The grim subject matter of 13 Reasons Why is a huge reason why the show became such an instant success: teen suicide as the result of bullying is an extremely controversial topic.
Jay Asher's book was the subject matter for the passion project headed by Selena Gomez/Mandy Teefey (the Disney star's mom) and was a smashing success that garnered instant fandom when it debuted.
Now, longtime viewers of the show are on the edge of their seats and are dreading who dies in Season 4.
WARNING: The following contains some pretty significant SPOILERS for the fourth season of 13 Reasons Why, so keep reading if you don't mind having certain plot points revealed before actually watching the show.
So, who dies in Season 4 of '13 Reasons Why'?
The fourth season of the show opens up with the funeral of a Liberty High School student, but just who is in the casket is a mystery that unfolds as the episodes progress.
The series has always taken liberties when it comes to jumping back and forth in time, a narrative tool that was employed since the very first episode. There are several cliffhangers and personal journeys and struggles each of the show's recurring characters go through, but the writing team leaves some room to have fans believe either Clay, Justin, Winston, Tyler, or Zach will kick the bucket.
And as Season 4 progresses, things begin to pan out in a happy-ending sort of way where it seems like all of the show's main characters may come out unscathed and go on to graduation without any more friends dying. However, it's clear that it's a Liberty High School student in the casket in that first episode, and the big mystery of Season 4 is exactly who is in the coffin.
The funeral is for Justin — who dies from complications from HIV-1.
Everything looks like it's going to be OK for the young and beautiful Liberty High School students until Episode 9, "Prom," when Justin collapses. He's admitted into the hospital and is diagnosed with HIV-1, and that it likely has developed into AIDS.
Clay speaks to his therapist about Justin's health scare and potentially not making it out alive and is having difficulty reconciling with the thought of losing his friend.
A ton of Liberty High students visit Justin in the hospital and are present when he finally passes away. The show ends with not only the funeral of Justin Foley, but of a graduation where we see the cast of the show end their time in High School together and look forward, with heavy hearts and staunch optimism to pursue their respective futures.
Will '13 Reasons Why' get a Season 5?
If you were hoping for more episodes of the series after the batch of 10 that Season 4 has to offer, then I've got some bad news for you: showrunner Brian Yorkey has said that a creative decision to end the show after four seasons was made early on in the program's development.
"When it became clear that we might have the chance to make more seasons of this, I pretty quickly got to a place where it felt like a four-season story," he told Entertainment Weekly.
He continued, "I’m always a little bit suspicious of high school shows that go beyond four seasons because high school is four years long. It felt like bringing these characters to their graduation and to scattering to their next things felt like the logical ending point. So for a long time, the idea has been, should we be so lucky to have the opportunity, we would do four seasons of this. So certainly going into breaking story for season four, we knew it was the end."
Stream 13 Reasons Why on Netflix now.