Between April and May 2023, one of the most watched TV shows on Apple TV was The Last Thing He Told Me. The tale is based on the book by Laura Dave, who also worked on the production of the series, and stars Jennifer Garner as Hannah, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Owen, and Angourie Rice as Bailey. The story builds to an exciting climax, and the finale has a profound meaning: what are Owen’s final words really like, what does “The could have been boys still love you” mean, and what happened to Hannah and Bailey? We will carefully explain everything in this essay.
You can watch the official trailer for Apple TV’s The Last Thing He Told Me here on Youtube.
The Last Thing He Told Me, the plot & ending explained
In The Last Thing He Told Me, a family is depicted as being made up of Owen, a start-up employee, Bailey, his daughter from a previous marriage, and Hannah, his current wife. Although Hannah and Bailey’s relationship isn’t perfect, Owen tries his best to make the family happy. However, Owen vanishes without a trace the day the start-up is under FBI investigation, leaving Hannah and Bailey to face the future.
The Last Thing He Told Me follows Hannah and Bailey as they attempt to comprehend Owen’s departure for the most of the plot. We begin to worry that Owen is complicit in the startup fraud. Though they are aware of his honesty and love for them, Hannah and Bailey refuse to accept that dad would abandon them without a compelling cause. They travel to Austin, Texas, and learn about Owen’s prior life when Bailey was a young girl after remembering some of the tales Owen had told them.
A long time ago, Owen was wed to Kate Smith, and Bailey’s real name is Kristin. Owen is well-aware of the fact that Kate is the daughter of Nicholas, a dishonest attorney who represents the criminal organization. Someone eventually murders Kate. Owen is horrified; he accuses Nicholas of what occurred; he feels scared; and he makes a definite decision: he and Bailey vanish under new identities, working with the police to bring down Nicholas and his clients. As a result, a large number of criminals will be detained, and Nicholas will serve time behind bars. He will have to remain in hiding, though, because Nicholas never forgave him for what he did and a large portion of the criminal organization still wants him dead. The true reason Owen vanished was that Bailey would once more be in danger if his face came in the news because he wasn’t a part of the start-up scam but still had a significant position in the organization. When Owen sees that Bailey’s life would be in danger until he is with her, he decides to leave and put his complete trust in Hannah.
When Hannah realizes all of this, she appears to have only one option: join Bailey in the witness protection program, begin a new life somewhere under different names, and remain hidden forever in the hopes that Owen will join them as they spend the rest of their lives in dread. U.S. Marshal has made that offer, but as The Last Thing He Told Me’s epilogue revealed, Hannah has other plans. She requests to speak with Nicholas and offers a compromise: if Nicholas can ensure Bailey’s safety, they can live normally, avoid being placed in the witness protection program, and Bailey can mend fences with her family. The main problem with that suggestion, as Nicholas says, is that the criminal organization will never pardon Owen for what he done. Hannah then informs Nicholas that Owen will never come back since she has realized what he really wants from her. simply Hannah and Bailey will be present, so Nicholas simply needs to reassure them that they are secure.
In this way, Hannah realizes what Owen has always known: they will never let up as long as Bailey is standing next to him. Owen makes his final sacrifice by dissappearing, allowing his wife and children to live in safety. Because of this, The Last Thing He Told Me has a depressing conclusion: Nicholas will honor his promise, Hannah and Bailey go home, and they live happily ever after. The fact that Owen is not a part of their lives ensures that they are safe from the criminal organization’s plans for retaliation. Five years later, Hannah and Bailey are seen carrying on normally in the Apple TV series, leading us to believe that Bailey has repaired her ties with her family and no longer feels in danger.
What are Owen’s last words and what’s their meaning?
The heartbreaking conclusion of the TV episode The Last Thing He Told Me perfectly explains the title of the program: five years later, Hannah recognizes Owen among the visitors to her exhibition. She drops the papers, and as Owen moves in to gently touch her hand and give his final words before vanishing once more, he whispers, “The could-have-been boys still love you.” The “could-have-been” people in Owen and Bailey’s lives are the people we loved in the past and the people who might have remained in our lives for the rest of them. With Bailey, they generally spoke of ex-partners, but Owen is the true “could-have-been” boy in Hannah’s life when he uses these words. He still has love for her,although he’s forced to stay hidden for their safety.
The way the ending scene of the series The Last Thing He Told Me has explained it, we can assume that Owen will never appear in Hannah and Bailey’s life again, and those will be the last words they will ever hear from him.