The spy drama wraps up its four-season run with a murder-filled series finale.
Courtesy BBC America.
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There comes a moment in the life of a Killing Eve recapper when the one-two punch of cold, hard truth clocks you right in the feelings. One is that the show is ending.

Two, and this is the one that really hurts, is that it's not going to end well.

Like all the best anti-hero dramas — the Breaking Bads, the Ozarks, the SopranosKilling Eve is often so much fun, moment to moment, that you start to forget how very, fundamentally bad these people are. They're murderers. Traitors. Narcissists. Psychopaths. In some cases, all of the above! Do people like this get a happy ending? 

As the first episode in this two-part series finale warns us repeatedly — and as I am warning you now, on our last night together in the trenches of this twisty, turny, tormented spy drama — they do not. And perhaps that's how it should be; perhaps it's what they deserve.

Episode 7: "Making Dead Things Look Nice"

We begin on Feasgar Island, where Villanelle is now Gunn's houseguest, except that she's not staying in the house, but rather in the barn with the goats. This is because Gunn has boundaries. She's fiercely protective of her island, and (as one unfortunate fisherman discovers early in the episode) she'll kill anyone who threatens the sanctity of her solitude. All she wants is to live in peace with her livestock, doing the occasional murder to pay the bills. But even if Gunn prefers the company of animals, there are certain things you can do with a fellow human that you cannot do with a goat, at least not legally — and Villanelle's presence on the island is a hookup opportunity not to be missed.

Meanwhile, Eve is back in London with a serious case of post-murder ennui. She keeps flashing back, not to the moment she killed Lars Meier, but further, all the way to her old life as a happily married karaoke-singing desk jockey at MI5. We see some familiar faces in this moment: Niko. Bill. Elena. All of them casualties of Eve's reckless pursuit of… well, what, exactly? She got everything she wanted, yet her life is emptier than ever. Even Yusuf tells her he can't help her anymore, that she's on her own.

Martin, the psychopath's psychiatrist, tells Eve that she has to find joy in the little things: to surround herself with people who love her, and understand her, and know her soul. 

Obviously, there is only one person left in Eve's orbit who could ever fit this description, and they're not exactly speaking right now. But more important is the centrality of this idea not only to Eve's life, but to Killing Eve writ large: once you've become who you are, what if that person is hard to live with? Impossible to love? 

What if your best and most authentic self is, in fact, sort of a monster?

Some people make easier peace with this than others — like Carolyn, who shrugs off Vlad's indictment of her bad acts ("You've left a wake of betrayal behind you") as easily as she dodges an assassination attempt in Saltzburg. But not everyone is so hard-hearted. Take Pam, for instance, who gives us both the episode's title and its most heartbreaking moment. She's still in Margate with Konstantin, who has just gotten some bad news (a phone call from his daughter telling him she's joined the Twelve), followed by some excellent news (Helene is dead, along with her threats to blackmail him.) At first, it looks like this might be the start of a beautiful friendship: as Konstantin explains to Pam over a pizza, the two of them are going to make an escape. "You're so much better than the life they have planned for you," he says, and she embraces him, telling him she'll always be grateful. 

Killing Eve
Kim Bodnia as Konstantin
| Credit: David Emery/BBCA

It would be such a sweet moment, for both of them, if she didn't follow it up by stabbing him to death with the pizza cutter.

Konstantin, mortally wounded, tells Pam that she didn't have to do this since Helene is dead. Her regret is terrible to see, but short-lived: there's nothing to do but finish the job as quickly and mercifully as she can. On the one hand, this is a very sad scene. On the other, things were always going to end this way for Konstantin. He knew it, we knew it, and this is absolutely a better death than he would've gotten from the Twelve when they inevitably caught up with him. 

For a bad ending, on the other hand, we return in the episode's final moments to Scotland, where Villanelle is finding out that impulsively schtupping a fellow psychopath was perhaps not her best idea. After their dalliance, Gunn informs her that she won't be sleeping in the barn like livestock anymore; instead, she'll be sleeping in the house… like a pet. Villanelle, realizing that she's made a serious mistake, flees into the woods while her spurned lover chases after her with a machete— just as Eve arrives at the island to put the final point on this love triangle. And it looks like Eve's adventures might come to a bloody end right here…

Killing Eve
Jodie Comer as Villanelle, Marie Sophie Ferdane as Gunn
| Credit: Anika Molnar/BBCA

Episode 8: "Hello, Losers"

…just kidding. What do you think this is, Game of Thrones? If Killing Eve is going to, y'know, kill Eve, it'll be in this episode, not that one. 

And it won't be right now, either. As Gunn raises her machete for a killing stroke — "You can't have her, she's mine," she hisses — Eve clubs her with a rock, runs away, and then climbs a tree to get the drop using some of those combat skills she picked up from Yusuf. Villanelle, hiding amongst the ferns, watches all of this with a zany grin on her face. (She seems to especially enjoy the part where Eve claws Gunn's eyes out with her bare hands.)

