Eric episode 1 recap: Meet the Andersons and Good Day Sunshine

Netflix's new limited series Eric begins on a strong note in its premiere, introducing us to the Anderson family and patriarch Vincent's Good Day Sunshine show.
Eric on Netflix - episode 1
Eric on Netflix - episode 1 /

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Netflix's latest limited series, Eric, a thriller series that takes place in 1980s New York City. The gripping six-episode show follows the unconventional Anderson family, consisting of dad Vincent (Cumberbatch), mom Cassie (Gaby Hoffmann), and nine-year-old son Edgar (Ivan Morris Howe), whose world is turned upside down when Edgar goes missing one morning. While the Missing Persons Department, led by Michael Ledroit (McKinley Belcher III), conducts an investigation, Vincent and Cassie are left to deal in their own ways while also working through their guilt.

I was intrigued by the premise of Eric before watching, and it definitely did not disappoint! The series does a great job tackling subjects such as systematic racism, classism, corrupt leadership, and the difficulties of just being a human. Cumberbatch is fantastic in the leading role, and the supporting cast is all great as well.

I had the pleasure of getting to watch all six episodes of Eric early, so I'm here to break down the premiere, which had me hooked right from the start. Warning: Major spoilers for Eric episode 1 are below.

Eric is more than just a conversation about a child's disappearance

Eric is about way more than a disappearance, but that is the main premise of the show, so it makes sense that it's the way it starts off. The opening scene of the Netflix Original shows a televised press conference in which Vincent is prompted to say something about his son, Edgar. In case Edgar is watching, Vincent pleads with him to come home. We then go back 48 hours earlier to see how the disappearance unfolded.

Eric Season 1
Eric on Netflix /

48 hours earlier, Edgar keeps himself busy drawing while on the set of a children's show called Good Day Sunshine. As we learn, his dad is a puppeteer who works on the show, and Edgar is along for the ride while Vincent works. In a writers' room meeting, Vincent expresses his deep frustrations to his teammates who are trying to come up with new ideas for the show. They promised the execs they'd get better viewership numbers and there's a fear of the show getting canceled. But Vincent doesn't want to change the show and he thinks the idea of adding a new puppet is dumb.

Vincent is arrogant, domineering, and hard to get along with

Vincent and Edgar leave the studio and head home on the subway. Edgar has been coming up with a fictional character named Eric and tries to pitch it to his dad for Good Day Sunshine, but his dad doesn't listen. When they get home, Cassie is there waiting for them. They live in a pretty simple — but still nice — apartment, and their landlord is a man named George. Edgar heads to his room to keep working on his drawings of Eric while Vincent drinks wine and complains about his day at work to Cassie.

Though Vincent seems like a caring and supportive parent, he's also aggressive. At dinner, he tests Edgar and asks for another pitch, drilling him on his new character and making Edgar feel bad. That night, Vincent and Cassie have a really bad fight which Edgar listens to from the hallway. Cassie eventually comes into Edgar's room and comforts him, but he's still, understandably, shaken up. Enough so that he's very cold to his dad the next morning over breakfast. As Vincent tries to make up with Cassie, Edgar leaves for school by himself, and a man in a truck watches him.

Vincent heads off to work and has a busy day, where he ignores multiple calls from Cassie and instead, angers his co-workers by going off-script during a show taping. This is when we meet Mayor Richard Costello, who Vincent refers to as a "suit," one of the many men in the city council who he hates. Costello and his family attend a taping, which is what prompts Vincent to go off-script to get a rise out of him. It's evident that Vincent has it out for people in power — we learn that his dad Roger Anderson is a successful real estate developer with friends in high places — and he has no problem being petty.

Edgar never made it to school

Finally, Vincent arrives home that evening and is met by a panicked Cassie, who explains that Edgar never made it to school that morning. The police are at their apartment, and Michael Ledroit from Missing Persons begins asking them questions. One of the first people Ledroit goes to see in connection to Edgar is George, who lives in the building. George says Edgar "was a good kid," which alerts Ledroit, who is also suspicious of a kids' bicycle in his apartment. George doesn't have young children but says he was fixing it for a young girl who lives in the building.

The investigation at the police station into Edgar's disappearance officially begins and Ledroit heads to a local nightclub called The Lux, which Edgar would've had to have walked past to go to school. The owner of the club is a guy named Gator, and as we'll learn in the coming episodes, he and Ledroit have a past. While in the bathroom, Ledroit sees a guy getting beat up over drugs, and he attempts to arrest the two assailants, only to find out they're cops working undercover. They mention someone named "8," but won't tell Ledroit who they're talking about.

Eric: Limited Series
McKinley Belcher III as Detective Ledroit in Eric episode 1 /

Ledroit heads home and greets a man named William in bed, his boyfriend. William is evidently sick with something, though we don't know what it is until later on in the show. Though William is a source of happiness for Ledroit — maybe the only one he has — being a gay man is not accepted by the police force in the '80s. He keeps this part of his life private from his co-workers.

Edgar begins to spiral the next day, understandably. He tells Cassie he's going to work to distract himself, but he ends up drinking vodka on his way there and walks to Edgar's school where he cries watching the kids play. He tells himself he shouldn't have allowed Edgar to walk to school alone, a decision that will continue to haunt him throughout the show.

Ledroit talks to his boss, Captain Cripp, about the investigation, who urges him to stop going to The Lux. Ledroit has some sort of grudge against Gator and Cripp tells him to stay out of it. This is when we learn that Ledroit had been transferred from Vice to Missing Persons, a decision that Cripp says is because Ledroit couldn't handle it. Soon after this, a man working in sanitation comes to see Ledroit with a major discovery.

A bloody t-shirt is found

George helps Vincent get up the stairs to his apartment, who is clearly very inebriated, and Cassie orders him to sober up because the police found something. They head to the police station and Ledroit presents a Good Day Sunshine kids' t-shirt — with blood on it. Edgar was wearing a Good Day Sunshine t-shirt when he went missing, but out of denial, Vincent argues that most kids his age have those shirts. Cassie, on the other hand, knows that it's his because of the way some of the letters are faded. Cassie tells Vincent she needs space from him and goes out to look for Edgar, while Vincent goes back home and looks through Edgar's room.

Vincent studies Edgar's drawings and attempts to draw a version of Eric, all while binge-drinking vodka. Meanwhile, Cassie meets up with the man in the truck who was watching Edgar in the earlier scene, and they begin kissing. Ledroit is working late at the station listening to audio tapes from nights at The Lux, where he hears a man speaking to a child. Could it be Edgar? We then shift our focus to Kennedy, one of the cops who was working undercover at The Lux. He's very intoxicated when leaving a bar and while walking home, he gets hit with a car by a hit-and-run driver and is killed.

The first episode of Eric ends with Vincent waking up the next morning, super hungover, and is greeted by a real-life Eric. Vincent will now continue to see visions of Edgar's character, a crass monster who has no problem putting Vincent in his place. "Get your s**t together, a*****e. Let's go find your f**king kid," Eric orders Vincent, who's shocked at what he's seeing. We're then left with the final shot, showing us Edgar's jacket sitting out on the dirty street nearby a train station.

A lot of questions are posed in the first episode of Eric, but don't worry — we will get our answers eventually! Keep reading our episodic recaps of Eric here at Netflix Life to learn what happens next.

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