On Monday, the gods of Netflix announced that the second season of 13 Reasons Why is officially dropping on May 18. In addition to giving us an excuse to call off work sick that Friday, Netflix also provided us with one helluva trailer for season 2. Each shot contains major clues regarding the fates of the show's main characters — and many of the people Hannah (Katherine Langford) implicated with her notorious tapes.
The trailer focuses on six frozen scenes. The characters remain still, while Polaroids float around them, many containing an image of their past or their present. Each time a Polaroid photo aligns with the scene, we can gather particularly important clues. Judging by the final moment of the trailer — Clay (Dylan Minnette) picking up a Polaroid with the words, "The tapes are just the beginning" – these Polaroids will play a significant role in season 2.
The official synopsis for the second season of 13 Reasons Why explains that the season "picks up in the aftermath of Hannah’s death and the start of our characters’ complicated journeys toward healing and recovery. Liberty High prepares to go on trial, but someone will stop at nothing to keep the truth surrounding Hannah’s death concealed. A series of ominous Polaroids lead Clay and his classmates to uncover a sickening secret and a conspiracy to cover it up." Here's how the trailer deepens our understanding of this synopsis.
Scene One: Tony (Christian Navarro) and Ryan (Tommy Dorfman)
In the very first shot of the trailer, we see Tony holding Hannah Baker's tape, which will likely be evidence in the upcoming trial. From the scene, we can gather that Tony and Ryan end up in a car accident, and Tony gets hurt. Given the blue reflection in the car window, the police are on the way. A Polaroid photo also shows Tony holding a folded note that seems to contain the word "Hannah" – one of many mysterious written messages in the trailer.
Scene Two: Jessica (Alisha Boe)
Jessica is posing for a selfie in her well-coordinated room. Though Jessica looks happy, the Polaroids belie a darker truth. One Polaroid contains an image of the word "Liar" written in red paint on her bedroom window. Then, she's seen holding a paper that says, "Keep your f***ing mouth shut." Clearly, someone is targeting Jessica — perhaps because Jessica knows that Bryce (Justin Prentice) raped Hannah, and she can spread that truth in the trial.
Scene Three: Mr. Porter (Derek Luke)
Last season, Hannah's final tape went to Mr. Porter, her school guidance counsellor who essentially dismissed her assault. Like Jessica, Mr. Porter is being pursued by the same graffiti artist. Someone wrote "Know your place" in red capitals on his memo board and also smashed his window. Judging by the way Mr. Porter places his hand next to his face and looks morose, he has a lot of regrets. Finally, Mr. Porter has his hands on Bryce's case file. Whether he's putting the case file in or taking it out isn't entirely clear. Is he submitting to threats, or will he testify against Bryce?
Scene Four: Bryce
Despite knowing the ramifications of what he did to Hannah, Bryce is back to his old ways. He's pouring himself an alarming amount of whiskey while at an outdoor party. He's sitting next to Chloe (Anna Winters), a new addition to the 13 Reasons Why cast. In Polaroids, we see Chloe passed out in the chair, with lipstick smeared all over her face and her legs spread. It's implied that Bryce — or someone else? — drugged and date raped her. In the corner, Bryce is unfazed and still pouring whiskey. We see Sheri (Ajiona Alexus) and Zachary (Ross Butler) standing behind Bryce and Chloe, perhaps witnessing his actions.
Scene Five: Olivia (Kate Walsh)
Hannah's mom is still trying to figure out what happened to her daughter. She has created a board connecting Hannah to Alex, Clay, Mr. Porter, Jessica, Bryce, Zach, and Justin, complete with red string. She's written "the clubhouse" on a card and is pinning that to the board. The Bakers are seemingly trying to sell their house. Vandals wrote "bye bye" and "get out" on their For Sale signs.
Scene Six: Clay
Clay is suiting up for the trial. A "summons for appeal" document lays on his bed. Like Mr. Porter and Jessica, Clay has received a menacing message in red letters. His is: "You talk you pay." Someone doesn't want Clay to say what he knows at the trial. The final Polaroid is a photo of Hannah's face aligning with his own, perhaps showing how responsible he feels for her. Clay picks up a Polaroid with Hannah's face that says: "The tapes are just the beginning." Seemingly, everyone who's a witness in the trial will receive a Polaroid.
For all these clues, there are still two characters noticeably absent from the trailer: Tyler (Devin Druid) and Alex (Miles Heizer), the primary cliffhangers from season 1. These plotlines will be resolved, but they're too juicy to allude to in a trailer.