The latest season of 13 Reasons Why majorly shook things up with the introduction of a new main character. Fans were taken aback by how quickly Liberty High's new girl Ani Achola became the central protagonist in Season 3, serving as the narrator for all of the new episodes. But one tidbit in the season finale left fans thinking she might not return for the show's fourth and final season. So, will Ani be in 13 Reasons Why Season 4? Here's why fans think the finale subtly set up her departure.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the Season 3 finale of 13 Reasons Why. Ani was absolutely pivotal to the new season, serving both as its narrator and the primary investigator into Bryce's murder alongside Clay. However, she soon began to reveal an unsettling habit throughout the season: her penchant for lying often and convincingly. Although Ani lived in Bryce's home prior to his death — given that her mother was a live-in nurse for Bryce's grandpa —she repeatedly told Clay, Jess, and others that she rarely spoke to him. In reality, though, Ani had grown incredibly close to Bryce, even to the point of repeatedly hooking up with him.
In the end, Ani's ability to fabricate lies turned out to be exactly the thing that saved Clay, Alex, Jess, and everyone else from the continuing murder investigation. After learning Alex was the one who killed Bryce and that Monty had recently been killed in jail, Ani concocted a story that pinned Bryce's murder on Monty, successfully clearing her friends' names in the process. The season ended on a high note, as Clay and Ani officially began dating, although there was still the threat of Monty's secret flame Winston blowing up Ani's lie and reopening the investigation.
Despite the season deeply ingraining Ani into the group of main characters, some viewers picked up on a detail that seemed to suggest she may disappear in the show's fourth and final season. At the end of Season 3, Bryce's grandpa died, and as viewers on Reddit pointed out, this means Ani's mom would no longer have a reason to stay in town.
If the show opts to keep thing practical (which, let's be honest, these teen dramas aren't always known for), then Ani's mom would definitely look for a new live-in nurse job after the death of Mr. Walker. That could very likely lead to Ani leaving town, which is something she is very accustomed to, as she mentioned she's transferred to various schools in various towns because of her mother's job.
While this would be the practical route, the 13 Reasons Why writers may invent some way to keep Ani around since she is such a central character now. Maybe a lonely Mrs. Walker — now without both her son and her dad — continues to keep Ani's mom on her payroll for the company, or maybe Ani's mom is able to find a new nursing job that is still in town. Then again, the fan reaction to Ani has been largely negative, so maybe the writers will take the opportunity to say goodbye to her. Fans won't know for sure until the fourth and final season of 13 Reasons Why finally arrives.