Luke Jennings, who wrote Killing Eve’s original books, has revealed he isn’t happy with the ending of the BBC adaptation, which aired earlier this month.
The author, 69, admitted he was ‘taken aback’ by the way season four concluded after it was panned by fans on Twitter, who claimed they felt ‘cheated’.
Viewers watched as Jodie Comer’s enigmatic killer Villanelle was struck with a hail of bullets from a lurking gunman, just moments after it seemed she was set for a life of blissful freedom with former MI5 operative Eve Polastri, played by Sandra Oh.
‘It took me aback!’ Killing Eve book author Luke Jennings has revealed he ISN’T happy with TV series ending – after viewers claimed they felt ‘cheated’ by the ‘underwhelming’ finale (pictured in 2015)
Now Luke, behind the Codename Villanelle trilogy, has admitted ‘the final series ending took him aback’ and that he didn’t love everything by the screenwriters.
He wrote in The Guardian: ‘A truly subversive storyline would have defied the trope which sees same-sex lovers in TV dramas permitted only the most fleeting of relationships before one of them is killed off.
‘How much more darkly satisfying, and true to Killing Eve’s original spirit, for the couple to walk off into the sunset together? Spoiler alert, but that’s how it seemed to me when writing the books.’
‘I learned the outcome of the final episode in advance, and suspected, rightly, that fans would be upset. But to those fans, I would say this: Villanelle lives. And on the page, if not on the screen, she will be back.’
All over: Viewers watched as Jodie Comer’s enigmatic killer Villanelle (left) was struck with a hail of bullets from a lurking gunman (Eve Polastri, played by Sandra Oh, right)
The BBC series concluded this month after four seasons, yet fans were left disappointed by the ‘underwhelming’ storyline and also accused the show of poorly treating its LGBTQ+ characters.
It comes after the will-they-won’t-they love story and a seemingly endless body-count the final episode of Killing Eve ended with less of the expected bang and more of a disappointing splash on Sunday evening.
Viewers of the popular BBC show watched as Jodie’s enigmatic killer Villanelle met a watery end after finally overthrowing the Twelve – the group of deadly international assassins of which she was formerly a member.
Maddeningly, the unruly Russian was ready to embark on a new chapter before being struck with a hail of bullets from a lurking gunman, her body crashing into the Thames just moments after it seemed she was set for a life of blissful freedom with former MI5 operative Eve Polastri, played by American star Sandra Oh.
Touching distance: It came just moments after it seemed she was set for a life of blissful freedom with former MI5 operative Eve Touching distance
Close: Eve and Villanelle appeared to be embarking on a new life together, but viewers were left raging after their short lived relationship ended in tragedy
But many were left underwhelmed after spending the last four years watching their stuttering, unrequited love story slowly unfold – only to see happiness cruelly snatched from their grasp at the very last moment.
Venting their feelings across social media, some dismissed the two-part finale as unsatisfactory, while others slammed series four principal writer Laura Neal for her apparent poor treatment of LGBTQ+ characters.
Taking to Twitter, one raged: ‘I actually feel cheated…like i spent four years watching this show…..and that’s the conclusion??? I’m so f**king mad.’
A second added: ‘1 day has passed and I am still angry, annoyed and heartbroken!!! And a reminder that it’s all thanks to Laura Neal, the b**ch who didn’t know the show and characters at all!!!’
Devastating: Viewers of the popular BBC show watched as Jodie’s enigmatic Russian killer Villanelle was shot dead after finally overthrowing the Twelve – a group of deadly international assassins of which she was formerly a member
Horror: Sandra’s Eve quickly realised her lover was critically wounded, but it was too late to save her life
Watery end: A dying Villanelle crashed into the Thames after being struck by a bullet during Sunday evening’s finale
Alone: A desperate Eve plunged into the water with the Russian killer, but was unable to save her from a brutal end
Evidently in agreement, a third compared the ending to HBO drama Game Of Thrones – the show that sparked an online petition demanding a new ending be filmed – writing: ‘Worst ending of a show since GoT, I said what I said.’
