If you weren’t happy with the way Killing Eve ended, you’re not alone: Even the man who originally created the characters of Eve and Villanelle agrees.
Book author Luke Jennings, who wrote the books Killing Eve is based on, shared his disappointment with the BBC America thriller’s series finale in a column for The Guardian, criticizing the episode for essentially “punishing” Eve and Villanelle. To recap: The series finale saw Eve and Villanelle team up — and hook up — before taking down The Twelve, but in the final minutes, a sniper shot Villanelle dead, leaving Eve screaming to the heavens as the credits rolled. (Read our finale post mortem with lead writer Laura Neal here.)
Jennings first shares what a thrill it’s been to see his work brought to life on TV, but he admits that “the final series ending took me aback.” He recalls that when series creator 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 [Comer] ran with so gloriously.”
But the series finale was instead “a bowing to convention,” he says, and “a punishing of Villanelle and Eve for the bloody, erotically impelled chaos they have caused.” He notes that “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,” citing Lexa’s death on The 100 as another infamous example. “How much more darkly satisfying, and true to Killing Eve‘s original spirit, for the couple to walk off into the sunset together?”
In a conversation with TVLine, Neal revealed that the Killing Eve writers “certainly discussed an ending where [Eve and Villanelle] both live happily ever after. But our problem was that we couldn’t really imagine them doing so. We couldn’t imagine a world where Eve and Villanelle could exist in domestic bliss for very long.” She also saw the episode’s final moments as “a happy ending for Villanelle in some respects, because she gets what she wants, which is that she demonstrates that she’s changed, and she does this thing for Eve that allows Eve to go on and live her life.”
Jennings did not serve in an official capacity on Killing Eve, but he is credited on every episode of the show as the original creator of the characters. He’s still writing Villanelle novels, too, and he ends his column with a message to fans upset by Killing Eve‘s ending: “I would say this: Villanelle lives. And on the page, if not on the screen, she will be back.”
Yawn. It was a perfect ending aside from them not doing a good job explaining Carolyn’s motivations. Y’all want TV without stakes I swear.
I liked the ending, too.
Carolyn’s motivations were explained in the previous scene; she needed to give MI6 *something* to buy her way back into their good graces. And what she gave them was… Villanelle.
The author’s thoughts seem pretty important, considering they switched show runners each season.
He took money for the rights to his story and agreed to let them do what they want….so he should not be talking now. If it was important to him, he should have negotiated differently.
He has every right to say he didn’t like it.
If somebody wants to buy a Stephen King novel and do something with it, he has always been happy to sell.
But he has never been expected to shut up about whether or not he liked what they did with and he never has.
It was a terrible ending.
Agreed. The ending was so dull and typical. A little imagination would have gone a long way. I was devastated when Constatine was killed. Loved that character!
So did I! And the fact that he had just packed up and told Pam he was taking her somewhere that she would be safe, and had honorable actions for her to have a better life JUST SUCKED!
I agree with the book author. The ending was horrid and traumatic for multiple reasons. They should have had something no one really expected – a happy ending.
I wish Phoebe could’ve come back for the final season or at least help plot out the overall story for the season. There is no way she would’ve let it end like it did.
Yep. Terrible ending. But …
If they had both walked off into the sunset to live happily ever after. Man, can you imagine how savage the reaction to that would be? With all due respect. I don’t think the viewing audience would find that “darkly satisfying.”
Guess you haven’t seen Twitter & fans daily still tweeting & crying & hating Neal ….
The final season was quite weak and only marginally better than seasons two and three. The pacing and execution of the final episode is what made the last episode and ending terrible for me. I didn’t need them both to live, either one of them dying would have been fine, if they wrote the scene well which I don’t think they did.
The ending was completely predictable and lacking in any form of imagination and was quite frankly awful! Am I bitter that they killed a beloved character yes, but that’s not the only reason the ending sucked! Big bad twelve killed off in a matter of seconds! Seriously! After all that build up! Why take that completely unrealistic approach? Why not just have killed a few members of the twelve and leave the ending open with Eve and Villanelle agreeing to hunt the others down after gaining further knowledge of who the twelve are and why they operate in the way that they do.
