Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why has introduced several new characters to keep its storyline fresh and original after the intense first season. While the season's polaroid mystery has definitely intrigued fans, these new characters have also kept plenty of viewers on their toes. The story behind Liberty High runner Nina Jones stayed obscure for a little longer than other new characters' backgrounds did, but the reveal of her truth was so worth it. Seeing as she's likely to become crucial to Jessica's recovery process this season, who is Nina on 13 Reasons Why Season 2? This post contains spoilers for 13 Reasons Why Season 2.
After taking a break from school following her encounter with Bryce, Jessica returns to Liberty High alongside a recovering Alex at the start of Season 2. She and Alex manage to poke fun at themselves when together, but neither of them is very confident on their own. Jessica also learns that the story of what happened to her has been twisted, and other students believe that she hooked up with Bryce willingly.
Determined to find some normalcy again, Jessica rejoins the cheerleading squad, but the head cheerleader (and Bryce's girlfriend), Chloe, treats her with enough cool distance that team practice definitely isn't a relief for her. Across the field, Jessica notices a track and field athlete watching her intently, but shakes it off until later that week, when Nina steps in to save her from an awkward moment with Mr. Porter and then introduce herself. Nina's status on the track team was really the only thing we knew about before the season premiere, with press releases describing her as a "track star with a secret."
After Nina's unexpected gesture toward Jessica, it's almost easy to forget about her until Episode 5, when the two girls end up in the same support group for rape survivors. While Jessica hasn't told any adults that Bryce was the one who raped her, Nina knows about the rumors flying about Bryce and Jessica and essentially puts clues together when she sees Jessica in the support group. As a result, Nina becomes Jessica's guide in dealing with the recovery process and moving on as a rape survivor. Given how hesitant Jessica has been to discuss her experience with Alex or Justin, it's an excellent sign for her to find someone who can relate to her trauma.
Played by Samantha Logan, Nina appears in the story alongside new student additions Chloe, Cyrus, and Mackenzie. According to Seventeen, Logan and the actress who plays Chloe, Anne Winters, first met when filming NBC pilot Cruel Intentions. Based on the season's first few episodes, Nina and Chloe have yet to meet, but depending on Chloe's future with Bryce, she could easily end up confiding in Jessica and, in turn, Nina. Before Jessica goes to the support group, she clashes with Chloe, who wants to set her up with someone since she believes that Jessica is jealous of her relationship with Bryce. Maybe Nina helps defend Jessica against Chloe's interference further down the line, leading to a bit of a meta moment for Logan and Winters.
As Nina says at the support group, she figured that Jessica needed a "friendly face" if she chose to pursue help to deal with her rape. Her appearances in the season have been brief so far, but by reaching out to Jessica, Nina has already displayed what kind of person she is. Here's hoping that having Nina's trust convinces Jessica to seek more help in dealing with the aftermath of her rape.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.