Warning: This story contains spoilers for “Killing Eve’s” series finale
If we’re being honest with ourselves, even before the series finale of “Killing Eve” dropped, all signs pointed to a character death in the spy thriller.
If the show were a Bond movie or “Game of Thrones,” we’d have no hesitations guessing that one of the lead characters would end up dead. But having spent four seasons watching the unhinged gay romance between intelligence agent Eve Polastri and assassin Villanelle (Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer), we couldn’t help but hope that the show’s title and the “Romeo and Juliet” allusions were just red herrings. The showrunners wouldn’t make the ending that obvious, right?
But unfortunately, we didn’t get the happy ending that we got in the book series it’s based on. “Killing Eve” really did bury one of its gays in the finale.
Here’s what went down in the final episode. After Villanelle finishes off the last of The Twelve, she locks Eve in an embrace. In these few seconds, we start fantasizing about a gay wedding. But then, bullets start raining down and Villanelle gets shot by Carolyn Martens’ snipers. She rushes to get Eve into the water for cover, but the onslaught doesn’t stop. After multiple shots, we’re left with the haunting image of Villanelle’s lifeless body drifting away from Eve. It’s a cruel ending that we can’t help but chalk up to lazy writing that prioritized shock value over a satisfying conclusion.
Fans of the show have flocked to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction. This isn’t the first time a show ended with its gay character either dying or getting punished just when they’re on the cusp of finding happiness and love. As fans note, Villanelle’s life was full of grief and violence. Was it really that difficult to give her freedom and peace with the love of her life? Villanelle didn’t die in the books. She was happy with Eve. What gives?
“Killing Eve” is kind of like “Hannibal” with a tinge of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” for the WLWs. At the heart of the series is a cat-and-mouse relationship with intense sexual tension and pining. Sure, the clever ploys and shocking moments like the betrayal in the first season finale made it extra exciting. But we didn’t stick around for gotchas. It was about the yearning. We literally waited seasons just to see them make out. What we wanted was to see them have a future together.
What’s baffling is how the show had been bucking stereotypical queer conventions in TV. An ending where one of them dies throws away what the show had already built. Besides being surprisingly cliche and moralistic, it felt like a betrayal to the fans.
Showrunner Laura Neal said in an interview that it was important for their team to “get it right and to make sure that the ending honored the journey that these women have been on.” However, we don’t really think the ending we got honored these queer women and the love they fought for. Petition for an alternate ending!