Netflix's 'Behind Her Eyes' Is the First Must-Watch 'WTF' Show of 2021
We promise you, you will not see any of it coming.
If you've heard of Behind Her Eyes, the new Netflix series adapted from Sarah Pinborough's thriller, you've probably heard people talking about its wild final episode. The book, when it was published, was even marketed with the hashtag #WTFThatEnding, promising at least one twist that readers absolutely wouldn't see coming. As it turns out, Behind Her Eyes has approximately a thousand twists, and seeing them all pay off one right after the other in the show's last few episodes might be incentive enough to watch it.
The day after single mom Louise (Simona Brown) has a protracted, almost-one-night-stand with the handsome stranger she meets in a bar, she shows up to her new job in a psychiatrist's office only to find that the nameless pub hunk is actually David (Tom Bateman), her boss. Whoops! After some awkwardness, they agree to let the moment slide and act like professional adults… but David and Louise just can't stop thinking about each other. Louise ends up beginning an affair with David, while simultaneously befriending his needy wife Adele (Eve Hewson)—attempting to keep both of them a secret from each other. Adele and David's relationship is idyllic only on the surface, marred, seemingly, by Adele's previous stay in a mental institution following a breakdown, and her unusually close friendship there with fellow patient Rob (Robert Aramayo), whom we see only in flashbacks.
Also read: Could Netflix give Behind Her Eyes a second season?
If it seems to you like the setup for a salacious but otherwise pretty straightforward drama, you'd be forgiven for thinking that, because that is exactly what it seems like, but you'd also be WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong. What Behind Her Eyes truly delights in, when not making its characters make the worst possible decision even after you scream at them not to do it, is hiding its twists and turns until the last possible moment, keeping you guessing almost until the final shot. The only indicator that something untoward may be going on aside from the affair and the wife on the brink of mental collapse is the camerawork, which, at times, floats breathily around the characters onscreen, as if the camera itself is having an, ahem, out-of-body experience.
With a show as shocking and weird as this, it's sort of impossible to decide whether or not it's actually good. Everyone is good in it—Brown as the hapless protagonist, drawn in on the jellyfish tentacles of two treacherously magnetic personalities; Bateman as the frankly terrible husband and equally bad therapist; and Hewson as the enigmatic, bored housewife looking for something new to play with. Hewson is especially fun to watch as the story progresses and more of her character's background is revealed.
If anything, the show is a masterclass in keeping the real plot secret even as you're watching it, with no idea of what comes next if you're unfamiliar with the source material. Whether or not the twists pay off depends on the viewer's love (or lack thereof) of truly out-of-left-field plot reveals, and their love (or lack thereof) for elements that bend toward the supernatural. It's weird! It's nuts! You could do worse with yet another aggressively indoor weekend! Regardless, if you stick with it until the end—and we encourage that you do—the final revelation is enough to send anyone's brain into outer space.
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