The final scene Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh filmed on Killing Eve was actually Eve and Villanelle’s final moments.
BuzzFeed / Anika Molnar / BBC America
There are massive — and I mean, MASSIVE — spoilers ahead for Killing Eve Season 4 and the series finale.
1. First, Killing Eve Season 4 showrunner Laura Neal called it a “huge privilege” to be “woman number four in a line of amazing female lead writers,” and she was a huge fan of everything Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Emerald Fennell, and Suzanne Heathcote did in the previous three seasons.
Claire Rothstein / BBC America
“I’ve been such a fan of Phoebe’s work, Emerald’s work, and of Suzanne’s. I think each season has its own distinct flavor. I just feel really privileged to be the last in the line,” Laura said.
2. In terms of if Laura had any discussions with Phoebe, Emerald, and/or Suzanne about how to end the series, Laura said she and the writers were given “total freedom to do whatever [they] wanted with it.”
Anika Molnar / BBC America
“Phoebe’s an executive producer on the show still and she’s really involved. She made it really clear to me that she was on hand. So that was really nice,” Laura began. “But in terms of having discussions with the previous writers about how this season would play out, I was given total freedom to do whatever I wanted with it, which was really nice. It was a huge responsibility, but just really exciting.”
3. Season 4 notably picked up with a little time jump after the Season 3 bridge moment between Eve and Villanelle, but the writers did think about a direct pickup. Ultimately, it was more exciting to see Eve and Villanelle in “different emotional places, and letting the audience play catch-up about what happened between the bridge and the start of Season 4.”
“I wanted to, especially with Villanelle, I wanted to have accelerated her growth,” Laura explained. “She says on the bridge, ‘I want this all to stop’ and that she wants to change. I wanted to accelerate the story into a place where she thinks she’s found that and then, obviously, watch that disintegrate in front of our eyes. That felt fun for me to sort of see Villanelle in a new environment. Then, equally with Eve, accelerating her descent into the darkness, I suppose. I enjoyed the idea of hitting the ground running at the start of Season 4.”
4. There were a lot of discussions about how much to have Eve and Villanelle together during Season 4, since a lot of the most beloved moments are when they finally reunite. Laura said it was about striking the correct balance “because you have to earn those moments” for them to still feel electric.
Anika Molnar / BBC America
“Watching those two actors on screen together and those two characters on screen together is when the show is at its most electric,” Laura began. “They’re the moments as a viewer that I live for. But also, it’s such a balance because you have to earn those moments. If there’s too much of it, it’s almost like the balloon pops. We had to really weigh up, across the season, how much time we were spending with those two characters on screen together.”
5. So, when discussing the series finale, the writers knew Eve and Villanelle had to spend a lot of time together, especially because it was “the end of this relationship.”
Olly Courtney / BBC America
Laura explained, “I think when we came to discuss Episode 8, and we knew this was going to be the final episode, and we knew this was the end of this relationship, it was almost like I just wanted to have my fill of Eve and Villanelle scenes. This was the last time we could ever see these characters interact, and we wanted to make sure that it felt joyful and playful as well. It wasn’t just the tragedy of the ending. We had some time to enjoy the two of them together and have fun with them before that happened.”
6. Konstantin and Villanelle’s goodbye in Season 4, Episode 5 was an unscripted moment between Kim Bodnia and Jodie Comer. Nothing was written for the scene and the duo just “played around with it,” until they found something that worked.
“Kim and Jodie did so many takes of that. I actually didn’t really write that goodbye because I knew that Jodie and Kim wanted to play around with it,” Laura said. “I sort of wrote just an outline for that scene and then they just tried lots of different versions on the day. I think that one just works so brilliantly.”
7. And Villanelle and Eve’s curly fries dinner at a rest stop was another unscripted moment, where Laura gave Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer an outline and they were just allowed to have fun with the scene.
She explained, “When they eat the curly fries, that was a scene where they played around loads with that bit. I think they really enjoyed doing that and I was happy to let them experiment. I think probably Episode 8 has got quite a lot of just Jodie and Sandra playing and having fun together.”
8. Villanelle and Eve’s sleeping bag moment in the series finale is a deliberate reference to their bed moment during the Season 1 finale. Laura said that moment was “directed to perfection” and having it mirror the Season 1 finale was “really conscious.”
