Warning: the following article contains spoilers for the Killing Eve season 4 finale.
Eve actor Sandra Oh reveals the original ending that was planned for the Killing Eve season 4 finale. Based on the Codename: Villanelle book by Luke Jennings and first airing in 2018, the critically acclaimed Killing Eve ran for four seasons before ultimately concluding last month. The show tells the story of Eve, a bored, desk-bound MI6 spy, who plays a deadly game of cat and mouse with Villanelle (Jodie Comer), a ruthless assassin. Over the course of the show, both Eve and Villanelle become obsessed with each other and develop a tumultuous romantic relationship.
The show’s fourth season, which saw middling reviews from critics and has one of the most fan-hated final episodes since Game of Thrones, ends with Villanelle being unceremoniously gunned down after she and Eve infiltrate and destroy The Twelve, a clandestine group responsible for countless deaths around the globe. The final moments of the show see Villanelle’s body sinking into the depths of the Thames as Eve surfaces and screams into the sky in despair. The Killing Eve finale saw considerable backlash online from fans and even Jennings expressed disappointment in how the show concluded.
In a new interview with TVLine, Oh reveals that the Killing Eve season 4 finale was originally going to end very differently. “I was like, ‘You should kill my character,'” says Oh, who expressed that killing Eve “would be the strongest and most interesting” ending for the show. “I felt, emotionally, it was the right place of where I was at,” the actor explains. Oh justifies the decision, stating that, at the end of season 3, “Eve was starting to get into, like, a nihilistic place, and we’re like, ‘Let’s just continue that line and go straight into it.’”
While the ending to the show already caused controversy with fans who felt cheated by Villanelle’s swift death, it’s likely that killing Oh’s character wouldn’t have gone over well either. Killing Eve Lead Writer Laura Neal was on board with Oh’s idea until the pandemic shut down production and caused a re-think regarding the show’s ending. The decision was then made to let Oh’s Eve live. “Eve is the way into this world. She’s our everywoman. So it’s kind of really super depressing if she dies,” Oh explains. While Villanelle was always flamboyant and somewhat psychopathic in some ways, Eve was always the character that the audience most identified with. Comer seemed to like the change in direction, with Oh explaining that she was “very much on board” with Eve surviving the events of the show.
It’s unclear if, in this alternate ending, Villanelle would also die alongside Eve but that certainly seems likely given the “doomed lovers” theme of the show. Villanelle was a fan-favorite character for her humor and lightheartedness in the face of such extreme violence and it’s understandable that many fans were upset at her death. If Eve had died as well, it’s possible that the Killing Eve finale would have been even more hated than it already seems to be.