Behind Her Eyes review: a great, sexy thriller is completely ruined by a terrible twist ending
For the majority of this show, you'll have a great time. And then...
Here is our advice for watching Netflix's new mini-series: watch and enjoy the first five episodes, and then don't bother with the last one, and just make up your own ending for how it all plays out, because whatever you come up with it will be infinitely better than the direction Behind Her Eyes ends up going in.
Seriously, not since Serenity has so much potential been completely undone by a bonkers plot twist, and while some may well argue that the twist is a holdover from the 2017 novel, and perhaps it is teased out better in the book, or it was just as bad there as it is here, but whatever the case is, Behind Her Eyes' ending will definitely get people talking, and for all the wrong reasons.
Before we get there though, we are introduced to single mum Louise (Simona Brown), trying to make ends meet for her and her young son, working as a part-time receptionist in a swanky London psychiatrist office. During a random night out, she literally bumps into a handsome stranger, David (Tom Bateman), and the two instantly hit it off, even going as far as having a little smooch before he pulls away, saying it was a mistake, and disappears into the night.
The very next day, Louise meets the new doctor in her office... who happens to be David, and he has brought along his beautiful wife Adele (Eve Hewson). Initially agreeing to keep that one drunken kiss to themselves, it isn't long before they both give in to their mutual attraction, and Louise and David embark on a full-blown affair. Meanwhile, Adele has decided to make Louise her new best friend, a relationship they both decide to keep from David.
Normally "the good girl" in every situation, Louise is enjoying the thrill of keeping the secrets, enjoying the new friendship with her gorgeous new friend, and enjoying the thrill of the affair with this hunky doctor, but before long she begins to notice some unnerving cracks in David and Adele's marriage. Who they are to each other isn't who they appear to be to Louise, and the further she digs in, the darker and more dangerous their secrets become.
So we've got the makings of a great little thriller, complete with raunchy sex scenes and tense confrontations, especially between David and Adele who keep hinting at something majorly problematic in their shared past, and the mind races as to what it might be.
But the show can't help itself, not knowing when enough is enough, and piles on loads more subplots, including flashbacks to a mental institution with a younger Adele and David at the start of their relationship, and Louise's creepy recurring nightmare involving her son getting lost in a literal house of horrors. None of that is necessarily a deal-breaker, but they all feel fairly superfluous to the central plot, until you realise that they all tie in to that ending, and oh boy...
Obviously we're not going to spoil it for you here, but it is akin to finding out that at the end of Big Little Lies, it was none of the leading women, but it was actually an alien that came down and did the murder. It is that extreme of a plot twist, and the show doesn't do enough groundwork to build the audience up to be prepared for it, so it really does feel like you've skipped a few episodes and suddenly we're in a different story altogether.
It is a shame, because for the majority of the runtime this is an incredibly engrossing, entertaining show, but by the finale, all of that positivity will have curdled into bafflement and frustration.
Behind Her Eyes is available to watch on Netflix on Wednesday, 17 February.
Clip via Netflix