Benedict Cumberbatch as Vincent in 'Eric'

Breaking Down ‘Eric’s Divisive Ending

The British psychological thriller miniseries Eric has been receiving rave reviews ever since its release on Netflix, with its thought-provoking narrative and Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance capturing the audience’s imaginations.

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The series’ popularity is validated by the fact that it is #2 on the Netflix US charts, and its ending has prompted some major talking points among viewers.

Spoilers for Eric ahead

Eric tells the story of Vincent Anderson (Benedict Cumberbatch), an alcoholic puppeteer who runs a children’s TV show. Struggling with a failed marriage to Cassie (Gaby Hoffmann), all hell breaks loose when Vincent finds out his son Edgar has gone missing while walking to school. It is later revealed that Edgar’s cause of disappearance was his decision to follow a homeless man, Yuusuf.

By the sixth episode, both Yuusuf and his friend Raya’s plans to extort money from Edgar go awry, as the former’s identity is exposed on national TV while the latter, an addict, dies by drowning while escaping a police raid. Meanwhile, Vincent has his eureka moment at the subway station after encountering one of Edgar’s drawings, which is followed by a chance meeting with Yuusuf shortly after.

These two back-to-back incidents encourage Vincent to put Eric the puppet on TV, hoping it will send a signal to Edgar to return home. He rushes to the studio, dons Eric’s get-up, and heads to a large protest where he makes himself visible on one of the cameras. Vincent takes off the mask and utters the code he and his son had shared over years: “Race you home.”

Edgar spots the message on the television while having a meal at a diner, and immediately rushes home after recognizing his father in the Eric costume. In parallel, Vincent is also on the way to his house, and the father and the son are finally reunited as they run into each other while on the way.

After a long manhunt, Edgar is finally found to be safe, and Vincent decides to check into rehab to curb his drinking problem. Cassie moves on from her husband with Sebastian, with the duo expecting. Following his stint at the rehab, Vincent reconnects with his father during a meeting at Central Park.

The ending has garnered quite a bit of criticism for being too easy, tying things up too neatly, and feeling tonally different from the rest of the series. But at least viewers who hate loose ends and ambiguity will be satisfied, as Eric puts a neat bow on its ending.

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Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.