What Happened To Hannah's Dad On '13 Reasons Why'? Andy & Olivia Baker Have Struggled So Much On This Show
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for 13 Reasons Why Season 2, Episode 4. The new season of 13 Reasons Why does not pick up in the immediate, uneasy aftermath of the first season. A few months have passed, and more than one of the characters has changed significantly since the last time we saw them. What happened to Hannah's dad on 13 Reasons Why? Season 2 opens with some unanswered questions.
Early in the season, it is apparent that Andy and Olivia have separated at the very least. Not only has Olivia cut her hair off, but Andy is not at home and he's not attending the trial or meetings with their lawyer. Olivia is seemingly on her own.
"Kate [Walsh] was like, 'I wonder if she changes her hair, I wonder if she chops her hair off,'" said creator Brian Yorkey in an interview with Entertainment Weekly about Olivia's character development. "We talked about it and we thought it would be really interesting and also, it’s helpful to distinguish present day Olivia from flashback Olivia. It felt like an interesting character move. She means business. She’s got no time for this beautiful hair, she’s got a trial to win."
Andy and Olivia's marriage was rocky even before Hannah died, and the stress of the trial and their individual efforts to move on from tragedy seems to have resulted in Andy's moving out of the house. Jackie, the anti-bullying advocate and fellow grieving mother played by Kelli O'Hara, moves into the Baker house in his stead. In Episode 4, Hannah's dad appears for the first time at the store. It seems like he and his wife still own it together. He's dating someone new as well. Olivia asks if he's living with a "her," and he says no — but it seems like he really meant yes and simply couldn't face that talk.
However, the more specific reasons for their separation and/or divorce are still part of the mystery of those intervening months. Hannah's dad was just as active in the pursuit of justice as her mother. Why did he back off? What happened?
In Episode 4, Andy offers an olive branch. He references Olivia's statement, which made local news, saying that it was both beautiful and brave. They're cordial for a moment, nice even, and then start fighting again. "Can we stop with the contest," Andy says. "I'm tired of the game of who suffers more." "Not everyone can move on so easily," Olivia replies. It's a bit of a clue as to why they are no longer together.
According to Health magazine, the death of a child often leads to divorce even without the stress of a legal battle on top of that. It seems he's afraid of losing what they have left if they lose the trial. Sure, this is 13 Reasons Why, and it's possible that someone got to him or threatened him, but the reason Andy and Olivia broke up could be as simple as that. He and his wife have different goals now, and are going about finding peace in different ways.
Any also warns Olivia about Jackie. He's the second character to do so, and fans looking to unwrap the secrets of the season should take note at that. What's up with this mystery woman who showed up in town? Could she really have ulterior motives? Could she be manipulating Olivia in a way?
More will be revealed as the season progresses, of course. Hannah, who internalized a lot of her parents' stress about money in the weeks before she committed suicide, would be devastated to see them now. Hopefully they'll be in a better place by the end of the season if possible. This season is all about the long-lasting, not the immediate aftermath of a tragedy like this, and what happens to Hannah's parents is a huge part of that story.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.