Spoilers for Netflix original series Behind Her Eyes ahead.
Among Netflix's exciting new releases for the month of February is Behind Her Eyes, a steamy psychological thriller series about a complicated and dangerous love triangle. But just when viewers think they might know what's going on in its twisty, high-stakes plot, its ending takes us down a supernatural path of no return — just like author Sarah Pinborough did in the novel that inspired the limited series.
You probably weren't expecting a supernatural plot twist when you decided to check out the Netflix original because it isn't necessarily advertised as such; what we get in the beginning is a story of forbidden love and intrigue. Single mother Louise (Simona Brown) treats herself to a night on the town, during which she meets David (Tom Bateman). There's instant chemistry and even a kiss, but their romance is almost doomed from the start; it turns out that David has just replaced Louise's former boss at the psychiatry practice where she works, and to make things worse, he's very married to a strange but beautiful woman named Adele (Eve Hewson).
However, those things don't keep Louise and Tom from getting closer. In fact, as she enters into an intense romantic relationship with her new boss, Louise also simultaneously strikes up a secret friendship with his wife, finding common ground in her and Adele's shared experiences with night terrors. As the friendship grows stronger, Adele reveals a devastating past that resulted ina stay in a mental institution and a new ability to actually control her dreams, which she teaches Louise.
But something's off about Adele. With David, she unstable and fragile, on the precipice of something very scary. With Louise, she plays the meek wife, run haggard by her husband's controlling ways. Unbeknownst to the people in her life, Adele is neither of those things — she's not even really Adele.
Years ago, during her time in the facility, Adele met a young man named Rob, and the pair bonded very quickly. While they were being treated at the hospital, Adele taught Rob the same nifty lucid dreaming technique she later shares with Louise, but with a twist: astral projection (separating the soul from the physical body). Rob convinced his friend to switch bodies with him via astral projection, but what should have been a fun experiment turned dark when he murdered Adele by pushing her-in-his-body down a well on her family's property. Like I said, dark.
Why did Rob do it? It looks like he was enchanted by Adele's life as a wealthy orphaned heiress and by the devotion of her then-fiancé David and wanted it for himself. But in the present, being married to David is no walk in the park; the good doctor has a wandering eye. So over the past few years, Rob-in-Adele's-body has had to contend with different women, and David has had to deal with his presumed wife's growing eccentricities.
After David discovers that Louise has befriended his wife, he cuts off the illicit affair, but the guy just can't catch a break. Rob-in-Adele's-body wants all obstacles out of the way of their relationship, and that means Louise, especially after the woman discovers the truth behind the lucid dreaming technique. Desperate to save David from the enemy unseen, Louise attempts astral project into David and Adele's family home, but Rob-as-Adele thwarts her plans and switches bodies with her. Now controlling Louise, Rob sets fire to the house with an unconscious Louise (in Adele's body!) inside, orchestrating the murder to look like death by suicide.
Freed from his toxic marriage, David can now marry the woman that he thinks is Louise. Rob-as-Louise gets the guy again, and everyone is none the wiser except her son. (Kids can always tell, you know.) This story isn't over just yet.
If the ending of the Netflix original series seems ridiculous, it's because it takes direct notes from Pinborough's 2017 New York Times bestseller, which was originally marketed with the hashtag #WTFThatEnding. Chaos has clearly always been the endgame here, so whether you agree or not, Behind Her Eyes exactly did what it was supposed to. And you may never sleep peacefully again because of it.
Behind Her Eyes is now streaming on Netflix.