'Eric': Is the Netflix crime drama based on a true story? And will there be a Season 2? (2024)

Patrick RyanUSA TODAY

Spoiler alert! The following story contains major plot details about the series finale of "Eric" (now streaming on Netflix).

Benedict Cumberbatch is a monster of a man.

In Netflix drama “Eric,” the two-time Oscar nominee plays Vincent Anderson, a vicious alcoholic who helps run “Good Day Sunshine,” a “Sesame Street”-style children’s TV show in 1980s New York. At home, Vincent is a terror to his wife, Cassie (Gaby Hoffmann), and 9-year-old son, Edgar (Ivan Howe), who goes missing one day on his way to school. Vincent spirals and embarks on a drug-addled search that takes him to New York's underbelly, accompanied by a giant puppet named Eric, who appears as a hallucination.

Although Edgar’s disappearance was thought to be a kidnapping, we eventually learn that he ran away. And in the series’ sixth and final episode, Vincent wears an Eric costume and makes a televised plea for his son to come home, leading to a teary reunion.

But it’s a decidedly unhappy ending for Michael (McKinley Belcher III), a Black gay cop who is forced to keep his sexuality secret as AIDS panic sweeps the city. Meanwhile, his search for a missing Black teen named Marlon Rochelle ends in heartbreak.

“It’s a parallel journey of (Vincent and Michael) trying to find themselves,” says creator Abi Morgan (“The Iron Lady”), who broke down the series finale for USA TODAY.

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Is 'Eric' based on a true story?

Although true-crime series continue to be wildly popular on Netflix, “Eric” isn’t one of them. “It wasn’t based on any one story,” Morgan says. “I think if I’d wanted to do that, I would have really gone deep into that story.” Rather, it’s loosely based on several cases she had heard about growing up in the U.K. “There were several children who disappeared. I wanted to create a kind of everychild; the simple act of going out one day and not coming home felt very resonant.”

How does the show end for Benedict Cumberbatch's character?

The series ends with Vincent on the set of “Good Day Sunshine.” Edgar walks in wearing Eric’s costume and introduces himself as the monster. “Pleased to meet you,” Vincent says. “Have we not met before?” The camera pans up to the "real" Eric, watching father and son from afar before the end credits roll.

“I wanted to get back to the idea of the boy reclaiming the monster; I always had this very strong image of the boy crawling back inside,” Morgan says of the final scene. “At its most simple metaphor, it’s about the inner child: Vincent goes on this quest to find his son, and inadvertently, you realize it's a quest to find himself.” Ultimately, “it’s about this boy understanding his father in a way that Vincent doesn't even understand himself. In going on this journey, he sees that Edgar has laid out this incredible lesson for him, which is to be careful not to neglect your children because they listen and observe.”

What is the song in the series finale?

The series ends with “I’m Not in Love,” a bittersweet 1975 ballad by British group 10cc. It’s a callback to the first episode, when Edgar listens to the song as he walks to school the day he goes missing. “There’s a haunting romanticism,” Morgan says. “We hear it as Edgar disappears, but in his returning, it’s played in a much gentler way so that we can just enjoy it as a track. We lean into the reassuring resolution of the father and son coming back together at the end.”

What happens to Marlon Rochelle and his mom?

Through security-camera footage, Michael discovers that Marlon was molested by a closeted politician and murdered by racist police detectives behind a nightclub. His body was taken by garbagemen to a landfill, and in a devastating scene, we watch as his mother, Cecile (Adepero Oduye), searches through the refuse for her son. “My son deserved to live in a city that protected him,” Cecile says at a press conference after the case is closed. “For all of our sons, please do better.”

Writing Marlon’s story, Morgan was inspired by Stephen Lawrence, a Black British teen who was murdered in 1993, as well as the more recent killing of George Floyd by police. She wanted to show the audience that when it comes to justice, there is no "neat resolution."

Not only is Cecile a mom who’s lost her child, but she also represents “a mother for a lost generation,” Morgan says. “That symbolic line she has at the end is a nod to Arthur Miller’s ‘All My Sons,’ which is about taking responsibility. Cecile is calling for collective responsibility of how we raise and support our sons, be that through the body of a family, our police force or our government.”

Will there be an 'Eric' Season 2?

"Eric" is a miniseries that gives closure to most of its major characters. But if the show proves a hit, could a second season explore a different missing person case or pocket of New York? Morgan finds that potential “interesting,” but says it was never her intent.

