This New '13 Reasons Why' Character Is Playing A Major Role For Mrs. Baker
Even with her husband at her side in Season 1 of 13 Reasons Why, Olivia Baker didn't exactly have the greatest support team when trying to avenge Hannah's death. Her husband Andy didn't really understand Olivia's determination to find answers about Hannah's suicide, instead preferring to accept his grief and try to move past it. In a change of pace, the first few episodes of Season 2 show Andy nowhere in sight, while Olivia has a new, supportive friend nearby. In the five months since Hannah's death, Olivia has finally met someone who understands her plight, but who is Jackie in 13 Reasons Why Season 2? This post contains spoilers for 13 Reasons Why Season 2.
Described as an anti-bullying advocate in press releases, Jackie (Tony-winning actress Kelli O'Hara) is quickly introduced as the only adult standing by Olivia's side as the Bakers' trial moves forward. Episode 1 reveals that Andy has essentially disassociated with anything to do with the legalities of Hannah's death, while Jackie makes it clear on the first day of the trial that she's Olivia's advocate. Although fans may initially think Jackie is a legal representative of some kind, she's literally just a new friend who has seemingly popped out of nowhere to help Olivia. Sweet, I guess?
Like Olivia, Jackie has also lost a daughter to suicide, and the two women's discussions about a mother's perspective on such a loss explain why they seem to have bonded so quickly. Where Jackie came from is definitely a little sketchy, as she eventually moves from a hotel into Olivia's spare room, which Olivia's lawyer doesn't exactly approve of. Where is the rest of Jackie's family? Did she reach out to Olivia on her own? I'm all for believing in the kindness of strangers, but there better be some backstory coming up that explains how Jackie entered Olivia's life.
Although having someone who understands her pain is definitely beneficial to her, Olivia and Jackie's budding friendship hits a bump when Jackie washes the blood out of the dress Olivia wore the day she found Hannah dead. Olivia had understandably forgotten that she even put the bloody dress away in the spare room, but she freaks about Jackie taking matters into her own hands. You know how you bond quickly with your dorm mates the first week of college, but out of necessity and convenience? Jackie and Olivia's bond is a little similar. They've meshed well over a shared kind of tragedy, but that doesn't mean they grieve in the exact same ways.
Jackie isn't the only person Olivia hangs out with in Andy's absence. She's later seen at her store snacking with Tony, and although they acknowledge how odd their friendship must look, it's quite sweet that they trust and confide in each other during this crazy time. Tony has even given her updates on his relationship status, which is an undeniable sign of friendship, if you ask me.
Meanwhile, in these first few episodes, Andy is still MIA. Thanks to his absence in the season's official trailer and Olivia's fierce new haircut, fans have speculated that the Bakers split this season, and judging by these early episodes, that theory is looking more likely. Seeing as actor Brian d'Arcy James's involvement in Season 2 is confirmed, it's only a matter of time before he shows up and offers some clarity about his and Olivia's current relationship. Maybe Jackie even has something to do with his absence, as it wouldn't be far-fetched for her presence to have irritated Andy to the point of leaving home. After all, Olivia seems to long for someone who understands her rather than tolerates her, and Jackie appears to be that someone in Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.