A fourth also took aim at the final episode’s writer, adding: ‘Killing Eve had such a special place in my heart, the show was different to any other for me… but the finale was like Laura Neal pulled my heart out my chest, ripped it up and pulled killing eve out painfully and viciously forever… bit dramatic yes but what she did was too.’
Others harboured criticism of Neal’s decision to kill off Villanelle, depriving her and Eve of an opportunity to find happiness after finally expressing their feelings for one another.
Outrage: Viewers were fuming with the outcome and quickly vented their anger on social media, with many taking aim at the final episode’s screenwriter, Laura Neal
‘It’s worrying that 6 years after the issues raised by the death of Lexa that writers on TV still don’t realise the problems they cause by killing off a lesbian character for drama and also they seem oblivious to doing anything wrong and honestly that’s shameful,’ wrote one, comparing Villanelle’s death to the fate of a popular gay character in US show The 100.
A second added: ‘I thought we’d moved past this damaging trope of killing the gays in tv series. This finale just proves that show runners and writers don’t give a sh*t about their LGBTQIA+ characters or representation. It matters. Do better.’
A third wrote: They planned for Villanelle to die that way from very early on because somebody thought “oooh watery images are going to give the season a cohesive cinematic feel”. I lost track of which interview, but add it to the list of war crimes committed by the writers room.’
Bond: Eve and Villanelle’s journey finally came to an end on Sunday evening, but not everyone was satisfied with the outcome
However some fans were quick to praise the show and its two lead actresses, with one commenting: ‘These women gave us everything and we owe them so much, they delivered us brilliance where everyone else let us down. I’ll never be able to thank them enough for what they’ve done for this show and our favourite characters.’
Speaking to ELLE ahead of Sunday evening’s finale, writer Neale insisted its tragic outcome was the best option, with Villanelle’s spirit living on in Eve.
She said: ‘It was really difficult to find the best ending. The truth is we talked about loads. We were always discussing “What’s the truth of the endpoint of these characters journeys?”
Divided: Some viewers criticized its treatment of gay characters after denying Eve and Villanelle the opportunity to embark on a new life together, but Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh were both singled out for praise
‘If we look at where Eve and Villanelle began and we look at what’s happened to them across the four seasons, what’s the truth of the end point? It would have been easy for it to feel very maudlin, I think, or to go completely the other direction and make it feel too funny. So striking the right balance between the two of them felt really important.’
Comer, who became a household name as Villanelle, supported the claim – insisting her character’s death was ‘inevitable.’
‘She’s like a cat with nine lives. What I loved about the moment [she gets shot] was that was a really selfless act that she did that caused it. It felt right that in that moment she protected Eve. There was something about that shielding, I think, that signified how much she had changed.
Speaking out: Comer, who became a household name as Villanelle – has since insisted her character’s death was ‘inevitable’
‘She was trying so desperately to change at the beginning 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.’
Fans were already reeling from the brutal deaths of French killer Helene, whose throat was slashed at the hands of Villanelle, and the much-loved Konstantin Vasiliev – a show regular since the show launched in 2018.
However the scheming Carolyn Martens survives the cull, with the character – played by Fiona Shaw – set to feature in a BBC spin-off focusing on her shadowy past.
Deadly: Fans were already reeling from the brutal death of French killer Helene, whose throat was slashed at the hands of Villanelle (pictured)
Bowing out: The much-loved Konstantin Vasiliev – a show regular since the show launched in 2018 – was also killed off
A TV insider told The Sun that spy Carolyn was both a curveball and an obvious choice for the focus of a spin-off, as she will provide a different angle to continue the series.
A source said: ‘Bosses felt that Killing Eve had to come to an end but its spirit should live on in a new form, and this is the project they’re focusing their efforts on now.
‘It’s in the early stages of development and the finished series is months, if not years, away.’
Farewell: The final episode ended with Eve alone in the water, facing an uncertain future following the death of Villanelle