That includes pulling the same trick a decade later. David and Rob-as-Adele move to London for the latest in a string of fresh starts, and David starts an affair with his secretary Louise (Kiss Me First’s Simona Brown). David has been unhappy in the marriage for years, but won’t leave for fear of being implicated in the death of ‘Rob’, which he helped to cover up. Rob-as-Adele uses his astral projection power to spy on the affair from the start, and forms a plan.
As luck would have it, Louise also shares the rare soul-travelling power, which enables Rob to stage Adele’s suicide, swap bodies with Louise, and re-marry David posing as her newly stolen identity. Now in the body of another woman he’s tricked and killed, conscience-free Rob ends the series with everything he ever wanted: a new life, David, and through marriage, Adele’s money.
‘Nothing about that life I want back’
It’s a malevolent ending made all the more cruel by the existence of Louise’s seven-year-old son Adam, who knows instantly that there’s something very different about his mother after Rob takes over her body. The story ends with two women murdered, a man deceived for years about who he’s married to and having sex with, and a child’s mother replaced by the person who killed her – all so that one person can greedily live a life they coveted.
It’s a surprising ending, not just for its audacious supernatural twist, but also because of how unusually out of touch it feels with modern sensibilities. However inadvertent, the conclusions it seems to reach about gay male sexuality, trans identities and the working class threat to the wealthy all feel centuries out of date. Granted, Behind Her Eyes is a supernatural fantasy/pulp thriller, not a documentary or manifesto, but its story choices reinforce harmful myths with real-world consequences.
The idea, for instance, that gay men routinely sexually predate on heterosexual men and deceive them into sex is a corrosive one. The Gay Panic Defence has historically been used to exonerate perpetrators of violent, homophobic attacks, and the work of dismantling the myths that shore it up is ongoing. Even in a pulpy, fictional fantasy setting, showing a gay man tricking his duped heterosexual partner into sex feels… unhelpful.