TV & Movies

This Baby Reindeer Theory Could Explain The Final Scene

The chilling show ends with a moment of empathy.

Richard Gadd and Jessica Gunning in 'Baby Reindeer.' Photo via Netflix
Ed Miller/Netflix

Weeks after its premiere on Netflix, Baby Reindeer continues to generate conversation. The series, which is inspired by star and creator Richard Gadd’s real-life experience with a stalker, has prompted viewers to theorize about the identities of the dramatized characters. While Gadd has discouraged this kind of speculation, fans have found other threads to talk about, too — such as the meaning of Baby Reindeer’s final scene.

A Moving, Full-Circle Moment

Toward the end of Episode 7, Donny (Gadd) goes to see his abuser at home. “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,” Gadd told GQ.

The experience leaves Donny feeling rattled, and he goes to a bar while listening to past voicemails from his stalker, Martha (Jessica Gunning). He cries while listening to her explain why she’s nicknamed him her “baby reindeer.” He reminds her of a stuffed animal she had growing up, “the only good thing about [her] childhood.”

It’s after listening to this voicemail that Donny realizes he doesn’t have his wallet to pay for his drink. “Don’t worry about it,” the bartender says. “It’s on me.” The callback to Donny offering Martha a complimentary cup of tea at the beginning of the series is a shocking moment — for viewers and for Donny, who appears startled by the parallel.


A Baby Reindeer Final Scene Theory

Of course, there are many possible interpretations of this moment. But according to Reddit user u/dogsnfeet, it could be about Donny “realising it was never his fault, that a free drink to someone who is struggling is a human thing to do and being kind doesn’t mean you’ve asked to be stalked or deserve what happened next.”

Several fans resonated with the April 24 post, with one describing the exchange as a “light bulb moment” for Donny. Another said the ending was “legitimising the fact that this could have happened to anyone, and that he was right to show her kindness in the first place.”

Others noted that the ending reflected a moment of empathy, with Donny being in Martha’s shoes. “He now understood how Martha felt,” one user wrote. “He was down and realized how much an act of kindness meant to someone in that position.”

Ed Miller/Netflix

Having listened to Martha’s vulnerable story about her past, “he seems to feel genuine empathy and maybe a little guilt for how it all turned out,” another suggested. They added that Donny being offered the free drink might have helped him remember “how much that kind gesture probably meant to Martha in her time of need. My hope is, that realization gave him some comfort.”

If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). In an emergency, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988, or call 911.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit