SPOILER ALERT: This post contains details about the two-part series finale of Killing Eve.
AMC and BBC America’s steamy cat-and-mouse thriller Killing Eve concluded with tarot readings, a wedding and two tragic deaths.
The two-parter began tracking the lives of Villanelle (Jodie Comer) and Eve (Sandra Oh) lead after parting ways, again, in the previous episode. Villanelle, still on her quest to kill The Twelve, hikes and hunts with fellow assassin Gunn (Marie-Sophie Ferdane). Meanwhile, Eve tries to return to a seemingly regular life following Hélène’s death. After a haunting karaoke session and chat with therapist Martin, Eve realizes that she isn’t quite done trying to take down The Twelve.
Meanwhile, Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) travels to Salzburg to meet up with Russian contact Vlad to figure out The Twelve’s meeting place – turns out to be MI6’s pub The Barn Swallow. After a concerning call from his daughter Irina, Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) tells Pam (Anjana Vasan) to have fun with her day.
Back on the isolated Scotland island, Villanelle and Gunn share an intimate moment before the former shares her mission to kill The Twelve. Knowing that ridding the top dogs would jeopardize her way of life, Gunn begins hunting down Villanelle, until Eve arrives on the island.
Before the first part ends, Constantine tries to convince Pam to join him in leaving the Twelve, but instead becomes the victim of all the skills he’s taught her. Unaware that former boss Hélène is dead, Pam takes a pizza slicer to Konstantin’s throat. She promises to carry out her mentor’s final wishes and ends his suffering.
The final episode, “Hello, Losers” picks up with Eve blinding Gunn with her bare hands. Despite parting ways after Eve’s earlier betrayal, the two decide to get off the island and make their way to where they think The Twelve will be. While in the middle of nowhere, they come across a couple of hikers who shelter them for the night. One hiker offers to do tarot readings, revealing a promising a “holy” and “magnificent” future for Villanelle and one of death for Eve. The duo take off with the hikers’ van in the early morning and finally share some intimate and wholesome moments.
Carolyn arrives in Heathrow, welcomed by Hugo (Edward Bluemel) who brings her to an MI6 safehouse and attempts to get a confession on the record. Carolyn, always one step ahead, pokes holes in his plans. Hugo agrees to take Carolyn to Hampstead where she’ll see Pam, who breaks the news of Constantine’s death and presents his letter.
Eve and Villanelle finally give into the passion they’ve been holding back for years before making their way to The Barn Swallow. Carolyn, determined not to return to MI6 empty-handed, tells Pam that “even loyalty is a dubious virtue, except when it’s to me.” She offers Pam a job, but the rookie assassin rejects.
Eve and Villanelle board a ship called The Dixie Queen, the Twelve’s new meeting spot. But Eve, mistaken for another woman, officiates a wedding as a distraction. Villanelle takes out the kitchen staff and gains access to the bottom of the ship. Before confronting The Twelve, Villanelle watches Eve channel her relationship with her assassin lover to preach about patience and the rollercoaster of love.
Finally, Villanelle faces off with some of the VIPs of The Twelve, taking them down one by one in an epic slow-mo showdown. After the bloodbath, she once again sees Eve enjoying her time on the dance floor. They both exit to the helm of the ship and rejoice in what they’ve accomplished. However, a silent bullet to Villanelle’s shoulder cuts that sweet jubilation short. Obviously, the target of a handy sniper, they jump into the water below. Villanelle, shot multiple times, meets her bloody fate while Carolyn watches her plan unfold on a nearby bridge.
Breaking down Killing Eve‘s packed finale is executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle. She spoke to Deadline about planning Villanelle’s death, potential spinoffs and a vacation in Cuba. Read the interview, which has been edited for length and clarity, below.
DEADLINE: How early in the series did you decide Villanelle’s death was going to be the finale?
GENTLE: We sort of knew what was going to happen quite early on, but we were open to something else sort of declaring itself, but it never really changed.
When you consider that Villanelle has always worked in a high-risk industry, there was a degree of inevitability about it. We were keen, in terms of the arc for this season, was a sense that Villanelle had embraced humanity. Her selfless shoving of Eve over the side of the boat was something that we felt connected to where she started in episode one, trying to prove to other people that she could be a good human being.
It also felt right that Eve should survive as the sort of extraordinary every woman, that she should be reborn out of this sort of extraordinary performance and adventure that she’s been on.
DEADLINE: Can you talk to me a bit about the process of determining how Villanelle would die?
GENTLE: There was always a leap of some sort and water involved. We really felt that water was an important image to keep. You start off with the baptism in water. You’ve then got Carolyn by the sea in Cuba. You’ve got Lars being hit with the oars in the pond. You then have Carolyn dropping herself into the pond with Pam following her. So, that sort of watery thing was really important to us.
