Behind Her Eyes, On Netflix, Sacrifices Storytelling In Favour Of Shock

Behind Her Eyes has a plot twist you received’t see coming. That’s not a praise. The ending of the six-episode Netflix sequence is surprising and sudden, however solely as a result of the writers don’t trace at it in any manner. On reexamining the remainder of the present, it doesn’t maintain up, derailing, as an alternative of concluding, a twisted narrative with nice promise. If the remainder of the slow-burn sequence unfolds like puzzle items regularly dropping into place, the final episode flips over the desk and scatters all of them to the ground.

Why start by speaking concerning the twist? The 2017 Sarah Pinborough e-book that the sequence is predicated on was marketed with the hashtag #WTFEnding, which is especially prescient for these watching the present.

How satisfying you discover its preliminary episodes, they usually are satisfying, hinges on how invested you’re within the present’s three important characters, all of whom are compelling and have secrets and techniques of their very own. Their interactions are well-crafted, with the writing revealing as a lot details about them because it withholds, an efficient tactic that ensures viewers start questioning their motives. Is the psychiatrist David (Tom Bateman) only a doting husband or are his repeatedly scheduled calls to his spouse signs of a controlling nature? His spouse Adele (a implausible Eve Hewson), together with her all-white wardrobe designed to resemble the uniforms on the establishment at which she as soon as frolicked, appears frail and dependent. Why then, is David afraid of her? The 2 inhabit a shiny world of wealth and privilege, which the present successfully undercuts with a gnawing sense of dread.

Enter naive, single mother Louise (Simona Brown), who begins an affair with David, her boss, whereas befriending Adele in secret. The overlapping relationships between the three are balanced with ability and play out like a darkish psychosexual drama as their secrets and techniques threaten to spill over. The acknowledgement that this charade can’t be stored up without end is what offers the present an exciting pressure.

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And that’s the place issues get bizarre. Halfway by means of, the sequence undergoes a radical shift in tonality and begins leaning on supernatural parts. There are flashes of it beforehand — Louise and Adele each endure from vivid, disorienting evening terrors —  however the present can’t decide to the change of style in a manner that feels convincing. A scene wherein data is gleaned by means of supernatural means, and later arrived at by means of an alternate sensible technique means that the makers weren’t totally satisfied both.

The present’s insistence on progressing in direction of that bonkers twist, nonetheless, leads to it sacrificing storytelling in favour of shock. Not solely is it irritating by itself, it’s detrimental to the writing that comes earlier than it. Adele’s backstory is the one one of many three that’s totally fleshed out by means of arresting flashbacks, however there’s an odd hollowness on the centre of the character. The ending reveals that the writers weren’t deploying mysteriousness as a personality trait a lot as they had been being purposefully obscure in service of that twist.

The present is at its finest and most bingeable when it’s a regularly unspooling thriller. David and Adele’s conflicting tales to Lousie go away her, and by extension the viewers, questioning who to actually root for. The ultimate episode makes that clear however the weak setup makes it laborious to simply accept. It’ll have you ever tweeting #WTFEnding. And never in a great way.

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