Similar to my first review on season one in May 2017, this article may contain spoiler information on Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.” If you have not seen the show yet and want to, you may want to stop reading and check back in with us when you’ve finished the series.
My husband and I had May 18 marked on our calendars — not for any reason other than the fact that it was the release date of season two of “13 Reasons Why.” As with the first season, we finished all 13 episodes of season two in just shy of a week.
I’ll be honest, when I first heard a season two was being made I was both excited and curious. I was mostly interested in how the creators of the show were going to make more episodes. The main character killed herself, what would this second season be about? What more was there to tell?
Boy, was I wrong.
Season two did not disappoint.
The first season touched on a lot of difficult topics including bullying, suicide and rape and this season didn’t shy away from those topics. Continuing the discussion on those topics, season two also touched on drug use, school shootings and homelessness.
If you have watched the series, you know season one involves 13 cassette tapes high school student Hannah Baker recorded about the reasons why she committed suicide.
This season dives into those stories with new details surrounding the events she discussed in those tapes.
Each episode of season two focuses on the student or school staff member who is on a tape and now follows them into their testimony during the trial of Hannah’s parents versus the school district. The episodes are now told by them and not Hannah’s version as she recorded.
In my first review a year ago, I mentioned how much Hannah’s parents touched me while watching season one. The scene where they found her laying in the bathtub still gets me.
However, this season there was a scene that gave me hope. I was able to find some happiness for her parents and the other students (mostly her best friend, Clay) when her mom showed Clay a note of 11 reasons why not. He was on that list twice.
I think for her mom and for her friend, it was important they found a note like that — all throughout the trial, the school district’s lawyer had to make the school look good and in doing so, she made the parents out to be bad parents and also damaged a lot of the students. This note including reasons why not to kill her self, I’m hoping brought closure and hope back to them — knowing that they were reasons enough for Hannah to think twice about taking her own life.
As we follow these other students and faculty members, we begin to see in this season that they honestly go to a very disturbed school. It shows that Hannah was not the only one assaulted and bullied.
This season also proves how important it is to watch and care for those still in high school or even younger. As adults and especially those at schools working first hand with the students, we should be able to help them in any way we can rather than sit back and let it be someone else’s problem.
In both seasons, the creators and the actors have done outstanding jobs of portraying these characters. There are characters I truly hate and ones that I feel for and wish I could help.
I think this is what makes “13 Reasons Why” the addicting show it is.
During season two, we slowly moved away from Hannah being the main story line. (And rumor has it Katherine Langford who plays Hannah is not expected to return for season three, if there is another season).
Following the completion of Hannah’s memorial service, she walks out a set of doors into the white light. The show can now feature the other students left to survive at Liberty High School.
Despite the tough messages the show brings up, toward the end of this season things were looking up for not only the students involved but also for Hannah’s parents and some staff members. It was as if they got closure and were now able to move on with their lives post-Hannah.
However, that good feeling doesn’t last long.
The last episode seems to undue much of their happiness (and frankly, parts of the last episode were extremely hard for me to watch).
The show avoided what I thought would be a school shooting but it got close to that point — the show even went as far to include dates in this last episode, the final date being April 20, the anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School.
I read in an article that the show’s creator Brian Yorkey said there was never an ending where the student went through with the shooting. “We all felt that that would be a step too far,” Yorkey noted in the article.
The show didn’t necessarily end on a cliff hanger but left on a “what happens next?” set up for a third season.
Nothing official has been released on whether or not the show will return for another season but if it does, my husband and I will again mark that day on our calendar and prepare for the unexpected.