brake alert: Don’t read if you haven’t watched the final episode of “Killing Eve” (“Hello, Losers”), which aired on Sunday, April 10 on BBC America and AMC Plus.
At their last encounter, Eve (Sandra Oh) and Caroline (Fiona Shaw) sat quite still in a modest bar, eyeing the other with cautious disdain as Villanel (Jodie Comer) plays darts in the other room. “One of the greatest unspoken truths about life, Eve, is that people behave exactly as you expect them to,” Caroline says finally. “Take you, for example. You are about to embark on a crazy end game when you know, deep down, that you are just a woman who loves an inappropriate croissant on a Sunday morning.”
As Caroline almost certainly expected, Eve replied, “And you’ll race me toward that, though you know deep down, you don’t have an excuse anymore.” She’s right – or at least she was, before Caroline decided to take the even more paradoxical step.
“I was going to do that, yeah,” Caroline let out. “But now I’m going to act exactly as you expect of me—and do something different.”
As I watched the baffling final sequence of “Killing Eve,” I thought back to this exchange and wondered if this flavor of the challenge was the show’s goal throughout. Over the course of four seasons, he spent most of his time and energy sabotaging spy stories and making truly shocking choices that left viewers reeling. In the last few minutes though, the show has been going in such a typical direction that it’s almost getting more and more controversial. After the series finale finally allows Villanelle and Eve to complete their long simmering sexual tension and bring down The Twelve, it almost instantly turns out to be someone killing Villanelle in cold blood while Eve stares in horror.
Everything so abrupt, so tacky, so amazingly unoriginal that I was sure it must have been a one minute hoax full of hope. But no: “Killing Eve” really ends with Villanelle drifting away in the Thames, Jack in “Titanic” style, while Eve screams into the night. When you slam the big letters of the show’s signature “THE END” on screen, it’s so annoying that it feels like a slap in the face.
If I were to give the program the benefit of the doubt, I would say that it made such a vulgar choice on purpose. Like Caroline, season 4 model Laura Neal (who wrote the series finale) probably wanted to surprise people by not surprise people. However, pulling a move like this requires some serious finesse that this sharp end shock just doesn’t have.
Anyone who has seen a single spy story can call this a “twist” from a mile away. Hell, anyone who gets invested in a TV romance between two gay women should be They steal themselves for the tragedy Second Eve and Villanelle finally found some semblance of happiness. Sure enough, this particular couple was made up of a rogue killer and a spy who was courting death more than one another. This end of the business wasn’t necessarily going to come down to both of them keeping her alive. But if one or both of them are going to end the series dead, Eve’s retreat from the embrace only to see Villanelle blink through a gunshot wound is as boring a death scene as it gets. (See also: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” badly killed Tara the same way over 20 years ago.) As much as the bloated music and horrific shots of Villanelli’s corpse floating away tried to emphasize the drama of the moment, it was a method too predictable to be at all effective. . This absolutely basic way of ending an otherwise complex story made everything that came before it seem like a massive tease.
The Killing Eve has always presented a challenge to any rider who takes on the task from season to season as if they were running a particularly difficult relay race. After creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge left Season 1 on a huge cliff before leaving the show itself, it wasn’t easy for Emerald Fennell to pick up where she left off, let alone carry the story far beyond Eve’s stabbing of Villanelli in the gut. Over time, as was inevitable due to constant change, the series became more and more complex, introducing new myths and complexities that never really took shape.
But in its most rewarding moment, the show has been delighted to keep its audience in suspense by avoiding the most anticipated bends in the road to discover more, more interesting avenues next. With a messy assassin and the woman he can’t help but admire at its center, Killing Eve was at its best when he peeled back a layer no one knew existed to reveal something even more complex and dazzling in it. He was delighted with erotic and shocking jokes, revealing jokes in the most unexpected (and even disgusting) places. She explored feminine desire in its most subtle and dangerous form without excluding it. He painted sharp pictures of women yearning for more — for life, for death, for every wonderful and terrible moment in between — so much so that they bled.
When it was good, Killing Eve was really smart, sexy, and shocking. Its boring ending, which echoes so many disappointing conclusions, accomplishes nothing of that. Instead, the show gives its once vibrant characters a boring goodbye that, if nothing else, would have made them yawn once.