After four years and just as many seasons, Killing Eve is over. The ending was so abrupt, bloody and downright cold-hearted that the reviews are unanimous in their disappointment.
Writer Laura Neal had her work cut out for this season – as the show has aired to diminishing praise since its stellar opening series, which Phoebe Waller-Bridge left on a cliffhanger ending. Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) departed, leaving the show in the hands of Emerald Fennell.
Fennell had a difficult task with carrying the narrative on, but she did well in producing something that almost rivaled the first in its bizarre irreverence. The third season, this time in the hands of Suzanne Heathcote, didn’t “cut as deep”, according to critic and audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, but still made for an enjoyable watch.
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The same can’t be said for the fourth and final season, which has received lackluster reviews and ratings. While the writing has been picked apart, fans are thankful for Sandra Oh (Eve) and Jodie Comer (Villanelle), who put in incredible performances and delivered believable on-screen chemistry in the limited scenes they were afforded together.
The ending has been dragged online by critics and fans alike, in a rare moment of unity in opinion that we haven’t seen since Game of Thrones. It’s a shame that the finale has left fans feeling betrayed, but how did we get there? It goes without saying that the following recap is full of spoilers.
What happened in the series four finale of Killing Eve?
We jump right back in where episode seven left off, with Gunn straddling Eve in the woods of her Scottish island. The previous episode left a cliffhanger that Eve might be done for, but she manages to get away and climb up a tree.
From here Eve dives on top of Gunn and gouges her eyes out, and runs into Villanelle who had watched the whole thing from her hiding spot. It turns out Eve did n’t run away, so she dives into Gunn’s boat with Villanelle to escape the clutches of the unhinged hunter who’s blindly thrashing through the woods.
The two bickers their way across the moors until a storm hits, and a cutesy couple bundle them in for shelter. Here, the smiley Maggie reads Villanelle and Eve’s tarot, pulling the Sun card for Villanelle’s future and the death card for Eve.
Meanwhile, we join Carolyn as she follows up with another lead for The Twelve, in the form of a Barn Swallow. She meets Hugo (remember, the annoying posh guy who Eve worked with for a bit?), and strikes a deal with him: she has 24 hours to give MI6 something they want, to earn her place in there again.
Carolyn gets an invitation to meet Pam at Hampstead Heath, where the young assassin tells she killed Konstantin and that he always loved Carolyn. We have no idea what is in the letter he wrote her, but Carolyn reacts by jumping into the water fully clothed and talking about how feelings are a waste of time.
The most enjoyable scenes in this episode are seeing Eve and Villanelle together, finally relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. They steal the camping couple’s campervan and we watch them being a normal couple for once: giggling, singing to the radio and kissing in the middle of the road.
The fact that it’s all in pursuit of the 12 doesn’t seem as important as seeing the two of them finally getting along. Yet this journey takes them to a final confrontation with Carolyn and Pam in a nondescript pub.
While Villanelle jokes around, Carolyn and Eve face off. “One of the great unspoken truths about life, Eve, is that people behave exactly as you expect them to,” Carolyn says. “Take you, for example. You’re about to embark on some mad endgame when you know, deep down, you’re just a woman who likes an inappropriately timed croissant on a Sunday morning.”
Eve responds: “And you are going to race me to it, even though you know deep down, you don’t have an excuse anymore.” “I was going to do that, yes,” Carolyn replies. “But now I’m going to behave exactly as you’d expect me to — and do something different.”
Pretending to give Eve and Villanelle free reign with the 12, the pair sneak onto a cruise ship, where Eve is immediately mistaken for the officiator. While Eve pretends to marry two random men, Villanelle goes on the hunt.
In a rushed, disappointing final showdown, Villanelle bursts into a dark room with the title phrase “hello, losers” and murders a bunch of faceless strangers. Eve and Villanelle walk out on to the deck to celebrate their triumph, and embrace in relief.
Fans wish the show ended there, but it didn’t. Instead, Eve pulls away to see Villanelle has been shot. In a final act of selflessness, the loveable assassin pushes Eve into the water before her.
The lovers try to reach each other, but they don’t – Villanelle is hit with two more fatal bullets and bleeds out in the water. It cuts Carolyn saying “jolly good” into a walkie talkie and ends with Eve letting out an animalistic scream as she leaves the water.
That really is it for Killing Eve, although a spin off dedicated to Carolyn Matthews is in the works. It is hard to see which Killing Eve devotees will watch that, given Carolyn’s final cruel betrayal of hers.