But where and when and how we didn’t know. We also didn’t want to do anything horrible to her. I mean, pretty horrible. We didn’t want to do anything gruesome to her. We didn’t want to sort of go, here, “see how you like it.” And we wanted it to be epic as well. She was surrounded by a sort of celestial light because she’s a special being.
DEADLINE: What is the significance of Constantine meeting his end by somebody he’s raised?
GENTLE: I think he’s always known that at some point he would meet his fate by somebody that he trained because he’s had the warnings, and Villanelle’s been very clear, and other people have been very clear. He’s sort of known that he’s been living on borrowed time.
What we didn’t want to do with the show was just go, “oh, yeah, they all live, and they can all come back at some point for a reunion.” We wanted to do something that felt like it honored the ambition that we had to really close off the series. I think it’s tragic for Pam because Pam is not psychopathic. She was looking for better. She had this instruction, and I think she was very torn.
DEADLINE: What about this parallel between Eve and Carolyn losing their assassin lovers?
GENTLE: Well, I think the show’s always been sort of fundamentally about sort of love and relationships. I have to say it wasn’t a sort of conscious thing that Eve loses Villanelle and Carolyn loses Constantine, but I think it’s what felt truthful. It’s a dangerous world. The world that they operate in is incredibly dangerous. Carolyn and Constantine could’ve wandered off into the sunset, but I think it was unlikely. Their relationship came together through deceit. I do think that Constantine probably did love Carolyn in his own weird way. But whether that was ever reciprocated, I don’t know.
DEADLINE: What was in Konstantin’s letter?
GENTLE: I knew you were going to ask that. What do you think was in his letter?
DEADLINE: Part of me feels it’s a confession of how much he loves her. But I also feel like maybe he tipped her off to what Eve and Villanelle were going to do.
GENTLE: I don’t think he did. I think that what he said is you’ve been chasing a ghost, and I killed Kenny. I think that’s what he said, and that I’ve always loved you, and that you will never forgive me.
DEADLINE: For you, is it canon that Constantine killed Kenny?
GENTLE: I think it is a little bit up in the air whether he did. I think for Carolyn, deep in her heart, she knew that Constantine was ultimately responsible for Kenny’s death, but she needed the excuse to stay in the game and to stay occupied. Having something to drive her forward through the weird grief of Kenny’s death was the only thing that was keeping her alive.I think ultimately Constantine was probably responsible for Kenny’s death. But who knows?
DEADLINE: Villanelle killed a good number of The Twelve, but are they still around? Carolyn hinted that they don’t ever go away.
GENTLE: I think they’re still around. It is like the hydra, and you cut one head off and more will come. But maybe what Villanelle has done is she’s at least, and Eve, but mostly Villanelle– she’s bloodied them. In her mind that that is a form of revenge.
I think other cells of The Twelve don’t really know who the other people are, which is why Hélène finds it so difficult to sort of work her way through it. I think, very, very sadly, the Twelve is still out there.
DEADLINE: There seem to be some loose threads with Irina, Gunn and Pam and we know that there are possible spinoffs in the works. How likely is it that these characters will return to this world?
GENTLE: Of course, we’re thinking, and there’s loads of sort of, there’s loads of options for them, but there’s no firm plans yet really for anyone. We’ve killed off some goodies in season four. There’s loads of people… if we’d been cynical, I think we’d have kept a lot more of them alive, but somebody was reminding me the other day that James Bond got blown up. So. Get out of that one. (laughs)
DEADLINE: A couple of days ago there was also news that a Carolyn-led spinoff would be in the works. What can you share about that?
GENTLE: Yeah. I mean, it’s really the same as all the others. We got lots of thoughts, but nothing has firmed up at all, and it’s quite a long way off. So, there isn’t really anything else to say yet.
DEADLINE: What’s a Killing Eve spin-off you’d personally like to see?
GENTLE: I loved Constantine and Villanelle together. I’d love to see them going on holiday. That could be a little special. That could be a 15-minute special somewhere.
DEADLINE: Right, and instead of like a thriller, it could be like a comedy of some sort.
GENTLE: Yeah, it could. It’s them just like being really irritated at each other. And surprising each other, and then just slightly, slightly wreaking revenge on each other until they realize that they’re a bit exhausted and they just want to read a trashy novel.
DEADLINE: Or watch a movie like Villanelle wanted in the first season.
DEADLINE: What has it been like revisiting the finale?
GENTLE: We’re still exhausted because we only delivered episode eight last week. I think we delivered it last Wednesday. So, we’ve kept on going. I think we never ever thought that the show would have the impact or the fanbase that it got, and I think we’re actually still slightly in shock, and so, we just need to recover.
DEADLINE: I guess everybody needs a vacation in Cuba, hopefully not in the trunk of a car.
GENTLE: Yeah. God, that would be nice. It would be nice to get to the real Cuba.