“This season it’s about trying to give her character a proper sendoff while also leaving room for other characters to really step into the fray and step into the spotlight,” showrunner Tim Federle told Entertainment Tonight in July 2022. “Personally, it’s a joy to see Olivia’s music explode in such a big way. It was so fun to have her back and reminisce on the beginning.”
Keep reading for more details on how she left the show.
Where Was Nini During ‘HSMTMTS’ Season 3?
In California! Olivia’s character was present during the first two episodes of the season when she traveled to California with her moms. However, that was the last fans saw of her until the third season finale where she made a surprise appearance at Camp Shallow Lake to see her fellow East High Wildcats perform Frozen.
“I had to hand out opening night cards. Tradition,” Nini told Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders), noting that her summer in California has been “easy” and “life-changing.”
During their conversation, Nini expressed to Miss Jenn that while one of her moms wanted her to return to East High to finish out her senior year, she didn’t know if that’s what she wanted for herself. Miss Jenn told Nini that if they met up at the firepit after Frozen, that means she’s returning to East High and gave her the whole night to make her decision.
“Stay or go, you’re always a Wildcat,” Miss Jenn said.
How Did Olivia Rodrigo Leave ‘HSMTMTS’?
Naturally, Nini did not meet Miss Jenn at the firepit, meaning that she made the decision to move to California. Before she went, the teen met up with her bestie, Kourtney (Dara Reneé), and wished her goodbye. Nini also left all the Wildcats their opening night cards — leaving Ricky’s (Joshua Bassett) for last. While she and Ricky didn’t get a chance to talk, Nini left him a lottery ticket with his card so he can celebrate his 18th birthday. This was also the final item on Ricky’s bucket list, which he was working to complete throughout the season.
“Miss Jenn, I didn’t want to say goodbye because goodbye means it’s over. So, I just want to say, thank you,” Nini’s card to Miss Jenn read. “After tonight’s performance, it’s clear there’s already so much talent at East. So, I’m gunna go west. Here’s to the start of something new. Forever your Wildcat, Nini.”
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