We know that there may not have been a happily ever after for the characters, stop treating your audience as if they’re stupid, allow them to have the opportunity to imagine for themselves by having an open ending that doesn’t suggest one thing or the other, but gives the audience food for thought. The writing was so lazy, there were so many possibilities to explore which were just ignored which could have lead to another season in the future or even a TV movie. All they’ve done is killed off one of the most deliciously fascinating and profound characters to have graced our screen (thanks to Luke Jennings and Pheobe Waller-Bridge) removing the possibility for further exploration. Take nothing away from the two leads, they were superb throughout the show, in fact the whole cast were superb, the ending was like spitting in the face of all that they had achieved.
I will say this, in my mind Villanelle could quite easily regain consciousness and swim to the surface…call me a dreamer!
I never needed a happy ending. Always expected one of them to die. Or both of them. I do have a problem with the writing though. Carolyne’s motivations were unclear. I mean; they were aiming at Eve aswell; Carolyn answered with ‘jolly good’ once both of them didn’t come out of the water. Eve was a target aswell. Why? Carolyn was twelve anyway? If she just wanted to kill Villanelle you could argue she did it to impress MI6. Also; four seasons of build up to the twelve and this is what we got? 20 seconds of them getting killed? Felt anti climactic. The writing was so bad.
I knew the season was not going to be good when Villanelle imagined herself as Jesus, what was with that whole storyline? Eve’s boyfriend/boss was an unnecessary character that contributed nothing. The Caroline flashbacks were apparently there to set up a spinoff no one asked for. There did not seem to be any sort of game plan for what was happening on screen. During the last ten minutes I had to double check it was the series finale because I did not see how everything was going to be wrapped up with the time left. Villanelle’s death in the last minute was off putting, even more so considering how the books ended. If they wanted to kill her, at least build up to it in a way that makes sense. I found the ending to be an insult to the viewers…and actors. What a shame the show’s legacy has been tainted by such a ridiculously rushed finale.
This is what happened when you changed show runners every season. You don’t have a clear and united vision of the whole thing.
To me, killing eve & villanelle will be only on their first season. Vilanelle is quiet and dangerous. Not crazy.
She was a heinous sociopath and Eve was her enabler. They honestly both should have ended up dead
exactly! i find it so gross that Eve would ever want to be with her when she killed or almost killed pretty much everyone she loved.
I don’t know about gross – I have always wondered if Eve is also supposed to be a psychopath, or at least have psychopathic traits.
Absolutely.Eve displays many of the same attributes as Villanelle….Do you remember the scene where Eve is in an auditorium viewing crime scenes and they flash a photo of a tortured body and everyone else flinches and turns away but Eve leans forward with interest and the psychiatrist informs Caroline of her response ? The fact Eve is able to love Villanelle after she has killed people (including people she loves) and that she has an erotic dalliance with Helene who also kills people indicates she is a psychopath even if she doesn’t realize it…..she may not be as extreme as Villanelle but there are variations in any disorder or condition
I hated this ending, and Alexa getting killed off. I want to see happy powerful endings showing the strength of same sex relationship. ❤️
“I want to see happy powerful endings” – then maybe a show about a sociopathic assassin wasn’t the best choice. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
They definitely went with the most cliched ending. The shows subversive nature would have been better served by Eve getting pulled fully toward the dark side. They say that their future together would be in doubt, but I don’t think that’s true if Eve begins to embrace Villanelle’s nature.
Guess maybe I should read the books. I certainly hated the end of the show.
The book is always better…..
I grew tired of Killing Eve over the past two seasons. The cat and mouse elements of the plot waned and it started to get overly obsessive. These were not two well adjusted women finding their soulmate or lover but rather one certifiable sociopath and one emotionally stunted overworked professional allowing their vulnerabilities sweep them away into a fantasy co dependence. Eve and Vaninelle hooking up was not a triumph of any sort for LGTBQ advocates any more than it would be if they were two opposite sex characters. In fact, there would be an uproar of massive proportions if Eve was a straight woman and V a straight man and Eve the woman ended up falling for the sociopath man…womens rights groups would rightfully be up in arms. The ending was lazily written and infused w a bit of shock at the end to draw discussion.
says the person who clearly signed over their creative rights….
