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Baby Reindeer Netflix
Photo via Netflix

All ‘Baby Reindeer’ episodes, ranked

One of Netflix's best shows.

Baby Reindeer was a bombastic hit for Netflix after its April 2024 premiere. Despite the controversy that followed the show’s release, the critical acclaim and the way it captured water-cooler conversations around the globe have assured the black dramedy’s staying power.

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The limited series is an adaptation of Richard Gadd’s autobiographical one-man show about his experience with a stalker, whose fictional version he named Martha, and other experiences of sexual and psychological abuse. Gadd has defended the show’s emotional truthfulness, but the marketing push from Netflix to label Baby Reindeer a “true story” drew ire and legal action from Fiona Harvey, the woman who supposedly inspired the character of Martha, who has sued Netflix for defamation, negligence, and privacy violations, demanding $170 million in damages.

Although much of the chatter around the Netflix hit, which briefly broke into the platform’s top 10 most-watched English-language series before being replaced by season 3 of Bridgerton, has been dominated by gossip, Baby Reindeer is still largely considered one of Netflix’s best fictional offerings in years. Its surgical mix of comedy and hard-hitting psychological drama, fantastic performances, and Gadd’s disarming vulnerability as a storyteller have earned the miniseries a fair 98% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.

7. “Episode 2”

Nava Mau as Teri in episode 2 of 'Baby Reindeer'.
Image via Netflix

Baby Reindeer is one of those shows that urges you to keep watching until you accidentally finish the entire season in one sitting. Episode two isn’t bad by any means, especially because it hosts a lot of important developments in Donny’s story.

This is where we meet Teri (Nava Mau) for the first time, and get a first glimpse into the protagonist’s complicated relationship with his sexual orientation. The episode also concludes with one of the show’s most disturbing scenes when Martha crosses a line you can’t come back from by sexually assaulting Donny. It’s an intense episode, but among the quality of its company, it is also one of the series’ most easily forgettable.

6. “Episode 5”

Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn and Thomas Coombes as Officer Daniels in episode 5 of 'Baby Reindeer'.
Image via Netflix

Even if there are no show-stopping scenes in episode five, it still plays an important part in ensuring that Baby Reindeer hits all the necessary dramatic beats of a satisfactory, pulsating story.

Episode five is, of course, the come-down from the 44-minute-long breath-holding doozy that was episode four. It’s a much mellower episode, as Donny and Teri recover from Martha’s attack, and we see the protagonist’s new problematic living situation with a couple of rave-loving roommates. Donny and Teri experience performance issues in bed, shining a light on Donny’s relationship with sex and how it has been affected by the desolating abuse we now know he experienced at the hands of screenwriter Darrien.

5. “Episode 1”

Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn and Jessica Gunning as Martha Scott in 'Baby Reindeer' Episode 1
Image via Netflix

The first episode is arguably the most important in any series, and Baby Reindeer‘s does a fantastic job at laying down the roadmap for what’s ahead. From the jump, we’re introduced to Donny, Martha, and their strange co-dependent dynamic after the former buys the latter a cup of tea on account of her having a rough day and being oddly broke despite boasting about a fancy career as a lawyer.

After a few developments on both sides which inform us that neither Donny nor Martha are emotionally healthy human beings in the slightest, the younger man finally accepts her friend request on Facebook, only partly aware of the scope of what he’s just unleashed.

4. “Episode 6”

Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn in 'Baby Reindeer' episode 6.
Image via Netflix

Everything comes crashing down for Donny in this episode, pushing him over the edge and resulting in one of the most memorable scenes in 2024 television: his monologue. After the police fail to stop his stalker (because the comic’s own issues and insecurities stopped him from reporting several of her most concerning actions), Teri breaks up with him, and Martha physically attacks him at his workplace, Donny is off to the finals of his comedy competition, and his boss and co-workers are in attendance.

Donny’s usual repertoire fails, and his frustrations spill over in the form of a gut-wrenching confession about everything he has been through. It’s fantastic television from start to finish, and an unforgettable performance from Gadd.

