Shortly after Sarah Pinborough’s novel Behind Her Eyes was published in 2017, the hashtag #wtfthatending began trending on Twitter, and it’s not difficult to understand why – the story certainly ends in a rather outlandish fashion.
Now the page-turner has made its way to Netflix in the form of a new six-part miniseries – with the Behind Her Eyes cast bringing the characters to life – and whole new audience will be discovering the twist ending.
These new fans will likely be reacting with just as much shock – and possibly confusion – as those who read the book, so read on for everything you need to know about that ending and how similarly it sticks to the closing pages of the book.
Behind Her Eyes ending explained
Well, where to begin…
Essentially, the ending of the series hinges on a supernatural phenomenon referred to as astral projection, a process which Adele discovered she was able to use while she was staying in a psychiatric hospital during the show’s flashback scenes, and which she also taught to Louise as a means of combating her frequent night terrors.
Earlier in the series, we had learned that Adele regularly had lucid dreams, and in the penultimate episode, it is revealed that during these dreams she had actually been spying on David and Louise, and had thus known all about their affair – which is why she had introduced herself to Louise in the first place.
After realising this, in the final episode, Louise meets David to tell him she believes Adele to be a sociopath, accusing her of the murder of Rob – whom Adele had previously said she suspected David of killing. We then see a flashback to Rob’s death – with Adele telling David that she’d hidden his body down a well out of panic after he had overdosed – before we return to the present, with David revealing he will hand himself over to the police to explain the situation.
Louise then finds Adele and confronts her, revealing that she knows that she has been spying on them, while also explaining that David plans to hand himself in.
Now, this is where things get really bizarre.
Later, after receiving several distressed texts from Adele saying she needs to make things right, Louise shows up at the house and sees that it is on fire – presumably a suicide attempt.
Unable to break in, Louise instead decides to dream-walk into the house, but it turns out this is a trap – using astral projection Adele arranges for her and Louise to swap bodies, with Louise dying of a heroin overdose while trapped inside Adele’s body, and Adele now free to live in Louise’s body – explaining that she was never going to lose David to her.
In most thrillers, you’d assume that this was the end of the twists and turns – but there is one more to come. Through flashbacks, we learn that this whole time, Adele’s body had actually been occupied by Rob.
Yes – it wasn’t actually Rob who had died in the past, but Adele, who had died while living inside Rob’s body. He had convinced her to try body-swapping through astral projection and then killed her, before continuing to live inside her body. It turns out that Rob had been secretly in love with David for many years, and had initiated the body swap as a way of being with him.
At the very end of the series, Louise marries David – but it is now clear that it’s actually Rob living inside her body. David is none the wiser to Louise’s real identity, but in the final moments, it appears her son Adam is aware that she has undergone some kind of change.
Behind Her Eyes book ending: Is it different?
In short, no – the series is very faithful to the book and sticks more or less exactly with the ending to Pinborough’s novel.
That ending proved to be divisive, with some people loving the surprising nature of the twist and others thinking it a gimmicky contrivance – and so it seems likely that the series will be met with a similarly split reaction.