Save Yourself Six Hours By Reading Our Explanation of ‘That Ending’ To Behind Her Eyes

Never mind 'That ending explained' this is a 'We'll just tell you what happened if you like' because we're so fed up with the 'YOU'LL NEVER GUESS THE ENDING' marketing ploy now.

Behind Her Eyes

by Rhiannon Evans |
Updated on

OBVIOUSLY this article contains spoilers

In hindsight I'm annoyed at myself for falling for a super obvious marketing trick and deciding to dedicate six hours of my weekend just so I could be up to speed with what Netflix meant by all the buzz around Behind Her Eyes and 'that ending'.

While Netflix even started a hashtag BEFORE THE SHOW HAD AIRED that says '#WTFthatending' (following on from the campaign that had circled around the book, by Sarah Pinborough), media outlets followed suit by publishing a hundred articles headlined 'Behind Her Eyes: THAT WTF ending, explained'. It meant every time you popped online to check how many episodes there were, where you'd seen Tom Bateman (David) and Simona Brown (Louise) before or who was Eve Hewson's dad - you'd be greeted by those headlines, your interest piqued further.

Teasing and giving weight and prize to 'that twist ending' of Behind Her Eyes is a familiar marketing trick - think Usual Suspects, Sixth Sense, Se7en and how you went to see them, anticipating a gleeful trick being played on you. But that was 90-120 mins and you probably also got some popcorn and maybe even a date.

READ MORE: All Of The Clues In Behind Her Eyes That Gave Away The Plot Twist Ending

The trick is absolutely perfect for the streaming age, where shows need to build social buzz, they need you to watch all the episodes quickly so others 'need' to so they don't get spoilered, therefore gaming that buzz and the Netflix algorithm and shoving it to the top of their charts when we're all sat at home, desperate for something new to fill our time.

Because whereas selling something as funny, clever, beautiful or thrilling might mean that within episode one and two you take a view that it's not really for you because you don't also hold those things to be true actually, promoting the ending means (and this sounds obvious but...) you'll KEEP WATCHING AND WATCHING AND WATCHING even as you become less and less convinced that what you're investing in is worth it.

I felt this particularly keenly with Behind Her Eyes, personally - that I'd been tricked into wasting my time by the whole system. Because it seemed like nothing really in episodes 1-5 mattered when you got to the end, because who could've predicted (sorry but I don't think there are clues cleverly planted throughout) that it all hinged on ASTRAL PROJECTING. Who even knows what astral projection is before they've watched this show? And why did it take me four days to realise the whole floaty lights thing just really made me think about the Spice Girls Viva Forever video? Just me?

Ok, if you've taken us at our word and come here for an explanation of what happens, we should roll back a bit. Here is the 'Now you can join in the conversation with your friends' rundown on what happens in Behind Her Eyes and the ending explained.

Louise is a divorced single mum. She meets David in a bar, they have a connection and kind of kiss, then he runs off. The next day, it turns out he's her new boss - and he's married. There's a bit of awkwardness, but eventually (and I mean, eventually, it takes almost two hours) they start an affair. Her son, Adam, goes off for a month to France with his father, to make that all not an issue/is supposed to give motivation to the affair, her getting 'her time' to 'have her bit of fun'.

Things 'aren't right'/are generically spooky between David and his wife Adele. For the next few hours there are fleeting bits of information that add up to it all being a bit 'What's going on'. He is prescribing her drugs and is always checking up on her and making her stay at home. There are references to 'what happened before'. She's trying to make it work, he seems trapped. Adele likes to lie on the bed all day with her eyes closed.

In the meantime, Adele and Louise become friends, after a 'chance meeting' in the street. Louise clocks the connection, but inexplicably can't stop getting drawn to them both.

There's a lot of who is playing who/who is the baddie between Adele and David.

In the meantime, you have some FLASHBACKS. Adele has been in some sort of institution when she was younger because her parents died in a fire. She escaped unharmed because David (whose family were farmers on her family's estate) happened to be passing by and saved her - mystery there then.

While in the institution, she meets heroin addict, Rob. They become best friends and there are sometimes some fleeting references to him being gay, so it's only platonic, but very very deep love runs between them - Rob is protective and suspicious of David. They both have night terrors, and between them are working on some kind of finger-counting technique to step away from terror and have peaceful dreams.

Funnily enough, Louise also has night terrors - so Adele (they're now best friends and go to the gym together) hands her a written exercise book which is a quasi-diary of Rob's, kind of detailing their time together and their methods for stopping the night terrors. They work and Louise can control her dreams. But inexplicably it take Louise WEEKS to finish the book (when it is clearly KEY TO THE STORY) and realise that a load of pages have been ripped out.