“The joy of a limited series is that it hopefully burns bright for that period, so I never saw it beyond that,” Morgan says. “I feel those characters have exorcised their demons and come to a resolution, and as an exploration of the city at that time, we’ve probably grappled with everything there. It feels like it landed for me in six episodes, so I don’t know I would take it any further than that.”

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'Eric': Is the Netflix crime drama based on a true story? And will there be a Season 2? (2024)


'Eric': Is the Netflix crime drama based on a true story? And will there be a Season 2? ›

Is Eric on Netflix a true story? Although true-crime series remain highly popular on Netflix, "Eric" is not one of them. "It wasn't based on any one story," says Morgan. "If I had wanted to do that, I would have really delved deep into that story."

What is the true story behind Eric? ›

Eric is not based on a true story, but the show's creator has said it is loosely based on a number of missing child cases that she heard about while growing up and that stuck with her.

Is the Eric series based on a true story? ›

Speaking to TODAY.com, showrunner Abi Morgan says that "Eric" isn't "based on any one specific event," but rather is meant to evoke a time and a place, including the "stranger danger" panic of the 1980s.

What happens at the end of Eric Netflix? ›

Yes, Edgar is found safe at the end of Eric on Netflix. While eating French toast at a diner, the young boy sees his father's live performance as Eric on the TV. Hearing the message, he races home. Meanwhile, Vincent, still wearing the Eric puppet costume, also rushes towards their house.

Where did Edgar go in Eric? ›

Later in the series, it's revealed that Edgar actually followed a homeless person, Yuusuf, into the subway system, where he has hidden since his disappearance. Why is this where he goes? I think I'm playing with creativity. I'm playing with the idea that he's drawn to the artist, and Yuusuf is an artist.

What is the new series Eric on Netflix? ›

Eric is a 2024 British psychological thriller television miniseries created for the streaming service Netflix. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a distraught puppeteer whose young son goes missing in 1980s New York City.

Why was Eric in a coma? ›

Meanwhile, a tornado headed straight for Point Place but Eric missed the weather warning. While he was driving to the radio station, the tornado was seen in the rear window of the Vista Cruiser. The theory suggested that Eric was actually hit by the tornado and fell into a coma.

Where is Eric from the real world now? ›

Eric has worked as a life, health, nutrition and wellness facilitator, a spiritual guide, and an addiction rehabilitation facilitator for over a decade. Eric is a licensed CyberScan quantum energy practitioner, and a licensed Doctor of Pastoral Science and Medicine.

How many episodes of Eric are on Netflix? ›

Benedict Cumberbatch has a new mystery on his hands. The Oscar nominee stars in the six-episode limited series Eric available to stream on Netflix now.

Is Eric worth watching? ›

I would definitively say that Eric is definitely one of my five favorite series that I have watched. The acting was phenomenal the storyline was beyond words. I do wish that it had more episodes however each and everyone of them did their part so perfectly it made the series a must binge Watch.

What happened to Lenny in Eric? ›

A TV news story announcing the arrests of the NYPD officers reveals the high profile connections to The Lux sex ring. Vincent's co-worker Lennie (Dan Fogler), who was implicated years before at another of Gator's clubs and is thrust back into the spotlight, takes his own life by jumping out of his apartment window.

Where is Edgar's daughter? ›

NOTE: To progress Edgar's questline, you must first speak to his daughter Irina, located on the south side of the Bridge of Sacrifice leading into the Weeping Peninsula.

Where does Edgar go after Irina dies? ›

Head back to Irina by the bridge for a third and final time and you'll find Edgar mourning over her body. Talk to him and exhaust his dialogue. Edgar reappears as a hostile NPC invader called Edgar the Revenger, found at the Revenger's Shack, North of the Minor Erdtree in Southwest Liurnia.

Was Edgar an orphan? ›

In 1811, Elizabeth Poe died of tuberculosis in Richmond, Virginia, leaving orphaned Edgar, his infant sister Rosalie, and his older brother Henry. David Poe, apparently had abandoned his wife and children earlier and was not present when she died. The three children were separated and raised by different families.

Who is Eric Forman based on? ›

Trivia. Eric is based on the teenaged years of series creator Mark Brazill.

Is Good Day Sunshine a real show? ›

Anyone who's tuned into the streaming giant's latest thriller has heard the theme tune to the fictional children's TV series Good Day Sunshine, a show that puppeteer Vincent (Benedict Cumberbatch) created, and works on while in search for his missing son, Edgar.

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