‘Killing Eve’ Author Slams Series Finale for ‘Bowing to Convention’
Jodie Comer‘s Villanelle is shot dead in the last moments of the Killing Eve series finale, after much of the episode was dedicated to showing her and Sandra Oh‘s Eve’s acceptance of their feelings for each other. Fans got to see the women acting like a normal couple for what ended up being fleeting moments, including a tension-breaking, cathartic kiss that’d been brewing for four seasons, just for the psychopath assassin to be killed in the very last moments.
It’s an unfortunate addition to the “bury your gays” trope, where LGBTQIA+ characters — frequently queer women — are robbed of having happily ever afters. Jennings wrote the book series on which Killing Eve is based, and he slammed the finale for its use of the trope in a column for The Guardian, saying it punished Eve and Villanelle for no good reason in a devastating moment for him and for fans.
“In the last moments of the last episode, just hours after they’ve shared their first proper kiss, Villanelle is brutally gunned down and killed, leaving Eve screaming,” Jennings wrote. “We have followed their romance for three and a half years. The charged looks, the tears, the lovingly fetishized wounds, the endlessly deferred consummation.”
“When Phoebe Waller-Bridge and I first discussed Villanelle’s character five years ago, we agreed that she was defined by what Phoebe called her ‘glory’: her subversiveness, her savage power, her insistence on lovely things. That’s the Villanelle that I wrote, that Phoebe turned into a screen character, and that Jodie ran with so gloriously,” he continued. “But the season four ending was a bowing to convention. A punishing of Villanelle and Eve for the bloody, erotically impelled chaos they have caused.”
Jennings then described his own preferred ending, saying what the show created in “Hello, Losers!” wasn’t subversive in the slightest.
“A truly subversive storyline would have defied the trope which sees same-sex lovers in TV dramas permitted only the most fleeting of relationships before one of them is killed off (Lexa’s death in The 100, immediately after sleeping with her female love interest for the first time, is another example), ” he said. “How much more darkly satisfying, and true to Killing Eve’s original spirit, for the couple to walk off into the sunset together? Spoiler alert, but that’s how it seemed to me when writing the books.”
He continued to say fans found comfort, representation, and freedom in Villanelle. To those heartbroken viewers, Jennings offered words of comfort.
“I learned the outcome of the final episode in advance, and suspected, rightly, that fans would be upset,” he said. “But to those fans, I would say this: Villanelle lives. And on the page, if not on the screen, she will be back.”
Killing Eve, Season 4, Streaming Now, BBC America & AMC+