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'Eric' Review: One of Cumberbatch's More Interesting Performances

By Romey Norton May 29, 2024

SPOILER ALERT - This review contains potential spoilers for 'Eric'

A father looking for forgiveness and redemption makes a thrilling and yet timid tale.

Benedict Cumberbatch leads the cast of the Netflix thriller series Eric, which contains 6 episodes with a runtime of roughly 50 - 60 minutes each. The series follows themes of love, grief, mental illness, racism, prejudice and homelessness as we follow the story of puppeteer Vincent’s desperate need to find his son.


Vincent clings to his missing son's drawings of a blue monster puppet named Eric, and is convinced that if he can get Eric on TV then his son will come home.


The opening of the first episode is gripping; stylised in the 1980’s, with grainy camera footage of Vincent appealing for his son Edgar’s safe return. Audiences are then thrown back 48 hours previous, watching the tragedy unfold.

The acting is excellent, two distraught, conflicting parents, inquisitive and distrusting law enforcement, and a no-nonsense puppet will keep you invested throughout. Yet the story is what lets the series down.


Cumberbatch plays Vincent, who is a puppeteer on a popular children's show, which we see the behind the scenes making of. He and his wife argue, and their nagging makes their son walk to school by himself, and this is where we’re led to believe he’s kidnapped in plain sight. Thus the investigation begins. Across the episodes we unravel what really happened to Edgar. And what really happens is…not a lot.

There are twists and turns; we learn about Vincent's mental illness, and he’s accused of the one taking and possibly hurting his son. This is the most compelling aspect, and where the series could have thrived if it was daring enough to not want a happy ending.

Unlike other similar series, or missing-kids episodes in procedural TV shows, Edgar’s location is revealed in the middle of the season, and this takes away a lot of the suspense.

I was not expecting Eric to come alive and be a physical, giant puppet. This certainly adds the humour to this otherwise dark thriller. Eric clearly represents Vincent’s guilt and works as both an asset and a hindrance. This cuddly puppet presents as an inner demon, driving Vincent's actions of self-destruction and growing heroism. Whilst this is an interesting touch, Eric isn’t used enough. He makes the odd appearance, but I would have liked this aspect pushed further, deeper and darker, really getting into the nitty gritty, dirty dark parts of Vincent which we are led to believe are there.


Episode 5 is my favourite - for its intensity, strong character development and story arc. It’s filled with betrayal and brutality.

The ending might feel predictable, but is still surprising. It’s an ending you’d expect to see in a Hallmark movie, with the emotional speech, reunited happy family overcoming their obstacles and a classic run through the streets of New York City. It felt more light-hearted than I expected - being bittersweet and emotional.

Overall, Eric is a seriously entertaining series, with twists, turns and torment. One of Benedict Cumberbatch’s more interesting performances - it’s not one to miss.

Star Rating

Rating Eric

'Eric' releases on Netflix May 30


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