The Jennifer Garner-led miniseries, The Last Thing He Told Me, came to an end last week after 7 episodes. Despite its immense popularity, the series wasn’t as well-received by critics due to its poor writing and mediocre acting.
It was a tiresome journey but we’ve finally reached the finish line and it’s now time to talk about the ending of this book-to-series adaptation from Apple TV+.
For those of you who need to jog your memory, The Last Thing He Told Me is about a woman named Hannah (Jennifer Garner) whose husband, Owen, mysteriously disappears and leaves her behind with his daughter (and her stepdaughter), Bailey.
Between being forced into witness protection and trying to figure out the real reason for Owen’s disappearance, Hannah and Bailey slowly start to forge a relationship even though Bailey isn’t too fond of her stepmother at the start.
The pair eventually discovers Owen’s real name is Ethan and Bailey’s is Kristin. Ethan was married to a woman names Katherine, who was the daughter of Nicholas Bell, a lawyer of the Campano crime family.
Long story short, Ethan and Nicholas formed a work relationship where Ethan helped Nicholas secretly communicate with his criminal clients. But when one of Nicholas’ cases resulted in Katherine being shot dead, Ethan blamed Nicholas, leaked all his messages and fled with Kristin.
In the present, Nicholas has just been released from prison and he along with his criminal clients are on the lookout for Ethan. However, Ethan’s recent disappearance puts Hannah and Bailey also at risk.
The Last Thing He Told Me ends with Hannah striking a deal with Nicholas to ensure that she and Bailey stay safe, even if it means they will never see Owen again. Hannah and Bailey then go back to their home and continue to live their lives freely.
In the final scene of the series, after a 5-year time skip, Owen pays an unexpected visit to Hannah where he whispers the words, “the could-have-been boys still love you”, before vanishing again.
1. Hannah and Nicholas’ Agreement
In the final episode, Hannah approaches Charlie, Nicholas’ son, to have a meeting with Nicholas without the FBI’s knowledge. Although Charlie warns her that this isn’t the best idea, she insists that it’s the only way out of her and Bailey’s situation.
Charlie finally agrees and drives her to a remote house to meet with Nicholas. On reaching the house, Hannah is initially sceptical of the kind of person she’s trying to work with.
But when Nicholas reveals that he knows who she really is, she becomes a little more comfortable with having a one-on-one conversation with him.
Nicholas and Hannah’s meeting essentially involves a recap of the entire show so far until Hannah asks if Nicholas would be interested in making an agreement.
All Nicholas wants is a relationship with his granddaughter. Since Hannah understands this, she proposes that Nicholas talk to his criminal clients to ensure she and Bailey no longer become their targets. This way, Bailey would be able to live a normal life.
In return, Hannah says she will tell Bailey about her birth mother’s side of the family and ask Bailey if she will be open to spending time with her grandfather and cousins.
In the meantime, Charlie contacts US Marshal Grady Bradford to give him Hannah’s location.
before the SWAT team can barge into Nicholas’ home, he agrees to Hannah’s deal with the added condition that he will not be able to help Owen and neither can he guarantee that Owen stays alive.
Although Grady still thinks it’s a bad idea to trust a man like Nicholas, Hannah believes that she knows Owen well and that Bailey’s safety is all that matters to him, even if he wouldn’t be able to see her again.
Hannah then reunites with Bailey, who has been in witness protection this whole time. Bailey tells Hannah about a 22-second call she had with Owen where he told her that it would probably be a long time before he came back and to do what Hannah tells her to.
Once again, Grady tries to convince the two that they need FBI protection after Hannah tells Bailey that they can go back to Sausalito and get their lives back. But Bailey knows to trust Hannah so she decides to side with Hannah’s option.
2. What Owen’s Final Words Mean
5 Years after Hannah and Bailey move back to Sausalito, we see Hannah setting up her own woodturning exhibition while she’s waiting for Bailey to arrive. It seems as though Nicholas has stuck to his end of the promise and both women have managed to stay out of trouble.
After Hannah gets off the phone with Bailey, a mysterious man walks by her. She notices the ring on his finger and when she looks up to see his face, it’s Owen disguised in a long beard and cap.
At first she’s shocked, but when he comes closer she realises it’s actually him. While Hannah is still processing this reunion, Owen brushes his hand against hers and says, “The could-have-been boys still love you”, before disappearing again.
Owen’s words to Hannah are a callback to episode 2, where we saw Hannah and Owen on a date talking about their past relationships. Owen says that Bailey calls ex-boyfriends could-have-been boys which Hannah then uses to refer to her own ex-boyfriends.
By saying “could-have-been boys” now, Owen is referring to himself and thus confirms that he still loves Hannah even if he can’t physically be with her.
A few seconds after Owen leaves, an older-looking Bailey walks in to the exhibition with a boy who appears to be her boyfriend. It seems as though she has brought him to meet Hannah for the first time.
Another important detail about this final scene is that Bailey calls Hannah “mom”. This part is quite self-explanatory; it tells us that their relationship as stepmother and stepdaughter has only gotten stronger.
Hannah and Bailey seem to have adapted quite well to a life without Owen. And it’s probably for the best because they’ll be out of harm’s way. Owen, on the other hand, might have to stay hidden forever if he wants to stay alive.
3. About The Last Thing He Told Me
The Last Thing He Told Me is an American thriller television miniseries for Apple TV+, based on the novel of the same name by Laura Dave. The miniseries was developed by Laura Dave and Josh Singer and premiered on April 14, 2023.
The series follows Hannah Hall, who forms an unexpected relationship with her stepdaughter as she searches for her husband, who recently disappeared.
The show stars Jennifer Garner, Angouri Rice, Aisha Tyler, Augusto Aguilera, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and more.