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The Telegraph

The Behind Her Eyes twist ending backlash: is it transphobic, racist, or just plain ludicrous?

Netflix’s new miniseries Behind Her Eyes has sparked feverish debate – but perhaps not in the way its creators intended. Although the streamer marketed the show on Twitter as one “with a twist you’ll *never* see coming (unless you’ve read the book, in which case: shhhhh)”, said twist has caused more anger than anything else. Many took to social media to warn off other potential viewers, with posts like “Behind Her Eyes took the craziest turn. Nobody watch it”, or “Behind Her Eyes has such a trash ending. Wasted my time with it.” Critics have largely agreed. Variety said the ending would be morally offensive if it wasn’t so “ridiculous”, Digital Spy said it was “damaging”, Vulture labelled it “cheating”, and Salon called the series “an unresolved mess of problematic narratives”, with a conclusion “that’s baffling at best and deeply tone-deaf at its worst.” The six-part series, which stars Eve Hewson, Tom Bateman and Simona Brown, is based on British novelist Sarah Pinborough’s 2017 book, which similarly rocked readers with its “gotcha” climax; the hashtag #wftthatending trended on social media. Beware: spoilers follow. Like the book, the drama essentially switches genres partway through, beginning as a relatively grounded psychological thriller, and finishing as sci-fi pulp, with improbable twist stacked on improbable twist. Should anyone have been fool enough to invest in these characters, or try to puzzle their way through the various plot mysteries, they’ll discover in that final episode that it was a complete waste of time and energy. The story begins with single mother Louise embarking on an affair with therapist David – who turns out to be her new boss. Louise also strikes up an intimate friendship with David’s troubled wife Adele. So far, so erotic thriller. But then we get the start of the supernatural element: Louise, who suffers from night terrors, is taught by Adele how to control them – and also to “astral project”, i.e. send her consciousness travelling somewhere else while her body remains stationary. Still, the plot continues to throw up fairly realistic red herrings, leading the viewer to suspect either David or Adele of dubious activities, quite possibly involving the death of Adele’s friend Rob, who she met while in rehab; we see him in various flashbacks. But the actual reveal (again, spoiler alert) is one that no one could possibly guess – and is just the first in a series of baffling revelations.

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