Behind Her Eyes Ending Explained: Unpacking the Twist Ending

Netflix’s Behind Her Eyes’ ending left many viewers stunned, reflecting the concerns of TV executives when Sarah Pinborough availed her 2017 thriller novel of the same title for a screenplay adaptation. The English writer told The Washington Post that the executives wanted to stray from the book for a happier ending. Pinborough wouldn’t let that happen, so she sold the rights to Left Bank Pictures, a British production company committed to a faithful adaptation.

Although the series lightened some of the book’s dark edges, it retained the unsettling end of the novel, delivering an uncanny, mind-bending twist that denied viewers the happy ending they anticipated. And at the same time, compelling them to reflect on the story they had followed all along. Behind Her Eyes could have had a more satisfying ending, especially for viewers unfamiliar with Pinborough’s novel. But fans of the book would appreciate the Steve Lightfoot adaptation for staying true to its source material.

What’s The Premise Of Behind Her Eyes?

Simona Brown's Louise Barnsley and Tom Bateman's Dr. David Ferguson In Behind Her Eyes

The premise of the British noir supernatural psychological thriller is central to understanding its ending. The series revolves around Simona Brown’s Louise Barnsley, a divorced mother of one working as a receptionist in a London psychiatrist outfit. A chance encounter with her new boss, Tom Bateman’s Dr. David Ferguson, marks the beginning of a love triangle that includes her new friend, Eve Hewson’s Adele Ferguson, who happens to be David’s wife.

The supernatural element of the series comes into play when Adele introduces Louise to astral projection as a way of dealing with her nightmares. This becomes the gateway to the series’ ultimate plot twist and unexpected ending that retells the story. Apart from Brown, Bateman, and Hewson’s characters, Robert Aramayo’s Rob Hoyle features strongly in the Behind Her Eyes story. The English actor revealed as the villain of the series plays a gay heroin addict who befriended Adele at a rehabilitation clinic.

Making Sense of Behind Her Eyes’ Twist Ending

Eve Hewson's Adele Ferguson and Tom Bateman's Dr. David Ferguson in Behind Her Eyes

Viewers approached Behind Her Eyes’ ending anticipating a happy ending for Louise Barnsley and her former boss, David Ferguson. Louise and David end up together as expected; having exchanged marital vows, David is ecstatically happy about his new bride and their future as the credits roll in. He’s finally going to be happy again as he’s always wanted, but unbeknown to him, he’s made a lifetime commitment to the same relationship he’s been looking to end.

While David thought he was free from Adele, he didn’t realize Adele died years ago. He wasn’t unhappy in his previous marriage because he had fallen out of love with Adele; he had been married to a different person all along, a man (Rob) living in Adele’s body. Behind Her Eyes’ ending clarified the deception, pulling viewers a decade back to the incident that inspired David and Adele’s move to London for a new start. Rob had been infatuated with Adele’s wealth and loving fiancé David. So, he manipulates Adele into swapping bodies after she introduces him to astral projection.

With his soul in Adele’s body, he kills her, takes over her identity, and marries David. He also manipulates David into covering up Rob’s death, which was indeed the death of Adele. Though unhappy, David remained in the marriage with Rob (appearing as Adele) for fear of being implicated in the death he helped conceal. When Louise presents him with a reason to own up to the authorities, Rob (appearing as Adele) manipulates her into leaving her body. He swaps their souls and kills Louise, taking over her body to be with David just as he did to Louise years ago.

Will There Be Behind Her Eyes Season 2?

 Simona Brown's Louise Barnsley and Tyler Howitt's Adam in Behind Her Eyes

Disregarding David’s misfortune, Behind Her Eyes’ ending is difficult to stomach for several reasons. The story ends with the villain having his way, two women (Adele and Louise) murdered, and a child (Louise’s son Adam) with a strange mom. It left viewers wanting some recompense for the victims, a desire that might have inspired the hope for another season. That’s unlikely to happen, as the psychological thriller was ordered as a limited series. Besides, the series completed the story of its source material. It’s far-fetched that Netflix would request another season to continue season 1’s story.

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