Warning: spoilers for 13 Reasons Why below.
Everything on Hannah's (Katherine Langford) tapes have been revealed, and Clay (Dylan Minnette) and the rest of his classmates are finding ways to move on — perhaps even becoming better people along the way. But though Clay and Tony (Christian Navarro) quite literally drove off into the sunset at the end of season 1 of 13 Reasons Why, not all is well at Liberty High School. Someone plans to cause devastating destruction, and much like Hannah's suicide, we could have seen it coming much, much earlier. Could this be the plot of a not-yet-announced season 2? It certainly seems that's the direction the Netflix series is going.
In episode 13, we see that Tyler (Devin Druid), Hannah's "peeping Tom" and the only classmate on the tape to be completely ostracized by the others, has a collection of weapons hidden away, seemingly for use on the students who bullied him. Later, in his photography studio, Tyler examines the pictures he has taken of those who were cruel to him, only removing Alex's (Miles Heizer) photo upon remembering a time the musician stood up for Tyler in the hallway. Clay's face, however, remains hanging in the dark room, and the implication is chilling. Clay may be the "hero" of the story, but in Tyler's world, Clay is the guy who unapologetically spread a naked photograph of Tyler around the school — he's now on Tyler's hit list.
Netflix has yet to announce a second season of the YA series, which many assumed would be a one-off: the series is based on Jay Asher's novel of the same name, to which there is no sequel. Yet the Netflix show also expanded greatly on its source material: We never really see the perspectives of students who are not Clay or Hannah, and the book overall ends on a far more hopeful note. The first season ends with more than just Tyler's cliffhanger, too. While Tyler removes Alex from his apparent hit list, Alex has already made an attempt on his own life. At the end of the season, Alex is in the hospital for a gunshot wound to the head, and it's unclear whether he will survive.
Should Netflix be planning another round of 13 Reasons Why, it seems inevitable that they will dive deeper into what Tyler has planned — and it could make for some of the darkest hours of TV yet. There's no question that gun violence is plaguing America, and while people on all sides of the issue have passionate responses to these horrific events, few media portrayals have really examined why a specific incident occurred. Netflix's own The OA depicted a school shooting minutes before bowing out for the season, and never revealed the shooter or gave a reason for the violence. It left fans questioning the purpose of the event — was it for shock value alone? — but perhaps it doesn't have to be that way. Maybe 13 Reasons Why can be the unflinching look at a school shooting from the angle of the perpetrator. Maybe, just maybe, it can help us understand why these kinds of things might happen.
And yet, there's the big question: should it? I'm not sure that 13 Reasons Why needs to go there. On one hand, 13 Reasons Why handled hot-button issues like sexual assault and suicide unapologetically, never sugarcoating the tough stuff that teenagers go through in the way so many teen dramas have before it. At the same time, a season learning about why Tyler planned on killing his classmates might be more than a little difficult to stomach. Hannah's narration exposed the evils imposed upon her, but while Tyler was presented to be, in some ways, a sympathetic character, I'm not sure I want to spend 13 hours inside his head. Not if he goes through with his terrible plan — and not if the series is going to make his "reasons why" seem even close to logical.