The Last Thing He Told Me Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – what does Owen’s note say?

By Adam Lock
Published: April 14, 2023 (Last updated: May 11, 2023)
View all


“Protect Her” is a compelling opening installment, providing plenty of tension and mystery. Furthermore, Jennifer Garner makes for a captivating lead, bringing her Hollywood stature to the small screen.

We recap the Apple TV+ series The Last Thing He Told Me Season 1 Episode 1, “Protect Her,” which contains spoilers.

Apple TV+ has teamed up with Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company once again for The Last Thing He Told Me.

This thriller series is created by writer Josh Singer (Spotlight) and author Laura Dave. The premiere, “Protect Her,” introduces viewers to the main cast, setting up an intriguing mystery about a missing husband and the wife and daughter who try to uncover his elusive past.

The Last Thing He Told Me Season 1 Episode 1 Recap

The first episode begins with wife Hannah Michaels smashing her phone screen in dramatic fashion. The photo on the phone’s screensaver is of her husband, Owen. Hannah then searches her hotel room for Bailey, who has seemingly done a runner. Hannah frantically searches the hotel but can’t find the girl. We then revert back to four days earlier, before all the chaos.

Hannah and Owen appear deeply in love, discussing Hannah’s successes at work and their fourteen months of marriage. Hannah makes wooden bowls and vases for a living, with a fancy feature article coming out in a glossy magazine the following day.

They make plans for a weekend getaway and retire to their swanky houseboat.

What does Owen’s note say?

We’re then introduced to sulky teenager Bailey, who is Owen’s daughter but not Hannah’s. Bailey goes to school with Owen, and her dad urges her to be kinder to Hannah. Clearly, there is some tension between these two.

That evening, Hannah prepares a lovely meal for the family. The doorbell rings, and a student passes Hannah a note. It has been hand-delivered, but it is from Owen. The note includes only two words: protect her.

Panicked by the message, Hannah calls Owen, although his phone goes straight to voice mail. She leaves messages and then discovers that her friend Jules has left countless calls and messages herself. Something is clearly going on. Bailey heads off for rehearsals, and Hannah calls Owen’s work, but they are suspiciously abrupt with Hannah too.

Hannah drives to Owen’s work, desperate for answers. She sees FBI agents confiscating boxes from Owen’s work, The Shop, a software startup. Hannah checks Owen’s parking spot. It is empty.

Next, she sees the CEO, Avett Thompson, being arrested and taken from the building.

What is Owen’s company charged with?

Truly panicked now, Hannah speeds over to Bailey’s school to pick her up. While she waits for Bailey’s rehearsal to end, she reads a news article on the raid. The article explains that there has been a fourteen-month ongoing investigation, and the company has been charged with embezzlement and fraud.

Bailey finishes her rehearsal and meets with her boyfriend, Bobby, before checking her locker. Inside, she finds a hefty bag with a note on it. Bailey takes these items to Hannah’s car. She passes Hannah the note and shows her the bag, overflowing with bundles of cash.

Hannah vomits out of the car door, stunned by the intensifying severity of the situation.

They head home and are continually followed. Bailey and Hannah argue. Hannah promises she knows nothing about the situation, but there must be an explanation for it all. Back at home, Hannah’s friend Jules is waiting for her. Hannah hides the bag of money and then speaks to her in private.

Her friend explains her side of the story. Jules’ partner Max received a tip-off of the raid. Apparently, the company’s new software didn’t work, and they lied about their sales.

Jules spoke with Owen. He didn’t seem shocked by the news and just asked how long he had to escape instead. To Jules, this is Owen proving his guilt, but Hannah still hopes her husband is innocent.

Before leaving, Jules mentions the FBI freezing Owen’s assets. This explains why Owen left them with a bag full of money, but Hannah keeps this development a secret from Jules. Back on the boat, Hannah notices a mysterious man spying on her.

The Last Thing He Told Me Season 1 Episode 1 Ending Explained

The next morning, Hannah and Bailey discuss the situation. Bailey has been reading over her cryptic note, unsure of what her dad is trying to tell her. Hannah reiterates that she is also in the dark but hopes there is an explanation for it all. Hannah takes out the trash and is confronted by a US Marshal.

The man questions her about Owen’s whereabouts and if he has been in contact. He urges Hannah to hire a lawyer and then passes her his number. The Marshal informs Hannah that Owen hasn’t used his credit cards or phone in 24 hours. He is not who she thinks he is.

The Marshal leaves, and Hannah naively tries Owen’s number one more time. The realization that Owen is a criminal starts to sink in.

What did you think of The Last Thing He Told Me Season 1 Episode 1? Comment below.

More Stories

Apple TV+, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
View all