It has been a little over a month since Behind Her Eyes premiered on Netflix and annoyed some fans with its shocking twist ending. The same can also be said about the hit 2017 book of the same name by Sarah Pinborough. That would be why, as Pinborough tells the Washington Post, it almost changed before landing at the streamer.
When she was shopping the book around, several TV executives informed her that the book needed "a more uplifting" ending if it was going to make the jump to the screen. Spoilers are ahead for both the book and Netflix series Behind Her Eyes, so read on if you dare.
"They wanted a happier ending," Pinborough told the Washington Post. "I think they wanted Louise to survive. You know, I get that. But yeah, that wasn't going to happen." As it goes in the story, Louise is the focus of the story as the receptionist and lover to a psychiatrist named David. And while they are becoming closer and intimate, Louise also connects with David's wife, Adele. It's a mess right from the start if you're keeping track at home.
But where it seems to be a romantic thriller in the frame of many '90s TV and film plots, it soon takes a turn into the supernatural and a dash of horror. As it turns out, Louise and Adele both can astral project. It's less like Dr. Strange and more Captain Ginyu, with Adele being revealed to be Rob, a person from her rehab stint who also used the spirit trick to take over her body in menacing fashion.
By the end, "Adele" takes over Louise using the same method, kills her when she switches bodies and then moves to be with David, the clueless male misdirection in the story. If Louise somehow lived, you can see where there would be an open end and a major change to the story.
Luckily Pingborough stuck to her guns and had a faithful adaptation ushered into production. She also explains some of the other changes made to the series and her feelings toward them with The Washington Post. "I'm very glad they didn't kill the cat [as Rob does in the book], because when I was watching it the first time and we got to the cat, I was like, 'Oh, my God, oh, my God — writing it is one thing, but I don't want to watch the dead cat.' I think it would have been a step too far for the show. Actually, if I was writing it again, I probably would have taken that out."
The wild part gets darker and rougher from there, likely making the response to the ending look tame in hindsight. Pinborough is also quite happy with the reaction from fans — and haters — to the story. Readers and viewers alike delighted the author with their takes. "Get on here. You're allowed to hate it. It's fine!"