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Warning! This article contains major spoilers for the series finale of Killing Eve.
Villanelle and Eve finally got it together in the Killing Eve finale (Photo: BBC America/David Emery)
The writer of the original Killing Eve books has slammed the controversial ending to the TV series.
Luke Jennings, who penned the Codename Villanelle novels on which the hit BBC thriller was based, hit out at the way the final episode played into the ‘bury your gays’ trope, admitting he was “taken aback” when he learned of Villanelle’s fate.
The show wrapped up with Eve and Villanelle finally getting it together, before the deadly assassin was shot on the orders of Carolyn Martens and bled to death after jumping into the Thames with Eve.
It was heavily criticised by fans and critics, who noted that the decision to kill a queer character played into the ‘bury your gays’ trope present in many works of fiction, whereby more queer characters – and in particular lesbian, bisexual female and transgender characters – die compared to their straight cisgender counterparts.
That critique is something Luke Jennings agrees with, writing in the Guardian: “The season four ending was a bowing to convention. A punishing of Villanelle and Eve for the bloody, erotically impelled chaos they have caused. A truly subversive storyline would have defied the trope which sees same-sex lovers in TV dramas permitted only the most fleeting of relationships before one of them is killed off.
“How much more darkly satisfying, and true to Killing Eve’s original spirit, for the couple to walk off into the sunset together? Spoiler alert, but that’s how it seemed to me when writing the books.”
Villanelle was killed at the end of the final episode (Photo: BBC)
However Luke did acknowledge that “you’re never going to love everything the screenwriting team does”.
The ending to the Codename Villanelle books was markedly different to the show, seeing Eve and Villanelle escape their chaotic lives and settle together in St Petersburg.
Luke also noted that the characters had been “a lifeline” for many people, quoting a letter from a young gay Russian woman who said she found representation in Villanelle.
Sending a message to the fans disappointed by the TV show’s ending, he added: “I learned the outcome of the final episode in advance, and suspected, rightly, that fans would be upset. But to those fans, I would say this: Villanelle lives. And on the page, if not on the screen, she will be back.”
Season four showrunner Laura Neal previously said she hoped fans would find the finale “glorious and triumphant”.
However, she told Metro she was “braced” for criticism, saying: “I think with a show like this that generates so much discussion and that generates so much debate, you’re never going to be able to please everybody.
“That’s part of what makes the show great as well. I’m braced for us not being able to please everybody but I’m really delighted with the ending.”
She added: “I know our actors are delighted with the ending and I hope that, even if they don’t agree with it, fans will see how much love we put into the ending.”
All episodes of Killing Eve are available to stream now on BBC iPlayer.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.