Lennie Wilson In ‘Eric’ Explained: Is Lennie Dead Or Alive?

Eric is a brand-new Netflix original, and it is all about the lives of the people in New York City during the 1980s. This is a period drama, and the general population of the era was all kinds of regressive. The show is set during a time when New York City authorities were planning for a massive redevelopment of the city in the hope of getting rid of the poverty and rampant homelessness. This was also a time when homophobia was at its peak, and men or women being gay was not openly accepted. Countless gay men were working regular jobs and living normal lives, but hiding behind the façade of being happy men. Some men were willing to be in denial about their sexuality, while others led dual lives of having a family but meeting male prostitutes from time to time.


Spoilers Ahead

Leonard “Lennie” Wilson is one of the creative producers of the popular kids’ show “Good Day  Sunshine.” This was a show filled with puppets created specifically for the children of a certain age group. Eric explained how Lennie and his friend Vincent Anderson came up with the idea and how they planned to take it to the next level. Even though the focus was largely on the creative genius of Vincent Anderson, one could not deny that Lennie was also equally talented and was responsible for many excellent productions, which led to the puppet show becoming a massive hit and a pop culture phenomenon. The man, however, slowly became a stooge to the people who ran the channel and other major producers who were the final decision-makers. Vincent had come up with the idea of introducing a new puppet called Eric. Eric was a blue-colored puppet who looked like a monster. 


In the wake of Vincent’s son Edgar’s disappearance, the man decided to breathe life into Eric, who was Edgar’s creation. While Vincent was obsessing over getting this puppet on board, Lennie and their team could not find a way to make him confront reality. Lennie was the closest to Vincent, and he was even affected by Edgar’s disappearance. He had to find a way to pacify his best friend, but he failed multiple times.

As a closeted gay man, Lennie had to resort to paying male prostitutes for simple pleasures. He could never openly live a life with men he loved because of the taboo around gay men. It was a time when AIDS started showing up, mostly in gay men, which added to the stigma around people like Lennie. Vincent was aware of his sexuality, yet as a friend, he chose to keep quiet about it and never let it affect their work lives.


Lennie sadly got embroiled in Edgar’s disappearance case when Mikey, the investigating officer, found him suspicious after he found an old case file that had him as one of the accused, which was hushed up six years ago. Despite this, Lennie did come across as a decent person who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. In this case, Mikey was referring to a nightclub frequented by gay men, where the police busted an illegal child sex ring. This made a lot of sense, but he turned out to just a suspect and not the actual culprit. However, things between him and Vincent had gone from bad to worse as the producers were willing to start working on Eric, the blue-colored puppet monster, but without the creator on board. Vincent was fired from the job, and Lennie had no power to overturn this decision. As mentioned above, Lennie had also begun to love the job, but unlike Vincent, his vision for the show and the puppets had gotten stunted. Despite these issues, Lennie was not a work-obsessed man like Vincent and remained grounded and realistic. While Vincent spoke of pushing the boundaries, Lennie had to agree with him, but at the same time, he gave him a reality check about how their ideas could be rejected, and Vincent needed to scale down on the vision. 

As friends and colleagues, both had a falling out. Vincent reminded him how he got him a job when he was at his worst personally and professionally. This indicated the fact that ever since the raid on the queer bar, Lennie was down the dumpsters, and it was Vincent who pushed his name and made sure he was given the chance to grow professionally in a television channel. Lennie hated the fact that Vincent rubbed this incident in his face while forgetting that he had been grateful to him and always backed his best friend. This was probably the first time Lennie and Vincent had a falling out, there would be no recovery from this point.


Lennie was also good friends with Vincent’s wife, Cassie. Lennie was the first person to learn she would be leaving him. Out of spite for Vincent, he let him know about Cassie’s decision before she could inform him about the same. Lennie had sadly become a puppet at the hands of the producers, which was very ironic. He was also responsible for using Eric the puppet monster in a different context for a fund-raising event for Deputy Mayor Richard Costello. This blatant use of Eric, in a manner which was the opposite of what Vincent had in mind, was the final nail in the coffin for their friendship. Along with that, Vincent further hurt him by stating that, unlike himself, Lennie had to pay to get people to make love to him. This was a low dig at a man who was struggling with his sexuality.

Lennie was the link that got Mikey to find out who could have killed Marlon Rochelle and where he could find the person who knew the young boy who had disappeared almost a year ago. He had the heart to let the investigation take its course and, at some level, wanted justice for a queer boy. When the killers of Marlon Rochelle were revealed to the public, sadly, it was the end of Lennie. The media were all over the owner of the Lux Club, who was busted for a case that involved Lennie six years ago. 


Lennie was in shock when the news channel did not mention his name but referred to him as the creative producer of a leading children’s show. Lennie, who feared ostracization at the hands of his colleagues and family, chose to kill himself to save himself from the humiliation. He knew people who looked at him with an eye of suspicion, and felt the producers in no time would remove him from the job, and this would put him at risk of not getting any other job as well. The stigma got the worst of him, and he chose to take his life to release himself from the pain of living a closeted life. 

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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