Behind Her Eyes: A slow, curious burn that pays off in the end
By: Ariba Bhuvad
Based on the 2017 novel by English author Sarah Pinborough, Behind Her Eyes explores the complex story of three individuals whose lives are intertwined under the strangest of circumstances. And believe me when I tell you--if you think you know what's going on in this series, you'll likely be proven wrong.
This psychological thriller certainly starts off very slow and builds its momentum ever so slightly, leaving fans with just enough curiosity to keep watching. The series stars Eve Hewson as the strange, slightly frightening Adele alongside Tom Bateman, who plays her psychiatrist husband, David. Finding herself in the middle of their strange, messy marriage is Simona Brown's Louise--a lover to David and a friend to Adele.
While we have secondary characters (Robert Aramayo's Rob) that somehow make their way to the epicenter of the story, these three are who carry the entire series on their back until the very end. When you start this series, you don't quite understand the madness that lies ahead, but trust me when I tell you, it gets wild.
What starts off as a one-night stand transforms into an intricate web of lies, deceit, and a twist no one sees coming. Unfortunately the series is painstakingly slow to start, and one has to reserve some patience for the pay-off, which is totally worth the wait.
On the surface, you're led to believe this is just a story about a messy marriage and an innocent woman getting caught in the middle of it. But it's much more than that. It's a story of addiction, betrayal, toxic relationships, astral projection, and body-switching.
Yes, you read that right--astral projection and body-switching. It sounds weird and perhaps not your cup of tea, but as the season goes on, we are lured into the story of Adele's time in rehab with her friend Rob. This guy seems to adore Adele and thinks of her as his dearest friend. So, if they were so close then, why do we not see him in the present?
Therein lies a wild story that will literally "blow your mind". Flashbacks show the progression of Rob and Adele's friendship post-rehab when he goes to visit her in her childhood mansion. The flashbacks soon reveal that Adele and David have been hiding a deep, dark secret about Rob, one that involves him lying at the bottom of a well--dead.
And it all happened after Rob and Adele decided to take astral projection to the next level. You see, astral projection is something Adele had been dabbling in for years, and over time, she was able to extend it long distances. She shared her secret with Rob who suggested they try something different with it--body switching.
But what Adele could have never predicted is that not only would it work, but once it did, Rob wouldn't actually switch bodies back. Smitten with Adele's life and even more so with David, Rob decides to stay inside of Adele's body and remain there as she slowly died within Rob's.
So, yes, the entire time the series is taking place, it is not the real Adele that David has been tortuously dealing with, but rather, Rob within her body. And if you thought that was underwhelming then here comes the real kicker, in the final episode of the season, we see Louise try to come to Adele's rescue. I won't bore you with the details but Adele and David's marriage was anything but perfect, and the toxic nature of it is how Adele kept David around. His watch lie in the well next to Rob's body, so if David ever tried to leave Adele, she had an insurance policy to send him straight to prison. But when David decides to come clean to the authorities about everything, Adele absolutely loses it.
Louise is completely unaware of the extent of all this drama, so she simply begins choosing sides and shows up to confront Adele. When she finds that Adele has locked herself inside the house and is burning it down, Louise tries to dabble in astral projection herself to check on Adele.
Totally harmless, right? WRONG. This was "Adele's" plan all along, apparently, because the minute Louise is out of her body, "Adele" or rather, Rob, enters Louise's body. Louise finds herself stuck in Adele's body, and ultimately dies after Rob-Louise injects her with something that takes her life. And then proceeds to sit outside the burning home with Adele's limp body crying as the authorities show up. Clever, clever man.
It's a twist you don't see coming at all, because rather than Adele being the culprit this entire time, it was Rob running the show. It was his dream life, and when his time as Adele was proving to be worthless, he opted to choose Louise, with whom David shared a special relationship. So when the final moments of the episode reveal all of this information in a thrilling rush, we get very little time to process that it's been Rob all along, Adele died a long time ago, and now Louise is dead, but Rob lives on in her body. He gets the happy ending he's always wanted, with the guy of his dreams, and anyone that may have had any idea is now dead and gone.
Yah, it's a very WTF ending, and you have all of five minutes to truly grasp the insanity of it.
The question on your minds at the end of it all is what the hell is astral projection? And can everyone do it? We don't really get a proper explanation on it in the series, but based on what we saw it looks like you need to have night terrors and be able to lucid dream. And when you master all of that down, the only caveat to astral projecting is that you can only visit places you've been before.
This is why the real Adele and Rob's "Adele's" always knew what was happening. It's why Rob-Adele knew about Louise and David's affair, because he was always there watching, waiting, and plotting. And since Rob-Adele had been to Louise's house, it was easy for him to show up there and creepily watch.
In the end, Rob-Adele-Louise gets what he wants, and ends up married to David. All obstacles are out of his way, right? Well, not quite. Louise's son Adam (Tyler Howitt) is definitely onto the fact that his mother isn't acting as she normally does.
And it seems like Rob-Adele-Louise has caught onto the fact because if that creepy smile at the end didn't allude to the fact that he will deal with Adam as well, then I'm not sure what else to make of it. The wild ride really gives a different meaning to "behind her eyes", doesn't it?
Now the question is, are we getting a season 2 from Netflix? Or will things just end on that wild note? I vote for no season 2 because I think the way this story ended is perfection at its finest, and it should be left as is, up to the interpretation of the viewers.
I don't want to know what happens next, I'd rather sit here trying to come up with my own conclusions--wouldn't you?
What did you think of Behind Her Eyes? Share your comments below!