Killing Eve has been a fan favorite since debuting in 2018 to critical acclaim, though the second half of the series was considerably less well-received. When the series ended last month, the shocking finale left many fans confused and even angry at the (spoiler alert) untimely death of the lead Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer.
While the books end in a less depressing manner, with a very genuine happily ever after, the fourth and final season of the show finally has the two main characters, Eve (played by Sandra Oh) and Villanelle, becoming romantically involved, just before Villanelle’s death. Oh is very aware of the backlash from the finale, and tried to explain it as best as she could. The former Grey’s Anatomy actress told Deadline that the initial plan was to kill off her character, instead of Villanelle.
Due to COVID production delays, the story was written and re-written. Oh says she and writer Laura Neal were chatting about “how we were going to end this,” when Oh suggested Eve be killed. “I was like, ‘You should kill my character.’ I thought that would be the strongest and the most interesting [ending].” It is the name of the show, after all. Instead, Comer’s character was the one who was killed.
“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.” Oh explained. Eventually, the writers opted against it. “They came to me, and they said, ‘We can’t do it. We need to change it… Eve needs to live.'” So Eve lived, but Villanelle did not.
“We switched it around,” Oh says, insisting that Comer “was very much on board for that.” Though Comer was on board, many fans critiqued the ending for its tragic outcome after the last four seasons left them cheering for the duo to get together.
“Eve is the way into this world. She’s our everywoman,” Oh concluded. “So it’s kind of really super depressing if she dies.” It was going to be depressing either way, so maybe the actual murderer dying wasn’t the worst move?