3. “Episode 4”

Richard Gadd as Donny Dunn and Tom Goodman-Hill as Darrien O'Connor in 'Baby Reindeer' episode 4.
Image via Netflix

Baby Reindeer‘s fourth episode is far and away its buzziest. It’s the one people always bring up when they ask you if you’ve watched the show. In short, it leaves a mark. Richard Gadd takes us a few years back in time to lift the cover on the origins of his career and his trauma, because the two are nearly inseparable.

The episode is fantastically written, even if quite dark and disturbing at times. It’s a harrowing look at how inconspicuous sexual assault can often be. It’s obviously a dramatic event in anyone’s life, but a talented groomer like Darrien in this episode will make it hard to identify that it’s even happening, and can cause all sorts of conflicting feelings and behaviors in the victim. It’s a knotty, complicated affair but it’s represented beautifully and poignantly in this bit of television.

2. “Episode 3”

Martha (Jessica Gunning) sits at a bus station in episode 3 of Netflix's 'Baby Reindeer'.
Image via Netflix

While episode four is certainly the flashiest of them all, it’s Baby Reindeer‘s episode three that, I would argue, brings the highest level of hair-rising distress. The 38-minute mid-season installment is jam-packed with action and our first and frankly biggest insight into why Martha is the way she is.

The stand-out aspect of Baby Reindeer is the empathy it extends to its main antagonistic character, played by Jessica Gunning, and episode three is perhaps the biggest example of that. After Martha assaults Donny in episode two, the man takes time off work, hoping she will just move on or get bored, but she starts showing up at the house he rents from his ex-girlfriend’s mother (clearly, Donny’s life makes no sense). Martha sits at the nearest bus station all day long, and when she nearly freezes to death, Donny cares for her and takes her home, where we get a disturbing, proper look at her living situation.

We get to see the other extreme of Martha’s personality later on when she interrupts a date between Donny and Teri, effectively completing a roller coaster of an episode that expands this fascinating character and gives Gunning’s largely untapped talent one heck of a playground to stretch and grow. This is the episode I always go back to when reflecting on this exceptional series.

1. “Episode 7”

Donny (Richard Gadd) visits his parents in episode 7 of Netflix's 'Baby Reindeer'.
Image via Netflix

How does one even go about concluding a series like Baby Reindeer? They say a show or film is only as good as its ending, and endings can be the hardest part to nail in a story, but Richard Gadd hit it out of the park. Baby Reindeer offers no easy solutions to the impossible situations and feelings Donny experiences and makes a point of showing how recovery and healing are never linear.

After Martha threatens to out Donny to his parents, the comic heads to Scotland to tell Mom and Dad the whole truth about what he’s been going through the last few years. The conversation goes as positively as anyone in his position could hope for, and Donny achieves some level of the typical catharsis found in stories like his, but then when he comes back to London, everything gets tricky again.

After finally finding good enough evidence to get Martha sent to jail, Donny becomes obsessed with his stalker, mapping out her personality in what seemingly looks like the creative process that would eventually lead to Baby Reindeer‘s counterpart in this fictional universe. He then unexpectedly visits his abuser and, even more puzzlingly, accepts his job offer.

Unlike most shows and films, at the end of Baby Reindeer, the conflict still feels largely unresolved for Donny. He’s made clear progress but has not yet fully overcome some of his toxic patterns. The Netflix show, which stood out among the litany of “true crime” dramas released in recent years for its subversive and hauntingly honest approach to its various subjects, stuck the landing by doubling down on what made it great. That’s why Baby Reindeer‘s finale is its best episode.

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Image of Francisca Tinoco
Francisca Tinoco
Francisca is a pop culture enthusiast and film expert. Her Bachelor's Degree in Communication Sciences from Nova University in Portugal and Master's Degree in Film Studies from Oxford Brookes University in the UK have allowed her to combine her love for writing with her love for the movies. She has been a freelance writer and content creator for five years, working in both the English and Portuguese languages for various platforms, including WGTC.