Killing Eve's Ending Has Left A Lot Of People Very Unhappy, As It's Branded 'Lazy' And 'Unoriginal'

The final episode of the BBC show has also been accused of playing into a damaging trope.

Warning! This article contains major spoilers from the final two episodes of Killing Eve.

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer as Eve and Villanelle in Killing Eve
Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer as Eve and Villanelle in Killing Eve

Killing Eve’s final episode has left many fans unhappy after airing an ending for lead characters Eve and Villanelle that has been branded “lazy” and “unoriginal”.

The last two instalments of the hit BBC thriller went out first in the US on Sunday night, before debuting on iPlayer in the UK on Monday morning – and it’s fair to say they haven’t gone down brilliantly.

After four seasons of toying with one another, the show wrapped up with Eve and Villanelle finally getting it together before Villanelle killed each member of the mysterious Twelve (whose identities we never actually revealed).

As it looked like the unlikely couple were destined to be together as they celebrated their union on the River Thames, Villanelle was then shot in the back – for the second time this series, we should add – before they both crashed into the water.

In scenes not too dissimilar from the controversial swimming-pool deaths of Ronnie and Roxie Mitchell in EastEnders, Eve struggled to reach Villanelle as she bled to death.

Villanelle was killed in the final episode, shortly after getting together with Eve
Villanelle was killed in the final episode, shortly after getting together with Eve

Watching on from the sidelines was Carolyn, who appeared to be behind the hit on Villanelle.

Eve then surfaced from the Thames with a piercing scream, before the words “The End” filled the screen.

The ending was a markedly different to the Codename Villanelle books by Luke Jennings on which the show is based, which sees Eve and Villanelle escape their chaotic lives and settle together in St Petersburg.

On Twitter, fans vented their frustration at the ending, complaining that they had waited four seasons to see Eve and Villanelle together, only for one of them to die moments later.

It was also noted that the writer’s decision to kill a queer character played into the ‘bury your gays’ trope present in many works of fiction, whereby more queer characters – and in particular lesbian, bisexual female and transgender characters – die compared to their straight cisgender counterparts.

While the finale came in for a rough ride on social media, it hasn’t fared any better with critics either.

A Variety reviewer called the final episode a “total betrayal of what once made it great”.

“The whole thing is so abrupt, so hackneyed, so amazingly unoriginal that for one hopeful minute, I was sure it had to be a trick,” Caroline Framke wrote. “When the show’s signature block lettering slams ‘THE END’ onto the screen, it’s so jarring that it feels like a slap in the face.”

Den Of Geek’s Delia Harrington echoed these sentiments, calling the final three minutes “rushed, half-baked, and out of step”.

They said: “If you rely on, say, queer viewers and queer fandom creators to watch and make the buzz around your show, don’t be surprised if they’re mad that you kept a boring husband around way too long and then killed off a sapphic lead five minutes after she was finally happy with the woman we’ve watched her fall obsessively for over the last four seasons.”

Eve and Villanelle in the first episode of season four
Eve and Villanelle in the first episode of season four
BBC America/Anika Molnar

Digital Spy’s David Opie also said the show ended “in the worst way possible”, writing: “The problem is that given this show’s queasy history with LGBTQ+ representation, immortalised by the many queer-baiting think pieces that have been written about Killing Eve since day one, you’d think the writers would try to avoid the biggest, perhaps most problematic queer trope of all.”

Referring to the ‘bury your gays’ trope, he continued: “By ripping Villaneve apart like this, queer fans in particular are left with an ending that’s crushing and absurd in equal measure. ‘Crushing’ because the fan-favourite ship had only just got together after all these years, and ‘absurd’ because how could anyone possibly think it’s okay to feed into such a harmful trope in the face of all the criticism – and in 2022 no less?”

Season four showrunner Laura Neal previously said she hoped fans would find the finale “glorious and triumphant”.

However, she told Metro she was “braced” for criticism, saying: “I think with a show like this that generates so much discussion and that generates so much debate, you’re never going to be able to please everybody.

“That’s part of what makes the show great as well. I’m braced for us not being able to please everybody but I’m really delighted with the ending.”

She added: “I know our actors are delighted with the ending and I hope that, even if they don’t agree with it, fans will see how much love we put into the ending.”

All episodes of Killing Eve are available to stream now on BBC iPlayer.


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