Alex is a central character on Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why, just like he was on Season 1. But fans may be a little confused about why he’s having trouble with his memory. If you’re unsure, we’re here to remind you what happened to him and why he can’t remember much anymore. This post has spoilers for Season 1 and minor spoilers for the first three episodes of Season 2.
At the end of Season 1, we were left with a cliffhanger. Alex was in critical condition, on an ambulance, because he shot himself in the head. He was suffering a lot of guilt, and one source of guilt was Hannah’s own suicide. He ended up surviving his suicide attempt, but not without major damage including brain damage that left him unable to remember his attempted suicide or why he did it.
In Season 1, he was best friends with Jessica and Hannah for a while, but things fell apart when he and Jessica started dating. Hannah was jealous and didn’t handle it well, and Jessica pulled away from Alex as a result. He got so mad that he broke up with Jessica and added her name to a “hot list,” referring to her as having the “worst ass” and Hannah as having the best. This wreaked havoc between Jessica and Hannah.
Alex was on Hannah’s tape, listed as Reason #3. He was the cause of the end of her friendship with Jessica, and Hannah’s being on the “hot list” led to harassment from other students, including Bryce.
Alex always felt extreme guilt over what he did, to the point of almost drowning himself in a pool and picking a fight with a school bully.
In the first three episodes of the show, we find out that he survived shooting himself in the head because the kickback from the rifle caused him to aim wrong. The bullet didn’t kill him. But it also hurt him severely. He was in a coma for a long time, and school photographer Tyler visited him quite a bit in the hospital. Tyler took photos of Alex’s slow recovery.
Alex is left with a scar and a limp so bad that he needs a cane to walk. He returns to school five months after shooting himself, on the same day that Jessica returns to school. They’re helping each other out, and Zach is also helping Alex.
Alex is a different person now. He’s no longer sporting the platinum hair, but he’s moved on to a more natural brown. He seems more subdued and sad in many ways, but he’s also more aware of the effect his actions have on others. But it remains to be seen how emotionally stable he is, or if he is able to handle the stress of returning to school.
Alex doesn’t remember his suicide and has no memory of why he tried to kill himself. He remembers many other things, including Hannah and her death. But as he explained to friends, he lost all memory of the month leading up to his attempted suicide. All he has is his suicide note to give him clues. He wrote in the note that “I could have stopped it,” but he has no idea what that means. And no one else may either (or they may just be hiding the truth.)