There's no sequel to Jay Asher's book 13 Reasons Why, but that's unlikely to stop Netflix from developing a second season. After all, the story of Hannah Baker and her thirteen tapes has quickly become one of the most talked-about Netflix shows of all time, and it seems that the final episode deliberately dangled a number of unanswered questions in front of us.
While we can't help but hope that Bryce will finally be punished for his crimes and that Justin will return to town unscathed (complete with his surprising amount of tattoos), the real worry is Alex.
In the final episode of Season 1, it's revealed that Alex Standall is travelling en route to hospital after suffering from a gunshot to the head. The school principal claims that Alex shot himself, but the show also hints that Tyler may have been responsible. Now that Hannah's story has met its untimely end, let's investigate what happened to Alex in more detail, and figure out what this means for a potential second season of 13 Reasons Why.
Fan Theory #1: Tyler Shot Alex
Out of everyone who appears on Hannah's tapes, Tyler is arguably the most unhinged. Not only did he stalk Hannah obsessively before she died, but he even took candid photos of her without permission, breaking the law with his creepy and intrusive actions.
However, 13 Reasons Why still took us by surprise when Tyler began to load up a trunk with guns in the final episode. As Tyler hung up photos of each student who had bullied and belittled him over the course of the season, it quickly became obvious what his intentions were.
Scarily, Tyler pulls down the picture of Alex, hinting that he's perhaps already become the first victim. If that's true, then it's only a matter of time before Tyler finishes his mission and kills the rest of his fellow students in a high school shooting that's likely to be explored in the hypothetical Season 2.
Fan Theory #2: Alex Tried To Commit Suicide
The way that these final scenes are edited together certainly suggests that Tyler could be responsible for Alex's trip to the hospital, but in reality, there are a number of clues which strongly suggest that Alex tried to take his own life instead.
Throughout the show, Alex is one of the few "Reasons" to show true remorse, disturbing his friends with his increasingly erratic behavior. From reckless driving and his exit from jazz band to a brutal fight with Montgomery, Alex is crying out for help, overcome with guilt and remorse over his involvement in Hannah's death.
A number of dark parallels between his story and Hannah's also suggest that Alex was suffering with similarly suicidal thoughts. Remember when Alex jumped into Bryce's pool and sank to the bottom? In light of the season finale, it's not hard to see how this echoes Hannah's own demise in the bathtub. Alex also cleans up his room just like Hannah did before she killed herself. This is often seen as a typical behavior of those who are ready to commit suicide, and this is the last thing we saw Alex do.
Just before we discover that Alex has shot himself, we see that Zach has sent his friend a string of messages without response:
- "What's your plan today?"
- "Hey man, where r u?"
- "Did you do your deposition today?"
- "How did it go?"
- "Call me."
- "Call me."
- "Dude, call me."
Eventually, Zach receives a reply that simply says, "Please call." Zach replies, but we never hear who is on the other end of the line. Our guess is that Alex's father or another policeman is now in possession of the boy's phone.
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Actor Devin Druid opened up about the theory, discussing his character Tyler with Refinery29:
"People immediately started jumping on that theory, and it's so interesting because I never thought about that. Exactly what's on screen is written in the script. I don't know if Brian [Yorkey, the show's creator] has any secrets, or if this is supposed to be a plot element that's up for speculation, or that will be expanded on if we were to go back, but I love to see the fan interactions. I love Miles [Heizer, who plays Alex], I'd hate to be the guy who shot him!"
While he doesn't say it outright, Druid's interview certainly suggests that the second theory could be correc — but if that's the case, then why does Tyler take down the picture of Alex amongst his potential victims?
Instead of gunning for him first, it appears that Tyler has actually decided to spare Alex from the upcoming shooting. Dedicated fans may remember that Alex showed Tyler kindness in their last interaction before this scene, perhaps unwittingly saving himself from Tyler's rampage in the process. The saddest thing, though, is that unbeknownst to Tyler, Alex ended up shooting himself instead. Let's just hope that we will see how this plays out if #13ReasonsWhy is confirmed for a second season.