(Warning: this post contains spoilers from Episode 3.) Netflix's newest series 13 Reasons Why, which was executively produced by Selena Gomez, is about high school student Hannah Baker who committed suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes that help to explain why she decided to end her life. Each reason pertains to a specific person who's supposed to listen to all the tapes and then pass them on to the next person. However, Hannah put in a fail safe to make sure they follow through. So do Hannah's tapes get released on 13 Reasons Why or does everyone actually do as they're told?
Because the tapes are passed along to people in the order in which they come up on the tapes, it appears everyone has been following the instructions so far. Clay hasn't listened to his own tape yet, but he's heard three so far and it's evident that even more people know about the tapes, which means they've all followed Hannah's instructions. That being said, it's unclear if Clay is the last one or if there are a few others who come after him.
The deal Hannah has in place is simple: as long as everyone listens to the tapes and passes them along, no one else outside of the group needs to know about them. However, if one of them fails to follow the instructions, someone — presumably Clay's friend Tony — will release a copy of the tapes to the public. As of now, Clay seems to be struggling the most with the tapes and if he doesn't start listening to the tapes faster, Tony might just go public.
Even if Clay is successful and there's someone who comes after him, there's no guarantee that person will follow through. The same thing could be said for the next person, and the next, and so on — depending on how many people are left to hear them.
The point is, anyone could slip up and whether it's Tony who releases the tapes or if one of them reveals the truth to an adult, such as guidance counselor Mr. Porter or Hannah's mother, then it's possible the tapes will come to light. Based on what's on these tapes so far, and the fact that Hannah's parents are apparently suing the school, if the tapes do go public it could be catastrophic for a lot of people.
However, would the tapes coming to light be so bad? Shouldn't Hannah's parents know the real reasons why their daughter ended her life? Then again, if Hannah really wanted her parents to know, wouldn't she have just left them the tapes? For now though the tapes rest in Clay's hands and right now it's up to him what happens to them. Fans will just have to keep watching to see what he decides and how this all plays out.