Over the course of four seasons, the chaotic and dangerous relationship between Eve Polastri and Villanelle on Killing Eve steadily blossomed into something romantic. It took a long time for the writers to give fans what they wanted to see for so long, but Eve and Villanelle's love story finally took off in a significant way toward the end of Killing Eve season four. And then came the series finale, which killed off Villanelle right after she finally had a beautiful moment of true happiness with Eve.
Villanelle's death was specifically anger-inducing for longtime viewers of Killing Eve, but one would be remiss not to point out that killing LGBTQ+ characters for little to no reason - specifically female characters - has been a long-standing trope in film and television. To make matters even worse, the character of Villanelle does not die in the novel that Killing Eve is based on, Codename Villanelle.
From Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain to Lexa on The 100 to Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Loras Tyrell on Game of Thrones to Denise on The Walking Dead to Victoria Hand and Isabelle Hartley on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., several LGBTQ+ characters have been infamously killed off and left viewers feeling disappointed. In fact, between 2016 and 2017 according to one count, 62 lesbian and bisexual female characters were killed off on TV shows and movies. Many source the origins back to a period in the first half of the 20th century when there were laws mandating that lesbian literature end in death or heterosexuality to get past obscenity laws. It has become such a common trope, in fact, that some joke it is one of five rules in order to win awards for a lesbian feature film.
This is the context through which Killing Eve fans watched the series finale. As such, they've rightfully expressed their frustrations with the choice.
\u201cthe way it took 2 minutes, a hundred and twenty seconds, for the killing eve writers to ruin everything they\u2019ve built up for 4 years\u201d
— currently out of here (@currently out of here)
\u201ckilling eve was one of the only show that broke most wlw stereotypes in media until the stupid tragic ending\u201d
\u201ca genuinely friendly reminder that this is how the books end: them together, living their lives happily. \ud83d\udc9e villanelle doesn't die and gets a linguistics degree. #killingeve #villaneve\u201d
— em / harlivy era \u2764\ufe0f\ud83d\udc9a (@em / harlivy era \u2764\ufe0f\ud83d\udc9a)