9. Also, Eve and Villanelle’s final scene being at Tower Bridge was deliberate too. Laura, who wrote the Season 3 finale, wanted to take these characters back to a bridge, and it ended up being a very “personal” nod for her as well.
Laura said, “Referencing that again felt really special to me because that scene at the end of Season 3, Episode 8 was one of my favorite ones too. So that was just a personal moment of taking Eve and Villanelle back to that location.”
10. Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh filmed one take of Villanelle and Eve’s long-awaited kiss on the side of the road during the series finale, and it was, understandably, a very special moment for the duo.
“It was really emotional actually discussing that scene, writing it, and filming it. I think it was a one-take one and it was just so electric watching that scene be filmed. I think it was like, We don’t need another one. That’s the one,” Laura said. “I think it felt really special to Sandra and Jodie on the day too, because it felt like such a long time coming. To finally have them come together, that just feels like such a huge moment in the history of the show.”
11. And everyone on set nicknamed Eve and Villanelle’s big kiss the “piss kiss,” and they loved how this massive moment came during such an “understated” moment.
“We call it the ‘piss kiss.’ This kiss directly after the piss,” Laura said. “I love how understated it is as well. I love that they’re just on this grubby roadside and not in a grand moment. It feels kind of like the true spirit of the show.”
12. The last scene Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh filmed for Killing Eve was the moment underwater after Villanelle has been shot and Eve is reaching out to her. Of course, it was “really, really emotional” and there were “quite a lot of tears” on set.
Laura recalled being on set, saying, “Their final scene that we shot in the whole show was also the final scene of the story, which I think hardly ever happens. So that felt really special. It was a night shoot and we were at the water tank doing it. It was both emotionally draining and physically draining for both of them. It felt really, really emotional. It was the end of a long shoot and everyone had worked so hard to get to that moment. There was such an energy on set that day and quite a lot of tears when it was all over. It was very surreal watching that underwater stuff get shot and knowing it was Jodie and Sandra’s final moments together.”
13. Laura said Jodie Comer was involved in discussions about Villanelle’s ending “from the very beginning of planning Season 4” and she was involved in “every single iteration of the ending” and it was a “hard” decision to decide to kill Villanelle at the very end.
“Jodie was involved in the conversations. We were talking about the ending, right from the very beginning of planning Season 4. She was involved all the way through. She’s been across every single iteration of the ending. It was hard to decide to have Villanelle die at the end because I love Villanelle so much. She’s such a joy and such an aspirational character, even though she shouldn’t be.”
14. For Laura and the writers, the decision to kill Villanelle felt “true to her journey and the place that we found her in at the start of Season 4, and the place she ends up at the end.” She said, “It felt sort of the only way we could finish Villanelle’s story, truthfully.” And they liked the idea of Villanelle’s last act being one that saves Eve, which might not have been something Season 1 Villanelle would’ve done.
Laura continued, saying, “The one thing that we felt really sure about is that we wanted her death not to feel morbid, we wanted it to feel triumphant in some way. We liked the idea that in death, Villanelle achieves what she wanted at the start of the season, which was change. We see her rush Eve into the water and that act saves Eve. I think that’s a huge moment of triumph for Villanelle and not something that we would ever have thought the Villanelle of Season 1 would’ve been able to achieve.”
15. Yes, there were conversations about whether or not the series should end with Villanelle and Eve simply living a happy life together and we would see a domestic version of this couple. The writers decided to end their story tragically because they felt that “their happy ending wouldn’t last very long,” given Villanelle’s psychopathic nature and Eve being drawn to that lifestyle too.
“We discussed all iterations of an ending and there was definitely an ending where we were like, ‘Should we give them a happy ending? What would that look like if they ran off into the sunset together?’ We talked about if we wanted to end it with us seeing domestic Villanelle and Eve, like eating pizza together on the sofa. I think we decided that that happy ending just wouldn’t last very long,” Laura said. “In reality, you’re there with a psychopath and somebody who’s dipped her toe in that world during the last four seasons. It just felt like this was the kind of relationship that was always gonna burn brightly and then combust, rather than one that could settle into something more domestic. That was the decision behind that. I’d rather see them go out in kind of a ‘blaze of glory’ than do anything normal people would do.”
