Richard Gadd sitting on a bus in Baby Reindeer

Does Donny Ever See Martha Again? ‘Baby Reindeer’ Ending, Explained

"I couldn't tell if it was putting an end to her fascination or mine."

The true story of comedian Richard Gadd and his stalker is currently topping the streaming charts. But even though the miniseries concludes on a pretty final note, audiences were still left with questions. So, how does Baby Reindeer end, both onscreen and in real life?

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Netflix has certainly branched into more tonally serious projects over the years, but Baby Reindeer might be its bleakest yet, providing a harrowing look into serial stalking, mental health, sexuality, and trauma in one of the most mind-boggling must-watches of the year. Even wilder? It’s based on a true story—one that left the show’s writer/star, the real-life stalking victim, grasping for answers.

Originally conceptualized as a one-man show, Baby Reindeer made its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019 before being adapted to the screen in April 2024. The seven-episode series held the No. 1 spot on Netflix for close to a month before being dethroned by Jeff Daniels’ A Man in Full earlier this week. Its creator, Richard Gadd, stars as Donnie Dunn, alongside Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott.

Although many viewers have pondered over who the real-life “Martha” is since the show’s premiere on April 11, Gadd has made it clear that he’s dedicated to maintaining her real-life counterpart’s anonymity. Why? Well, natural curiosity aside, it could be because of Baby Reindeer‘s ending, which leaves the fate of Martha pretty open-ended, all things considered.

**SPOILER ALERT: This post spoils all episodes of Baby Reindeer.**

A full breakdown of that haunting Baby Reindeer ending

It would be simply incorrect to say that the Baby Reindeer finale is an ambiguous one, given Richard Gadd leaves audiences with virtually all the answers we need. The last episode follows the explosive aftermath of Donny’s onstage breakdown and sees Martha’s continued stalking coming to an end when she finally goes a step too far, threatening to stab Donny and his parents via voicemail.

Now that he has sufficient evidence to turn over to the police, Donny puts Martha behind bars and, supposedly, never sees her again. In the show, Martha pleads guilty to three counts of stalking and harassment. Through narration, viewers learn that Martha was sentenced to nine months in prison, and that Donny was granted a five-year restraining order. However, as we see in the episode, his feelings on the matter are … complicated, to say the least.

Despite wanting to protect himself and his loved ones, Donny is aware that Martha is, at the end of the day, a mentally unstable women who needs professional help, and doesn’t necessarily want to be the reason she returns to prison. But knowing Martha is far away from him is enough to give Donny the peace of mind he needs, especially where his parents are involved. It’s safe to assume that Donny’s mom and dad are living a life free of Martha now that she’s locked up, and that she won’t come knocking at Liz’s (Nina Sosanya) door again anytime soon, now that Donny has moved back in.

Martha in Netflix's Baby Reindeer
(Netflix)

Speaking with The Times ahead of Baby Reindeer‘s release, Gadd admitted that he “saw someone who was unwell, needed help, was quite vulnerable,” and “didn’t want to throw someone who was that level of mentally unwell in prison.” Of course, we never learn the true identity of “Martha,” but it’s clear that Gadd has quite a bit of empathy for his serial stalker to this day. Hopefully, she’s now getting the help she needs.

As for Donny’s love interest, Teri (Nava Mau), a cut scene supposedly addressed the exes’ falling out, and gave the characters closure over their failed romance. Mau told GQ in a recent interview that her Baby Reindeer character was supposed to receive a happy ending, telling the outlet, “Teri leaves Donny a voicemail five months later. So I think, for me, I got closure because Teri did too. That’s what gave me so much comfort, knowing that they found peace with regards to their relationship. Teri found a new man, she didn’t lose her friends, she didn’t lose her job, she didn’t lose her smile. She’s good.”

Similar to his onscreen counterpart, it’s implied that Donny gets a happy ending of sorts, too. Understandably, Donny is still haunted by the trauma of being assaulted by his so-called “mentor,” Darrien (Tom Goodman-Hill), and confronts his abuser in one of the show’s most chilling moments after he receives an edited version of his pilot script. Donny also comes out to his parents as bisexual, tearfully revealing to them the abuse he’s endured over the years, not wanting to be thought of as “less of a man.” His parents accept him with open arms, emphasizing that their love is unconditional, always.

While we leave Donny at something of a low point in his life, hunched over a bar top at a pub in a scene eerily reminiscent to his initial meeting with Martha all those years ago, it’s implied that Donny will transform his horrific experience into a work of art as Gadd did in real life. We see Donny hurriedly typing on his computer in an attempt to “understand” Martha, suggesting that his findings will result in the Baby Reindeer play and thus, the Netflix TV show. Pretty meta, no?

It’s hard to think of the Baby Reindeer finale as a “happy ending” given the amount of suffering, paranoia, and sheer mental torment that Donny and his loved ones endured at the hands of Martha for close to five years. Still, at least the show gave our protagonists closure, for the most part, making it clear that even for victims like Donny, there’s always a chance for things to get better.

All episodes of Baby Reindeer are now streaming exclusively on Netflix.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Author
Amanda Landwehr
Amanda is a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer who lives and breathes Star Wars, Marvel, and all things pop culture. She has worked in digital media since 2021, covering the latest movie/TV releases, casting updates, fan theories, and so, so much more. When she's not rotting away behind her laptop screen, you can typically catch Amanda maxing out her AMC Stubs membership.