The death of “Killing Eve”


Just in time to distract us from studying for midterms, “Killing Eve” has returned for its fourth and final season. Two new episodes of the dark-comedy/thriller aired on BBC America on Feb. 27, introducing new identities laced with old motives for the main characters Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer).  

Season four sees our star-crossed lovers in drastically different places than they were at the bloody close of season three. Eve has come far from the bored but brilliant MI6 agent we first met at the start of the series. Hardened yet somehow liberated by her experiences with Villanelle, the first episode of season four introduces Eve as a motorcycle riding, gun-wielding operative working for a private security firm. Although she is apparently done with Villanelle, she isn’t done with her take down of the international crime ring that produced Villanelle and other super assassins like her: the Twelve.  

Meanwhile, Villanelle seeks a rebirth by tapping into her inner light. Her last conversation with Eve on the London Bridge signaled that season four would serve as somewhat of a redemption arc for the couture-wearing killer. While she has parted ways with the Twelve, the sense that she’s on the brink of a backslide is eminent. Still obsessed with Eve, Villanelle seeks salvation in the church in hopes that she’ll be cleansed of past sins and more importantly, that Eve will notice.  

Pictured are Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Conner) on either side of what looks like a fish tank. Photo taken from Killing Eve Season 4 Trailer

As usual, the performances by Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer are superb, and the same can be said of the supporting actors, old and new. Fiona Shaw (“Harry Potter,” “True Blood”) returns as Carolyn Martens, Eve’s former boss at MI6 who has yet another interesting proposition for Eve that will undoubtedly get her more mixed into the world of Villanelle. Robert Gilbert (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”) joins the cast as Yusuf, Eve’s coworker at the firm who has been putting Eve to work in the gym and evidently in the bedroom. Based on the fates of Eve’s past love interests, I don’t see things ending well for him.  

Despite the fantastic cast and the engaging storyline which has kept fans hooked for the last four years, the ending of “Killing Eve” after four short seasons isn’t a TV death that viewers will mourn for too much time to come. The sense of urgency and verve which once pulsed through the veins of the show has diminished since the departure of writer/show-runner Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) after season one. There were a lot of great things about this season opener — the Baz Luhrmann-like fish tank scene between Eve and Villanelle was an especially nice touch that brought back some of that classic season one visual aesthetic. But showrunners since haven’t really been able to adequately compare to the creative genius that Bridge crafted, and this season opener was one of the dullest yet.  

“It is as if a lot of the writing has lost its force, it sharpness its nuance,” said one fan on Reddit. “The dialogue is funny, no doubt, but not as riddled with meaning, it seems to me, as season one’s or even some of season two’s.”  

Laura Neal, (“Sex Education”) is serving as showrunner and head writer for the final season and the pressure is definitely on. However, we’re only two episodes in, which means there’s plenty of time for things to pick up. New episodes of “Killing Eve” premiere every Sunday on BBC America and AMC+.  

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