Entertainment

Netflix's '13 Reasons Why' Gets an Unexpected Season 2

13 reasons why on netflix
13 Reasons Why | Netflix
13 Reasons Why | Netflix

Update: 13 Reasons Why has been renewed for a second season, set to run in 2018 with 13 more hourlong episodes. The show will pick "up in the aftermath of Hannah Baker's death," according to Netflix, "and the start of the characters' complicated journeys toward healing and recovery." Read our original story below to see what that could look like.

Netflix's 13 Reasons Why has only been out a month and already there's talk about a potential Season 2. Such speculation is par for the course when it comes to most series on the streaming service, the Oprah of TV renewals. The source material for the teen drama just makes this hype a little peculiar.

Both the TV show and Jay Asher's original book of the same name follow Clay (Dylan Minnette), a high schooler who wrestles with the reasons why his crush Hannah (Katherine Langford) commits suicide. But where Brian Yorkey's adaptation conveniently leaves several doors half-open for future installments, the book wraps its mystery in self-contained fashion.

Warning: Spoilers for 13 Reasons Why follow.
13 reasons why on netflix
Netflix

Will there be a Season 2? The 13 Reasons Why team clearly wants it.

The cast and crew from 13 Reasons Why, much like the talent behind HBO's Big Little Lies, seem gung-ho about a follow-up. No concrete announcements yet, but rumors of renewal abound -- The Hollywood Reporter has even noted that "a writers' room for the sophomore run has been up and running for a few weeks." You could hypothetically count in Langford, who toldEntertainment Tonight that "we definitely have a lot more dialogue that we continue from the story we've already told, and I'd love to do it."

Minnette, too. "I think everyone would love to do another one, if we're given the opportunity," he told ET. "I think when people see where it leaves off, people are going to want to know more about these characters and what's next for them." Even executive producer Selena Gomez sounded hopeful in an interview with THR, saying, "We know there are so many stories that lie beneath each character. That's why it became a series in the first place."

13 reasons why on netflix
Netflix

There's no 13 Reasons Why sequel

Asher's original ending kept Hannah alive. Such a twist doesn't seem doable for the adaptation, considering: 1) We see Hannah's suicide via flashback, and 2) As Asher explained to his publisher, "[Keeping Hannah alive] felt false for this particular story and for the seriousness of the issue. If someone goes through with a suicide, there are no second chances for anyone involved." The rug-pull would similarly change the tone of the adaptation, which wallows in Hannah's last days and their ensuing impact.

That doesn't mean Asher wants the TV saga to end. "I'm curious as well," the author toldEW. "What happens to Clay? How do people react to what Alex did at the very end? What's going to happen to Mr. Porter? I'd thought of a sequel at some point. I'd brainstormed it, but decided I wasn't going to write it. So I'd love to see it." Fortunately, a lack of further source material isn't a problem.

The finale sees Clay confront Mr. Porter, the school counselor who had a chance to save Hannah on the last day of her life. "It has to get better, the way we treat each other and look out for each other," Clay says. "It has to get better somehow." Clay hands the cassettes, including the one that has Bryce's confession, to Mr. Porter, leaving their fate in his hands. With 13 hour-long episodes, Yorkey stayed true to the general blueprint of Asher's novel while fleshing the TV universe out with plenty of new twists, back stories, and characters.

Among the many other half-open doors that could be kicked wide open are stories pertaining to Bryce, the jock whose confession of rape looks poised to ruin him; Jeff, the fan favorite whose death gets new life when the sobering truth of his car crash comes out; Justin and Tyler, both of whom leave the screen with guns; Sheri, who dodges the consequences of her actions; and Clay, who rekindles his friendship with Skye.

13 reasons why on netflix
Netflix

We have 13 Reasons Why Season 2 theories, don't worry

But it's Alex's situation that resonates as the biggest cliffhanger, a legit bomb dropped mere minutes before the end credits: He's fighting for his life after sustaining a gunshot to the head. Does he live? Does he die? Did he try to commit suicide? Or, as fans have creatively wondered, is Alex the first victim on Tyler's revenge-fueled hit list?

"The thing with Tyler collecting guns really shocked me when we read it in the script," Ross Butler, who plays Zach, toldEW. "We knew that he had bought a gun earlier in the series, but to have a whole case of guns -- that's definitely one of the big cliffhangers for me personally. And another one is when Justin decides to leave. I really want to see what that manifests into."

For a show that addressed numerous hot teen topics in its first run -- drunk driving, sexual consent, and suicide among them -- gun violence could prove fertile ground for a follow-up. It's also easy to see 13 Reasons Why going in the same direction as a show like Broadchurch, another self-contained mystery series that ended up following its central crime to the courtroom upon expansion. In another massive departure from the book, Yorkey and his writers gave Hannah's parents the audio files of their daughter's tapes. Does this equip them with the evidence they need to go to trial?

"I would love [a Season 2]. There's certainly a lot more road to be traveled in terms of where the Bakers go from here," Brian d'Arcy James, who plays Hannah's dad, told EW. "That to me is a very interesting story, in terms of having to deal with that loss, deal with that grief, and channel it and try to make peace with it -- or not."

The possibilities seem endless, but Yorkey has a plan. "We absolutely talked about what could happen next," the showrunner told ET. "I would love to learn more about who these kids are, why they did what they did." He's just waiting on Netflix.

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Sean Fitz-Gerald is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. Find him on Twitter: @srkfitzgerald.