Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott in Baby Reindeer
(Netflix)

‘Baby Reindeer’ Finale: What Happened to Martha?

'Baby Reindeer' is currently the most-watched series on Netflix.

Baby Reindeer is currently the No. 1 trending series on Netflix, detailing the true-ish story of down-on-his-luck comedian Donny Dunn (Richard Gadd) and his serial stalker, Martha (Jessica Gunning). But what happens to Martha after she’s taken into police custody, and is her fate ever confirmed in the show?

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There’s a lot to unpack with Baby Reindeer, which hit the streaming service on April 11. Not only is the miniseries a stress-inducing exploration of sexuality, mental health, and the harmful effects of stalking, but it also takes a surprisingly nuanced approach to its central “antagonist,” Martha.

Throughout its seven episodes, audiences feel almost sorry for Martha, with Donny (and by extension, Gadd) being largely sympathetic to the woman who sent him over 41,000 emails, 350 hours’ worth of voicemail messages, and 744 tweets over four years. After all, it’s Donny’s simple act of kindness that brings them together in the first place, with Martha being unable to afford a cup of tea (and later on, a diet Coke—extra ice) upon her first visit to Donny’s pub, which he gives her for free.

Martha’s stalking gets progressively more dangerous throughout the series, particularly when she takes to following Donny home, harassing his family, showing up to his comedy gigs, and even getting in a violent altercation with Donny’s flame, Teri (Nava Mau). This leads him to report Martha’s behavior to the police, who initially doubt his claims. However, upon learning of Martha’s criminal record, Donny’s case is eventually taken more seriously. The final nail in the coffin comes when Martha threatens to stab Donny and his loved ones via voicemail—gotcha.

In the final episode, viewers finally see Martha’s arrest play out, culminating in a dramatic courtroom scene where she tearfully pleads guilty to her crimes. Ultimately, Martha (and presumably, her real-life counterpart) is charged with three counts of stalking and harassment, and Donny is granted a five-year restraining order—and, allegedly, never sees her again. Fade to black. So, what’s with that ambiguous ending?

What happened to Martha in Baby Reindeer?

At the end of the final episode, Donny appears visually distressed as his stalker is sentenced to nine months in prison, which Gadd himself has gone on record to explain. The British comedian revealed to The Times that when it came to his real-life stalker, he “didn’t want to throw someone who was that level of mentally unwell in prison,” adding that he still has “mixed feelings” towards the whole incident despite considering the case “resolved.”

Given his complicated feelings towards what can only be described as a complicated situation, it’s no wonder Gadd left things open-ended when addressing Martha’s fate in the Netflix show. However, it’s still safe to assume that the two never saw each other again. Given the finale takes place circa 2017 or 2018, it’s safe to assume that “Martha” would be a free woman by now, but we never get a conclusive answer as to what happened following her sentencing.

As for the IRL Martha, Gadd and Netflix have intentionally kept her identity a secret, despite internet sleuths’ best efforts. Recently, an unnamed woman claiming to be the real-life Martha has come forward bashing Baby Reindeer for her depiction, telling the Mail that Gadd “bull[ied] an older woman on television for fame and fortune.” Supposedly, she’s considering taking legal action. Again, it has yet to be confirmed whether or not this is the same woman who serially stalked Gadd, or if she’s just a shameless clout-chaser.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that even though Gadd took some creative liberties when retelling his story for Baby Reindeer, “Martha” is still very much a real woman—and one who suffers from very real mental health issues. So even if audiences never find out what exactly went down after she was charged for stalking and harassing Donny, it doesn’t matter in the long run. Gadd has seemingly made his peace with the traumatic ordeal, and from the sounds of it, the two haven’t been in contact for some seven years or so. Case closed. One can only hope “Martha” is getting the help she needs.


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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.