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‘Behind Her Eyes’ and 9 other TV shows with jaw-dropping twists

Simona Brown as Louise and Eve Hewson as Adele in Netflix's “Behind Her Eyes.” (Nick Wall/Netflix)
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When it comes to watching television, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good plot twist (or several) that makes you channel Sally Field during the dinner scene in “Mrs. Doubtfire”: The whole time? The whole time? The whole time?

Here’s a spoiler-free guide to some of the most shocking twists we’ve seen on TV in recent years.

“Behind Her Eyes”

A single mother (Simona Brown) begins an affair with her married boss (Tom Bateman), then soon finds herself drawn to his mysterious wife (Eve Hewson) in this psychological thriller, based on Sarah Pinborough’s novel of the same name. Their entanglement is just the tip of the iceberg, as the six-episode series incorporates a suspicious fire, lucid dreams and astral projection into its plot. But nothing tops the double twist ending, which is among the wildest developments we’ve ever seen in a TV show.

You may or may not like how “Behind Her Eyes” ends, but you’ll likely still be talking about it for days — or weeks. (Streaming on Netflix)

Sarah Pinborough, author of ‘Behind Her Eyes,’ talks about that controversial twist


All of the existential questions at the center of HBO’s sci-fi western dovetail into an exciting (and plausible) bombshell — revealed toward the end of the first season — that will make you want to immediately tuck into the show’s subsequent chapters. If you’re new to “Westworld’s” dystopian universe, you can do just that up through Season 3 (a fourth season has been announced, but there are no details on when it will air just yet). (Streaming on HBO Max)

“The Good Place”

NBC’s afterlife comedy concluded its first season with a game-changing reveal that took the show’s humor and philosophical musing (along with the acting of its ensemble cast) to a new level. Once the show arrived on streaming, it attracted more viewers eager to see if they could figure out the secret before they were in on it. (Streaming on Netflix)

“Orphan Black”

There’s a valid argument that BBC America’s sci-fi thriller — which starred Tatiana Maslany in multiple roles — went a little too off the rails in its later seasons. Still, the cult-favorite series, for which Maslany won an Emmy, is a master class in pulling off an exhilarating surprise. Whether or not you know the show’s signature twist going in, it’s a fun ride. (Streaming on AMC Plus)

“Dead to Me”

The shocks keep coming in Liz Feldman’s dramedy, which stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini as a pair of unlikely BFFs who meet at a grief support group. One of them knows more than the other, and that’s about all we can say. No gimmicks here, though: The story is ultimately about female friendship. (Streaming on Netflix)

“Mr. Robot”

Sam Esmail’s techno thriller starring Rami Malek as a vigilante hacker was full of mystery and intrigue that helped the USA series pull off a surreal Season 1 finale. Though the show introduced other surprises, it was that first plot shocker that made us reevaluate everything we knew about Elliot Alderson and those around him. (Streaming on Amazon Prime)


Jac Schaeffer’s miniseries, which began as a sitcom starring Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and her husband, Vision (Paul Bettany), threw several curveballs at fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Its best jolt revolves around the true identity of someone in Wanda and Vision’s orbit — or does it? (Streaming on Disney Plus)


You can’t make a show last nine seasons without throwing some detours into the narrative — like the heartbreaking twist “Scrubs” writers put at the center of an Emmy-nominated Season 3 episode called “My Screw Up.” There’s a sobering reason Bill Lawrence’s dramedy has been called the most accurate medical TV show. (Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime)

“Game of Thrones”

It would have been hard to miss the “GoT” episode heard round the world — the abrupt Season 3 event that stunned viewers (those who hadn’t read George R.R. Martin’s novels, anyway). The violent and emotional episode of HBO’s fantasy drama was such a talker that it spurned discussions about how seriously our culture takes TV spoilers. (Streaming on HBO Max)

“This Is Us”

Dan Fogelman’s beloved NBC dramedy began with a unique twist that made for a great pilot, and set the standard for the show’s time-hopping look at the Pearson family over several generations. The show’s fifth season, which premiered last fall, has introduced another big one that upends the life of a fan-favorite character. (Streaming on Hulu, NBC and Peacock)


An earlier version of this post incorrectly referenced Sam Raimi as the creator of "Mr. Robot." The creator of the USA series is Sam Esmail.

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