What Does Owen Tell Hannah at the End of The Last Thing He Told Me?

Apple TV+’s thriller series ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’ revolves around the disappearance of Owen Michaels, who vanishes from the lives of his wife Hannah Hall and daughter Bailey Michaels following an FBI investigation at his workplace. Hannah and Bailey set out to find their loved one by digging deep into his past, which leads them to the realization that Owen is really Ethan Young, who betrayed the trust of the notorious crime family named the Campano. After his disappearance, Owen shows up at an exhibition of Hannah’s works to tell her a cryptic sentence. If you are trying to figure out its meaning, let us share our thoughts regarding the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Owen’s Revelation to Hannah

After coming to know about Owen’s real identity Ethan Young and his connection with an infamous crime syndicate, Hannah and Bailey figure out why their loved one vanished from their lives. They realize that Owen disappeared to make sure that his enemies will not capture him and to safeguard his family. Owen knows that the safety of Hannah and Bailey will be jeopardized if he stays with them, which leads him to vanish from their lives for good. Still, he returns to Hannah’s life five years after his disappearance during an exhibition of the latter’s works. After meeting her in disguise, Owen tells her, “The could-have-been boys still love you.”

According to Laura Dave’s eponymous source novel of the series, “could-have-been boys” is the name Owen has given to the men who couldn’t end up with Hannah. “I [Hannah] joked about how he [Owen] had grilled me that night, asking endless questions about my past—about the men I’d left behind, the men who had left me. He’d called them the could-have-been boys. He raised a glass to them and said, wherever they were, he was grateful to them for not being what I needed, so he got to be the one sitting across from me,” the novel reads. “I felt like I needed to learn about the could-have-been boys… Thought it was my best shot at not becoming one,” Owen tells Hannah in another part of the novel.

By telling Hannah that the could-have-been boys still love her, Owen must be meaning that it is time for her to move on from him. Owen has always cherished the fact that he gets to share his life with Hannah rather than any other man around them. Such a “bliss” ends for him the moment he disappears from her life following the fraud scandal at his workplace. He gets forced to accept the reality that his presence in her life will only endanger the latter, which makes him decide to stay away from her for good. The decision also means that they cannot remain as a couple, which leads to the conclusion of their blissful togetherness.

Therefore, Owen may want Hannah to move on from their non-existent relationship and give a chance to the men who couldn’t get together with her due to her relationship with him. Owen must be reminding her that the same group of men would still love her if she accepts her separation from him and returns to prospective partners. Hannah must have been waiting for Owen for five years, even if she knows that he isn’t returning. The disappeared engineer may not want her to immerse her life in loneliness waiting for him.

More than anyone, Owen knows what moving on can bring to one’s life. He achieved happiness and contentment by moving on from the thoughts that revolve around his late first wife Kate Smith and marrying Hannah. He may want Hannah to do the same to find happiness again. Owen’s words can be seen as his approval of her sharing her life with another man. He can also be meaning that he has become one of the could-have-been boys who admire her since he cannot return to her life as her husband anymore.

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