While Eve and Villanelle are making their escape from Gunn's island, Carolyn is returning to London in disgrace — or she would be, if she were capable of feeling shame. But this is Carolyn's great secret: she doesn't feel anything! Ever! Emotions, particularly guilt and shame, are "a scourge upon one's liberties," she says. So instead of groveling, she cooly informs Hugo that his new girlfriend is a Russian spy, and buys herself one more day to carry out her plans to take down the Twelve. She also barely flinches when Pam delivers Konstantin's last letter alongside a message: that he always loved her. 

Under any other circumstances, we, the viewing audience, would be very curious about the contents of that letter. But today, we're distracted by Villanelle and Eve, who have finally patched things up after getting caught in a rainstorm and spending the night in a bothy shelter along with a pair of insufferable heterosexual hikers. The camping couple have an interesting how-we-met story: she gave him a kidney, and now they're bonded forever, each sporting matching scars. Is that how you know it's love, by the marks you leave on each other? Clearly, the show thinks so — and so does Villanelle, as she traces her fingers over the scar where she once shot Eve in the back. 

Killing Eve
Credit: David Emery/BBCA

This little road trip reunion is the happiest we've seen Eve in ages, and a glimpse of the glorious intimacy that Eve and Villanelle could share if they'd just let it happen. Not just physically (although there's lots of hungry kissing) but in that way that Martin described in the previous episode: the intimacy that comes from being with someone who sees you, loves you, knows your soul. There's even a glimmer of hope as Villanelle gets her tarot read by the camping couple (right before she and Eve steal their van): her future shows sunny days ahead, a path blessed by celestial light.

We should enjoy this moment, because it's nice while it lasts. 

But eventually, the road trip comes to an end — and shortly thereafter, so does this story.

killing eve
Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri, Jodie Comer as Villanelle
| Credit: David Emery/BBCA

Eve and Villanelle arrive at the Barn Swallow pub near MI6 headquarters, which, per Helene's still-active cell phone, is supposed to be the Twelve's meeting place. But instead of a cohort of global conspiracists, they find two familiar figures: Carolyn and Pam.

"One of the great unspoken truths of life is that people behave exactly as you expect them to," Carolyn says, impeccably condescending, as she notes that Eve is clearly making a last, mad play to destroy the Twelve. Eve says that yep, she sure is, just as Carolyn will surely try to thwart her by getting there first — not to avenge her son (she's always known who killed Kenny), but because she just can't stand not to be in the game.

Carolyn nods. She was going to do that, she says. But now?

"You can have this one," she says, "with my blessing." 

A sidenote: of all the times that Killng Eve has demanded suspension of disbelief, this moment might go down in history as the one that was hardest to swallow. It makes no sense for Eve to trust Carolyn. It is insane that this doesn't make her suspicious. It is going to drive me insane, forever, that this is why the rest of the finale plays out the way it does. 

But for whatever reason — because she's too love-addled to think clearly, or because she's still on a high from shooting Lars Meier against Carolyn's wishes — Eve takes all of this at face value. 

Killing Eve
Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri
| Credit: Olly Courtney/BBCA

And so, we come to the end. The new meeting place, per a message sent to Helene's cell phone, is on a riverboat called the Dixie Queen. In a fun little twist, the boat has been officially booked for a same-sex wedding for which Eve poses as the officiant —which leaves Villanelle free to go in search of the Twelve's secret meeting place below decks. And while the handsome grooms say "I do," Villanelle fulfills a vow of her own. We never see exactly who's in the room where the final massacre of the Twelve unfolds. Instead, the focus stays on Villanelle as she strides in with a greeting — "Hello, losers!" — and then goes to town, the blood of her victims spattering her and the camera in equal measure.

Over the course of this final season, a frequent (and accurate) criticism has been that it all feels a bit rushed. But this! Is this really how it all ends? With Villanelle carrying out the mission alone, while Eve hangs out at a stranger's wedding doing the electric slide? The choice to separate the women in this moment is one of the most inexplicable things the show has ever done, and especially considering what happens next, I predict that many, many people are going to be frustrated by it.

Because here's what happens next: Villanelle arrives back at the wedding, beckons Eve off the dance floor, and announces that she did it. 

"Don't you mean, we did it?" Eve says, as they embrace on the deck of the Dixie Queen.

"Yeah, but mostly me," Villanelle says.

And then the first bullet hits her in the back.

Gunfire rains down as the women run and leap off the boat, plunging into the Thames. Another bullet carves past Eve in the water — but it's not her they're aiming for, and the next two find their mark. Villanelle shudders and goes still. Above the surface, the light from the London Bridge shines down, throwing her into sharp relief as blood blooms from the wounds on her back: for a moment she's suspended in time and space, an angel framed by crimson wings, a poignant echo of the way she hoped Eve would see her back when she was trying to become a better person. But it's too late. Villanelle can't be saved; she never could be. And as Eve reaches for her outstretched hand, the current takes her, and she sinks away, vanishing into the deep.

Somewhere nearby, Carolyn Martens lifts a walkie-talkie to her lips.

"Jolly good," she says. 

And Eve, clawing her way to the surface of the river, has nothing left to do but scream.

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