The second season of the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why returned last Friday with brand new characters and relationships.
And while many people can’t stop swooning over the previously-secret romance between Zach Dempsey and Hannah Baker, there is one other newfound relationship taking the series fandom by storm: the close bond between Zach and his pal Alex Standall.
Zach, played by Ross Butler, and Alex, played by Miles Heizer, form a much closer bond in the second season of the show, while Zach helps Alex regain some of his motor skills in physical therapy – after he was left seriously injured following a suicide attempt at the end of season one.
Chemistry: One of the newfound relationships in 13 Reasons Why that fans can’t seem to get enough of is between Zach Dempsey (right) and Alex Standall (left)
More than friends: As well as helping Alex with physical therapy, Zach also teaches him how to dance in one episode
In a relationship: One person shared in a tweet that said that Zach and Alex were dating
But their bromance took a seemingly more intimate turn during episode six in which the two end up in shirtless fight, which gives Alex his first erection since his suicide attempt; the teenager had previously worried he would never have one because he was ‘numb’ down there after shooting himself in the head.
The two also share a sweet and tender moment toward the end of the season when Zach teaches Alex how to dance for their upcoming spring fling at Liberty High School.
And while the pair could simply just be good friends, fans are convinced otherwise and are taking to social media to share their excitement and theories over the possible relationship.
One fan tweeted: ‘Zach and Alex are dating. Convince me otherwise’ while another person said ‘I just want to put the trigger discussion aside for a second to say that: I’m shipping Zach and Alex so d**n hard.’
And people continued to climb aboard the ‘Zalex’ train in more tweets that expressed their enthusiasm for a budding relationship between the two.
Not sorry: Another person said she was shipping Zach and Alex and made no apologies for it
Intimate: One person tweeted about their dancing scene and said their chemistry was undeniable
Endgame: And other shared their hope that Zach and Alex would get together in a possible season three
The tweet said: When Zach is teaching Alex how to dance did you guys see how they look at each other? They are so close and very intimate, there is so much chemistry going on.’
And another tweet said: ‘The one thing I want from a possible #13reasonswhy season three is for Zach and Alex to end up together, their chemistry was so good in season two!’
Others couldn’t seem to shake the sexual tension between the two and tweeted and shared their thoughts in a tweet that said: ‘What is this sexual tension I feel between Zach and Alex?’
‘Anyone else shipping Zach and Alex,’ another user wrote while another said: ‘I actually thought that Zach Dempsey and Alex Standall would end up together in the last episode. Lol. I’m waiting for season three.’
Obvious attraction: And one person pointed out the sexual tension between the two
Not alone: And others took to social media to simply ask if others were ‘shipping’ Zach and Alex
Waiting: Someone else tweeted that he thought Zach and Alex would end up together at the end of season two
And he wasn’t the only fan waiting for season three because more people took to Twitter to share their hope for another season that would see Zach and Alex end up together.
One person tweeted: ‘Am I the only one feeling like Zach and Alex could perfectly end up together in season three of #13ReasonsWhy?’
And another person said: ‘The next season of #13ReasonsWhy will be named 13 reasons why Alex and Zach are the endgame couple we deserve.’
But one of the best tweets completely shut down another fan favorite couple in a Twitter post that said: ‘Sorry for Zannah shippers but I think Alex and Zach are the best ship of season two.’
Ideal pair: Another tweet asked if he was the only person feeling like Zach and Alex could ‘perfectly’ end up together
Dedicated: Another tweet even proposed renaming a possible third season after Zach and Alex
Zalex not Zannah: But one of the best tweets completely shut down another fan favorite couple
It was revealed during this season that Zach and Hannah Baker, played by Katherine Langford, were in a relationship over the summer before Hannah’s suicide.
The relationship was revealed during Zach’s testimony, showed through a series of flashbacks, with him describing their happy days together poring over books and cuddling by the water.
The teenagers even lost their virginity to each other. But when the school year started up, Zach wanted to keep the relationship a secret, leading to their break-up.
The revelation came as a shock to Dylan Minnette’s character Clay Jensen, whose feelings for Hannah were made clear in the first season of the show, a theme which continued throughout the second installment of the popular Netflix series.
But the information also took many viewers by surprise. Not just because Hannah had included Zach in her infamous taped ‘reasons’, but also in that the pair’s relationship appeared to be a wonderful one.
A bit of news: It was revealed in the second season of 13 Reasons Why that Zach and Hannah were in a relationship before her death
Keeping up: The news was revealed via Zach’s testimony and a series of flashbacks
A number of fans took to social media after viewing the show to mourn the loss of the couple they had only just discovered existed.
‘Zach and Hannah had it all wow,’ wrote one user. ‘Their relationship was so cute and just wow.’
Another cried: ‘I totally ship Hannah and Zach together omg. She looked so happy. @13ReasonsWhy why did y’all do this to me?’
Starting five months after her death, Season 2 is not narrated by Hannah Baker unlike the first season; although she is central to the story, 13 Reasons Why shifts focus to the testimonies and a new one takes center stage each episode.
What could have been: Another fan tweeted that Zach and Hannah ‘had it all’
Changing views: Fans were blindsided by the revelation, but also soon fell in love with the couple
After the show sparked controversy when critics accused it of glamorizing suicide in season one, the show attempts to tackle a number of other serious topics in the new season, including the #MeToo movement.
Speaking to website Popsugar, the actor playing Zach, Ross Butler, revealed that the reaction to the show helped him realize ‘we need to change the way we raise boys’.
Playing a high school student on the hit Netflix show, he said it gave him an insight into the culture of American teenager.
And the Asian American star added that the many messages he received from suffering teens as a result of his role on the show helped him open his eyes to the true scale of the #MeToo movement.
He said: ‘It showed me how prevalent and widespread it is and how before the #MeToo movement we weren’t doing much about it.’