Follow along as we binge-watch all 13 episodes to find out who killed Bryce Walker.
Episode 1: “Yeah. I’m the New Girl”
We pick up with the damaged folks down at Liberty High eight months after the Spring Fling where Tyler (Devin Druid) showed up intent on shooting his fellow students, only to be stopped by Clay (Dylan Minnette) with the help of Tony (Christian Navarro), Justin (Brandon Flynn), and Jess (Alisha Boe). New girl Ani (Grace Saif) narrates this season in a police-interview situation. Police interview? What could possibly have happened now? Well, there are actually two potential crimes unfurling, and with that, two separate timelines. Since the narrative jumps between the present time and eight months earlier, for clarity’s sake, let’s split this recap into two parts.
Eight months ago: After Clay stops Tyler from entering the school with a s—load of guns, Tony drives the troubled teen to a secluded spot. Clay then joins Tony to help talk Tyler down. They take him home and watch him while he falls asleep, vowing to figure out how to make sure he gets the help he needs. To protect Tyler, the gang decides to pretend the whole shooter situation was a misunderstanding and lie to the police. Zach (Ross Butler), who called cops, doesn’t like this plan but says he’ll stay quiet.
Back at school, the guys look after Tyler, ferrying him from class to class. Monty (Timothy Granaderos) — the f—head who brutally assaulted him — passes Tyler in the corridor and taunts him with kissing sounds. That same day, new girl Ami arrives and is taken on an all-too-honest school tour by Clay. She also befriends Jess, who is planning to run for class president next year to make real change at Liberty. After school, Ami arrives at Bryce’s (Justin Prentice) home; she’s living in the guesthouse because her mother works there as a nurse for Bryce’s grandfather. She walks in on him crying, and we’re led to assume that, as time goes on, she and Bryce strike up a friendship. He creepily watches her swim in his parents’ pool because, Bryce. Gross.
Present-day: First, some quick updates: Alex (Miles Heizer) and Jess have split up. Justin works at the coffee shop now. Ani had some need to wash blood out of her clothing hastily. Justin and Clay live in a cute, little outhouse together at Clay’s parents’ place. Oh yeah, and Bryce is missing. Do we care? Well, yes, because the whole premise of season 3 is figuring out what happened to him and who’s responsible.
The premiere seems to point the finger at Clay first — poor kid. The cops question him at the station, but there isn’t much to stick on him — although his bike lock was found at Bryce’s home and he kinda, maybe was overheard threatening to kill the asshat the night before. The last time Bryce was seen was at the big homecoming football game between Liberty and Bryce’s new school Hillcrest, where a massive fight broke out — literally all the guys have bruises now, and Zach’s even on crutches. For some reason, Zach is also lying and not pointing the finger at Bryce, even though there’s photographic evidence of Bryce launching at his former bestie. Oddly, Tyler has a voicemail from Bryce telling him he’s dealing with something for him and that Tyler’s all good now — there are SO many layers to this mystery.
Who killed Bryce Walker: At this point, it could be literally anyone and, as much as we really doubt it’s good ol’ Clay, the episode does make him look potentially guilty with the small matter of a text he sent to Bryce saying, and I quote, “I’m f—ing going to kill you.” Oh, boy.
Episode 2: “If You’re Breathing, You’re a Liar”
Past: Back in the immediate aftermath of the Spring Fling fiasco, Zach is made captain of the football team now that Bryce is at a different school. Hell-spawn Monty is pissed. In a very #TimesUp friendly move, Zach vows to change the culture of the football team. He also befriends Chloe (Anne Winters), Bryce’s girlfriend at the time, who gives him a rabbit foot keychain as a good luck charm. They grow close, and he eventually guides her through an abortion when she confides in him that she’s pregnant with Bryce’s child. We’re taken through the abortion scene in real-time. It’s an extremely upsetting and powerful scene, the gravity of which the show handles well. Chloe ultimately breaks up with Bryce and leaves Liberty to attend a new school but maintains her friendship with sponsored-by-Adidas Zach. Bryce, who is having a hell of a time at his new school being bullied by the jocks there, never knew she was pregnant. Ani comforts him when Chloe dumps him.
Elsewhere, Jess starts her campaign for student president, telling Monty to f— himself in the process. She publicly announces the king of the school raped her and promises to take down the jocks if elected. She’s got my vote!
