What Do The Polaroid Mean On '13 Reasons Why'? It's The Start Of A New Mystery
Warning: Season 2, Episode 1 spoilers ahead! 13 Reasons Why finds Clay still trying to move on from the events of Season 1. But that soon proved impossible, and not only because the trial between Hannah's parents and the school was bringing everything to light again. Someone unknown left a strange Polaroid in Clay's locker with a message printed on the back: "Hannah wasn't the only one." But what do the Polaroids mean on 13 Reasons Why?
That seems to be the question that will plague Season 2 as it continues to delve deeper and deeper into the past in an effort to expose the culture of bullying at Liberty High. Much of the episode focused on the idea of piecing things together through photographs, while leaning heavily on the implication that there was so much more that the audience didn't know yet — like the identity of the person who left the Polaroid and how it ties into Hannah's story.
But even though the show didn't reveal who the sender is right away, it did put forth one possibility. Immediately after finding the picture, Clay looked around the hallway and locked eyes with a baseball player named Scott Reed. They didn't speak, but the eye contact seemed very significant. Could Scott have left the Polaroid for Clay to find?
There is definitely a chance, especially because viewers know so little about Scott and can't really predict his actions yet. It's as plausible that he did leave the picture as it is that he didn't. The photo showed a girl sprawled with a baseball player, though their location and identities were unclear. They appeared to be drunk, so it might have been at a party. The message indicated that the girl could have been another victim of sexual assault like Hannah was, but there wasn't any more information to go off of.
As a baseball player and friend of Bryce's, Scott could certainly have taken the photo. He likely would have been present at any parties the team went to and therefore privy to their misdeeds, especially since a conversation between Bryce and another player earlier in the episode hinted at the fact that they were all aware of what he was doing to girls. If Scott left the Polaroid, it would also explain the anonymity; maybe he wanted to uncover what Bryce was doing without sabotaging his own spot on the team.
However, Scott's behavior in other parts of Episode 1 contradict the theory that he's secretly avenging for girls who were assaulted. When the entire team was given a talk about consent from their coach, Scott asked if a scream counted as consent, which resulted in laughter from the other boys. Perhaps Scott was just keeping up appearances to avoid being found out, but if it quacks like a jerk, it might just be a jerk. Scott is definitely a viable suspect when it comes to determining the identity of the unknown Polaroid sender, but he isn't a sure thing either.
And if it wasn't Scott, then it could quite literally be anyone. Certain characters can be counted out, though: Clay didn't sent the Polaroid to himself, Bryce wouldn't have done it, Alex is still trying to figure out what happened before his own suicide attempt, and Tony seems intent on leaving the past where it belongs. But it could have been resident photographer Tyler or even baseball player Zach, who seems to have a change of heart after his own callous actions were revealed in Season 1. It could even be a character viewers haven't met yet.
If the first episode of Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why made anything clear, it's how just many secrets still have yet to be disclosed.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.