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'Killing Eve's Finale Returns to One of the Worst LGBTQ+ Tropes on TV

Eve Polastri and Villanelle on Killing Eve

Fans have called the series finale "heartless."

This post has spoilers for the season four finale of Killing Eve.

The so-called "bury your gays" trope has returned in a major way during the series finale of Killing Eve.

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.

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.