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13 Reasons Why revolves around a diverse circle of high schoolers, each dealing with adult-sized problems. The show paints one central character, Zach, as a teen who experiences internal conflicts from peer influences, parental expectations, and his own moral compass. In the fourth and final season of the show, will he make peace with his past and forge ahead toward a happy future? Here’s what we’ve learned so far about Zach’s forthcoming final semester at Liberty High. [Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers about 13 Reasons Why season 4]

Ross Butler of '13 Reasons Why'
Ross Butler of ’13 Reasons Why’ | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

’13 Reasons Why’ Season 4 will explore the idea of healing and moving on

In 13 Reasons Why, Zach is portrayed as a character who, like many teens, sometimes succumbs to pressure. And due to the nature of the show, the ramifications are often extreme. Showrunner, Brian Yorkey, told Entertainment Weekly this about how recent events will impact Zach and other students of the fictional Liberty High:

Because of the accumulation of secrets that they’ve kept and things they’ve endured, our characters will be really trying to figure out a way to deal with the emotional costs of everything they’ve been through to survive the rest of their senior year and finally get free and hopefully for, at least some of them, get the hell out of Evergreen County.

There is that driving mystery of: Are they going to get away with it? But in some ways, even more intentionally, there’s this question of: How are they going to live through this and can they escape their past? No one truly escapes their past but can we heal, can we deal with what we’ve done and what’s been done to us and can we find a way to move on and have a future?

Brian Yorkey to Entertainment Weekly

The final season will take Zach to ‘interesting places

Generally, the show depicts Zach as a well-meaning kid with a conscience who bears the burdens of some questionable choices. That constant personal struggle makes for darn good drama on 13 Reasons Why. And according to what Yorkey told Entertainment Weekly, things are about to get even juicier for Liberty High’s former star athlete. The publication quoted Yorkey as saying this:

We take Zach places that I had not expected until we really got into the room and delved into his story. We took Zach [to] some really interesting places and I’ve always loved that character and I love Ross Butler, so that was a lot of fun and a challenge and also a wonderful collaboration and I think it’s going to be cool to watch.

Brian Yorkey to Entertainment Weekly

The Liberty High seniors will experience darkness, light, and survival in season 4


’13 Reasons Why’ Boss Teases What’s To Come in a ‘Supersized’ Series Finale

In spite of the secrets and regrets many characters have carried with them for three seasons, Yorkey hinted to Entertainment Weekly that there might be light at the end of the tunnel. The showrunner teased this about what the kids will face in 13 Reasons Why Season 4:

Everything comes after our ability to survive our hardest moments and our ability to keep moving and to stay alive for all the brighter things that life has in store for us. This show started with Hannah Baker not being able to do that, and we wanted to end by seeing so many of our characters able to do that, to face the real darkness, and to come out the other side into the light.

Brian Yorkey to Entertainment Weekly

The fourth and final season of ’13 Reasons Why’ will launch on Netflix on June 5. The first three seasons are currently available to watch on the streaming service.