Coming to Netflix on February 17th, Behind Her Eyes is a six-episode adaptation of the best-selling 2017 book by Sarah Pinborough and comes from the producers of The Crown. The show centres around the life of single mum Louise, who becomes entangled in a love triangle with new boss David and his wife Adele. However, something clearly isn’t quite right between David and Adele, leading to things becoming increasingly mysterious as we begin to delve into the couple’s past.
Louise (Simona Brown) has devoted her life to caring for her young son Adam since her partner, Adam’s father, walked out on them. On a rare night out, a friend stands Louise up at the bar where they were due to meet, and after managing to spill drink all over David (Tom Bateman), another lone drinker that night, they end up spending the rest of the evening together at the bar. At the end of the evening, they share a kiss and go their separate ways. But the next day, when Louise arrives at the psychiatrist’s office where she works and learns that her new boss has already arrived, surprise-surprise, guess who it is. And, to make things worse for Louise, it turns out that David has brought his wife Adele (Eve Hewson) into the office to meet the owner of the business!
Following a decision by Louise and David to keep things strictly professional from now on (yeah, we all know how well that’s likely to pan out!), much of the first episode is spent getting to know our three main characters. Aside from suffering from bouts of sleepwalking and some fairly vivid night terrors, which we get to experience along with her, Louise is a relatively happy and likeable young mum, just trying to do the best she can with the hand life has dealt her. David and Adele on her other hand, are a little bit more… well, complex!
Something from David and Adele’s past appears to have had a major impact on present-day life, with Adele now just appearing bored and lifeless, almost robot-like as she sits blankly staring into space in the large house that she and David share. David questions Adele about the medication she is currently taking and agrees to let Adele have a mobile phone once again, calling her at the same times each day to ensure that she is at home. He appears fearful of Adele, even repulsed by her when they have sex, unable to look her in the eye.
Flashbacks show a younger Adele, spending time in a psychiatric hospital where she became best friends with Rob (Robert Aramayo), a troubled drug-addict. We learn that David and Adele were already together at this time, with David responsible for rescuing Adele from a house fire which killed her parents. These flashbacks continue throughout the entire run of the show, constantly adding layers to their backstory and further ramping up the mystery.
By episode 2, Adele has ‘accidentally’ bumped into Louise and joined her for a coffee. Adele is very keen to share telephone numbers and seems desperate for them both to be friends, texting Louise immediately after their coffee and inviting her to join her at the gym. Although, Louise is curious as to why Adele has to be home for 2:30 pm in order to receive a phone call from David and is immediately suspicious of their relationship. At the same time, that strictly professional relationship between Louise and David takes a serious nosedive as they both jump headfirst into an affair. David remains unaware of Louise’s friendship with Adele, Adele seems unaware of Louise’s relationship with her husband.
As the episodes roll on, the mystery comes thick and fast and the tension starts to become unbearable. We’re not quite sure whether we should be trusting David or Adele, or neither of them. Adele appears to be manipulating situations and knowing things she had no way of knowing, while David just seems scared of Adele and what she might do next. And then the situation will suddenly twist around, with David appearing controlling and threatening, leaving you to feel sorry for Adele. It really does like to keep you guessing. Much of what makes this work so well is thanks to Eve Hewson (daughter of Bono!) who plays Adele. Her ability to go from cold, detached and creepy to bubbly and friendly at the drop of a hat really is outstanding. And along with Simona Brown as Louise, it’s those two who really elevate Behind Her Eyes into something that is very interesting.
By the time the final two episodes come round, there are some wild and exciting hints at what might actually be going on, and by the end of episode 5, make sure that you’ve allowed yourself enough time to head straight into the final episode because it will definitely be worth it. Not only did I have absolutely no idea exactly where the show was heading, but the revelations, the twists and the multiple WTF moments that grow in intensity really do deliver. And I haven’t even mentioned the bleak and shocking ending! A highly recommended show and likely to be one of those that everyone will be talking about.
Behind Her Eyes will be available to stream on Netflix from February 17
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