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Killing Eve Series Finale Ending Explained

The BBC's critically acclaimed spy drama "Killing Eve" came to an end on April 10, 2022, when its fourth and final season concluded with a literal bang. During those four seasons, MI6 agant Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and glamorous assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) have played a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Ultimately, "Killing Eve" is a tragic love story about two people who are inextricably linked. Since the very beginning of the series, Eve and Villanelle have been like two magnets, equally attracted to and repelled by each other. Whether they can be together is a major question driving the series. 

Season 4 begins with Eve and Villanelle as far apart as possible. Eve has acknowledged that Villanelle brings out the worst in her, and rejects all of Villanelle's overtures to meet. Instead, Eve is singularly focused on pursuing The Twelve, the shadowy cabal that employs Villanelle and other assassins. Villanelle, meanwhile, is trying once again to leave her assassin career behind by discovering religion.

Villanelle's situation doesn't last. She reverts to her murderous ways, and the Twelve force her to resume her employment. Eve spends much of the season pursuing both The Twelve and Villanelle, even having Villanelle arrested at one point. Things change when a Twelve assassin named Gunn (Marie-Sophie Ferdane) shoots Villanelle in front of Eve. This makes them realize they need each other.

In the end, Eve and Villanelle team up to take down The Twelve. But like any good tragic love story, this one doesn't have a happy ending for anyone involved.

Konstantin's bittersweet exit

The story of Eve and Villanelle is what fuels the series, but the story of Konstantin Vasiliev (Kim Bodina) also gets major screen time, and it mirrors what happens to Eve and Villanelle.

Konstantin is Villanelle's handler, a former Russian intelligence officer who works for The Twelve. He taught Villanelle everything she knows. He's very much a father figure to Villanelle, but their relationship has always been tainted by the simple fact that training someone to kill mercilessly is an inherently dehumanizing thing to do.

Konstantin's conflict has always been between his kind paternal urges and the ruthless necessity of his job. This plays out not only in his relationship with Villanelle, but with other young women in his life. He tries to shield his daughter Irina (Yuli Lagodinsky) from his true self, but she develops homicidal tendencies. During Season 4, Konstantin takes on yet another protegee, Pam (Anjana Vasan). He wants to help her escape from an abusive home life, but the only way to help her is to also train her to be a psychopathic killer.

In Episode 7, "Making Dead Things Look Nice," the Twelve order Pam to kill Konstantin, and she complies. Despite his best intentions, Konstantin is unable to escape the cycle he's created, and he pays the ultimate price. In his final moment, he tells Pam how proud he is of her, and she slits his throat with a pizza cutter–a moment both sweet and brutal. Then, after killing her mentor, Pam does take the time to tidy up his corpse, echoing the episode's title. 

Carolyn puts her career above all else

Carolyn Martens' (Fiona Shaw) story arc also reaches its endpoint in the series finale. Carolyn is the enigmatic MI6 officer who hires Eve to take down The Twelve in Season 1. As the series progresses, the show introduces Carolyn's relationships with her children. Her son Kenny (Sean Delaney) works in her department, but otherwise they're not close as parent and child. When Kenny is murdered in Season 3, Carolyn's daughter Geraldine (Gemma Whelan) comes to stay with her, but her mother's emotional distances makes it impossible for them to grieve together.

Carolyn has always been someone who puts her job above all else, at the expense of her personal relationships. To be fair, Carolyn's early experiences do teach her to do just this. In the middle of Season 4, flashbacks to Carolyn's early career reveal that she was in a relationship with a young Konstantin, but that he also had an ulterior motive: to get close to her spy father in order to blackmail him. Konstantin does develop real feelings for Carolyn, but he still follows orders and carries out his mission, resulting in Carolyn's father committing suicide.

In the finale, Carolyn does ultimately accomplish her goal at the beginning of the series, to take down The Twelve. She gets the job done, even though it has devastating consequences for Eve and especially Villanelle.

Eve and Villanelle can't escape their pasts

If there's been one theme of this show, it's that characters can't leave their pasts behind. Villanelle has made several attempts to leave her assassin career behind, all of them failures. Eve's obsession with her job makes it impossible to have relationships with her husband Niko (Owen McDonnell), or her coworker/casual lover Yusuf (Robert Gilbert). Early in the Season 4 finale, Eve breaks up with Yusuf explicitly because she can't put her past behind her.

For most of the series finale, it looks like Eve and Villanelle might break the cycle and have a future together. After defeating Gunn, Eve and Villanelle spend an idyllic day in the Scottish countryside. It's their first unofficial date after four seasons of romantic tension. It doesn't last. Their nice time is merely a diversion while they travel to a meeting of The Twelve.

The Twelve are meeting on a boat in the Thames River, where a wedding is also taking place. While Eve distracts the wedding guests, Villanelle assassinates every member of The Twelve, thereby destroying the organization that turned her from an orphan into a killer. It looks like it's over.

Eve and Villanelle embrace, and it looks like they might finally get the happy ending they deserve. Just then, a sniper opens fire and shoots Villanelle, killing her. As Eve wails in grief, it's revealed that Carolyn ordered the hit. For Carolyn, Villanelle was just a loose end.

In the end, Eve and Villanelle get the answers to their questions. Villanelle can't walk away from her assassin life, and Eve can't have a relationship without someone getting hurt.