'Killing Eve' Series Finale Recap: "Making Dead Things Look Nice / Hello, Losers"

 Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri, Jodie Comer as Villanelle - Killing Eve
Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri, Jodie Comer as Villanelle in 'Killing Eve' (Anika Molnar/BBCA)

Though these final two episodes of Killing Eve debuted a week apart for streaming viewers, they technically form a two-hour series finale for linear viewers. The first hour, "Making Dead Things Look Nice," certainly opens with a feeling of finality. Eve has killed Lars; her mission is accomplished. Yusuf gently points out that it's over now, but only if she wants it to be; that's her call. He can't help her. Villanelle has found her spiritual serial killer soul mate in Gunn and even gets to stay camping as she did with the Christians. Konstantin learns the Twelve recruited his daughter, Irina. At the same time, Carolyn shakes off Vlad, giving him the MI-6 agent Robert (a random Anton Lesser cameo) sent to kill her to keep tracking the leadership.

Eve: What does it matter if the cells keep dividing and it's endless?

Eve has Hélène's phone, which receives a coded message of a barn swallow that Carolyn's would-be assassin highlighted. When Eve brings it to Konstantin he confirms Carolyn's theory the bird signals the Twelve setting up a meeting. He also orders her to round up Villanelle to take with her and hands her the coordinates to Gunn's Island. Konstantin chased Pam off, where she discovered her butcher skills can feed people instead of killing them. But when Konstantin learns of Hélène's death, he realizes he's next, too late. Pam returns and assassinates Konstantin. Having killed her mentor and the only person who looked out for her, Pam agrees to take Konstantin's farewell letter to Carolyn and then dress his body nicely before leaving. 

Villanelle's romance with Gunn is also short-lived, especially when she wakes to discover Gunn treats her less like a person and more like a new possession. But when Villanelle announces she's leaving to kill the rest of the Twelve, Gunn takes that as a personal insult and stalks her new prey just as Eve arrives. Villanelle and Gunn are evenly matched, but Eve goes down faster than a sheep preyed on by a wolf. Ever resourceful, Eve bashes Gunn with a rock to the head and runs, then takes the assassin by surprise and, short of any weaponry, tears her eyes with her bare hands. Villanelle calls it amateurish, but she is impressed and starts packing. 

After not taking the Konstantin news well, Carolyn meets up with Pam and decides she could be helpful, so she takes the girl under her wing. Eve and Villanelle are waylaid by big-hearted hikers who can't bear to leave them out in the elements and read them their fortunes. Villanelle's is the Sun; Eve's Death. The pair are repaid by Villanelle and Eve stealing their campervan and taking off, heading to the Barn Swallow Pub, which turns out to be right around the corner from MI-6 HQ, and a place Eve and Bill used to frequent in Season 1. It's the romantic road trip they've always needed, complete with passionate kisses in the middle of empty roads and a van a-rocking.

Anjana Vasan as Pam - Killing Eve
(David Emery/BBCA)

Let's talk about sticking the landing.

Since the end of The Sopranos and the "Don't Stop Believing" moment, every prestige TV series is judged on how they close. Whether it's Don Draper's Coke commercial or Dexter's lumberjacking, an ending makes all the difference in how a show is perceived. Game of Thrones was a resounding triumph until Season 8 crashed and burned. Orphan Black wobbled on and off in its final season until that perfect finale. Lost is terrible because its conclusion tried to give answers; The Leftovers was perfect because it didn't

Killing Eve was never going to stick the landing in Season 4. It couldn't, because Season 4 never even knew what show it was making, let alone where the landing should be. Nothing about this final episode makes sense: Villanelle and Eve's kiss comes out of nowhere, and their sex in the van feels like fan service. And the final half of the last episode makes no sense. There's a clear desire to build up Carolyn as the Evilest One of All, but nothing about it works. The season finales of Seasons 1, 2, or 3 would have made a better ending to the series as a whole because at least those seasons understood what story they were telling.
 

Fiona Shaw as Carolyn Martens - Killing Eve
David Emery/BBCA

All four of our lead characters meet at last at the Barn Swallow Pub, but none of the Twelve are here. They've moved to a new location; a party boat called the Dixie Queen. Eve and Villanelle take off, and Eve takes over running the wedding upstairs and tearing up the dance floor, while below, Villanelle murders everyone in a party of her own. Carolyn declines to join them, taking a seat across the Thames from the MI-6 building, staring at the place she wants back, and telling Pam she can only go back if it's not empty-handed.

As she patiently waits for news of a job successfully done, faced with the MI-6, Pam decides this is not for her. Despite wanting nothing but to kill when we met her, she's discovered there's a better world and life. Or perhaps she's just smarter than Eve ever was. She's had enough and turns down Carolyn's job offer; one assumes to go back to Darren and the carnival. However, Eve and Villanelle are never going to survive this season. Yet, it's still a shock when Villanelle is taken out by a sniper and the two jump in the Thames to escape. Villanelle takes more bullets and dies, sinking to the bottom, leaving Eve alone, screaming. Back in front of MI-6, Carolyn smiles to hear it. The job (and the series) is done.

A sad, incoherent ending for a tragic, confusing season. Farewell, Killing Eve. You were good once upon a time long ago. Too bad you weren't allowed to stay that way.