Killing Eve is an incredible spy thriller tainted by an unsatisfying ending

Image: Killing Eve/BBC America
Image: Killing Eve/BBC America /

One of the best television series ever made wrapped up on April 10 on BBC America. Many fans would agree with me when I say Killing Eve‘s series finale was truly underwhelming for a show that started with a bang and created one of the best fandoms around. What once was the talk of the town for its gripping plot, crazy twists and turns, well-written scripts, and amazingly talented cast is now the talk of the town for a totally different reason. A consensus has been reached: we all want to erase the Killing Eve season 4 finale from our brains, along with the fourth season as a whole. It just didn’t do the hit spy thriller series justice.

Killing Eve starts with Eve (Sandra Oh), an MI5 security officer bored of her mundane job and life. But when Eve is given the opportunity to join an undercover division and tasked with tracking the infamous international assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer), she finds herself in a game of cat-and-mouse that eventually turns into a mutual obsession and deep attraction.

For each season of the spy thriller series, a new female head writer came in and picked up where the story left off. The incredible Phoebe Waller-Bridge started off the show, followed by Emerald Fennell, Suzanne Heathcote, and Laura Neal. Season 1 is arguably the best season of the series, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching every season but the last.

I had high hopes that Laura Neal would come in and give the fans an unforgettable and rousing send-off. But all she did was leave a bad taste in our mouths. So many of us immediately came up with our own endings after watching what might be one of the worst series finales in television history (we haven’t forgotten about you, Game of Thrones). I’m sorry, Laura Neal, but what you thought fans would enjoy and what they’d actually enjoy are not the same. We’d like to see the drafts that didn’t make the final cut to help ease our minds, please.

However, I will admit that Killing Eve season 4 had its good moments. This is mainly because of Oh, Comer, Fiona Shaw and Kim Bodnia’s outstanding performances. They worked with what they were given and gave their best time after time. Still, for a diehard fan like myself, Killing Eve deserved nothing but the best. And sadly, the series finale fell short.

MAJOR spoilers ahead from Killing Eve season 4 episode 8!

Killing Eve ending explained

The last moments of the series finale show Eve and Villanelle finally putting an end to The Twelve, though it’s bittersweet. After receiving a message on Helene’s stolen phone saying that there will be a meeting of The Twelve on a boat called the Dixie Queen in London, Eve and Villanelle resolve to crash the party. Meanwhile, Carolyn sits on a bench with Pam staring at the MI6 headquarters. At this moment, Carolyn’s plan to take down The Twelve is revealed. In so many words, it’s revealed that Carolyn is letting Eve and Villanelle do the dirty work so that she can keep her hands clean and get her job and status back at the MI6. Carolyn offers Pam a “job” (what kind is unclear), but Pam declines her offer.

Next, we see Eve and Villanelle try to figure out how they will infiltrate the boat. Fortunately, the couple getting married on the boat believes Eve is the wedding officiator. As Eve gets pulled along to officiate the wedding, Villanelle pulls her back to give her one last passionate kiss and says, “Distract them.” Eve heads upstairs to the wedding while Villanelle makes her way below deck to see where The Twelve are meeting.

Villanelle poisons the kitchen staff and heads back upstairs just in time to hear Eve give a sweet and emotional speech to the grooms. The speech was really about her and Villanelle, making it all the sweeter. This scene had me in tears not only because of the way Eve and Villanelle stare at each other from across the room but also because of the song playing: “Tell Me” by Johnny Jewel featuring Saoirse Ronan. It’s the beautiful song played in the last moments of the heart-wrenching season 3 finale when Eve and Villanelle decide to walk away from each other for good on the Tower Bridge.

Villanelle heads back below deck and finds the room where The Twelve are meeting. Then we get flashes of scenes of Villanelle taking down the remaining Twelve members and Eve dancing and having a good time at the wedding. After taking down every last member, Villanelle heads upstairs to see Eve having the time of her life. With tears in her eyes and a slight smile on her face, she watches Eve before walking outside. Eve notices Villanelle leaving and runs after her. While outside on the boat, Villanelle embraces Eve and tells her that she took down all of The Twelve members. They laugh and hug for a while until a sniper bullet pierces Villanelle’s shoulder.

Villanelle rushes Eve to the edge of the boat and tells her to jump into the River Thames. Villanelle follows after her. Once they’re both in the water, they try to swim to each other, but several more bullets hit Villanelle and she instantly dies. We see a close-up of Villanelle’s lifeless body and her blood surrounds her in the shape of angel wings. Eve reaches for Villanelle’s hand, but right when their fingers are about to make contact, Villanelle is pulled away by the current into the bottom of the river. With an outstretched arm, Eve watches Villanelle as she sinks to the bottom.

Then we cut to Carolyn watching from afar. She talks into a walkie-talkie and says, “Jolly good,” letting viewers know that she set up the assassination of Villanelle. Next we cut back to Eve, who finally realizes that Villanelle is really gone and swims to the surface. As she pops her head up out of the water, she looks around, lost and in agony. Eve lets out a chilling scream before we cut to a shot of the Tower Bridge, and “The End” appears on the screen. Sadly, this was the end of the show.

