Killing Eve and Codename Villanelle author Luke Jennings recently slammed the TV shows ending and has a very good reason. Since Killing Eves series finale debuted April 17 fans have been devastated by Villanelles sudden death after successfully taking down the Twelve. No matter how many metaphors hinted at a tragedy viewers were disappointed by the shows choice to kill off Villanelle and theyre not the only ones.The TV series earned a massive following by adapting Jennings books journeying through queer romance suspense and intriguing character development. With Villanelle and Eves messy and erotically dark drama Killing Eve has proudly led a new era for queer culture on screen. However killing off one of the leading characters after their short lived moment of happiness was unsettling and punishing. In a recent op ed in the Guardian Jennings stated the series compromised Villanelles character for a conventional ending.
The last two seasons of Killing Eve emphasized Villanelles extreme existential crisis to find happiness beyond her weaponized past. Though Villanelles attempts were followed by darkness killing her off after that raised questions for many viewers. Season 4 hinted at a positive change for the character through its use of the Sun Tarot card and after Villanelle had an overdue reunion with Eve fans were convinced that there was indeed light at the end of the tunnel for the character.Jennings Villanelle was a glory seeking character. Her TV version stayed true to that spirit giving Villanelle daring outlooks and eye opening brutality as Jodie Comers vivid micro acting added another layer to the character. However Villanelles death was neither glorious nor epic. The entire series finale came off as a weakly adapted Shakespeare tragedy. Jennings argued that a happy ending would be more darkly satisfying and true to Killing Eves spirit and confirmed that he plans on bringing back Villanelle in his upcoming book.
Its possible for TV shows to change the source material for good reasons. HBOs adaptation of Liane Moriartys Big Little Lies makes a more compelling case reshaping the character of Madeline Martha Mackenzie to be contrasting and intriguing while making its central murder and investigation more ambiguous than the book. The show received overwhelming positivity when it debuted in 2017 resulting in the series extension beyond the source material. That shows finale sad but satisfying left viewers craving more. Killing Eve diverged so far from the source and its multiple unresolved storylines that it left the audience unsatisfied.
Jennings may have come out publicly against Killing Eves finale but he still maintains some respect for the TV series as a whole. In that same Guardian op ed he complimented many members of the shows cast and crew including award winning stars Comer and Sandra Oh and the first seasons writer showrunner Phoebe Waller Bridge. Jennings specifically cited Waller Bridges more faithful take on Villanelle saying Thats the Villanelle that I wrote that Phoebe turned into a screen character and that Jodie ran with so gloriously. Unfortunately viewers will have to wait for his next book to see what they hoped to see in Killing Eves finale.