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Killing Eve Season 4 Ending Explained (In Detail)


The story of Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) came to a tragic conclusion in Killing Eve season 4’s finale, which is also the definitive end of the BBC America spy series. Killing Eve season 4’s final two episodes followed up Villanelle murdering Hélène (Camille Cottin) after she found out Eve and her former boss had a fling (of sorts). Villanelle decided to escape to the Scotland island owned by Gunn (Marie-Sophie Ferdane), the assassin from The Twelve who shot Villanelle with an arrow (and didn’t kill her despite her orders from Hélène). Meanwhile, Eve’s own quest to find the leaders of The Twelve led her to discover Carolyn Marten’s (Fiona Shaw) role in their creation, while Carolyn continued her own personal mission to take down The Twelve in order to return to MI6 after she was disavowed as a traitor.

As Killing Eve season 4 systematically eliminated many of the series’ remaining characters, such as Hélène and even Konstantin (Kim Bodnia), the final batch of episodes built up to the three leads, Eve, Villanelle, and Carolyn all pursuing their agenda to destroy The Twelve. Eve realized she needed Villanelle’s help and she impressed the Russian killer in Scotland when she fought off and blinded Gunn, who was trying to kill Villanelle after their own tryst went sour. Meanwhile, Carolyn returned to the United Kingdom as a traitor but she knew she had to play both Eve and Villanelle in order to earn the clout to return to MI6. Using Hélène’s stolen phone, Eve and Villanelle knew their final destination would be a secret Twelve meeting in London. This would be the last stand of the Twelve and of Eve and Villanelle’s will-they-or-won’t-they relationship. While Eve danced after she impromptu officiated a wedding, Villanelle descended to the bowels of the ship they were aboard and massacred The Twelve (who the audience never saw).

Killing Eve was a global pop culture phenomenon in its first season when Phoebe Waller-Bridge created the series and served as its first showrunner in 2018. The audience’s reaction to the next couple of seasons, which were exclusively led by female showrunners Emerald Fennell and Suzanne Heathcote, wasn’t as warm as it was for Killing Eve season 1. Showrunner Laura Neal had the daunting task of bringing the entire series to a satisfying conclusion in Killing Eve season 4. After a bumpy start involving Villanelle seeing visions of herself as Jesus Christ, Killing Eve season 4 proved to be the strongest overall since that widely-praised original season. But the ending of Killing Eve – while resonant and logical in its key decisions – may understandably leave many viewers unhappy. Then again, Killing Eve was always a disruptor and it was never intended as comfort food television. There’s no denying that Killing Eve season 4 certainly leaves viewers with a lot to process.


Why Carolyn Ordered Villanelle’s Death And How She Won

Villanelle died at the end of Killing Eve season 4, with an unseen assassin firing multiple shots at her after she killed everyone in The Twelve. Even after Villanelle and Eve plunged into the River Thames, the gunman kept firing and repeatedly hit Villanelle until she was dead. Like James Bond (Daniel Craig)’s death in No Time To Die, Villanelle perished at the end of her story after finally (but briefly) experiencing truly happy moments with Eve, the person she loved. In a beautiful visual callback to her baptism at the start of Killing Eve season 4, Villanelle’s blood formed the image of an angel’s wings as her corpse floated in the water and Eve tried to swim to reach her.

It was Carolyn who ordered Villanelle’s death. Villanelle and Eve met up with Carolyn and Pam (Anjana Vasan) for the final time at the MI6’s London pub and Eve made her intentions to kill the Twelve at their secret meeting clear. Ever the opportunist, Carolyn saw her chance to use Polastri and Villanelle as her ticket back to MI6, and Martens probably made her final decision later in the finale as she and Pam sat across the River Thames from the British secret service’s headquarters. The elimination of The Twelve – and everyone associated with them, including Villanelle – was Carolyn’s passage back to be avowed by MI6. So even though Eve achieved her goal of killing The Twelve, thanks to Villanelle doing the dirty deed, it was Carolyn who played everyone and came out winning in the end.


Villanelle And Eve’s Perfect Day Set Up Their Tragic Ending

After escaping Gunn’s Scotland island, Eve and Villanelle had a journey to London together that finally crystallized their relationship. Eve confessed that she came “to be with” Villanelle along with Polastri needing her help to kill The Twelve but, for Villanelle, it was enough of a mea culpa for Eve’s tryst with Hélène. Plus Eve blinded Gunn, which impressed the Russian and proved to her that Eve was really a lot more like her deep down than she cared to admit. Slowly, Villanelle and Eve warmed up to each other again as they road-tripped across the UK. For Villanelle, it was exactly what she wanted from Eve. During her ‘therapy’ in Killing Eve season 4, episode 3, Villanelle said that what she wanted from Eve was to share in the mundane, everyday things most people find boring but Villanelle finds “fascinating because it’s Eve.”

After resisting Villanelle ever since they parted at the end of Killing Eve season 3, Eve also finally gave in to her desire to be with Villanelle. For the first time, they acted like a couple and it was perfect. Yet, this is Killing Eve, and those happy moments had an ominous cloud of disaster to come, which Killing Eve’s finale foretold after Eve had her tarot read and she received the Death card. But for the audience, who waited four seasons to see Eve and Villanelle actually together and behaving like it, their road trip was sparkling and fulfilled their irresistible chemistry since Killing Eve season 1. It was never going to end happily for Eve and Villanelle’s love story but they got to be together in ways they always hoped, and they saw that their relationship could have indeed worked in their own unique, oddball way.


