Caution: Spoilers below for Killing Eve’s second season finale!
We’re in a deeply unhealthy relationship with Killing Eve. I hope it never ends.
The season one finale left me with mixed feelings. Sure, I’d just witnessed one of the greatest, gayest TV seasons to ever air in the history of the medium. But I didn’t want more. I didn’t see how the show could continue and I didn’t want it to try. I wanted a neat one season masterpiece. I also happened to be in a very healthy three-year relationship.
But by the time season two arrived (without Phoebe Waller-Bridge no less!) I was ready and willing for anything. I also happened to be single.
Don’t worry. I know enough queer women in relationships to know there’s not a correlation between relationship status and Killing Eve fandom. But it is a requirement that you’re open to bullshit. Really hot, stunningly crafted bullshit.
Killing Eve is the straight girl you crushed on in high school. Killing Eve is the woman with a boyfriend who flirts with you a little too much. Killing Eve is the person who tells you they’re in an open relationship but then it turns out well maybe that relationship isn’t so open. Killing Eve is a tease and I love it so much.
A lot of the second season felt like fan fiction. It requires a healthy suspension of disbelief for the Eve and Villanelle of season one to pair up on a mission. But like the best fanfic writers, new showrunner Emerald Fennell grounded this fantasy storyline just enough to keep it feeling real. By making Eve’s continued descent into sociopathy the thrust of the season, her willingness to go along with Villanelle became thematic depth instead of simple wish fulfillment. And if at any point you doubted the involvement of MI6 in these schemes, the finale answered that by revealing it was all a set-up.
Eve’s relationship with Villanelle is our relationship with Villanelle. Every time she murders someone, Eve reacts with total shock. I do too. We’re all so stupid. Villanelle is an assassin! This is what she does! But there’s quite a difference between “I wish Villanelle would murder me” and how it would feel for Villanelle to actually murder any of us. The violence this season was especially brutal and that back and forth between Villanelle with her bad accents and amazing clothes (shoutout to new costume designer Charlotte Mitchell who might be the true star of the season) and Villanelle the killer was brought into horrifying contrast. It’s one thing to watch her kill some terrible man. It’s another to watch her snap the neck of a child or do God knows what to a woman whose only crime was crushing on her married coworker.
But oh how quickly we forget that last shock at the start of this finale. When Villanelle kills super villain Aaron Peele it’s so satisfying and the way she takes control of Eve during their escape is so fun. And while throat slitting may not be something most of us actually want, that slap across Eve’s face certainly fits within the realm of sexual normalcy. “You look cute by the way,” she says with that Villanelle smile and then we all died the good kind of death.
Between the nearly identical scenes of Carolyn warning Eve off Villanelle and Konstantin warning Villanelle off Eve, it really did feel like we were watching a tale of star-crossed lovers. Or even a romcom! With grand gestures and big feelings! Those grand gestures just happen to involve murder. And for the first time Eve gets to return the favor. It’s a brutal scene, messy, with an ax, but it’s hard not to feel as Villanelle does. Now that Eve has killed someone, she’s closer to Villanelle. Now that she’s closer to Villanelle, they can be together. But Eve comes to her senses before the rest of us. Because Eve has consequences. We do not. And consequences she receives.
I thought Eve was dead. This show has such a hold on me that I thought they killed off their lead, I thought they killed off SANDRA FUCKING OH, and I was still giddy with shock, excited for another season. Imagine, just a year ago, I thoughtfully didn’t want a season two. Now I quickly accepted Villanelle murdering her girlfriend with the amazing hair. That’s insane. I’m insane. Or maybe just horny. Either way, Eve is not dead. Sandra Oh is returning next season and while I have no idea what that will bring, I am, of course, relieved. Eve and Villanelle’s relationship is the show. And while I was willing to go wherever they wanted to take me, I’m very glad Eve is part of that plan.
The season two finale came the closest the show ever has to giving us what we want. But what do we want? Do we want Eve and Villanelle to be together? To be Bonnie and Clyde? Go on a killing spree, cut a few throats, to quote Eve. Or be together peacefully? Villanelle reformed, going with Eve to the Farmer’s Market with their Golden/Bichon mix. Or do we really just want more of the same? More tension, more almosts. More outfits, more murder. Because what would happen if we caught the proverbial mail truck? It would be over. And what’s the fun in that?
This was so great. So was your review!
I feel like the best preparation one could hope for when getting into this show is to have been as obsessed with NBC Hannibal. It makes everything make 100% sense:
“Oh Villanelle deals with rejection by attempting to kill the object of her desire? Yup I totally saw that coming!”
I wasn’t sold on the first 2 episodes of the season because it truly felt like a different show but as the season went on, I became hooked again.
I’m a little disappointed in how the finale handled Eve. She wanted to push the man off the train platform in an earlier episode which played well against her not wanting to kill Raymond but being pushed to do so. Raymond’s death coupled with her season-long subtle but drastic changes in behaviour would have been an amazing way to explore a fuck-it-let’s-dive-into-the-deep-end type of descent (or ascension depending on your POV) for Eve. Think of how entertaining It would have been to watch her taste it and Villanelle fully (take that as you will), spiralling and fumbling into it the whole way only to realize, at some point, that it doesn’t coat her pallet very well. Then she’d need to redeem herself to herself while trying to disentangle from Villanelle. That would have been one hell of a ride. But I’m no writer and I have to trust where they’re trying to take us. I haven’t been led astray so far so…
I’m also a little disappointed in the bookended S1 and S2 finale attempted murder plots, but it gets us to a Season 3, which I think should be the last. I don’t want it going out the way of Game of Thrones. I also hope PWB is back as showrunner/head writer for S3, not that I didn’t like Emerald Fennel but come on its Pheobe Waller-Bridge.
