There is an important new face at Liberty High in Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why. As preseason trailers showed, a new character named Ani Achola played by Grace Saif joined the main cast to play a pivotal role in the new season, and now that Season 3 has officially arrived, fans know just how important Ani is to the story. So, just who is Ani on 13 Reasons Why and what exactly could she be hiding? Although the new girl seems trustworthy, there are also some pretty major red flags surrounding her.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from throughout Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why. Ani takes what could arguably be considered the central role in the new season, serving both as its narrator as well as the primary student investigator into Bryce's murder, alongside Clay. However, a troubling character trait of hers quickly casted some doubt over her narration: she is very skilled at lying. Not only that, but her narration in the season doubled as her police report to Deputy Standall — which fans heard in full in the finale — and it clearly made Ani an unreliable narrator.
Despite her penchant for lying, Ani's passion for solving the murder case seemed genuine, as did her feelings for Clay. Ani and Clay struck up a friendship right away after she transferred to Liberty High, bonding over their shared love of comic books, and that friendship soon evolved into a confusing, quasi-romance. They kissed in Clay's car, but then pulled back as Ani said she just wanted a friendship with Clay.
What Clay did not know was that Ani had totally misrepresented her relationship with Bryce to him. Since her mother worked as Bryce's grandpa's live-in caretaker, Ani lived in the Walker household, and although she told everyone else she rarely saw Bryce, she had actually formed a strong bond with him. After a series of late-night talks and poker games, the two began regularly hooking up, a fact Ani lied about to the police even after they found a pair of her underwear with Bryce's DNA on it.
Clay started to realize the truth about Ani and Bryce at the homecoming game, when he caught them kissing briefly before all the fighting went down. That kiss drove Clay into a rage, driving him to go after Bryce in the halftime scuffle and threaten to kill him both publicly and in text messages... which ended up making Clay the prime suspect in the murder.
But in the end, Ani's lying skills actually saved the day. After she learned that Monty had died in prison, Ani concocted a full, convincing story that pinned Bryce's murder on Monty, rather than Clay or the actual killer, Alex. Ani's plan ended the investigation, although the arrival of Monty's homecoming night hookup (and alibi for the murder) Winston threatening to reveal the truth could throw a wrench in Ani's story next season.
There was also another eyebrow-raising Ani moment that may lead into Season 4. After Jess gave her speech at the assembly, Ani asked if she had taken the mirror metaphor she used from anywhere, implying Ani had heard it before. In the finale, viewers hear Bryce use that same metaphor in the confession tape he gave to Jess the night of his death. It sounds like Ani may have heard Bryce's tape before everyone else, or maybe she was eavesdropping on him when he recorded it. Either way, it still seems like fans cannot be sure they know everything about Ani after all.
Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why is on Netflix now.