16. And the domestic moments between Villanelle and Eve that we see during the series finale — sharing a sleeping bag together, doing dishes, going on a road trip — were born out of the writers’ “desire to play around” with what a settled down version of this couple would look like before it all ends.
“That was a deliberate decision that came out of the discussion about the domestic life between Eve and Villanelle,” Laura began. “There was a desire to play around with it a bit. So, those moments are a lot of, Look, guys, here’s what it would be like to have Eve and Villanelle set up home together. The joy of them is they get to take us out of our domestic lives. We get to live out our darker fantasies through them. It felt like we had to continue that right to the end.”
17. At one point, the series finale almost ended with Eve coming out of the water and “the return of the Villanelle vision from Episode 1. So there was a sense that she had transcended and was existing elsewhere.”
Speaking about why this moment was cut from the very end, Laura said, “I think you kind of get that feeling in the way the moment is shot. It felt extraneous at the end, but a little bit of me mourns the loss of that scene. We never even filmed it.”
18. And Eve’s final scenes — between dancing and coming up out of the water — were meant to symbolize a “rebirth” for the character.
Olly Courtney / BBC America
“It felt like the start of that rebirth had to happen slightly before the moment when she comes out of the water, and I think it actually happens when she’s dancing,” Laura said. “There was a sort of moment where Eve ends up choosing life, even before she’s come up from beneath the water. That just feels really poignant to me.”
19. While Villanelle is the only one to take down The Twelve during the series finale, there was a version where Eve and Villanelle did it together. In the end, Eve was left out of the attack because Sandra Oh believed that although Eve has killed people, she still wouldn’t “conduct a kind of massacre.”
Laura remembered the conversations with Sandra and the decision to leave Eve out of the massacre, saying, “We had a lot of conversations with Sandra about it, actually, and the change came from those conversations. We were talking about whether Eve could really, really, really truly conduct a kind of massacre. Even though she knows these people are bad people and whether that was true to her nature deep down, and it just felt like a stretch. It felt like something we wanted to see because it’s cool, but it wasn’t emotionally truthful.”
20. The karaoke moment in Episode 7, when Eve envisions Bill, Elena, and all the people she’s lost and said goodbye to, was actually created using footage from Season 1. So, none of those actors were actually on set.
“That was footage we had from Season 1. So they all didn’t come back onto set. I mean, I would’ve LOVED that, but it would have been hard in COVID times,” Laura explained. “We were really lucky we had that footage and it was really clever editing. Stella [Corradi] did a really good job directing that scene and it was just a coming together of various footage to make that moment.”
21. Laura always knew she wanted to try and bring Bill back in some way, since his death really set Eve on the course she ends up on and Bill’s death is still one of the best (and most shocking) Villanelle kills of the entire series.
“We were always obsessed with Bill. I loved that character so much and then also, Bill’s death is one of my all-time favorite deaths on Killing Eve. I think it’s such a good murder from Villanelle and then I reference it again in Episode 8,” Laura said. “It was amazing to be able to see him again. I think it feels appropriate for Eve to kind of weigh up what she’s lost on this journey during that moment. Obviously, Bill was the start of it. He was the first thing she lost and then of all the many losses at Villanelle’s hands that have come afterwards. It just felt really appropriate to see him there.”
22. The final season also featured us learning more about Carolyn, and Fiona Shaw loved taking Carolyn from a smaller character in Season 1 to someone whose journey we are invested in alongside Eve and Villanelle.
Anika Molnar / BBC America
“It was such a joy to work with Fiona. I am, like, Fiona’s number one fan,” Laura said. “She’s always really up for having discussions about Carolyn. She’s a joy to collaborate with as well. Carolyn didn’t start as a major protagonist, but I think she’s really grown into that over the course of four seasons. I feel as invested in her journey as I do with Eve and Villanelle’s. It felt really right to have her entwined in the finale.”
23. Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw “requested” to have scenes together in the final season, since they’d not really shared any before. The writers loved showing how similar Villanelle and Carolyn actually are.
“I think it was Jodie and Fiona being like, ‘We want to do more stuff together,’ and then us as writers wanting to see it too,” Laura said. “There’s a thread that really links them. I think of all the characters that are similar, Villanelle and Carolyn probably have the most similarities of everybody. It was really exciting for us to put those two characters, whose moral compasses are so skewed, together and see them interact and see them have fun. I could watch all of their scenes together over and over again.”