Adele gets a black eye while seemingly trying to score some heroin (clunk), and everyone gets suspicious that it's David's fault. Adele stirs this with a client of David's and it causes problems for him at work. Louise is also worried about the black eye and David ultimately discovers the two women have been friends, breaks up with her and fires her.

It seems like this is all quite a lot of drama, but somehow, spread across four and half hours, it kind of feels flat and never that thrilling or scary.

It all picks up at the end quickly, as Louise visits Brighton where David and Adele used to live to find out what happened there. Turns out David used to chat to a cafe owner and Adele turned up at her door, threatening her cat and SOMEHOW knew exactly what they'd talked about. Louise's sympathies fly back to David and she finally finishes Rob's book and finds out about...

Here we go then - Behind Her Eyes And Astral Projection

...flashback via the book that's been IN HER LIVING ROOM THE WHOLE TIME to shortly after Adele and Rob have left what they loosely keep calling 'rehab'. Rob visits and the two reveal that because they can control their night terrors, they can also control their 'souls' and can do astral projection. They can leave their bodies and fly into the woods like little flashes of light (handily colour-coded for each person: important) then come back. They do some googling of astral projection to introduce the concept into what had been largely a domestic noir to this point, of ASTRAL PROJECTION.

Louise realises she can do it too, basically. Realises this is how Adele knows about everything and has been watching them have an affair the whole time. She doesn't seem to tell David that and he just says he can't ever leave Adele.

Flashback again (there's a lot of back and forth now, we'll keep it simple as possible), and turns out that when David visited Rob and Adele that weekend, Rob ended up at the bottom of a well, dead... with David's watch at the bottom too, landing him right in it. Adele and David are tied together by Rob's death.

Louise worries Adele is going to kill herself (long story) so rushes over. Adele won't let her in, so Louise uses ASTRAL PROJECTION to see what is going on in Adele's bedroom, but Adele's left her body and jumps in Louise's forcing (a new astral projection law?) Louise into Adele's half-dead body. Louise/Adele kills Adele/Louise, starts a fire and pretends to try and rescue her.

What we then discover via FLASHBACK that during that key weekend years ago, Rob and David had bonded and Rob made a lot of allusions to never wanting to leave the amazing estate that belongs to Adele. So, he takes a lot of heroin and persuades Adele that as part of ASTRAL PROJECTION they should try and body swap. As soon as Adele enters Rob's body her... soul I guess? isn't used to heroin and can't move? Rob's soul is fine and is used to heroin. Rob, in Adele's body, gives her more drugs and throws his body and Adele's soul into the well, with the incriminating watch. Thereby taking over Adele's life and tying David to him/Adele's body in a strange loveless marriage forever. Oh and the fire was as Adele and David said, nothing really untoward tbh.

So actually Rob/Adele killed Louise/Adele's body. Free from it all, David is finally free to jump right back in with Louise (unbeknownst to him, Rob again) and marries her while Louise/Rob do loads of weird robot/creepy looks that are very disturbing for Louise's son Adam who seems to be the only one who notices Louise's personality change.


So there you go - that WTF ending. No Kaiser Soze or a head in a box, but quite WTF still.

Speaking about the ending of the book Behind Her Eyes, Pinborough has told the Guardian: “I don’t mind people who hate the book. I’d rather they hate it than be indifferent. What I don’t like is when people say, ‘She didn’t know how to end this book, she tacked on this ending.’ I’m like, ‘Go back and read it again, do your homework!’”

I can't speak for the book, but the TV show doesn't have clever little Easter eggs dotted in. It's five hours of 'Ok then, what's this ending everyone talking about because this isn't great' followed by 'Ok right, well I couldn't have ever seen that coming so WTF IS THE POINT?' because it's so far from where the rest of the show has been that it's pointless. No-one could've guessed who Kaiser Soze was if the whole time, an alien had floated into the Kaiser's body and done some magic that explained the whole thing away. And people probably wouldn't bother returning to that story to gleefully spot the Easter eggs, or tell everyone to watch it, if that had been what happened. Because it's silly.

The best thrillers tread that line of making you think you can guess who it is, but surprising you still. When it comes to the ending of Behind Her Eyes, you never stood a chance. Much like poor Adele.

So, here's our magic trick - six hours of your life and time back just from reading this synopsis. You're welcome.

Is Astral Projection real?

Lots of people are now asking if astral projection is 'real'. Which is a difficult one to answer... because everyone has their own opinion and beliefs. But no, probably not. No. Otherwise Covid life probably would've been quite a lot easier...


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