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Killing Eve author criticises the way they ended the series

Killing Eve stars Eve and Villanelle team up in the final episode.
Killing Eve book author Luke Jennings has revealed his ending to the cultural phenomenon. (Image credit: BBC)

*This piece contains major spoilers for the end of Killing Eve season 4*

Killing Eve book author Luke Jennings has revealed his ending to the novel series, which is strikingly different from the TV adaptation.

The long-awaited finale of Killing Eve season 4 arrived on our screens earlier this month and it was nothing short of dramatic and emotional.

Luke, who penned the book trilogy Codename Villanelle (opens in new tab), on which the series is based, has written in The Guardian (opens in new tab)on what his book ending was and opened up on his thoughts of the altered ending.

“But the season four ending was a bowing to convention. A punishing of Villanelle and Eve for the bloody, erotically impelled chaos they have caused,” he said.

“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 (Lexa’s death in The 100, immediately after sleeping with her female love interest for the first time, is another example). 

“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.”

How to watch 'Killing Eve' season 4 online. Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) from 'Killing Eve' season 4.

Luke's ending was very different to the TV adaptation. (Image credit: BBC)

In the final episode, Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is brutally shot and killed when the pair jump into the Thames together, which leaves Eve (Sandra Oh) distraught and screaming.

It’s clear that Luke appreciated the female assassin’s portrayal on-screen, just as much as the fans did, as he wrote: “When Phoebe Waller-Bridge and I first discussed Villanelle’s character five years ago, we agreed that she was defined by what Phoebe called her ‘glory’: her subversiveness, her savage power, her insistence on lovely things. 

“That’s the Villanelle that I wrote, that Phoebe turned into a screen character, and that Jodie ran with so gloriously.”

Although the catastrophic ending left viewers heartbroken, Luke made sure to reassure us with the promise that: “Villanelle lives. And on the page, if not on the screen, she will be back.”

Killing Eve aired on BBC, with episodes available to stream on iPlayer in the UK. For other locations, here's how to watch Killing Eve season 4 online anywhere in the world.

Grace Morris
Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.