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Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh Explain How She Killed Eva’s Shocking Series Finale

Spoilers for the Killing Eve finale below.

So now you know: the antihero dies at the end. In the series finale of Killing Eve, Villanelle, played with chaotic fervor by Jodie Comer, met her end in the watery depths of the Thames after executing the members of the Twelve aboard the Dixie Queen. But this bittersweet conclusion wasn’t always where the beloved series went. The writers, producers and actors even discussed numerous possibilities for Killing Eve’s final moments, including an ending where Sandra Oh’s Eve and Villanelle jumped off a cliff in the style of Thelma & Louise.

“It was really hard to find the best ending,” Laura Neal, Season 4 lead writer, admitted in a conversation with ahead of the finale airing. “The truth is, we’ve been talking about loads. We used to talk about ‘What’s the truth about the end point of these character journeys?’ If we look at where Eve and Villanelle started and we look at what happened to them over the four seasons, what is the truth of the ending? It would have been easy to feel really wacky, I guess, or to go completely the other way and make it feel too funny. So finding the right balance between those two felt really important.”

“I think it fits with this show,” Oh adds at the end, in which Eve is left alone in the river, gasping for air and screaming before the screen goes black. “As an audience you want to be satisfied. You want to know. Such as: ‘I want to be satisfied. I want it tied in a bow. I want to understand.’ But that’s not it.”

In the end, the writers decided to set the finale on the Thames, right under Tower Bridge, where Eve and Villanelle met in the final episode of Season 3. The Dixie Queen is a real boat moored nearby and it took about an hour and a half. week to complete the final sequence, in which Villanelle and Eve infiltrate a wedding on the boat to find a secret meeting of the Twelve. The production was even able to lift Tower Bridge especially for the scene, which Neal still finds incredible. The underwater scenes were shot in a tank, but the show’s farewell scene, with Villanelle urging Eve to get off the boat while being shot at at the behest of Carolyn (Fiona Shaw), was the last thing the Killing Eve team ever got. filmed .

Villanelle (Comer) and Eve (Oh) hug in their final moments together.

Olly Courtney/BBCA

“What was really surreal was that the last shot we did was Villanelle’s last shot ever,” Comer recalls. “So that was weird because once I did that, it was done. There was something about finishing that last photo of her that was, in a way, perfect. But it was weird. It was really weird! What was great was that Sandra and I were together that whole week last week, so we got to experience that together with the crew.”

For Comer, Villanelle’s death felt tonally and thematically right with the character. After seeing her struggle over the course of Season 4, trying to do the right thing and then falling back into old (homicidal) habits, it was time for Villanelle’s story to come to a rightful end.

“It was inevitable,” Comer confirms. “She’s like a cat with nine lives. What I loved about the moment was that it was a really selfless act she did that caused it. It felt good that she was protecting Eva in that moment. There was something about that shielding, I think, that indicated how much she had changed. She tried so desperately in the beginning to change and I don’t think she ever realized how much she had, which is so sad. That moment really shows how Eve changed her life.”

Because Oh, it may not have been the “right” ending, but it was the best possible version of an ending, thematically and emotionally.

“I loved the sequence on the boat where we crossed paths between Eve dancing on the top deck and full of life and Villanelle below killing the Twelve,” Oh explains. “We see the essence of the characters. And we’re holding Villanelle as she dances Eve and it’s emotional for her. I believe this is a moment of understanding for [Villanelle]† Because in the moment after we see how [Villanelle] is changed. She saves Eve. Villanelle had to die to bring the show to an end. In all fairness it was the other way around at the beginning of 2020 when discussing the final, but the pandemic has changed us course. Villanelle moves into more ethereal realms. And Eva stays behind to survive.”

sandra oh as eve polastri murder night season 4 episode 8 olly courtneybbca

Olly Courtney/BBCA

jodie comer as villanelle killing eve season 4 episode 8 olly courtneybbca

Olly Courtney/BBCA

Neal doesn’t think Villanelle’s death is tragic either. For her, the character has simply ascended to a new level of existence — a statement that may help fans feel less angry about the finale. Villanelle’s body floating in the Thames was also an opportunity for Eve to finally put the couple’s obsessive, troubled relationship behind her.

“I think the reason we killed Villanelle was because we wanted to give Eve a new lease of life,” explains Neal. “For Eve, the moment she burst out of the water was always something we had from the very first replays of the end. We really loved that Villanelle died to save Eve. And I think there is still a remnant of it in the final version. That felt very poignant to us and it spoke of how far Villanelle has come in her journey, that she can do this last act and it’s for someone and it’s kind of a selfless act. So it is not so much an end for her, but a kind of transcendence. In my mind, that’s not Villanelle’s death. That is the elevation of Villanelle to another realm. We’ve talked a lot about her being too big for this world, as if the world couldn’t contain Villanelle. We wanted to inject that spirit at that time as well.”

“In my mind, that’s not Villanelle’s death. That is the elevation of Villanelle to another realm.”

The closing image, of Eve emerging from the surface of the Thames, screaming in a combination of pain, anger, sadness and freedom, was essential to getting the finale right. Neal and director Stella Corradi spent a long time in the editing room to ensure that the moment had maximum impact. Oh still wonders how the scene will land, but she feels it’s good for Eva and for the show.

“The last shot of Eva in the water crying to the world was actually the last shot I filmed,” recalls Oh. “We were under time pressure, we had camera problems and they called the day. It felt ambiguous. I didn’t know if I got it. It was a very emotional day. I think one of the special things about the show is – hopefully – how satisfying it is not to get what you want neatly tied up in a bow. It was never neat between the characters, so the ending of Eve leaves us wondering, how does she go on?”

According to the writers and producers, the finale is the definitive end of Killing Eve. There are no plans for a reboot or spin-off (as of now). Speaking on the set of the show in October, executive producer Gina Mingacci confirmed: “This is the end. This is the end of the line. I think everyone is very happy with how it’s going to end, at least on this side. .” But that doesn’t mean Eve and Villanelle won’t live on in the minds of fans.

“I hope when ‘The End’ comes out [viewers] think Eve will go on and have this great life,” says Neal. ‘She escaped. Caroline thinks she’s dead. She can have the life she wants to live now. In my head she is going to take everything Villanelle has given her into this new version of her life. And Villanelle will live on in Eva.”

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