'Killing Eve' Season 4 Finale Recap: A Bittersweet Way To Go Out

One of the best shows on TV delivered final memorable moments, before heading the way of Game of Thrones.

Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
4 min read

Remember when Villanelle wore lovely outfits?

BBC America

We knew someone was going to die at the end of Killing Eve. And not just because the show is called Killing Eve.

The signs were there. The Romeo and Juliet parallels, the 'Til Death Do Us Part talk, the Death tarot card, the psychiatrist advising Eve (Sandra Oh) to enjoy the little things in life. Because those little things are about to be cut short.

The season 4 finale of Killing Eve -- also the finale of the entire show -- resulted in one of the most painful rug pulls imaginable. The show seemed to be set up for Eve to meet her fateful end. But no. Killing Eve had to do a Game of Thrones . It had to second guess Reddit theories or plain old under-appreciated happy endings and surprise us with an unbelievably cruel ending for Eve and Villanelle (Jodie Comer).

Killing Eve

That season 2 finale.

Gareth Gatrell/BBCAmerica

Let's keep this short. Just after Villanelle murders the entirety of The Twelve, standing in the glow of her accomplishment and embracing Eve as a happily committed couple, she's shot dead by Carolyn Martens' sniper. Did playing air guitar mean nothing to Carolyn? Did she have to pretend to want another round of Truth or Dare with Villanelle before making it impossible to play ever again?

It's just another odd, out-of-character moment that has marred the final season of Killing Eve. If you watched the very first episode and then this finale, you'd think they were two different shows.

The writers played with our expectations from the outset. We all thought Villanelle was going to save Eve after that episode 7 cliffhanger, but no. Eve hits Gunn over the head with a rock, climbs a tree, leaps down from said tree and gouges Gunn's eyes out with her bare fingers.

This season seemed set on proving Eve's character growth, and Eve proves her character growth in a way no other has probably done before. She's willing to maim, shoot and kill. She has equal power in any potential relationship with Villanelle now. Eve and her fingernails can defend themselves.

Killing Eve

Things have changed a lot.


The sleeping bag scene is another prime example of the writers getting ahead of their audience. A mirror image of the bed scene from season 1 -- it seemed an obvious moment for Eve and Villanelle to finally share their first touching kiss. Instead -- "Shall we steal their stupid camper van?"

The kiss came in the least likely moment -- post-Eve and Villanelle peeing in the bushes. It felt very Killing Eve, as much as that's possible in these later seasons, often described as a diluted imitation of season 1.

Still, all in all, the first half of episode 8 captured some of the old Killing Eve spark. We got another great needle drop -- Eve and Villanelle eating Revels chocolate in the camper van and head-bopping to The Human League's Don't You Want Me. And let's have a moment of appreciation for Villanelle's Chris Evans-esque sweater from Knives Out.

Then came the inevitable plot push toward The Twelve. Many complained season 3 didn't pay enough attention to the big antagonist of the show. So season 4 heaped on The Twelve storylines, manufacturing an evil villain summit on board someone else's wedding boat. The world's most evil organization, the hidden architects of chaos, chose to have an unguarded reunion with no escape routes out at sea.

No faces were put to these incredibly important plot points, the camera trained on Villanelle's face as blood spurted comically up around her and the victims stabbed at her hand.

Instead of rehashing what happened after that, let's try to stay positive. Apparently, the Luke Jennings' Codename Villanelle novellas, on which the show is based, offer a happy ending for Eve and Villanelle. You could also imagine an entire alternative universe series where Eve and Villanelle travel the world together, hunting down The Twelve with the assistance of Carolyn and Konstantin.

We don't need to talk about the pointlessness of Pam. Or that part of the reason Charlie Brooker hit pause on future seasons of Black Mirror is that the world is grim enough at the moment without stories with unhappy endings.

Never mind that this final season ultimately feels like a set up for the Carolyn Martens' spinoff series.

If anything, season 4 reminded us you can have too much of a good thing. Season 4 went big on shock factor and small on interesting messages about female assassins. The show that began as a (highly entertaining) feminist piece on how effective a female assassin could be -- a show that pushed one woman to question her own human nature and lean into her darkness -- rushed toward a clunky, noticeably unplanned conclusion.

Still, Killing Eve is one of the best things to grace TV.

Stray observations

  • Who else was waiting for Eve and Villanelle to at least watch one movie together and make at least one shepherd's pie?
  • Villanelle just accepts Konstantin is dead? She wouldn't ask who killed him?
  • The location titles are getting wild now. "Google it" comes off a little trying hard to be clever, and having to explain The Barn Swallow is "MI6's Pub" is a telling example of how confusing the plot has been.
  • Eve's speech about how hard relationships are, while literally in the middle of a wedding, wasn't exactly a mind-blowing revelation after everything that's happened.
  • The holy imagery, including Villanelle's bloody angel wings in the water, never felt like they were in the DNA of Killing Eve.
  • No epilogue? We don't get any hint at what Eve does next?

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