Netflix’s hit breakout series 13 Reasons Why may be moving on from Hannah, but it still has plenty of story left to tell.
Following two successful seasons, with its latest season averaging 6 million U.S. viewers on connected-TV devices in the first three days of its release, Netflix announced in June its decision to give popular original series 13 Reasons Why a third season.
Arriving sometime in 2019 with 13 more tantalizing hours, fans are already clamoring for more information about the upcoming season, and while it is still months away with no air date in site, there is already plenty of information at hand.
Keep scrolling to see everything you may have missed about season 3.
Before the world even had the chance to delve into the season 2, the series faced an uphill battle.
On May 18, Netflix announced that it had canceled the season 2 premiere event for 13 Reasons Why following a deadly school shooting at Santa Fe High School, which resulted in 10 deaths.
“Our hearts are with the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting, and with all victims of gun violence. In light of today's tragedy, we are canceling the 13 Reasons Why S2 premiere event tonight," the streaming platform said in a statement.
The reason for the cancellation stemmed from the final scenes in the season 2 finale, in which ostracized classmate Tyler Downs brings an arsenal of guns to Liberty High School’s annual Spring Fling dance with intentions to carry out a deadly shooting. The episode, and the season, ended on a cliffhanger when Clay Jensen learned of the plan and pried the gun from Tyler’s hands before he had a chance to enter the school, ultimately leaving himself standing outside with the weapon with police approaching as Tyler fled the scene with the help of Tony Padilla.
While the series’ debut season was shrouded in controversy, with many accusing it of glamorizing suicide and not doing enough to prevent it or give viewers the resources to seek help, season 2 found itself in the same vicious cycle.
Although some still criticized the series for its portrayal of suicide, the most prominent issues revolved around the graphic sexual assault of Tyler Down, who had already been the victim of bullying, inside a school bathroom. Although the episode, titled “Bye,” issued warning that it contained “graphic depictions of sexual assault,” many believed that it was not enough, and the Parents Television Council once again urged Netflix to pull the series.
Series creator Brian Yorkey later defended the decision to air the scene in full, stating that the series is committed to “telling truthful stories about things that young people go through in as unflinching a way as we can,” adding that “as intense as that scene is, and as strong as our reactions to it may be, it doesn’t even come close to the pain experienced by the people who actually go through these things.”
Season three culminated with Jessica being in a relationship with Alex, but after a rendezvous in the locker room during Liberty High School’s Spring Fling dance with former boyfriend Justin, it appears as though a complicated love triangle could be blossoming.
Jessica and Justin had been a couple for a portion of the series’ first season, though they called it quits after Hannah’s tapes revealed that Justin had stood by as Bryce Walker sexually assaulted her, and after Justin left town, Jessica found solace in Alex, the two helping each other heal.
Jessica’s encounter with Justin at the end of season 3, though marked a pivotal moment in the story of her healing from her assault, and it is likely not something that will briefly be brushed over.
Along with new/old romances, season 3 will also likely feature the newly developed brotherly bond between Clay Jensen and Justin Prentice.
While their relationship was rocky and all but nonexistent in season 1, season 2 saw the two forced together as Clay helped Justin through withdrawals and kept him hidden in his room. By the end of the season, the relationship building culminated with the Jensens telling Justin that they wanted to adopted him, though they left the final decision to Justin.
When 13 Reasons Why returns, it will be sans-Hannah Baker, the character who was central to the storylines of both season 1 and season 2.
Less than two weeks before Netflix announced that it had renewed the series, actress Katherine Langford made the announcement on Instagram that she would not be returning for any future seasons.
“’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 as my journey on @13reasonswhy has officially come to an end,” Langford wrote her farewell to the character. “This show will always be a special part of my life, and regardless of whether Hannah is there or not, I know that I will continue to strive to do work that is meaningful and has a positive impact - whether that be in film, music, or any other form of art. There is a lot coming up this next year, and I can't wait to share it with you,” she continued.
She later told Entertainment Weekly that she felt her character’s story had been “so fully” told in season 1 and that a scene in episode 13 of season 2 was “the scene where I had to let her [Hannah] go.”
Without Hannah Baker returning, the focus of the series will shift. Whereas season 1 was about Hannah’s suicide and the 13 reasons that led to it and season 2 was about the trial surrounding her death, season 3, in some respects, be a fresh take on the series.
The upcoming season will focus entirely on the characters moving forward and moving past the events of the first two seasons, and as Clay Jensen said in the final episode of season 2 “Hannah Baker, I love you and I let you go.”
When season 3 eventually does roll around, fans can expect to see their favorite characters in the same town and same high school.
In April, the West Sonoma County Union High School District board approved a third licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures, meaning that the production company has permission to transform Analy High School into the fictional Liberty High School for season 3.
That agreement came two months before the popular Netflix series was handed a third season, though it immediately sparked rumors that 13 Reasons Why would be returning sometime in the future.
Paramount's deal with the high school location in Sonoma County also outlined production dates, though as of now, filming has not yet begun.
According to the agreement, the series has a total of 30 filming days on the campus of Analy High School, with Paramount having to shell out $66,000 for the location, and production for the series was listed as possibly starting as early as mid-June and ending in mid-December.
Prior to a season renewal, 13 Reasons Why creator Brian Yorkey revealed that his mind was already on a third season, and that he already had a few ideas in mind.
“If there is a future for the show, to me, it’s about these characters and not necessarily a new set of reasons or a new set of tapes. Someone else might do that, but that’s not my job to do that,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
While things could change, if Yorkey sticks to this plan, it means that the story will not be told through cassette tapes like it was in season 1 or polaroid photos like it was in season 2, but possibly instead focus on the characters moving forward and healing from the traumatic events they have endured.