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13 Reasons Why Season 3 Premiere Drops First Clues About Bryce's Killer

13 Reasons Why Recap

Didn’t think 13 Reasons Why could get any gloomier? Well, buckle up, buttercup, because the Netflix drama is back for a third season — and life at Liberty High is more hopeless than ever.

As spoiled in the onslaught of promos and trailers, the show’s third season unravels the mystery of Bryce Walker’s murder, even if that mystery isn’t technically revealed in the premiere. (Bryce is still thought to be “missing” at the end of the first hour.)

Eight months have passed since the events of Season 2, and Clay’s inner circle is in complete disarray. Alex and Jessica have broken up, and a fiery brawl at a recent Homecoming game (against Bryce’s new school!) has left everyone with black eyes and bruises — and in Zach’s case, crutches.

Speaking of Zach, we find out that he lied about the injury he sustained at Homecoming; a photo from the game shows that Bryce was the one who tackled him, but Zach doesn’t seem to want anyone to know. Normally, this would send up a red flag, but the fact that we see Zach call Bryce to find out where he is (i.e. he doesn’t know Bryce is dead) makes me think he’s not the one who killed him.

The premiere also takes us back to the days immediately following Tyler’s narrowly thwarted school shooting at the Spring Fling. (Aside from the classic flashback filter, you can tell these scenes take place in the past because the entire cast doesn’t look like complete hell.) We learn that everyone — including a very reluctant Zach — agreed to cover it up, telling police that they overreacted when they heard there might be a shooter.

Speaking of covering things up, Jessica informs Justin that their Spring Fling hookup was a “one-time” deal, right before kissing Alex. The fact that we know Jessica and Alex are broken up eight months later, however, leads me to believe that it won’t stay secret for long.

We also learn about Ani, the mysterious new girl whose mom is hired as Bryce’s grandfather’s caretaker. Following the worst school tour ever, Ani becomes interested in Clay, as well as Jessica, who agrees to let Ani be her campaign manager when she runs for student council president. Ani recognizes a power in Jessica, one she’s “finally ready to use.”

But the most troubling thing we discover about Ani is that she and Bryce developed a “complicated” relationship prior to his death disappearance. She apparently got to know Bryce better than anyone else, which makes the premiere’s opening shot — Ani washing the blood out of a shirt — all the more suspicious.

Your thoughts on 13 Reasons Why‘s third season premiere? Any early predictions about Bryce’s killer? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.