Warning: Spoilers ahead for Killing Eve’s season 1 finale, “God I’m Tired.”
Was there any way Killing Eve’s fantastic first season could end other than the exact way it did? And, by, “exact way it did,” I mean with lots of blood, broken glass, and confusion, both the emotional and mental kind. Although the last seconds of “God, I’m Tired,” are specifically crafted to make fans feel breathless — and annoyed there aren’t a limitless number of episodes following it — they also feel like the perfect place to press pause on this story.
Why? Because, with Killing Eve already confirmed for a season 2, this is the kind of ending that sets up Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) for an even more tense, no-holds-barred cat and mouse game of a second season. That season closer all but promised a spy-versus-assassin war is on the horizon for BBC America’s best show.
Interestingly, the thriller nearly gives Eve and Villanelle, who are attracted to each other like opposite poles of the same deadly magnet, what they, alone, would each call a happy ending. Eve’s close friend Bill Pargrave (David Haig) is long dead, murdered by Villanelle; Villanelle’s shady handler Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) is also long dead, and also by Villanelle's hand. By this point, the young hitwoman has also killed three former lovers, both purposefully and accidentally, and Eve has metaphorically killed her career and marriage. Amid all of this carnage, the pair still ends up together in Villanelle’s Parisian apartment thanks to some crack spy work by Elena Felton (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), who was left in London while everyone else went traipsing around Russia.
Eve and Villanelle eventually find themselves lying next to each other in bed, leading Killing Eve to the closest it has come to fully confirming the pair’s season-long obsession isn’t merely a strange game of espionage tag, wherein game is recognising game. No, this is a moment that suggests the subtextual sexual attraction between these two might just be text. Ever the hair obsessive, Villanelle strokes Eve’s face and tangles her hand in her hair. Eve says she’s “never done anything like this before.” Villanelle coos back placating words. It’s all very romantic and the traditional way pop culture sets up a woman’s first lesbian experience.
Then, the Killing Eve twist comes out. Eve pulls a knife on Villanelle, who, as previously mentioned, murdered the British Intelligence agent’s friend. Now, we’re wondering if Eve meant she had never slept with a woman before or if she meant she had never murdered someone before. We soon find it it might be both, as Eve slides a knife directly into Villanelle’s midsection and then, much to Villanelle’s protests, pulls the weapon out. As anyone who has seen Black Panther can confirm, it is removing a knife that really kills someone — not stabbing them. Or, at least that’s how it works on screen.
The second-to-last thing Villanelle says to Eve is what suggests season 2 will be an entirely new, scary ball game for this duo. Once a very stabbed Villanelle realises she can’t even trust Eve and her magical hair, she practically whispers, “I really liked you. That hurt.” Please mind the past tense here. Villanelle liked Eve, now, after all the attempted murder, the assassin views Eve as she views everyone else: expendable.
Earlier this season, a gun-toting Villanelle ran away from Eve when she should have killed her. During the duo's infamous “I Have a Thing About Bathrooms” forced dinner party, Villanelle threatens her way into an impromptu shared meal rather than a regular old murder. And, in finale “I’m Tired,” the for-hire killer promises not to murder Eve and meekly asks her to simply “stay for a bit.” Yet, once Eve stabs Villanelle, the tables turn, even as the MI6 agent quickly apologises and tries to patch up the assassin. Villanelle will have none of that sweet saviour nonsense and begins firing off gun shots at Eve, even if that means she will bleed out and die, too. This is the first time all season viewers see the assassin actually try to live out her BBCA series’ title and kill Eve.
The reason we should be so very worried about Eve is because she not only physically hurt Villanelle, she emotionally wounded her as well. Although we’ve watched the hitwoman manipulate others for eight episodes, her apartment conversation with Eve seems to be the first time Villanelle has been fully honest with another person. For once, she’s not trying to trick anyone into getting close enough to murder. After all, Villanelle goes to great pains to prove she’s really not going to kill the woman who has been pursuing her for weeks and moves gingerly around Eve, just so she doesn’t get spooked and flee. That is real vulnerability. Then, Eve has to go and stab her in the intestine. For a cold-blooded killer, to quote Villanelle, that hurts — likely more than it would hurt anyone else.
So, we’ll be seeing the contract murderess operating on both the animal instinct of someone who’s just been stabbed and a potent mix of pettiness, heartache, and rage. Eve is right to close out the season by frantically asking “Where?!” Villanelle went, because, you seriously don’t want a highly trained assassin with a newfound mission of vengeance creeping up behind you.