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Eric Review: Benedict Cumberbatch’s New Netflix Series is a Must-Watch for Murder Mystery Fans

Netflix's Eric starring Benedict Cumberbatch
Photo Credit: Netflix

Eric starring Benedict Cumberbatch is the latest mystery series to arrive on Netflix and while some of the puzzle is easily figured out with simple detective skills, it has become a show that’ll easily hook any murder mystery fanatic.

The series itself follows the disappearance of Edgar Anderson, played by Ivan Morris Howe, in the 1980s and not his murder, as it’s revealed quite early on that he’s alive. But this only adds to the question of why he is missing.

The main side plot, however, that’s intertwined with Edgar’s disappearance does lead to a murder case. Marlon Rochelle, portrayed by Bence Orere, disappeared 11 months before Edgar, so viewers and detective Michael Ledroit (McKinley Belcher III, Ozark) believed they were connected. Of course, as said, once it’s revealed to those watching that Edgar is alive, only Ledroit keeps trying to connect the two.

The plot about Marlon is suspenseful and holds meaning in all the best ways: it hits the topic of how could everyone just forget about Marlon, a Black 14-year-old, to focus on Edgar, a white 9-year-old. It also makes you wonder why his plot doesn’t have its own show, and how he is connected to all the other side plots. Thankfully, the questions get answered.

With Ledroit dealing with two emotionally heavy cases, he seemed too emotionless until the end. It would’ve been interesting to see him acting on his emotions a little earlier into the show rather than them not coming out until seeing a certain evidence tape. Although, at the same time it reveals just how messy things can get. It is a good change in the character of Ledroit at the end to realize how much power he truly has, but an earlier realization could’ve added to the intensity of everything unraveling.

But can it really be said this show titled Eric is about Eric? Most of the side plots could have been the main plot seeing how much focus there is on each one: Ledroit and Marlon with the Lux nightclub, the city trash, Edgar’s mom’s, Cassie Anderson (Gaby Hoffmann, Field of Dreams), side love, Edgar running away, Vincent Anderson (Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange) imagining and building Eric (voiced by Cumberbatch), and Vincent’s wealthy parents with the people in power.

The show felt overwhelming at times given the amount of side plots. Yet, somehow, it all came together in the last episode. Eric is a balance of too much and the right amount. The  first half of the series felt like it could’ve been summed up into a movie even with the amount going on. But there are never real filler moments — everything adds to the show and the characters. So, as the show went on, some of the scenes that might seem like they’re just there just to make this into a limited series rather than a movie, added up to reveal how everything is connected.

The one aspect that has no questions is Cumberbatch’s acting skills for both Vincent and Eric. With Vincent, he seamlessly shows how stable someone can be one day, and then the next day marks when he’s not fully in control of his mind. From the eye twitches, to being able to talk to nothing while being two different characters, all of these moments show how powerful Cumberbatch can be.

There’s no doubt he should be nominated for an Emmy for his performance in Eric. There are so many scenes where it’s effortless to hate Vincent and question. Then, you contradict yourself because it becomes so easy to sympathize with him and feel bad.

The end of the show intrinsically shows Vincent’s growth and how he “defeated” the monster within him — both metaphorically coming to terms with himself, and you could say physically, seeing how Vincent actually beats up Eric, or some would say the cement ground. But his demon is never truly gone, just something Vincent can now work with.

This leads to an ending where the viewer has the power now. They can interpret what is happening based on the evidence given to them.

Eric is a steady-paced thriller that provides some shock value while the rest keeps your eyes glued to the screen.

Eric is now streaming on Netflix.



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