The slightly deranged pair was last seen on the beach outside of Alyssa's (Jessica Barden) father's home, where police start to shoot at James when he tries to run away. You may remember it was actually her dad (Barry Ward) who ratted out the runaways to the authorities, and officers fired even as the original detective on the case, Gemma Whelan's Detective Noon, protested. It was all very shocking and dramatic and has left fans wanting answers since the series dropped on Netflix in February 2017 -- but while many believe the original book implies James' death, that (thankfully) isn't the direction Season 2 took.
Don't expect to see James in Episode 1, though. The season premiere actually focuses entirely on a new character, Bonnie (Naomie Ackie), introducing her as the former lover of Professor Koch (Jonathan Aris) who went to jail for killing a woman who accused him of assault. It's a surprising start, especially if you were expecting to be brought right back to the infamous beach, but it sets up the season as Bonnie proves to be out for revenge against James and Alyssa.
It's also of course meant to keep you bingeing -- and if you do (which you definitely will), you'll finally see James' shining face, alive and (sort of but not really) well in Episode 2, which takes place two years after the events of the first season. After we find out what Alyssa's been up to -- sentenced to community service, living with her aunt, and engaged to a boy she met at the diner where she works -- it's revealed that James did survive.