There’s A Reason Why ‘Killing Eve’ Ended With That Unexpected Twist

The show's writer has explained everything.

WARNING: This story contains huge, major, SIGNIFICANT spoilers to the ending of Killing Eve season 4, continue at your own risk. 

It was always going to be turbulent, but the series finale of Killing Eve has sent viewers into the kind of tailspin not even the most hardcore of fans could have predicted. 

Throughout all four seasons, viewers have waited in hope for some kind of closure for the main characters Eve and Villanelle—whether they both die, or they both end up together. Just let this extremely complicated love story round itself out, please!

Alas, those wishes were no one’s command—lead writer Laura Neal explained as much after that final episode. But if it’s any consolation, she had a good reason for closing out the series the way she did. 

Here, we explain the ending to Killing Eve.

(Credit: BBC America)

What happened at the end of Killing Eve?

The final episodes of Killing Eve followed Villanelle’s quest for revenge by murdering Hélène when she discovered she and Eve had shared a fling, though not before Hélène had ordered her assassination. 

Meanwhile Eve was on her own mission to hunt down the leaders from The Twelve, discovering along the way that Carolyn had played a part in its creation. That said, Carolyn was also now committed to taking it down. 

Eventually, Eve and Villanelle trace The Twelve’s meeting in London, with Villanelle taking the reigns by descending into the depths of the ship they were on in the middle of the River Thames and murdering them all. 

But as Villanelle and Eve fled, a gunman fired at Villanelle repeatedly, even when she’d dived into the river to escape. Despite her attempts (and every single viewer imploring for her survival) Villanelle was killed. 

Killing Eve‘s ending explained

So how did Villanelle actually die? Well, it comes back to Carolyn. While it appeared earlier than Eve, Villanelle and Carolyn had similar agendas in hoping to take down The Twelve, Carolyn also saw an opportunity to take down Eve and Villanelle as her way back in to MI6. 

So, while the three women met in the pub and Carolyn learned of Eve and Villanelle’s plan to kill The Twelve during their secret meeting, she was concurrently planning for both (or at least one) of their demise. 

In a heartbreaking way, Carolyn was the ultimate winner in the end. At this point, it’s easy to see why fans were shocked by the ending. 

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Who actually killed Villanelle in those final moments of Killing Eve

According to writer Laura Neale, that’s for the viewer to decide. 

While some might think it was Pam who pulled the trigger, Neale told TV Line that Pam’s story had already closed out before Villanelle’s death, in a way. 

“Pam rejects the idea of working with Carolyn, and we see her reject that in the scene that they have opposite MI6, and for me, that’s Pam’s happy ending,” she explained. 

“In my mind, it doesn’t really matter who pulled the trigger. I think, you know, it’s just someone with a gun, sniper-wise, hiding out on Tower Bridge.”

Why did Villanelle have to die?

It’s a question all fans were begging in those final moments of the season finale, and Neale provided some context on why this was. 

“We 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 explained. 

As you would have noticed, the final season was filled with subtle circumstances where it was possible to see how Eve and Villanelle could have lived out the rest of their lives together, but we consistently saw the challenges that posed. 

“I think they come to the conclusion, and then I hope we as an audience come to the conclusion, that they are fated for something a little bit more explosive — which is what happens,” Neale added. 

So what happened to Eve?

As it turns out, there was a world where Eve could have also been killed, or rather she could have been killed instead of Villanelle. 

“We discussed Eve dying and Villanelle surviving. It just didn’t feel very truthful. It didn’t feel right for us,” Neale explained. 

Instead, she decided that it was more symbolic for Eve’s character arc to continue having grown from all of the things Villanelle had given her. 

You can watch Killing Eve on ABC iView—click here to view the entire final season.

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