicide occurred in that April than any other April in the last nine years. It also states that deaths by suicide rose mostly among teenage boys.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

A spokesperson for Netflix said: "We've just seen this study and are looking into the research, which conflicts with last week's study from the University of Pennsylvania. This is a critically important topic and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly."

The University of Pennsylvania study the statement refers to said that people who had watched all of the show and saw the negative outcomes of the main character's death were at less of a risk.

While such studies aren't conclusive, and there are many different elements that can affect the suicide rate at any given time, there is a chance that Netflix's examination of this new research could affect how the show moves forward following season three.

13 Reasons Why season 1 and 2 are available now on Netflix, and season 3 will drop on August 23.

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