Content warning: This post includes discussion of gun violence. When it comes to who killed Bryce on 13 Reasons Why, Clay Jensen is one of the most likely suspects — at least, in the eyes of the police. The previews for Season 3 reveal Bryce was shot to death and show Clay getting arrested, presumably for the murder. But while Clay certainly hates Bryce — so much so that he once confronted him at gunpoint — it's unlikely that Crestmont's resident good boy strayed that far from his moral compass. Right?
If there's one person who could drive Clay to commit homicide, it's Bryce. And Clay sure is mighty suspicious-looking in the 13 Reasons Why Season 3 trailer. Though he denies any involvement in Bryce's murder, as his mom says, the police are convinced he did it. And it doesn't help that the end of the trailer pretty much explicitly points the finger at him: we see a hand pull a trigger, and then the scene cuts to Clay telling new character Ani, "This whole f*cking world is better without him in it." When Ani replies, "What did you do?" we're all left wondering the same thing.
But while it's true that Clay isn't as innocent as he once was, he's always strived to do the right thing. Plus, he's the one who stopped Tyler from perpetrating a school shooting. After being so close to witnessing the carnage of gun violence firsthand, would he really turn around and shoot Bryce? And perhaps most telling, would the show really reveal Bryce's killer before the season even debuted?
What's more probable is that this is a red herring, and Clay will spend the season trying to track down the real killer in order to prove his innocence. That explains the trailer scene we see of Monty telling Clay, "If you're trying to clear your name, you need to look a little closer to home." It seems like he's suggesting that Justin, who began living with the Jensens in Season 2, may have had something to do with Bryce's murder. Or Clay was just narrowing in on Monty and he had to do something to throw him off the trail.
Whatever the case, when you really consider the evidence, it seems like Clay is just as determined to figure out who killed Bryce as police are to pin the murder on him. Because even though Clay despised Bryce, the person we've come to know him as over the past two seasons doesn't seem capable of taking another person's life — even Bryce Walker's. Hopefully, he'll be able to piece things together before he ends up in prison for a crime he didn't do.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.