*Warning: This article contains spoilers for the finale of Baby Reindeer, as well as discussion of stalking and sexual assault that some may find upsetting.*

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Baby Reindeer on Netflix has taken the world by storm.

A fictional recount based on actor and comedian Richard Gadd's one-man show of the same name, the series revolves around a struggling comedian called Donny (Gadd), whose life begins to unravel when he's stalked by a woman called Martha (Jessica Gunning) after he gives her a cup of tea on the house at the bar where he works.

However, what begins as a story about stalking soon becomes much more as Gadd explores heavy topics including identity, trauma, shame and validation.

Eventually, things start to look up for Donny in the finale. So, what happens to the struggling comedian?

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Read on for a full breakdown of the ending, with one of the series stars giving their verdict on what that divisive final scene means.

Baby Reindeer ending explained

Richard Gadd as Donny in Baby Reindeer. She is stood in front of taps in a pub, holding one of the pumps. He is wearing a green polo shirt and is surrounded by bottles of alcohol.
Richard Gadd as Donny in Baby Reindeer. Ed Miller/Netflix

The start of the Baby Reindeer finale is arguably the happiest we've seen Donny, as he's taking the comedy world by storm after the video of his public breakdown goes viral. He's so busy, in fact, that he sets an out-of-office email, but makes the careless decision to include his mobile phone number in it.

It's not long before he gets a call from Martha (who has previously never had his phone number), who is very angry and threatens to tell his parents about his sexual assault.

Wanting to get ahead of Martha's fateful phone call, Donny travels to Scotland to tell his parents about his journey of sexuality and wanting to go on it with his parents' support. He then tells them about the viral video and how, in it, he admits to speaking about being raped.

His parents take the news better than he expects, but Donny admits he didn't want them to think of him as "less of a man".

That's when his father, Gerry (Mark Lewis Jones), asks if Donny would think of him as "less of a man", simply saying that he "grew up in the Catholic church" and holding his son's gaze.

His father eventually gets up to hug him with tears in his eyes, and Donny then explains that the rest of his time in Scotland was great as he bonded with his parents and had some important time off.

But on the train back to London, Donny switches on his phone and finds 50 voicemails on his phone from Martha. He immediately goes to the police station to inform them of the new stalking tactics, but is told by the officer on the front desk that he should instead go home and wait for Martha to say something threatening that could be used in the investigation.

Over the next few months, Donny admits that listening to the voicemails soon became like a podcast to him, and as he listens to them, it's clear that they become a distraction to him.

In the midst of those months, we see Donny make a trip to Teri's apartment, and across from it, he sees her leaving her home with another man, clearly in a new relationship.

When he's asked by the police about any new developments, he lies and admits that he was withholding the voicemails from them because of "fascination, empathy or guilt", really just wanting an excuse to keep Martha in his life.

Eventually, Martha sends a furious voicemail stating that she could stab someone (ie Donny or his family) one day. The next day, she is arrested, and after her court trial and sentencing, Donny finds himself at a bit of a loss.

A few weeks pass and Keeley visits him, saying that his housemate has been worried about him because he hasn't seen Donny in weeks.

Hiding in his bedroom, it becomes clear that Donny has filled his time with looking into every message that Martha has ever sent him, and is building up a wall of notes akin to a police investigation of his own.

Keeley then tells Donny that she wants him to move back with her mother after all that he's been through. He eventually does, and he immediately seems more comfortable back in familiar surroundings.

Back in his room, he finds a box that Keeley's mum has set aside of his things, and there he finds the script for Hangman Harry, the same script he gave to Darrien (Tom Goodman-Hill), who has annotated it.

What happens to Martha and does she get arrested?

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

Yes, Martha in Baby Reindeer was arrested the day after sending Donny the threatening voicemail and was charged with three counts of stalking and harassment. In court, her charge is read out, and covers the period of time from 14th August 2015 to 22nd March 2017.

She tearfully pleads guilty to the charges, which also include harassment charges against Donny's parents. She sees Donny across the court for one last time, and we hear from Donny's narration that she was sentenced to nine months in prison.

A five-year restraining order was also issued on the same day of the trial, meaning that would be the last time that Donny would set eyes on Martha.

What happens to Teri in Baby Reindeer?

Donny tries to make things work with Teri but, in the end, his internalised homophobia and shame prevent him from being able to show her the love she deserves.

Teri ultimately realises this and dumps him, and this is the last we see of her.

Teri actor Nava Mau recently revealed there was a final interaction between Teri and Donny in which her character was able to move on from the relationship that was ultimately cut from the show.

"Teri leaves Donny a voicemail five months later. So I think, for me, I got closure because Teri did too," she told GQ.

"That's what gave me so much comfort, knowing that they found peace with regards to their relationship," she added.

Speaking about the outcome of the relationship between Teri and Donny, Mau previously told Netflix: “It’s honourable for our hearts to want to hold someone up, but it can’t be at the expense of our own stability.

She added: “It is our own responsibility to know where that boundary is.”