The ending was boring. Been there. Done that. It was tired and unimaginative. I expected better. Not some rehashing of every same-sex love story ever told where one slightly less than perfect half of the couple dies and the other seemingly better person lives. Yawn. 🥱
`I believe you end the story the way the author intended. Nothing less is acceptable. It’s the author’s characters. It’s his/her story’s history, motivations, situations and conclusion. Even when I don’t like the ending, if it’s as written by the author, it’s ultimately the way it should be IMHO.
It should be the damn contracts!
Thank you so much Mr. Jennings, for giving us the ability to believe that “your” character(s) could and would find redemption and God given freedom to feel love and happiness.
Call me unrealistic and a romanticist but with everything going on in the world, the writers could have at least stayed true to
Mr. Jennings wonderful ending.
The icing on the cake for me is, if they hadn’t killed the glorious Villanelle (brilliantly acted by Ms. Comer-thank you),
they would have viewers like me eagerly awaiting more and more episodes and seasons of those lovely characters = major bank!
But instead they are going to do spin offs on the other characters, really????
Wow, what an epic waste of years of enjoyment and excitement we could have had, watching two actors with rare chemistry and wonderful and amazing acting.
PS Mr, Jennings, Ms. Oh and Ms. Comer and Mr. Bodnia – Dope!
The writers and staff of Killing Eve – Boring!
That’s great as I couldn’t even watch the final 15 minutes as I saw the spoiler. I am totally disappointed that the finale went that way. Total crap I don’t think I’ll ever watch the ending properly. So hopefully she might not have really died but it’s still alive. Jodie comer was amazing as villanelle. Great story mate
I’m so tired of this site posting spoilery photos with their headline. Not cool at all. Please stop.
It aired two weeks ago. Not a spoiler anymore.
We live in an age where people don’t watch things immediately when there is so much content and we all have busy lives. The article itself is fine. The screenshot is not. There is absolutely no reason there needs to be a super spoilery photo for me to happen upon when I’m just scrolling through the site. Save any spoilers for people who click through to the article.
Don’t go on the internet if u don’t want to be spoiled, it’s a place for public discourse no one cares if u haven’t seen it, not the internet’s problem
I’m not going to argue with ignorant internet trolls making asinine statements like that. Just making a request to the editors of this site to please not include spoilery pics attached to their headlines. Thanks.
The only good season of this show was the first one. Why would Eve follow Villanelle around like a puppy & be so obsessed with her? Makes no sense! Not one redeeming character in the whole show!
Maybe the Hallmark Channel would be more to your liking?
Yeah I agree with him I’m guessing American tv has infected BBC writer that’s a plot American writer done all the time now we stuck with another show with crappy finale ugh p years we might get another respectful adaptation
I have never felt so disappointed in an ending to a series. Quite frankly Season 4 was all over the place as if different students in a junior Highschool class had been asked to write different episodes without any requirement for cohesion. Although I personally loved the brief appearance of the weird Jesus delusion character that appeared it added a surreal comedic feel at odds with the distinct dark humour that had permeated the show so far ; it was just too funny and did not mesh well . The Pam character was a delight but everything else seemed rushed and ill planned……but the ending killed me. Honestly when you finish any long running season you have invested your time in ,you want it to end on a high note where you think “WOW ” and not a long wail of “nooooooooooo” …the excuse that Killing Eve’s writers couldn’t imagine a happy ending is so lame and just falls flat as nobody knows what happens AFTER ! It’s up to the viewer to imagine and we were robbed of that. If Eve and Villanelle walked off into the proverbial sunset and the season had ended there with a thousand possibilities up in the air that would have been truly satisfying and in the vein intended by Luke Jennings who created the characters. I’m not a person who demands a happy ending BUT I do demand a fulfilling and a good one and the viewers did not get one …..and sometimes a “Happy Ending” for the so called “bad guys” is the best twist of all and that end is just what Killing Eve needed !
The ending was right, the whole body of 12 and their side kicks and killers all had to be cut of.
That must include V unfortunately as she could never stop killing as she was a phycapath remember
They all had to be killed and C understood that.