‘Baby Reindeer’ ending explained: What happens to Martha?
(Credits: Netflix)

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‘Baby Reindeer’ ending explained: What happens to Martha?

The British drama-thriller miniseries Baby Reindeer, created by and starring Richard Gadd, arrived on Netflix last week, and it is a hit. The show explores the harrowing real-life experiences Gadd had to face when a random act of kindness led to one of the most emotionally exhausting chapters of his life. 

Adapted from Gadd’s autobiographical one-man show, the series unfolds a gripping story about stalking, obsession, trauma, and resilience. This seven-episode saga has been praised for its raw portrayal of personal turmoil.

The series follows the intense and harrowing journey of its protagonist, Donny (portrayed by Gadd). He had no way of knowing that offering a complimentary tea to a random stranger at a London pub would lead to years of torture. We meet the seemingly harmful Martha in Baby Reindeer only to ride along with Donny as everything spirals out of control.

Baby Reindeer concludes with a haunting reflection on how trauma endures long after the physical effects of it have subsided. And if you need a brief rundown of where things end, read on.

What happens at the end of Baby Reindeer?

After enduring relentless stalking and trauma, Donny takes a courageous step towards reclaiming his narrative. In a raw and unfiltered public confession during a comedy competition, he bravely shares his experiences of sexual assault, stalking, and failed relationships. This vulnerable act unexpectedly propels his career forward as the video of his confession goes viral, offering him a newfound sense of purpose and direction.

Martha’s reign of terror meets its reckoning as Donny takes decisive action against her relentless harassment. Over the years, Martha sent him thousands of emails, texts, and voice notes — none of which were incriminating. The sheer volume of the correspondence was not enough proof of any misgiving, not legally, at least.

In the end, Donny finally decides to report Martha to the authorities again. This time, it actually leads to an arrest. Martha pleaded guilty and received a nine-month prison sentence. Additionally, Donny is able to obtain a five-year restraining order against her, finally putting an end to her torment.

Finding solace amid chaos, Donny reconciles with Keeley and returns to live with her mother, Liz. However, a startling discovery awaits him as he stumbles upon an old script with notes from his former mentor and assaulter, Darrien. This encounter prompts Donny to confront his past once more.

In the series’ closing moments, Donny finds himself overwhelmed by a flood of emotions. As he revisits Martha’s old voicemails, categorised by her various emotional states, he grapples with the depths of loneliness and isolation. He opens and listens to a voice note from Martha that he had saved in the ‘Not Listened To’ folder (among the others named, ‘Excited’, ‘Complimentary’, ‘Horny’, ‘Adoring’), where she explains why she refers to Donny as “baby reindeer”. 

“I had this wee cuddly toy when I was young. Went with me everywhere. Earliest memory I have, I think, was Christmastime.” Martha drones on in the voice note, “This old photo of me, sitting with this paper hat on my head and this baby reindeer beside me. Anyway, this reindeer was this cuddly, fluffy thing. It had big lips, huge eyes, and the cutest wee bum. I still have it to this day. It was the only good thing about my childhood. I’d hug it when they fought. And they fought a lot, you know?” She goes on before dropping the final explanation, “Well, you are the spit of that reindeer. The same nose. Same eyes. Same cute wee bum. It means so much to me. You… You mean so much to me.”

Donny sobs while sitting at the bar. He may have escaped Martha, but mentally, he is far from moving on. But as the bartender asks if he is okay, it dawns on him that he has forgotten his wallet. The bartender gives him the drink for free, bringing the story full circle — it ends where it began.

You can stream Baby Reindeer on Netflix now.