Killing Eve, season four review: The cat and mouse thriller’s final outing is no more than fine

The final season of the darkly comedic thriller reunites Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer

Killing Eve character Villanelle comes back in trailer for final season

Killing Eve has never managed to recapture the excitement that surrounded its first season. With Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer as lead characters Eve and Villanelle, the cat-and-mouse chase that was once irresistible got surprisingly stale, surprisingly quickly. Despite two consistently strong performances, the show’s pizazz never quite returned after their erotically charged showdown at the end of season one. There are only so many times two “will they, won’t they” characters can push and pull before everyone gets tired.

Perhaps, then, it’s a good thing that the final outing starts with the promise of big change as Eve and Villanelle desperately try to move on with their lives without each other. Following an emotional goodbye on London Bridge at the end of season three, the enemies/would-be-lovers are busy embarking on their new paths. For Eve, it’s a job in private security, which she uses as a front for her real personal mission: figuring out who’s in charge of elusive global assassin agency The Twelve.

Less than four minutes into the first episode, the show’s trademark violence returns. Eve doles out a surprise gunshot through the palm to assassin boss Konstantin (Kim Bodnia). “That’s for Kenny,” she tells him as he screams in pain, getting vengeance for a colleague who was slain last season. Dressed head to toe in leather motorcycling gear, Eve is not the same downtrodden office worker we met years ago. Now freed of her stable job and safe marriage, she’s chasing her goal of taking down The Twelve with few cares holding her back.“You’re going to die, you know?” a bloodied Konstantin warns Eve. “Whatever this is, you won’t come out of it.” “Thank God,” she responds. She has nothing left to lose. Perhaps the show’s title will be fulfilled by the end.

Soon afterwards, we are reacquainted with Villanelle, whose fresh start has her singing like an angel in a church choir. The now-retired assassin has been living with a vicar and his daughter, who has become infatuated with the mysterious Russian. Villanelle even serves fish and loaves for dinner every night as she wants to have a “roadmap” for good behaviour. Though she may not actually believe in God, she believes she can truly turn her life around, declaring: “I have faith I’m not as s***ty inside as people think I am.” Her motivation for salvation becomes clearer when she attempts to reserve a pew for Eve ahead of her baptism. She wants her ex-something to see her as a new woman, but Eve doesn’t show up. Though the wide-eyed kookiness can become a touch grating after a while, Villanelle is always funny: “JUST DUNK ME!” she tells the vicar when she realises Eve isn’t coming.

The introduction of new characters, such as deadpan embalmer Pam (Anjana Vasan) and Eve’s new colleague and “strictly sex” friend Yusuf (Robert Gilbert), tease new conflicts and alliances, with opportunities for high-intensity hijinks. And it gets gruesome: there’s a camping trip in episode two that doesn’t exactly end with toasting marshmallows over the fire. Still, there’s an element of excitement that’s not quite there. As Eve determinedly voyages across borders and around dangerous corners to uncover this secret gang, it’s hard to fully care whether she finds it.

The programme is entertaining, and no viewer will regret spending an hour or two with it. But it’s hard not to expect and want something more from a project with this calibre of performers; it shouldn’t just be “fine”. Fans will surely be sad to see Killing Eve go, but it may be a good thing for the showrunners to wrap the show up now while they still have a chance to control where it goes. Even if that does mean killing Eve.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in