BBC America’s Emmy Award-winning show, “Killing Eve,” has released its final episode, concluding the series with what is now being hailed as the worst finale since “Game of Thrones.”
Originally, the show was based on the “Codename Villanelle” books by Luke Jennings, which are okay (though I much prefer their ending to the show’s) but lack the onscreen chemistry Jodie Comer (Villanelle) and Sandra Oh (Eve) exude even when they aren’t face to face.
The first season, adapted and directed by the amazing Phoebe Waller-Bridge, showcases her absolute mastery of building tension through dialogue. And though she is only credited as a writer on four episodes within the first season, the intersection of action and comedy that allowed it to gain its notoriety can only be attributed to her brilliance; thus its decline can be pinned on her absence in the second through final seasons.
There’s a reason why the show has an almost exclusively female cast, and it’s not just because Comer looks fantastic in Villanelle’s tailored suits. Waller-Bridge’s “Killing Eve” is a paragon, showing how femininity can be weaponized. It can be violent, awful and unfeeling, yet it can be playful, brilliant and stubborn — flawed in the same way we are used to seeing male characters who are terrible but universally celebrated.
In its second and third seasons, we dance with Eve and Villanelle as they orbit around one another, getting closer and closer until they inevitably implode and send each other into hiding or to a hospital. Each season they inevitably reunite, their strings of fate becoming untangled for mere moments before they finally have a choice whether to leave or stay.
There’s something about the push and pull of Eve and Villanelle’s relationship that, for the first three seasons, subverts the classic, queer-coded love stories traditionally seen in television. Villanelle’s attraction to Eve is made abundantly clear from the very beginning, and Eve is given the space to figure out her feelings for Villanelle on her own.
The fourth and final season of “Killing Eve,” especially its finale, is a slap in the face to viewers.
The cat-and-mouse chase that fueled the earlier seasons should have stopped on the bridge at the end of season three, and even if it didn’t, there was no reason to wait for eight full episodes to have Villanelle and Eve together again.
Every single thing I loved about this show was destroyed in about 45 seconds, four seasons of character arcs absolutely obliterated by sloppy writing and allusions to a spinoff.
It genuinely felt like the writers just wanted to go home and be done with the show, making some of Eve, Villanelle and especially Carolyn’s actions feel incredibly out of character and leaving me with more questions than answers.
In its prime, the romance in “Killing Eve” had the potential to change the narrative of tragedy being interwoven into queer love stories. And for a period of time, I had held on to the fact that Fiona Shaw (Carolyn), an openly gay woman, would never let an ending like this happen. I won’t get too into it, but the “bury your gays” trope is so 2014, and I did not deserve to watch that unfold at 3 a.m. Honestly, I deserve financial compensation for watching the last two minutes of this show.
I’m not kidding; BBC, please send me a check or voucher for therapy.
“Killing Eve” is a great show; it’s dramatic, thrilling and deserving of praise. But as a long-time fan, its end left me feeling hollow and confused. I will continue to recommend this show to anyone who asks, but if you do decide to watch, save yourself some mental anguish and turn the last episode off before it hits the 38-minute mark.