Killing Eve star Sandra Oh has revealed how the show was originally going to end, and shared her co-star Jodie Comer’s reaction to the divisive finale that was aired instead.
*As you could have probably guessed, there are big spoilers below, so if you’ve not watched the last episode yet, click away now.*
The comedy thriller split opinion with the conclusion of its fourth and final season, which saw Villanelle get killed by a sniper after she and Eve finally gave in to their feelings for one another, and successfully took out the Twelve. Many fans criticized the abrupt ending, voicing disappointment that it was Fiona Shaw’s Carolyn who ordered the hit, and suggesting that it played into the harmful ‘bury your gays’ trope.
Several took to social media to claim that it should have ended differently, with the two women getting relatively happy endings – like they do in Luke Jennings’ novels. According to Oh, though, it was never on the cards for both characters to make it out alive.
“I was like, ‘You should kill my character.’ I thought that would be the strongest and the most interesting ending, and I felt, emotionally, it was the right place of where I was at,” the actor told Deadline (opens in new tab) recently, recalling her early meetings with season 4 head writer Laura Neal. “Eve was starting to get into, like, a nihilistic place, and we’re like, ‘Let’s just continue that line and go straight into it.'”
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused production to shut down, however, Neal had time to mull over those final moments, and apparently decided that it would make more sense for the assassin to die rather than the former MI6 agent.
“They came to me, and they said, ‘We can’t do it. We need to change it… Eve needs to live,'” Oh remembered. “Eve is the way into this world. She’s our everywoman. So it’s kind of really super depressing if she dies. So we switched it around.”
Oh added that Comer “was very much on board” with the decision when she was pitched it.
Since the episode aired, book author Jennings has slammed the ending for “bowing to convention” and “punishing” Villanelle and Eve “for the bloody, erotically impelled chaos they have caused.” He also argued that it would have been “much more darkly satisfying, and true to Killing Eve’s original spirit” had the pair “walked off into the sunset together.”
Killing Eve is currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer in the UK, while the first three seasons can be streamed on Hulu and BBC America in the US. If you’re all up to date, and don’t fancy a rewatch just yet, then check out our round-up of the best TV shows of all time for some viewing inspiration.