What is happening in our world? Who is doing what? what is going on now? These are questions that will be answered. Enjoy.
‘Behind Her Eyes’ Finale Ending Explained
When I watched the last twenty minutes of Behind Her Eyes this weekend, all I could do was smile and shake my head repeatedly. Honestly, I’m still not over it. If you haven’t watched the new limited series on Netflix, be warned: I am 100 percent going to spoil it for you in this article. So if you want to watch it and see if you can guess the ending before it whacks you in the head like a pile of cartoon bricks, go ahead and do that. Come back here when you’re ready to discuss—or just want something to help you process your feelings about what the hell you just watched.
Despite standout performances by Simona Brown and Eve Hewson, Behind Her Eyes is basically six hours of waiting for an ending that essentially cheats its way into a shocking twist. If you’ve read Sarah Pinborough’s novel from which the series is adapted, you already know the twist ending and can get on with your life. For the rest of us, though, let’s talk about the Behind Her Eyes twist ending that is truly, actually, legitimately absurd.
*Final warning: spoilers for Behind Her Eyes below.
What is the Twist Ending?
Two words: astral projection.
What begins as an erotic/crime/psychological thriller takes a sharp turn into supernatural fantasyland in the second-to-last episode. The term “astral projection” isn’t actually spoken until the last fifteen minutes of Episode Five, but once it is—man, all bets are off. It’s like the show just said, “Rules? What rules? To hell with narrative structure and consistent, honest, world-building! Genre who?” But you know what? Fine. Take us deep into the world of lucid dreaming and astral projection—I was missing 2011-era Tumblr, anyway.
I’ll do my best to summarize the twist ending in one sentence: Adele is Rob. Rob is Adele. This entire time, the woman we’ve been watching and wondering about—is she a manipulative psychopath or the victim of an abusive husband?—is actually Rob, Adele’s best friend from her time at the rehabilitation facility where she went after her parents were killed in a fire at their country estate.
Ten years ago, after actual Adele showed Rob how to astral project, Rob convinced her to try swapping souls. Rob injects himself with enough heroin so that once Adele’s soul is inside his body, she is immobilized and trapped within his flesh vessel forever. Then, Rob-as-Adele shoots up Rob’s body with more heroin, causing Rob’s body to overdose with Adele’s soul inside, killing both Rob’s physical body and Adele’s soul. Adele/Rob then dumps Rob’s body into a well in the estate’s forest, and lets David’s watch fall in with the body, to entrap David into keeping their secret so they’ll be stuck with each other forever lest she tell the police that David killed Rob.
This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Then, in present day, Louise realizes that Adele can astral project because Louise herself learns it, from the book on lucid dreaming that Adele gave Louise to overcome her night terrors. Louise goes to David and tells him she realizes that he’s not the villain she thought he was, that Adele is “not normal,” and that she’s “always there, watching, listening.” David goes to Scotland to tell the police what happened with Rob. He tells Louise to stay away from Adele because she’s dangerous, and she promises she will.
This is where things start to bother me. At this point, I’ve made peace with the genre-swap, but I refuse to accept the fact that Louise—our smart, capable, funny, complex, take-no-shit heroine and wonderful, loving single mother to Adam—would be as gullible as she is in the finale.
Louise calls Adele and tells her David’s plan to tell the truth about Rob (well, what he thinks is the truth: that Rob overdosed and Adele covered it up by dragging his body into a well). Adele lures Louise to her house by implying she’s going to kill herself, and Louise hops in an Uber and just goes. Adele sets a fire and shoots up in her bed.
Unable to enter the burning house, Louise props herself up against the door and decides to astral project inside to, I don’t know, check on Adele? This makes no sense. She can’t actually do anything while soul-traveling, all she can do is see. Adele/Rob then uses this opportunity to swap souls with Louise, killing Louise’s soul as it’s trapped in Adele’s body, overdosing on heroin in a burning house. Louise-as-Adele’s last word is “Adam,” and it’s so heartbreaking, ridiculous, and unfair. Then Rob-as-Louise marries David, because somehow he can’t tell the difference between these two fundamentally different personalities. For a psychiatrist, David is 0/2 in his ability to get to know a person.
Nick Wall/NETFLIX © 2020
What is astral projection?
Astral projection is defined as, “the ability of a person’s spirit to travel to distant places.” In Behind Her Eyes, Adele/Rob describes the process of astral projection to Louise: “You can only travel to places you know. You have to visualize the details.” If you look closely, you’ll notice that throughout the series, this is why Adele/Rob asks for a tour of David’s office, and why she snoops around Louise’s apartment, looking in all the rooms. The ability to have this type of out of body experience has become a big business—a new age fascination that is explored in books and podcasts and meditation seminars. Although the idea is popular, there’s no actual science that indicates anything like this is actually possible. According to LiveScience, “there’s really no way to scientifically measure whether or not a person’s spirit ‘leaves’ or ‘enters’ the body. The simplest and best explanation for out-of-body experiences is that the person is merely fantasizing and dreaming. Because there is no scientific evidence that consciousness can exist outside of the brain, astral projection is rejected by scientists.”
We should have seen the clues.
The first semi-explicit hint at astral projection occurs in Episode Four, when the show cuts between two scenes: one is Adele, apparently sleeping midday in her silk pajamas. She enters a dreamscape where she walks through a door in the forest. The other is David and Louise at the office, discussing their affair. David tells Louise he’s falling in love with her. We watch their conversation through a high-angle shot that looks like security camera footage, with the sounds of breathing and slightly muffled voices. Then Adele wakes up in anguish, and says, “Oh, David.”
If you look again, you’ll notice many clues scattered throughout the show. For example, all of the flashbacks to Adele’s past are times Rob was there, too—Rob and Adele at rehab, young David getting out of the car and walking towards Adele’s estate.
In an early conversation, Louise asks Adele who Rob is, and says he “seems quite a character.” “You have no idea,” Adele replies, smiling.
And yet, a number of questions remain: What really happened the night Adele’s parents died? Did David set the fire? If Adele was astral projecting that night, whose life was she watching? Will David figure out that his new wife, Louise, is actually Rob, and that Adele was Rob, too? What’s going to happen to Adam—the cutest, best, most sensitive 7-year-old ever?
Anna Grace Lee
Anna Grace Lee is an editorial fellow at Esquire, where she covers pop culture, music, and entertainment.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io