Suzanne Heathcote is already confirmed for season three, but I hope Phoebe Waller-Bridge comes back to showrun whatever the last season ends up being.
People are gonna be annoyed at me for endlessly comparing the two lol but if you compare Hannibal S2 and Killing Eve S3 I think you’ll find there’s room for Eve to explore just that in a third act!
(I meant compare Hannibal S2 and Killing Eve S2)
@drewgregory1224 I had not read that about Suzanne Heathcote. Time to do some digging. I wonder what PWB is working on instead.
I completely understand you @clochou. I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I’m incredibly grateful for this show’s existence and I’ve been ecstatic for the ride. I just think Villanelle has rubbed off on me in that I now need and crave seeing how Eve would navigate herself in Villanelle’s world. Could you imagine the fashion and the interplay if Eve were to let go?
Yes! I mean I feel like the show is just going the longer road to making that happen :)
I somehow missed this when it was announced in March but looks like she has a new show!
My jaw’s still lying on the floor somewhere after watching the events of the finale unfold. Also, I may be going to Hell for laughing so unbearably hard during the axing scene. I mean there’s this guy getting brutally and violently whacked with an axe and I’m almost in tears from laughing so hard. This show has corrupted me.
But Eve is reacting like there’s a pigeon trapped in their apartment or like they were trying to DIY something and now there’s water spewing everywhere. It is the wackiest most domestic-feeling axe murder I’ve ever seen.
I’m glad its not over.
Anyone’s girlfriend also asking if you could focus on your sex life back now when Killing Eve is over or is it just me? Okay.
Me: please Killing Eve season finale, don’t break my heart
Killing Eve season finale:
Ugh, I cannot even post a photo! This is what this show did to me!
It’s okay, deleted_account, Killing Eve is also the HTML code we can never seem to get right
I don’t know if I can go back to will-they won’t-they storylines that don’t involve murders, it’s like seeing your first queer love story and wondering how anyone even enjoys straight rom-coms
How will I ever be convinced of the threat of minor social inconvenience now??
I have been absolutely dying (hah, pun intended) for the Autostraddle take on season two and this review did not disappoint!! I echo all these sentiments so hard. The last five minutes of the finale destroyed me emotionally for a solid 24 hours, and while i am not at all surprised to see V shot Eve (especially after the way Eve has been treating her), I would have much preferred it played out differently. Like Villanelle shooting Eve in the foot, hauling her over her shoulder, and throwing her into the backseat of a car. That would have been hilarious though and certainly would not have had the same devastating effect on my psyche. Every other inch of the finale was perfect though, imo. I truly loathe the prospect of waiting another ten months for the next installment. Thank god for fanfiction!
While I agree that scenario would’ve been hillarious to watch, I think It’d go against V’s character. Villanelle is many things, but she’d never force Eve into anything (despite, maybe, killing someone with an ax) – she had many opportunities to kidnap her or be physical with her but it never happened. She wants Eve to come willingly (ahem) with her and since she can’t have that, nobody can. The real question for me here is: Did V shoot to kill or to just severely injure, as pay back for how Eve treated her this far?
I’m fairly certain she didn’t shoot to kill – I’d guess V knows her guns well enough to be aware of the fact she shot Eve from a fair distance with a non-lethal pistol. For a shot that caliber to kill efficiently it would need to be literally shoved into Eve’s mouth or hitting her point blank in the back of the head.
ahaha oh shit that’s brand new information. good news I guess then :P
In looking at the finale overhead shot of Eve, I think Villanelle intended to give her a scar in the same area that she gave her a scar in season one. The gunshot appears to be lower left torso which is where the knife went in. If she really wanted her dead she would have done a better shot then that. I think she wanted to give her a reminder of her and not kill her.
That’s exactly what I thought, too! I found there were many plot parallels and role reversals in S1 and S2, and Villanelle shooting Eve in the same spot she’d stabbed her in would really seal that deal.
literally just finished the season and oh my god this show might be the culmination of everything i never knew i wanted in a show
how can i ever go back to other shows now
I preferred the relationship dynamic between villanelle and eve during season 1. They completely ruined season two but diving deeper into the obsession that is of their relationship. Keeping it are they gay? To a deep understanding for one another and the suspense of eve getting to villanelle was basically ruined on this season. I felt like it focused too heavily on the relationship between villanelle and eve and less on the bullshit unknown plot of the 12. I would have loved to see this kind interaction in season 3 when the main plot was delivered and I guess eves character becomes more developed. She started becoming more like villanelle but during the shoots together she never seemed like she wanted to be together which makes very smart villanelle, very stupid. I hope they keep the suspense going because unfortunately at this rate they would both have to die in order for a good ending, that or they find a common enemy.
I was going to try and sound wise and articulate (yeah ..like that’s ever gonna happen) in a response here but I think Natalie Adler sums up my feelings regarding season 2 quite well in this article
PS: I hope it is ok to share links here
I would gladly watch a couple of episodes of them living together in the Alaskan cabin