‘Killing Eve’ author criticises TV series finale for “bowing to convention”

Spoilers ahead for the finale of ‘Killing Eve’

Killing Eve author Luke Jennings has criticised the finale of the TV series for “bowing to convention”.

After four seasons, the series concluded earlier this month in a finale that saw Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) infiltrate a meeting of The Twelve on the Dixie Queen boat. However, the latter is fatally shot before they jump into the Thames together.

Jennings, who wrote 2017’s Codename Villanelle on which the series is based, has since called out the show’s ending for adhering to the trope of killing off same-sex lovers.

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“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,” Jennings wrote in the Guardian. “That’s the Villanelle that I wrote, that Phoebe turned into a screen character, and that Jodie ran with so gloriously.

“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. 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.

“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.”

Jennings promised Villanelle “will be back” in a new book. Since the original compilation of novellas, the author has written two sequels in Killing Eve: No Tomorrow and 2020’s Killing Eve: Die For Me.

Comer has previously discussed the ending of her character’s story, suggesting Villanelle’s death was “inevitable”.

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“She’s like a cat with nine lives,” Comer told Elle. “What I loved about the moment was that was a really selfless act that she did that caused it. It felt right that in that moment she protected Eve.

“There was something about that shielding, I think, that signified how much she had changed. She was trying so desperately to change at the beginning and I don’t think she ever realised how much she had, which is so sad. That moment really shows how Eve changed her life.”

Following the conclusion of Killing Eve, it’s claimed a spin-off series is in the works focusing on the early life of MI6 spymaster Carolyn Mertens (Fiona Shaw).

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