Present: There’s definitely more to the Zach/Bryce fallout than we know. Zach’s knee is effed up probably permanently, but he doesn’t want the other guys on the team to know that Bryce took him out for good, because then Bryce wins. Clay thinks he’s hiding something and he and Ani end up getting the whole story of Chloe’s pregnancy out of him.
Later, Alex spots Monty threatening Tyler (who is working through his trauma with both a counselor and by boxing with Tony) and pulls a knife on him. Other confusing plot points include: a random dude watching Justin at football practice; Ani finding a letter to Jessica in Bryce’s room; Tyler taking shirtless photos of himself in the past when he was covered in bruises and present too; and — the big one — the police find Bryce’s body in the water close to where Tyler had just been hanging out.
Who killed Bryce Walker: Seems like, at this point, we’re supposed to think Tyler was involved. But Zach is hiding something too and seems to have some unaccounted-for time after the homecoming game — the night Bryce was last seen alive.
Episode 3: “The Good Person Is Indistinguishable from the Bad”
Newcomer Ani continues to be the narrative voice driving this season through her present-day interview with the police. After some words about how good and bad can be indistinguishable, we see Clay notice a suspicious scar on Justin’s back as they wake up together.
The roommates go their separate ways; Justin gets a ride from Zach while Clay finds himself drawn to the Walker household. When the sheriff asks him why he’s there, he tells him he’s picking up Ani. But after the texts he saw, he should’ve followed her directions and stayed away.
By now, all the characters are learning Bryce is gone and reacting in different ways. Justin is so worked up he vomits and has to explain to the steely Clay that Bryce was a human being. Tony learns of Bryce’s death from his boyfriend, and his first reaction is to go clear his name with the cops, a move his boyfriend feels will put the spotlight on all of them.
Talking to the sheriff, Bryce’s mom says to suspect Clay, Justin, Monty, and Jessica. For the rest of the episode, the spotlight’s on Jessica as she deals with her rapist’s death. Both Jessica and Ani are deceptive about their relationship with Bryce at the beginning, and in flashbacks, we learn how close the girls have become.
Jessica tries to heal from her trauma with Ani’s help and realizes that she’d rather be casual with Justin than committed to Alex. She also admits she went to Bryce’s house shortly after Spring Fling to confront him and reveals that he came to the movie theater to try to apologize. The suspicious scar on Justin’s back gets cleared up when Ani and Clay learn that Jessica has been playing rough with him in the bedroom. Justin later ends the episode meeting his mother’s abusive boyfriend, who accuses him of killing Bryce.
Tyler reveals to Tony that he kept one of the guns from the night of the Spring Fling, so Tony and Clay decide to keep a closer watch on him. The episode ends with Tyler sitting on his bed with the gun next to him, flipping through what looks like photos of Bryce’s dead body on his stomach.
Who killed Bryce Walker: The show is trying very hard to make Tyler look guilty, but let’s suspect the new character, Casey, played by Scream’s Bex Taylor-Klaus, who wants to smash the patriarchy Bryce exhibits. Another possible suspect is Charlie, the new kid that Jessica works with and is judging (which means we’re judging too).
Episode 4: “Angry, Young and Man”
It’s truly not worth going through the first 45 minutes of this episode in-depth. Basically, everyone thinks Tyler killed Bryce because he kept a gun and Bryce was allegedly shot to death. The episode dips through past and present to give a better idea of how the whole babysitting an attempted school shooter works. We learn Clay’s hot take on the film Rear Window (it’s boring!), and finally see the long mentioned and robustly attended Robotics club. It’s also revealed that Tyler has not disclosed his sexual assault to anyone.
Tyler first tells Alex he didn’t kill Bryce, but after an extended chase scene, Tyler reveals that he was at the bridge that night to end his own life before seeing Bryce’s body and reporting it anonymously. Also, the thing Tyler had in his bag at school that everyone worried was a gun was just the camera from Rear Window, which he bought as a gift for Clay.
Tyler is cleared of the murder when it’s revealed Bryce died of blunt force trauma, but the group still has to decide what to do with the gun. Plus, they have to worry about the police because the river where Bryce’s body was found is the same river where they dumped all of Tyler’s weapons at Spring Fling. Justin takes the gun, which Tyler reveals he kept to end his life, and uses it to threaten Seth, his mother’s ex-boyfriend who had been extorting him and Bryce.
