The purpose of a thriller is to hand you a mystery. Then hide all the answers in a maze, hence, taking away your peace. You can’t rest until you have found all the answers. Most outstanding thrillers follow the same pattern but they are nastier, they change the question just before you are about to discover an answer. Behind Her Eyes is not that kind of tricky. It is simple for most parts, and if there wasn’t any supernatural element to save its “soul,” it could have easily been fallen into a generic TV Soap about a love triangle.
Based on the 2017 novel of the same name, Behind Her Eyes is created by Steve Lightfoot. The original novel was written by Sarah Pinborough. The series is divided into 6 episodes of 40-50 minutes each. The series was initially created as a limited TV Series but it’s streaming on Netflix and has become a bit popular so you never know what tide may bring with it onshore.
‘Behind Her Eyes’ Summary
The story revolves around a single mother, Louise Bardsley (Simona Brown) who is bored of her monotonous life and wishes to fall in love again. On a failed date, she meets a young man, David Ferguson (Tom Bateman) who has just arrived in town. The chemistry between them strengthens for the night but soon David realizes he can’t do this, for some reason in his mind. The next day, Louise finds out that David is her new boss at her workplace and is already married to a girl, Adele Campbell (Eve Hewson). By profession, David is a psychiatrist and his wife a mental patient, and Louise the part-time secretary. A perfect cliche love triangle.
Behind Her Eyes explores David and Louise’s affection for each other but with a twist. David’s wife, Adele accidentally meets Louise and gets fond of her. She lures Louise into her dramatic backstory and makes David the culprit. Adele hints to Louise that David married her because of her ancestral property that made the farm boy, David, a rich man. Adele also exposes certain other filings of David. Louise starts believing that David is just a liar who wants to sleep with her. But David’s version of the story with regard to Adele is completely different. David doesn’t reveal the proper information and just asks Louise to stay away from this maze because, in the end, she will only hurt herself.
And here comes the twist, Adele had a best friend, Rob Hoyle. She met Rob when she was in a mental institution. Adele hands Louise a book that narrates Rob’s story. Through Louise’s reading, we get to know in bits about Rob’s character as someone who was a drug addict but loved Adele. When Adele decides to marry David after her parent’s death, Rob gets jealous of the whole situation. In Adele’s version of the story, David killed Rob. In Adele’s version of the story, Rob gave Adele a high dose of heroin to rape her but in a struggle to save herself, Adele kills Rob and throws him in the well. It is for this reason that David and Adele left their hometown and moved to another city.
Hence, Behind Her Eyes narrates different versions of the same story from different characters’ viewpoints. A classic Rashomon effect. But whose version of the story is true? Well, the narrative gives it away in the end.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Behind Her Eyes’ Ending Explained
As per the book given to Louise by Adele, Rob knew magic through which they could transform their soul/consciousness into a fairy-like flying ball. They can then travel to any place, they have already visited in their life, without being noticed. They can watch, learn, observe, hide behind people’s ears and look around. After reading about it, Louise tries the magic herself and visits her neighbors flat. She was astonished to find the reality in this supernatural sorcery.
However, Adele didn’t just give away her secret magic trick to Lousie, but truth be told was planning a much deeper plot. Through this soul transformation, one can also infuse their soul into another person’s body, only if the other person’s soul is roaming around through the same technique. Hence, when Louise visits Adele and suspects she is going to kill herself with suicide with locked doors of her house, Louise transforms into a soul and visits Adele’s room, but Adele was too in a soul-mode and very cunningly captures Louise’s body. Adele’s body is, thus, infused with Louise’s soul. Adele exchanges body with Louise after writing a suicide note declaring that she killed Rob. Thus, now Louise will have to face criminal charges against murder, and Adele is free to roam and romance David. Louise understands the dangerous web woven by Adele where she was controlling her from the start through this magic trick. The phrase Behind Her Eyes dictates the fact that Adele was watching Louise in soul-mode all the time, all the time she was making love with David and they were flirting with each other.
Though, there is another twist to this soul transformation. It was Rob who introduced this technique to Adele, and he used it to exchange bodies with Adele. Thus, in reality, it was Rob all along in Adele’s body and Rob’s body lying dead in a well holds Adele’s soul. Rob wasn’t jealous of David but he was jealous of Adele and wanted David for himself. It is for this reason, at some point in the series, Rob (in Adele’s body) says that he wanted Louise to like and adore her. The love triangle is twisted with Rob wishing for both the man and the woman in the story.
Behind Her Eyes is a twisted tale of a secret web and twisted revelations but all this cleverness of the script arrives too late. It was in the last episode of the series where this supernatural element is established and before that, the narrative slowly drags like a cliche melodrama. Only if the creators would have tried to maintain the balance of the magical element, luring the audience into the dark web before finally exploding it, the feeling of “wow” would have been much greater.
The series is not a complete failure. It is not great either. It plays slowly with its eroticism and suspense. The only flaw is, it doesn’t hold your attention for longer. The reason being, no new information or fact, striking enough is revealed in the episodes and everything is saved for the end which may work for a film but in a series, audiences want to be hooked. Yet, if you are a fan of slow-moving dramatic thrillers, you can definitely watch Behind Her Eyes, it’s just six episodes and with lots of music to your ears.
As for now, the series is streaming as a limited one but if the viewership enhances, Netflix might decide to give it a second inning. In Season 2, the center character of Louise with Rob’s soul in it may meet the verdict to his unlawful actions.
Behind Her Eyes ‘Season 1’ is streaming on Netflix.
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