Harrison Chatham was a minor character in the third season of 13 Reasons Why. He was Nora Walker's father, Bryce Walker's grandfather and Barry Walker's ex-father in law. He is stated, and shown several times, to have been abusive toward Nora. At the time he is introduced, he is dying of old age, and Amara Josephine Achola is employed to take care of him in his final days. He is portrayed by Raymond J. Barry.
Harrison grew up in the same house as where he lived in his last years. He has implied that he was raised by a cruel man. Harrison raised his daughter Nora the same way; he was physically abusive towards her. He has been married at least four times, as Nora mentioned him marrying her third stepmother.
Throughout the Series
In "Yeah. I'm the New Girl", Harrison does not appear, but he is mentioned when Bryce moves in with his mother. When Bryce asks about him, Nora states he is "Dying. But slowly, so that's nice."
In "If You're Breathing, You're a Liar", he makes a fuss upstairs while Nora and Chlöe are talking about Bryce. He does not appear, but Nora mentions that he doesn't want to take his meds. Nora also says he is cruel, and that she escaped him by marrying Barry, who was cruel in a different way. She shows her feelings about him when she states neither he nor Barry should ever have been a father. She also mentions he was physically abusive.
In The Good Person is Indistinguishable from the Bad, after Nora grounds Bryce, when she mentions he used to live with his father, Bryce responds with "and now you live with yours," indirectly mentioning him. She also starts to mention what he would have done had she talked back to him, but stops, implying he would have been physically abusive.
In "Nobody's Clean", he appears for the first time. He tells Nora that Bryce hasn't been to see him for days, and wonders where he is, not having been told of Bryce's death. Nora lies, claiming Bryce is with friends. He approves, claiming boys need their time to be wild. He also reveals that he grew up in the same house. At the end of the episode, Nora tells him that Bryce is dead and the funeral is tomorrow. He freaks out, unable to believe this, and demands his cane while attempting to get out of bed. In the flashbacks, he does not appear, but is mentioned in a conversation between Bryce and Ani.
In "You Can Tell the Heart of a Man by How He Grieves", he is shown to get along well with Barry Walker, being on friendly terms. He stops Bryce from swearing, and disapproves of the divorce, believing Barry was the best thing that happened to her, calling him self-made. When Nora states he was self-made with her money, he angrily points out it was his money, stating Nora never worked in her life. When Amara Josephine tries to take him away, he forces her to let him stay. When Nora tells him to calm down, he refuses, and claims she never treated Barry with the proper respect and was taught better. Nora asks if this was by the way he treated her mother, and he calls her a "selfish bitch". Bryce intervenes at this point, telling him if he ever speaks to Nora like this again he will be rolled into the street and forced to crawl back inside. Harrison becomes silent following this. He is also mentioned when Bryce and Nora paint her room green. Nora states she wanted green walls when she was a kid, and asked her father to do this while remodeling, but he had recently remarried Nora's third stepmother, who disapproved, and it didn't happen. Bryce also offers to paint his room magenta. In the present, he is shown attending the funeral, where he greets Barry in a friendly manner.
In "In High School, Even on a Good Day, It's Hard to Tell Who's on Your Side", Harrison is mentioned during a counseling session between Bryce, Nora and Mr. Porter. Nora states that she and Barry tried to give Bryce the best of everything because of how she was raised. She also states she never pictured herself as a mother growing up, because of the kind of parents she has. Bryce tries to call her out for blaming her father for her own failures, but Mr. Porter stops him.
In "The World Closing In", Harrison is mentioned when Tony confronts Bryce over his family being deported. When Tony arrives at Bryce's house, Bryce claims he shouldn't be there at night, as his grandfather has a shotgun and is racist and senile.
In "Let the Dead Bury the Dead", Harrison appears in bed following the closing of the case. He appears to be in his final moments. As her father lies dying, Nora stays with him. He tells her that he tried to give her the best life he could and wanted her to have better things than he had. He said he did the best he knew how, no one taught him better.
Having grown up in a different time, Harrison has not adapted to the standards of modern times. Nora mentions several times that he was abusive toward her when she was growing up, openly calling him "cruel" and stating that he expressed this cruelty with "his fist". He also frequently belittles Nora in his old age, claiming she never treated Barry with the proper respect, disapproving of her divorce, and claiming she "didn't work a goddamn day in her life". It is also implied that he was abusive toward Nora's mother, as when he tries to belittle Nora, claiming she was taught respect, Nora replies "by the way you treated mom". which angers him. Nora later tells Bryce, when painting a room, that her former interior decorator was "step-monster number three" showing that after his marriage to Nora's mother ended, he remarried at least three times while Nora still lived with him despite her disapproval. Nora even states that one of the reasons she married Barry was to escape him. He was also shown to be slightly hypocritical, as he reprimanded Bryce for using foul language, only to use it himself when speaking to Nora. Bryce also has called him "racist" and "senile", though the latter is presumably due to his old age.
Despite his behavior, Harrison is shown to have a softer side, and genuinely care about some people. In "You Can Tell the Heart of a Man by How He Grieves", he is shown to get along well with Barry Walker, even being on friendly terms despite the divorce from his daughter. However, this is presumably because Barry is a cruel man like himself, who merely expresses it in a different way. In the episode "Nobody's Clean", he is shown to be devastated and unable to believe that Bryce is dead, despite having only one interaction on screen with him, in which Bryce threatens to roll him into the street should he insult Nora again.
In his final moments, he implies that her he was also raised by a cruel man when he tells Nora that he wanted her to have better things than he had and no one taught him better. This implies Harrison, like Nora, raise his child the way he was raised, as he didn't know how to do it better. Nora also states, in a counseling session with Mr. Porter, that she gave Bryce the best of everything because it is how she was raised, implying this was part of how Harrison raised her.
- "Yeah. I'm the New Girl" (mentioned)
- "If You're Breathing, You're a Liar" (mentioned)
- "The Good Person is Indistinguishable from the Bad" (mentioned)
- "Nobody's Clean"
- "You Can Tell the Heart of a Man by How He Grieves"
- "In High School, Even on a Good Day, It's Hard to Tell Who's on Your Side" (mentioned)
- "The World Closing In" (mentioned)
- "Let the Dead Bury the Dead"