In the closing minutes of The Secrets She Keeps’ penultimate episode, child-abductor Agatha made a run for it with stolen baby Benjamin. 12 days earlier, in a premeditated kidnapping, she’d taken Baby Ben from hospital hours after he was born and – after wearing a fake pregnancy prosthetic for months, pretended that she had given birth to him.
Ben had trouble feeding from a bottle and became ill with a fever and suspected meningitis. Agatha refused to seek medical attention for him, fearing that his true identity would be discovered if she took him to hospital. Eventually, her boyfriend Hayden and his mother forced her to take ‘Rory’ to the surgery, but when the doctor insisted on admitting him to hospital, Agatha ran away with him, throwing away her mobile phone so that she couldn’t be traced.
Agatha took Ben to the grave of her stillborn daughter Chloe, where two further graves were revealed – later discovered to be those of two previous kidnapping victims both of whom were babies who had perished in Agatha’s care.
Agatha gave Ben antibiotics which reduced his fever, and hid in the storeroom at the supermarket where she used to work. She stole baby supplies, mobile phones, cash and the owner’s gun, and went to a train station. There, she phoned boyfriend Hayden and told him that she was prepared to give Ben back to his mother Meghan, but only to her and nobody else. With the police listening in to the call, she told Hayden to tell Meghan to meet her at 11am at ‘the place you took us’ – meaning the Australian Maritime Museum.
Agatha called Meghan’s phone, which was being held at the police station while she was given a replica to use, to arrange the handover. Meghan covertly swapped her replica phone for the real one and pocketed it, thus making herself available to Agatha without police interference. She wanted to do the handover in person, but the police wouldn’t allow her to take the risk knowing that Agatha was in possession of a gun.
The police put a Meghan lookalike in place at the handover point, but Hayden – hating the police and wanting to help Agatha escape – had deliberately misinformed them of the location. He’d sent them to an art gallery, while Agatha and Ben waited at the Maritime Museum. Escaping police custody, Hayden met Agatha at the museum and tried to get her to give him the baby, and to take five thousand dollars to escape.
By the time the police realised that Hayden had sent them to them a fake location, Agatha had already called Meghan’s real phone and told her where to go. Meghan escaped the police station and went to confront Agatha.
At the museum, Meghan convinced Agatha to let her breastfeed Ben, who was hungry. When Meghan had the baby, Agatha pulled the gun on her and threatened to shoot. A police sniper then lined up a shot on Agatha, but instead, she pulled the trigger on her own head and presumably died.
A short time in the future, the Shaughnessys hold Ben’s christening. Meghan and Jack are still together and she hasn’t told him about her fling with his best friend Simon (who is likely to be Ben’s biological father). To keep the secret about Ben’s true parentage, Meghan takes a DNA swab from her older son and swaps it for the swab she takes from Ben, thereby ensuring the results will ‘prove’ that Ben is Jack’s child, even though he likely isn’t.
The final minutes show Meghan promising in voiceover that she would do anything for her children and to keep her family together, while we see Agatha – who somehow survived the self-inflicted gunshot – in prison and still feeling resentful and jealous towards Meghan, living the life she always wanted.
The Secrets She Keeps is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer.