When it premiered in 2017, Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” drew headlines for its unflinching modernization of the whodunnit trope: Who bullied and abused high-schooler Hannah so much that she died by suicide? The answer was nuanced and complicated as it showed that some were more culpable than others.
The trailer for the third season of the teen drama suggests a more straight-forward narrative. The rich and powerful Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice) is dead. Although there are a ton of suspects – including Devin Druid’s emotionally broken and physically beaten Tyler Down, who is talked out of opening fire on a school dance at the end of Season 2 – is it possible only one person committed Bryce’s murder? It seems even the guilt-ridden and well-meaning Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) is a suspect.
What is probably certain is that the new season of “13 Reasons Why” will continue the show’s tradition of inciting worry and protests, particularly among parents of younger viewers. Netflix recently edited a graphic suicide scene from its first season. Some say this is too little, too late, as a study found an increase in teen suicide after that episode aired over two years ago.
“13 Reasons Why” Season 3 premieres August 23 on Netflix. The show will end with its upcoming fourth season.