Who killed Bryce Walker: Saving this section to call out Zach for being an opp who keeps wanting to call the cops on Tyler and fights Monty over some homophobic slurs. Monty is clearly a monster, but Zach is way more hostile towards Tyler than any of the people who were actually in danger of being attacked by him at Spring Fling. Also, Alex ends the episode freaking out about a bag of drugs they found at Bryce’s death site, so that qualifies as suspicious as well.
Episode 5: “Nobody’s Clean”
Another episode that’s pretty much filler. Turns out the drugs the cops found at the crime scene are steroids, so they raid the Liberty High locker room looking for all the football players that are juicing. After they find steroids one player’s locker, they expand their search school-wide, causing Alex to throw his stash in the garbage. Justin grabs it and shows it to the rest of the group.
The episode takes a break from explaining Alex’s steroid use to show Casey call Jessica a victim for not wanting to protest Bryce’s funeral. Jessica tries to defend the protest to the principal, but deep down she agrees vengeance isn’t the right approach. Zach is shown lying to the cops about his relationship to Bryce, and Clay and Ani follow Monty to his car where they find an ID in an envelope that says “He won’t talk,” plus a bloody nightstick. They follow him home to see him with the nightstick again, threatening his drunk dad.
A flashback to a rich kid party gives us a two-for-one back story on the murder suspects Monty and Alex. We learn the ID is a fake used to blackmail a Hillcrest student who had a gay hookup with Monty at the party. While the hookup was happening, Alex showed up to the function to buy steroids from Bryce. Monty, Bryce, and Alex are all leaving when the Hillcrest student tries to say goodbye the closeted, hotheaded football player and gets beaten — hence the need for blackmail.
After Clay and Ani drop in on Alex at the gym and go through his pay app transactions, they find out that Alex continued hanging with Bryce after the party, even though he said before he never bought the drugs from him. Bryce had introduced Alex to a sex worker, and then later recruited him to break into Bryce’s estranged dad’s house to ransack it. They learn it’s the wrong house when a little boy catches them in the act, and Bryce threatens the child’s life. After that night, Alex continued buying drugs from Bryce, but they stopped hanging out.
After a couple of cute scenes with Clay talking to Ani and Justin, the episode flashes back to Bryce trying to speak with Ani before lashing out at her. His mother tells Ani to keep away from him for her safety. In the present time, Mrs. Walker finally tells her senile father that his grandson is dead. He does not take it well. Ani goes to the garage to avoid the commotion, and boom — she finds Tony’s car in Bryce’s garage.
Who killed Bryce Walker: While the episode positions Alex and Monty as suspects, it also does work to clear them. They clearly had friendlier relationships with Bryce than the rest of the main students. We still don’t know what Zach has been up to. He lied to cops this episode and just hasn’t been great this season, so let’s posit that he is Bryce’s killer.
Episode 6: “You Can Tell the Heart of a Man By How He Grieves”
This episode starts with a change of pace, as the police are now interrogating Tony instead of Ani. After he maintains his innocence, we’re taken to Bryce’s funeral where Zach is notably sitting with Chloe, and Bryce’s father finally shows up.
The episode attempts to share a different side of Bryce through Zach and Mrs. Walker’s eulogies, as well as flashbacks to the deceased teen defending his mom against his father. After the funeral ends with the students protesting Bryce, it’s revealed in a new scene that Bryce’s dad may have a motive to kill his son because Bryce knew about his love child — a secret that could ruin divorce proceedings with Bryce’s mother. Clay, Ani, and the audience learn that Bryce’s mother decided against playing that trump card, clearing Bryce’s father of the murder for now.
Clay and Ani learn from Tony’s boyfriend that Tony’s family was apprehended by immigration, separated from each other at detention centers, and eventually deported. Bryce purchased Tony’s beloved Mustang with money his father gave him to stay away, giving Tony thousands of dollars to pay for his family’s legal fees.
After quick scenes of Monty bonding with the football team and coach, as well as Alex forcing Tyler to box him, the episode ends with Clay hugging his family, while elsewhere the Sheriff is discussing arresting him now that they have footage of Clay pointing a gun at Bryce outside of the rapist’s original house — a scene from season 2 of the show.
Who killed Bryce Walker: Not falling for the red herrings with Clay! Zach is still over there, trying to tell the funeral audience he is his brother’s keeper while Bryce allegedly just ruined his football career. Zach probably beat Bryce to death with his crutch.
Check back later for episodes 7-13!