More than one year after the horrible events of Season 2, 13 Reasons Why will finally starting return to Netflix later this month. The show's third season, its penultimate set of episodes, is set to debut on Aug. 23 and promises an entirely new set of issues to befall our teen protagonists.
The Netflix original series, which continues to expand its adaptation of the stand-alone YA novel of the same name, will feature some key changes from the first two seasons, which had everyone talking (even if not always for the right reasons). If you'd like to know what's ahead for 13 Reasons Why, here's a look at everything we know about Season 3 so far.
The new season premieres in August: 13 Reasons Why Season 3 premieres Friday, Aug. 23 on Netflix. The season will consist of 13 episodes, just like each of the first two seasons.
Hannah will not be back this time. Katherine Langford led the first season as Hannah Baker, the teen who took her own life and left a box full of tapes for Clay (Dylan Minnette) to explain what she saw as the 13 reasons she made the tragic decision. Langford continued to appear on the show in the second season, but the actress later confirmed that she wouldn't return for a third, telling Entertainment Weekly, "For me, letting Hannah go was in Season 1; Season 2 was for Clay to let her go. It was being able to assist Clay on that journey as Hannah and let Clay have his moment to let Hannah go."
Prepare for another major death. The first trailer for 13 Reasons Why Season 3 dropped a major twist when it revealed that Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice) will not only die in the new season, but that his death could spark a full-on whodunit investigation, spearheaded by Deputy Standall (Mark Pellegrino). Bryce's death isn't likely to prompt a lot of mourning thanks to his heinous history of sexually assaulting both Hannah Baker and Jessica Davis (Alisha Boe), but his death will still impact his peers.
Netflix has created a website, whokilledbrycewalker.com, with more clues about the case.
Clay will become a person of interest. We don't know the circumstances surrounding Bryce's death yet, but it looks like Clay could be a suspect. The logline for Season 3 reveals that "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 in this riveting third season of 13 Reasons Why, as the consequences of even the most well-intended actions can alter a life forever."
A newcomer will join the fold. Perhaps that so-called "shrewd outsider" will be Grace Saif's incoming character, Ani, who is expected to play a major role in telling the story of the new season. The British actress is likely the one delivering that cryptic voiceover in the trailer, which tells Standall, "Here's the thing about the kids at Liberty High. They're connected by their secrets. Connected and forever changed. The truth is, given the right circumstances, the right motivation, anyone could have done this."
The group will rally around Tyler. Before the investigation period begins, Clay will be one of the classmates who band together to help Tyler (Devin Druid), after Clay successfully disarmed him from committing a mass shooting in the Season 2 finale. The season's logline explains, "Eight months after preventing Tyler from committing an unthinkable act at Spring Fling, Clay, Tony, Jessica, Alex, Justin, and Zach find ways to shoulder the burden of the cover-up together while helping Tyler move toward recovery."
We'll also see a lot more of at least two supporting characters. Actors Brenda Strong and Timothy Granaderos were promoted from recurring guest stars to series regulars ahead of Season 3, which means fans will see a lot more of Bryce's strong-willed mother, Nora, and his sidekick Montgomery in the coming season. In Season 2, Montgomery proved that he has an evil streak all his own after committing sexual violence against Tyler Down in the show's second most controversial bathroom scene.
Don't expect a new set of tapes to emerge. The second season's ending left plenty of room for more story to tell, and creator Brian Yorkey has indicated that the third season won't have to follow the same pattern to stay dramatic. "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," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "Someone else might do that, but that's not my job to do that."
The setting will still be Liberty High School. Season 3 will also pick up in the same location. Local news outlets confirmed in the spring that the school district for Sebastopol High School, which serves as the shooting location for 13 Reasons Why's Liberty High School scenes, approved a deal with the production company for the new season to film in its halls.
One of the cast members had an idea for a potential story. Anne Winters, who portrays Chloe on 13 Reasons Why, told The Hollywood Reporter that she'd like to see the show approach the subject of abortion in its third run. "Abortion should be a topic. I don't know if she should do it or not, I'm going to leave that up to the writers. But I think that it should definitely be discussed," said Winters. Considering her character was revealed to be pregnant with the child of an accused sexual predator at the end of Season 2, she might be just the person to bring that topical issue into the series.
Salary disputes almost delayed production. Shortly before production was slated to begin on Season 3, several stars of the show — including lead Minnette and supporting stars Prentice, Druid, Brandon Flynn, Alisha Boe, Christian Navarro, Miles Heizer and Ross Butler — banded together to demand salary increases before they could begin filming. That effort ultimately paid off for everyone involved, as they were each given increases in the nick of time.
That wasn't the only headline-making affair involving Butler. The actor was accused of teaming up with rocker Courtney Love and others to steal late music icon Kurt Cobain's guitar back from daughter Frances Bean Cobain's ex-husband. Butler has since denied any involvement with the alleged plot.
This won't be the last season. In conjunction with the release of the first trailer, Netflix also renewed the series for a fourth and final season, which is already in production and will reportedly feature the core cast graduating from Liberty High, according to Entertainment Weekly.
13 Reasons Why Season 3 premieres Friday, Aug. 23 on Netflix.