What happens with Donny and Darrien?

Tom Goodman-Hill sat as Darrien in Baby Reindeer in a green shirt
Tom Goodman-Hill as Darrien in Baby Reindeer. Ed Miller/Netflix

The next thing we see, Donny visits Darrien's apartment, and while there, the pair laugh about Donny's previous living situation before Donny apologises to Darrien for disappearing.

Darrien says that he saw Donny's video and admits he thought it was "brave", before saying that Donny should work with him again, saying "it won't be like last time".

Darrien never explicitly mentions the abuse, but instead offers Donny a paid work proposition to work on a sitcom remake, and Donny says he'd "love that".

In Darrien's flat, it's clear that Donny has reverted back to some kind of trauma response to deal with the scenario of being back in the apartment (and place of his abuse), but as soon as he leaves, it's like a cloud lifts, and Donny starts to reckon with what has just happened and the offer he's just accepted.

Speaking about that confrontation scene with Darrien, series creator and star Richard Gadd told GQ: "I think that was almost the most truthful scene of the entire show.

"What abuse does is it creates psychological damage as well as physical damage… Abuse leaves an imprint. Especially abuse like this, where it’s repeated with promises.

"There’s a pattern where a lot of people who have been abused feel like they need their abusers. I don’t think it was a cynical ending, it was showing an element of abuse that hadn’t been seen on television before, which is, unfortunately, the deeply entrenched, negative, psychological effects of attachment you can sometimes have with your abuser."

Martha actress Jessica Gunning also spoke to RadioTimes.com about those final scenes where Donny is obsessed with listening to the voicemails, saying: "You see when her voicemails become a little bit of a soundtrack to his life, when he goes back to Darrien’s house, he needs Martha’s reassurance, he needs her compliments to calm him down.

"I think the voicemails almost represent an ease to his loneliness, and I think that’s what he latched onto - and he found escapism in her words."

What does the final Baby Reindeer scene of Donny in the pub mean?

Donny sat on the back seat of a bus, on the top deck, with condescension in the shape of antlers on the window behind him
Richard Gadd in baby Reindeer. Netflix

Donny seems to be having a panic attack straight after leaving Darrien's apartment, and after getting his breath, he switches on the voicemails from Martha to listen to.

The voicemails Donny chooses to listen to make him smile, as Martha admits to fancying him, as well as complimenting his appearance.

Donny then enters a pub and looks uncomfortable as he keeps his earphones plugged in, ordering a double vodka and coke from the bartender. As he's preparing Donny's drink, we then see that Donny has organised Martha's voicemails on his phone into folders including Excited, Complimentary, Horny, Adoring and Not Listened To.

He selects one of the ones he hasn't listened to yet, and in it, Martha finally reveals why she refers to Donny as "baby reindeer".

Once listened to, Donny starts to cry, and then wipes away his tears to pay for the drink once the bartender brings it over and asks if he's alright. Donny then realises he's left his wallet at home, which the bartender tells him not to worry about, as he'll give it to him on the house.

Gunning exclusively chatted to RadioTimes.com about that final scene, saying: "I think that’s how it’s so cleverly written, because by the end, there’s no winner - and you definitely feel that. It’s not a success story, there’s no victory there.

"That’s why that stage direction is so amazing – there’s no jump scare like, 'Ha, ha, got you.' It’s two lost people, and that’s captured so well."

She continued: "When I read it [the final scene], I actually got goosebumps, because I thought, 'What a clever way to end this.' It’s a broken guy, really, like she was in a sense, being offered this act of kindness, and I think he’s just got an insight into what that meant at that moment.

"That’s just such a clever final beat of everything. I think it’s amazing, and it just translated so well to the screen."

Gadd also told RadioTimes.com that the final scene is open to interpretation, and is one he's looking forward to people dissecting.

He told us: "I quite like the ambiguity of the ending, I sort of don't want to put a meaning on it. I think it can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. I know what it is in my head – that ending's my favourite thing in the whole series, the way it ends.

"From plugging in the headphones to going all the way to the end, hearing the voicemail, looking up, that's my whole favourite bit in the whole series. I think it can be interpreted in multiple ways, and I like that it can. I'm quite keen to see what people think, actually."

What is the meaning behind Baby Reindeer?

It's only in those final moments of the finale that we learn why Martha has called Donny 'baby reindeer' since meeting him, as Donny listens to one of her many voicemails for the first time.

In the voicemail, Martha explains that she had a cuddly toy when she was young that went with her everywhere, recounting her earliest memory of Christmas where she was sitting with the baby reindeer beside her.

She describes it as being "cuddly and fluffy" with "big lips, huge eyes and the cutest wee bum". She admits she still has it to this day, but that it was "the only good thing about my childhood".

Martha explains that she'd hug the baby reindeer when "they" fought, referring to her parents, and saying that they fought a lot.

She admits that Donny is the spit of the reindeer and that the reindeer means so much to her, thus meaning that Donny means so much to her also.

Anyone affected by the content in this article 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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