With BBC America’s Killing Eve‘s third season, showrunner Suzanne Heathcote mostly pulled back from the show’s elaborate cat-and-mouse game between Jodie Comer’s assassin and Sandra Oh’s MI6 agent. It was a risky move, but a necessary one since the second season ran that relationship into the bloody ground, yet the third season finale’s revisiting of the dynamic feels fresh and fun again. And so, the series has evolved for the better with a fourth season already in the cards. Following an intricately crafted season that used double-agent/jester Konstantin to tie together all major threads, it’s now time to rank the finale’s players (with a bonus) while looking toward the future.
9. Paul: Seriously, eff this guy. We can’t trust everything that Konstantin says, but it sure appeared a few weeks ago — from the way that Paul assured Konstantin that he’d take the fall for the death of Kruger’s wife, and the missing money — that Paul was working for The Twelve. Not only that, but Paul’s been undermining Carolyn all season long, likely because he did not want Carolyn uncovering more information about The Twelve. Did the man deserve to die? Maybe not, but Carolyn wanted to kill someone over Kenny’s death, and she didn’t seem able to kill someone she’d cared about in the past (Konstantin). Eve made a fair point, though: now no one can uncover what Paul knew. Yet with his denial of knowing Dasha or Helene, we can make some guesses: (1) He’s a convincing liar; and/or (2) The Twelve likes to keep its secrets so close that not even Paul, who “is The Twelve” knows the identity of all operatives. That’s intriguing.
8. Rhian: Oh man, she learned her lesson far too late. No one gets away with insulting Villanelle’s abilities and dedication to a cause, even when Villanelle is questioning these qualities about herself. Rhian was presented as the up-and-comer in The Twelve and a threat to Villanelle’s place in the organization. The fact that she ended up on the tracks seems to seal the deal for Villanelle leaving the assassin life on her own terms, but where does Villanelle go from here, at least professionally? She’s confused about her own identity and burned down her own origin story. Carolyn rejected her proposal to come work for MI6, and Villanelle told Konstantin (who’s got the money) to get lost. I mean, do we really think that Villanelle is capable of leading a legit life now? Hardly, but Rhian overstepped by injecting her opinion and paid the price.
7. Dasha: Well, things turned out fatally for the former toast of the KGB, but I’m ranking her slightly above the rest of the dead characters this week for one reason: she did not have to suffer the heartbreak of returning to Mother Russia without a celebration in her glory. She truly wanted parades in the streets, so perhaps it’s best that she flatlined before that the inevitable letdown happened. Also, you gotta admire how she physically survived — at least for a few days — attempts on her life by both Villanelle and Eve. Yes, she was a terrible person and an assassin and someone who put babies in trashcans and all that, but she was a tough cookie and a hell of an entertaining character.
6. The Bitter Pill Staff: They’re getting the job done, even with a snack preoccupation slowing things down at times. In the finale, Bear not only revealed video footage that opens up even more questions about Kenny’s intent — he was caught on tape stealing from a honeypot meant to entrap members of an extremist group — but he (and the rest of the skeleton staff) endured their in-person introduction to Villanelle. I’d rank the group even higher, but I know Bear’s feeling like he lost this fight, just a little bit. He still really wants to know what Villanelle does with the “bad ones” after she “pickles” all the delightful penises of the men that she kills. Scandalous!
5. Konstantin: I suppose, by some standards, that he’s a massive loser here after the entire season pointed towards an enormous downfall for this double agent. And who does he have left in life? No one. He’s a failed father whose homicidal biological daughter’s sitting in an institution. His unofficial adoptive daughter, Villanelle, rejected him as “not family,” and there’s no way that he won’t be persona non grata with The Twelve. Still, he survived a heart attack and the gun-wielding Carolyn, even after she learned that he was present during Kenny’s death. There’s even a chance that he’s telling the truth about Kenny falling to his death because Konstantin has always shown an aversion to killing anyone himself. We also know that Konstantin’s got the bar code to recover the stolen money, so that’s a win for him if he can find somewhere to hide from The Twelve. I certainly don’t want him to leave the show. He’s far too enjoyable as a dastardly screen presence, and people will want the guy around after Dasha left the building.
4. Geraldine: I don’t have too terribly much to say about Geraldine’s own qualities because we didn’t get to know her too well, but I’m sure hoping that she’s now free from attempting to change her mother. Carolyn’s the most stubborn character on this series, and I’ll lick the bottom of my own shoes if she softens up at all before this series ends. Yes, Geraldine suffered a metaphorical punch to the gut with Carolyn telling her to leave the family home, but that’s also freeing in a sense. Geraldine no longer needs to bash her head against a brick wall of a mother figure, and I wish her all the best.
3. Carolyn: Technically, she’s walking away from the finale with as much of a win as she could possible manage. Yes, Kenny and Mo are dead, but Paul is gone, and she more than made sure to mop the floor with Konstantin in the process. Carolyn easily explained away Paul’s death as a suicide, and she very much enjoyed telling everyone what to do for the entirety of the finale. Yes, she’s utterly miserable, but Carolyn played her cards as well as possible in the finale. I hope she went home and had a nice bath at the end of the day. That’s the only peace she’ll probably ever know.
1. Tie — Eve And Villanelle: Oh, it’s these two back together again. Actually, I’m more alright with this outcome than I thought would be the case. The writers wisely separated the pair for most of the season, so I’m ready to see them give it a go next time around — probably? They’re not built to last as a couple, but they can’t let their connection go, and the ending moments of the finale suggest that they (mutually) turned back toward each other while accepting that their molotov cocktail of a relationship cannot be denied. They shared a nice dance, some self-aware reflection on the London Bridge, and yes, it was all kind-of romantic. Their “monsters” can’t resist this pull, even after they tried to kill each other in the past two season finales. I look forward to seeing however the hell they try to get along again before (likely) disastrously splitting (and getting back together) again. Viewers just can’t quit these two as a couple, and executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle left everyone with a tease, via EW: “Change is possible.”
The Real Winner — Niko: Since Niko wasn’t in the season finale (I can only assume that he’s still recuperating in the hospital), I did not formally include him in the ranking, but I think he’s the true winner of this season. Yes, he got pitchforked (very bad!) but emerged from that attack with his life and with his dignity fully intact. Finally, he’s gotten the message across to Eve and (it seems) made her fully aware that their marriage is over. I hope he’s free from ever being touched by The Twelve again, but that’s probably not possible if Niko stays on the show. Finding out what the future holds for him will be one of the bigger questions I’ll have for Season 4, and it shouldn’t be too long before we hear about the new showrunner and lead writers who will continue the journey.
BBC America’s ‘Killing Eve’ finale can be streamed on the AMC premiere website.