24. During the series finale, the writers wanted to give the “illusion” that Carolyn might finally retire and settle down, which makes her betrayal at the very end — and us seeing her on the bridge following Villanelle’s death — all the more painful.
Laura explained Carolyn’s final scenes, saying, “What I love about Carolyn is that just when you think you know her, you’re surprised. Just when you think you’ve got a grip on her, something shifts, and you realize that she’s been 10 steps ahead the whole time. We really wanted to make sure that she was unknowable and unpredictable to the end. It gave the illusion that she might retire and settle down now and give this game up, and then you realize that she wants to say ‘I’ve won’ at the end of it and that’s what’s the most important thing for her. Loyalty really doesn’t matter to her in that sense.”
25. Also, the scene when Carolyn and Villanelle have a “chummy” moment in the pub was used to make Carolyn’s final moment all the more hurtful.
“Carolyn and Villanelle have this really chummy moment in the pub, and Carolyn says to Villanelle, ‘I owe you a dare.’ It made you think there was a tie between the two of them, like an unbreakable bond, then of course, Carolyn breaks it,” Laura said. “It’s a real betrayal at the end, but then that’s Carolyn.”
26. Konstantin’s death in Season 4, Episode 7 came after the writers discussed wanting this character to have a moment he couldn’t “wriggle” out of.
Anika Molnar / BBC America
Laura said, “We were so conflicted because, as a writer, I love writing Konstantin and we love Kim [Bodnia] as an actor. He’s always such a joy to work with, so even in the writers room, we were like, ‘Can we kill him? Do we really want to?’ As a character, we always talked about him as being like a cockroach, like he always manages to sort of survive everything that’s thrown at him. He’s such a self-serving character that he always acts in his best interest and then he ends up wriggling out of things. We really wanted him to have his moment where he can’t wriggle out and we see him cornered and a situation that he can’t get out of.”
27. There were a lot of different versions of Konstantin’s demise and conversations about whether Villanelle or Carolyn would kill him in the end, but ultimately they loved the idea of Pam being the one to do it and having it be this new assassin he’s started to have a soft spot for. The pizza cutter was also used to give Konstantin’s death something that felt “suitably ridiculous and surreal for a character that’s given us so much humor.”
“We spoke about all different versions of his ending and his demise. We wanted to make it feel emotional and we loved this relationship that he’s developed with Pam and the fact that she’s the one to do it,” Laura said. “We spoke about should it be Villanelle? Should it be Carolyn? We spoke about various different iterations of who would be the one to kill him. I think it felt really lovely — in a dark, evil way — that it was Pam because Pam has been so instrumental in Konstantin’s emotional growth in Season 4. He started her journey as an assassin, so to then have her come back and punish him for that by killing him felt very appropriate.”
28. Since Killing Eve was such a global series, filming during the coronavirus pandemic presented some new challenges. For example, they weren’t allowed to travel outside of the UK as much, so the greater London area was used to create some of the more exotic locations during Season 4.
Anika Molnar / BBC America
“We didn’t want people to watch Season 4 and go, ‘Oh, that was the season that was filmed during COVID.’ I’m really delighted that it feels congruent with the other seasons. I mean, it was tricky,” Laura said. “The truth is that we really couldn’t go abroad like we normally do. We had to find creative solutions. All of the crew, the heads of departments, and the production team were incredible at solving some of these things for us. We created locations in Margate, for example. Lots of it is filmed within the M25 [greater London area], but you would never know it. It was really impressive to watch people problem solve in that really difficult period of times where everyone was shooting during COVID.”
29. And finally, Laura’s favorite moment from Season 4 is the tarot card reading during the series finale. She explained that it was so much fun to write and features some of Jodie Comer’s best comedic acting.
“I love when Villanelle says, ‘Don’t shove the sun,’ that was probably my favorite line to write in that episode,” Laura said. “I just think that Jodie delivers that so perfectly. Also, Villanelle’s tap on the shoulder when Eve gets the death card. It’s just a perfect, subtle, Jodie Comer comedic moment. That scene is so fun between Villanelle and Eve. I loved writing that scene and I think they perform it so brilliantly.”
Killing Eve Season 4 is streaming now on BBC America and AMC+. And you can catch up on previous seasons on Hulu.
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