Carolyn Always Knew Who Killed Kenny

Killing Eve never formally answered who killed Kenny Stowton (Sean Delaney) at the start of season 3 but, as Eve told her, Carolyn always knew whodunit. No one formally killed Kenny, in truth, but The Twelve would have ultimately had him murdered. Unfortunately, when Konstantin told Kenny he was in danger of being assassinated, Kenny stepped backward and fell off the roof of the Bitter Pill building to his death. On some level, Carolyn knew Kenny’s death was a tragic accident but she used her desire to find out who ‘gave the order’ as her rationale to take down The Twelve. Revenge for her son was a convenient reason to pursue The Twelve, especially after MI6 disavowed her.

But, as Killing Eve season 4’s flashback revealed, Carolyn was always complicit because she was part of the formation of The Twelve in 1979. As a young spy, Carolyn (Imogen Daines) was intertwined with The Twelve’s original leadership, although most of them were dead or retired and The Twelve became a different entity during the events of Killing Eve. But for Carolyn, there is no life beyond being a spy, and her devotion to the British secret service cost Martens her son, who is dead, and her daughter, Geraldine (Gemma Whelan), who she is estranged from. Martens had to return to MI6 and keep her secrets of how she helped create and then used Eve and Villanelle to destroy The Twelve with her. Yet it does feel like so much of Killing Eve season 4 was really just a set-up for Carolyn’s planned spinoff.


Why Konstantin Also Had To Die (It Was Time)

Pam murdered Konstantin Vasiliev on Hélène’s orders but, in a comedy of errors worthy of Konstantin, she didn’t really need to because Hélène was already dead, which Pam didn’t know when she killed her teacher and father-figure in the neck. However, even Konstantin was surprised he was still alive so late into Killing Eve season 4. Truthfully, Villanelle’s handler outlived his usefulness to The Twelve (and to the series overall) long ago but it was a testament to Konstantin’s popularity and Kim Bodnia’s reliably enjoyable performance that Vasiliev lived as long as he did.

Fittingly, Konstantin was killed by a Twelve assassin he trained, since there was always the lingering impression he would die by Villanelle’s hand. For viewers who enjoy Konstantin and Villanelle’s strange father-daughter dynamic, there’s also the consolation prize that he and Villanelle were able to reunite and ‘hug it out.’ In a way, Konstantin did his job ‘properly’ because Pam ultimately rejected a job offer from Carolyn and the life of an assassin. This broke the cycle of a young girl being recruited by The Twelve to become a killer. Sadly, Konstantin leaves behind his troubled daughter, Irina (Yuli Lagodinsky), who doesn’t know of her father’s fate or that Villanelle, her frenemy, is also dead at the end of Killing Eve. At least, through Pam, Konstantin got to tell Carolyn he always loved her after Killing Eve season 4’s flashbacks showed how they became lovers in 1979 Berlin when they helped co-found The Twelve as rival undercover spies.


How Killing Eve Proved The Show’s Title

In spite of Eve receiving the Death tarot card, which was a misdirect, Killing Eve ultimately fulfilled its cryptic title. “Killing Eve” was never meant to be literal. Rather, the series was always about the metaphorical death of who Eve was when the series began. Polastri was married to Niko (Owen McDonnell) and living a humdrum life but there was always “a monster” inside of her that was encouraged to be released when she became obsessed with Villanelle. Killing Eve was always about Eve’s transformation into the person she truly is, which was finally complete by the time Polastri was dancing at the wedding while Villanelle was killing The Twelve in the lower decks of the ship. Losing Villanelle for good in the Thames, in the shadow of the Tower Bridge where they decided to part at the end of Killing Eve season 3, was the last step of ‘killing Eve’. When Eve lost Villanelle and she rose to the surface of the Thames to scream in anguish, it was her own baptism that echoed Villanelle’s baptism at the start of Killing Eve season 4.

What happens to Eve next isn’t clear but she survived the series, which feels correct, even though Villanelle met her end. Eve’s growth and metamorphosis, with all of the dark and sordid moments that came with it, was the true point of Killing Eve. Season 4 hammered this home with Eve’s flashbacks of her old friends like Elena (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and especially her beloved Bill (David Haig), who Villanelle remembers she killed in Berlin. Eve has completely changed since Killing Eve season 1 and her future is a question the series purposely leaves open to interpretation.


Will Killing Eve Season 5 Ever Happen?

Killing Eve announced a prequel about Carolyn is in development, and there may be more spinoffs to follow (but about who isn’t clear because, honestly, what main characters are left?). However, the main Killing Eve series is definitively over. Killing Eve’s producers and stars, Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, are moving on from their iconic roles, and there are no plans for season 5 or even a Killing Eve movie. Villanelle’s death precludes any continuation since there’s no Killing Eve without both Eve and Villanelle at its center.

However, with so many movies and TV properties receiving reboots and revivals, it’s not entirely out of the question that Killing Eve could return one day. Even Villanelle’s death could potentially be walked back and she could have miraculously survived her gunshots and drowning. A happy ending for Eve and Villanelle was realistically never in the (tarot) cards. Yet, however one feels about Killing Eve season 4’s final moments, it was the best overall season of the show since Killing Eve season 1, and it’s worth relishing the unpredictable and alluring journey Eve and Villanelle took us on to the end.

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