Eve and Villanelle could’ve been together and happily in love

What a crappy and distasteful ending for a couple that fans have been rooting for since the start of the series. It’s one thing for fans to just ship characters on their own, but the show’s writers have been hinting at their relationship since the very beginning. I mean, in the Killing Eve books, Eve and Villanelle eventually get together and basically live happily ever after. I know television adaptations don’t always follow the books, but their relationship was a core factor in the book that absolutely shouldn’t have been messed with.

I might be the only one, but I would’ve even been okay if Eve chose to die with Villanelle in the river. I would envision Eve and Villanelle meeting in the afterlife and getting together. As I mentioned earlier, a mutual obsession and attraction ultimately turned to love between the two. All Eve had left was Villanelle, and in the series finale, we finally see Eve give in entirely to her desires. So suddenly having the rug pulled out from under her was just unnecessarily cruel.

But at the same time, I can understand and accept (as much as it hurts) one of them dying. The obvious choice would be Villanelle, due to her dark past and her escaping death so many times. Plus it would be a twist (albeit unoriginal) on the title of the show. The show’s title will make you assume that Eve will ultimately die, but instead, it’s Villanelle.

Let’s talk about how the writers chose to stuff all the juicy intimate moments between Eve and Villanelle in the series finale instead of spreading them out throughout season 4. And it’s the way the moments were placed in the finale that makes it worse. We finally get to see Eve and Villanelle kiss (a full-blown makeout sesh followed by them possibly sleeping together), and quickly after, one gets murdered.

Why give fans what they’ve been asking for for years just to snatch it away so quickly? Honestly, it was so uncalled for. If the choice all along was to kill Villanelle, at least let her and Eve share those intimate moments for a while beforehand. Then it wouldn’t have looked so rushed and contrived. Eve spends most of the season wanting nothing to do with Villanelle and they barely share scenes together. Yes, Eve and Villanelle still had strong feelings for each other but there needed to be some kind of build-up to these kind of intimate moments after such a long time apart.

As much as I loved seeing Eve and Villanelle finally get together, it just seemed forced. It seemed like it was the writers’ way of appeasing fans. But all it did was make many of us annoyed and sad that we didn’t get to see these scenes earlier.

Villanelle deserved a better ending

We knew Villanelle’s time would eventually come, but it’s the way the writers wrote her demise that rubbed many of us the wrong way. The way she was killed was so basic. Villanelle deserved a memorable death scene. She is one of the best assassins, after all. She’s escaped many near-death experiences in the past few seasons that would’ve been a perfect send-off. Instead, the season 4 writers chose to have her go out by sniper fire. The most basic kill of them all. It just doesn’t make sense.

However, I will say I loved seeing Villanelle achieve her goal. At the beginning of season 4, she sets out to show Eve that she’s changed. It wasn’t an easy road, but Villanelle definitely changed by the end of the season. Her saving Eve in the final moments of the series finale showed that she is capable of loving and evolving. Also, she got to take down The Twelve, which was a big goal of hers. I was so happy for Villanelle!

What was the point of Pam in Killing Eve?

Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed watching Anjana Vasan play Pam, but I’m unsure what was the point of her character. Her story was that she hated her life, so she chose to join The Twelve. Konstantin becomes her trainer and basically teaches her how to do her job. She ends up killing him and then passing on a future job with Carolyn to do her own thing.

Pam didn’t bring anything new or add to the story. It seems like she was brought into the series just to kill off Konstantin. I knew he was going to die sometime this season, I just didn’t know when. But, Konstantin also deserved a more memorable death. He literally dies by a pizza cutter.

I feel like more time could’ve been spent on Eve and Villanelle, especially since this was the last season. Generally I don’t have a problem with new character additions in a final season, but they should mean something. They shouldn’t just take up space and time.

Why weren’t The Twelve members’ faces shown?

Besides the relationship between Eve and Villanelle, the story focuses on The Twelve and their identities. We barely got to see any of The Twelve members’ faces as Villanelle killed them. It was also anticlimactic that Villanelle walked into the meeting with no weapon. Fans had been anticipating The Twelve’s reveal and the final battle. Nothing about the scene was fit for a final showdown.

According to an interview Laura Neal did with Salon, it was a deliberate decision not to reveal who The Twelve members were. Neal wanted the final episode to focus more on the relationship between Eve and Villanelle. Of course, I was happy to see more Eve and Villanelle interactions after being deprived all season, but fans deserved to know who had been causing the main characters so much trouble and pain. I guess we’ll have to visualize what we think The Twelve members looked like.

Although I’m not happy with how things ended in Killing Eve, I’m still proud to say that I faithfully watched the show to the very end. I refuse to let the unsatisfying ending ruin what is still a great show. I will miss tuning in every Sunday and watching my favorite characters, Eve and Villanelle, in action. Killing Eve will forever hold a special place in my heart, and after some time has passed, I’m certain I’ll go back and rewatch the entire series. It’s been a wild ride, but fun nonetheless.

Next. Watch the epic new trailer for Stranger Things season 4!. dark

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