*Warning: This article contains full spoilers for the ending of Netflix's Baby Reindeer.*


It's the Netflix series that has quickly skyrocketed to the top of the charts and gotten everyone talking, in no small part thanks to the roller coaster journey we go on throughout Baby Reindeer – but also because of that final episode.

The finale brought with it many heartfelt moments that have divided opinion, especially over Donny's (Richard Gadd) actions.

But it also brought with it an important moment that shone a light on Martha (Jessica Gunning) and her own past of trauma.

In the finale, Donny listens to a never-before-heard voicemail from Martha, which reveals why she calls Donny "baby reindeer" - and it's safe to say it's an eye-opening and emotional moment for our protagonist.

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When chatting about the characterisation of Martha, Gunning exclusively told RadioTimes.com: "It’s interesting you bring up that voicemail, that’s the thing I always went back to.

"So in the courtroom scene, in the scene when she’s on her own at the bar, that’s actually the voicemail I read just to get me into that – I find it so emotional, that final voicemail."

Jessica Gunning as Martha in Baby Reindeer. She is wearing a pink jacket and is sat looking upwards with a smile on her face, holding a menu.
Jessica Gunning as Martha in Baby Reindeer. Netflix

She continued: "That’s the thing that I clung to in terms of her past. That voicemail is absolutely the thing I clung to, for sure, because I just found that so emotional."

In the voicemail, Gunning reminisces about her childhood, which was filled with arguments between her parents. Because of that volatile environment, she would regularly cling to and hug her stuffed animal – a baby reindeer.

A coping mechanism for the trauma around her, she reveals that the cuddly toy bears a resemblance to Donny, hence why she refers to him as such. But she also ends the voicemail saying how much the toy means to her, and in turn, how much Donny means to her.

Until that point in the finale, viewers have no real idea about Martha's past and childhood, aside from the headlines and news articles that Donny reads about her former stalking charges.

Through the series, we get an idea of her state of mind and living situation, as Donny follows her back home to a cramped council flat overrun with rubbish and mess.

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Eventually, Martha is charged with the stalking and harassment of Donny and his parents, but in that court room, she also cries out for her reindeer, not realising that Donny is watching her from across the room.

They lock eyes for one final time, and it's a sobering final shot of Martha as she's led away out of the court.

Playing the character also meant getting "sucked into" the relationship between Donny and Martha, Gunning revealed.

She said: "They meet each other at a time in each other’s lives where they need each other, weirdly. Especially when you delve into Donny’s past in episode 4, you understand him a lot better."

But Gunning is also adamant that whatever people take from the series, it's not as clear-cut as the villain character being Martha, saying that "it would’ve been a shame to play her as a villain because I don’t think she is that".

She also revealed: "It’s really hard to say 'watch something without judgement' when it could be so polarising or complicated.

"I don’t think it’s the kind of thing where people will take sides at all, but I think it’s the kind of thing that people will see is a lot more nuanced than just a headline stalker victim storyline. I think it’s a lot more than that."

Anyone affected by Richard Gadd's story can find support by visiting the NHS website or contacting Victim Support.

All seven episodes of Baby Reindeer are now available to stream on Netflix. Signup for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.


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