Baby Reindeer – Episode 7 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Plot Summary 

Baby Reindeer is a Netflix series that narrates the experience of an aspiring comedian after a chance meeting with a customer named Martha at a bar where he works. Donny meets Martha one fateful night when she walks into the bar looking sad and depressed.

She does not order anything, saying she cannot afford it, so Donny takes pity and buys her tea at home. Martha starts a conversation with Donny, and a simple act of kindness and flirty comments turns something sinister. Martha somehow gets Donny’s email address from his comedy website and starts sending him hundreds of emails every day detailing all the sexual things she wants to do to him.

In the process, Donny finds out that Martha is a serial stalker who has been previously convicted of stalking her boss and harassing his child with physical disabilities. However, even though he knows Martha is dangerous, Donny does not report her to the police initially, which leads to a messed up entanglement of confusion and a past trauma that somehow dictates how Donny deals with Martha. 

What happened in Donny’s past?

Donny explains his past trauma when a police officer asks why he took so long to report Martha. A few years earlier, Donny had enthusiastically travelled to Edinburg to explore the city’s comedy scenes and gain a following through some performances in a bar. However, the experience goes centrally to expectations since nobody pays him any heed, and they prefer watching football during his performances. Regardless, Donny perseveres and continues performing when a sense of failure and self-doubt slowly creeps in. 

One night, the server hands her a card to an exclusive nightclub that could be helpful for him, and it is here that he meets Darrien. The man is Donny’s idol and the writer of one of his favourite TV shows.

Donny somehow convinces Darrien to watch his comedy shows. With time, the two started spending more time together, and Darien even helped Donny improve his writing and stage act. Darrien became Donny’s mentor, but they lost contact when he stopped attending his comedy shows, so Donny returned to London. 

Donny meets and starts a relationship with Keeley, but he still keeps leaving messages for Darien until he responds one day. Darrien agrees to become Donny’s mentor, who showered him with compliments about his talent as a writer and the potential of a bright future.

However, Darien had different intentions in mind, and he introduced Donny to all types of drugs. What he wanted more was to have an intimate relationship with Donny, and when he refused, Darrien drugged and forced himself on Donny. 

Why does Donny struggle in relationships?

Donny does not remember what happened when he was rugged, but he knew that his body had been violated when he came to. The incident led Donny to a dark path as he suffered a severe mental crisis that impeded his ability to have romantic feelings and broke his relationship with Keeley.

The incident left him feeling confused about his sexual orientation, which led him down a dark path of experimental sexual encounters to try to feel something. Things start to get better when he meets Teri, but the extreme feelings of self-loathing and fear of judgment make it difficult for him to open up to Teri fully.

Donny feels like a fraud whenever he develops feelings for anyone since he has a deep-seated belief that his body is only meant to be violated. Therefore, it is difficult for him to be turned on when he spends intimate moments with a person he loves. It is also why he did not report Martha; he felt like what she did to him was justifiable. He thought that since he did not report Darrien, what gives him the right to report Martha? 

Why did Martha stalk Donny?

When Martha finds Donny’s phone number, she calls him constantly using unknown numbers, making it difficult for the police to help him. A police officer suggests that he listens through Martha’s voice messages and reports to them if she ever says something life-threatening so they can have a motive to arrest her.

However, when Donny starts listening, he becomes obsessed with hearing her voice, so he arranges the messages in folders depending on Martha’s emotions when sending the voice messages. Through that experience, Donny understands Martha better, and even she becomes relatable. Many things she had gone through and the feelings packed in the outbursts helped him understand her thinking and the reasons behind her actions.

In one of those messages, she talks about why she nicknamed Donny baby reindeer by telling him a story of her childhood and her parent’s consistent fighting. She says that Donny reminded her of a toy that was her solace in the dark times.

She explains the look of her cute and fluffy toy that brought her comfort and escape from her parent’s constant fights. She says the reindeer was very important to her, and Donny’s features and personality reminded her of the reindeer. Therefore, Donny is solaced for Martha, and she feels safe and happy in his company. 

How does Donny get rid of Martha?

Since the realisation that Martha is a stalker, Donny is reluctant to report her since he likes the attention, the compliments, and the ability to solicit extreme reactions from her. However, things get out of hand when Martha starts harassing Donny’s parents.

Even when he starts receiving her voicemails, he is obsessed with listening to her as he tries to unpack and understand her mysterious actions. However, when Martha angrily threatens to hurt his parents in one of the voice messages, Donny is left with no choice but to reluctantly report her to ensure his parent’s safety.

The threatening message serves as evidence to arrest Martha, and in the court hearing, she pleaded guilty to all the charges and was sentenced to nine months in prison. 

Why does Donny feel guilty?

A wave of conflicting emotions washes over Donny as he watches Martha tearfully plead guilty. Despite everything, Donny feels empathetic towards Martha as he watches her sincere attitude and feelings of remorse in court.

After the conviction, Donny spirals as he tries to understand everything that happened with Martha, seeking to understand her and himself simultaneously. After listening to her voice messages, Donny discovers that, like her, Martha had suffered in the past, and like how he was unable to handle her stalking efficiently by setting up boundaries, she too used stalking to shield herself from rejection.

In addition, Donny felt guilty about reporting Martha when all she did was use verbal, non-threatening actions to cause him unrest when he did not report Darren for the sexual assault. The guilt increases when Donny visits Darrien at his house and notes that the man does not feel any remorse for what he did to him when he put a woman who saw his pain and comforted him in times of despair behind bars. 

How does Baby Reindeer end?

Keeley asks Donny to move back to her mother’s house after she learns about what happened to him in the viral online video. Donny comes across a script he wrote with Darian’s help and decides to visit him. As he leaves his house a while later, Donny can barely breathe as he shakes up in fear since the man feels no remorse for what he did to him. He even suggests working together and finds comfort in Martha’s voice.

Donny walks into a bar and orders a drink but realises he does not have a wallet. His face is tear-stricken since he just listened to Martha explain why she calls him baby reindeer. The bartender says that the drink is on him, and Donny shockingly looks up, remembering a similar situation when Martha walked into the bar. 

The Episode Review

Baby Reindeer is a plethora of mixed emotions from the beginning to the end. Although it is an amazing story, it details chilling events that are uncomfortable, unsettling, sometimes frightening, and other times horrifying.

The anxiety starts from the moment Martha walks into the bar and continues to build and build as it delves into discontenting themes of self-loath, sexual abuse, shame, loneliness, despair, pity, cruelty, stalking, culpability, hard drugs, desires to feel appreciated hope, confusion, and depression.

It details the depth of harm that sexual assault can do to someone, and it is even more unsettling since Donny is an adult. It makes one think about the trauma that younger people who go through similar ordeals have to carry and how deeply it impacts their lives.

The series tries to add comedy to the crippling pain in instances where Donny says things like, “It couldn’t get any worse.” Baby Reindeer is one of the darkest dramas I have watched on Netflix this year, and it is so intriguing that I could not help but keep hitting the next episode.

The final scene in the last episode leaves one wondering whether Donny turns into Martha. If there is a season 2, will Donny start stalking the handsome bartender?  

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