If you weren’t happy with the way Killing Eve ended, you’re not alone: Even the man who originally created the characters of Eve and Villanelle agrees.
Book author Luke Jennings, who wrote the books Killing Eve is based on, shared his disappointment with the BBC America thriller’s series finale in a column for The Guardian, criticizing the episode for essentially “punishing” Eve and Villanelle. To recap: The series finale saw Eve and Villanelle team up — and hook up — before taking down The Twelve, but in the final minutes, a sniper shot Villanelle dead, leaving Eve screaming to the heavens as the credits rolled. (Read our finale post mortem with lead writer Laura Neal here.)
Jennings first shares what a thrill it’s been to see his work brought to life on TV, but he admits that “the final series ending took me aback.” He recalls that when series creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge “and I first discussed Villanelle’s character five years ago, we agreed that she was defined by what Phoebe called her ‘glory’: her subversiveness, her savage power, her insistence on lovely things. That’s the Villanelle that I wrote, that Phoebe turned into a screen character, and that Jodie [Comer] ran with so gloriously.”
But the series finale was instead “a bowing to convention,” he says, and “a punishing of Villanelle and Eve for the bloody, erotically impelled chaos they have caused.” He notes that “a truly subversive storyline would have defied the trope which sees same-sex lovers in TV dramas permitted only the most fleeting of relationships before one of them is killed off,” citing Lexa’s death on The 100 as another infamous example. “How much more darkly satisfying, and true to Killing Eve‘s original spirit, for the couple to walk off into the sunset together?”
In a conversation with TVLine, Neal revealed that the Killing Eve writers “certainly discussed an ending where [Eve and Villanelle] both live happily ever after. But our problem was that we couldn’t really imagine them doing so. We couldn’t imagine a world where Eve and Villanelle could exist in domestic bliss for very long.” She also saw the episode’s final moments as “a happy ending for Villanelle in some respects, because she gets what she wants, which is that she demonstrates that she’s changed, and she does this thing for Eve that allows Eve to go on and live her life.”
Jennings did not serve in an official capacity on Killing Eve, but he is credited on every episode of the show as the original creator of the characters. He’s still writing Villanelle novels, too, and he ends his column with a message to fans upset by Killing Eve‘s ending: “I would say this: Villanelle lives. And on the page, if not on the screen, she will be back.”