Warning: This story contains mentions of sexual violence.
Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) doesn't appear on season 3 of 13 Reasons Why, but her Hannah's 13 tapes left behind after her death still affect everyone at Liberty High School. Jessica (Alisha Boe), a survivor of sexual assault at the hands of Hannah's rapist Bryce (Justin Prentice), is perhaps the most directly impacted by Hannah's tapes, in that she receives a new tape inspired by them. And what is on Jessica's tape is a huge plot point of season 3.
Before we get into what's on the tape Jessica receives in season 3, we have to talk about the tape that Hannah made about Jessica. On it, Hannah accused Jessica of slut-shaming her following a "hot" list written by Jessica's then-boyfriend Alex (Miles Heizer) — but the biggest Jessica moment in Hannah's "13 reasons why" was when Hannah revealed Jessica was raped by Bryce. This tape makes Jessica realize she was sexually assaulted at the end of season 1, and in season 2, she comes to terms with the rape and confronts Bryce in court.
Warning: This is where the 13 Reasons Why season 3 spoilers begin.
In season 3, Jessica owns her survivor status and becomes an activist against rape culture. Bryce left Liberty High for Hillcrest, but at the homecoming game, he approaches Jessica asking to give her something. Jessica goes to the docks, where Bryce attempts to give her a tape that he made after finally listening to Hannah's 13 reasons. That's the bloodied tape we see in Jessica's room early in season 3.
Bryce dies that night on the docks by falling into the water and being unable to swim due to injuries he suffered before the game. Jessica and Alex decide to keep the circumstances of Bryce's death — and their involvement in it — a secret from the police. Weeks after his death, Jessica and her friends decide to listen to what Bryce had to say on his tape. It's an apology and a promise that he's going to work towards doing better.
We know Bryce won't work to get better because he's now dead. Much like Hannah's tapes were in season 1, however, the tape Bryce gives Jessica acts as his "final words," and there's something particularly disturbing about hearing them after his death.
What exactly will happen with this tape — and whether it will become public, the way Hannah's tapes did, briefly — is to be discovered in season 4.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).