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Killing Eve Season 4 review: Villaneve’s rushed, disappointing farewell reeks of uninspired writing

Despite the faltered writing, the cast do give it their all this season, as they did in the previous instalments. Unfortunately performances, no matter how dedicated and compelling, can only carry a series so far.

2.5rating
  • Shilpa S

Last Updated: 06.41 AM, Apr 11, 2022

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Killing Eve Season 4 review: Villaneve’s rushed, disappointing farewell reeks of uninspired writing

Story:

Even after promising to part ways for good for the betterment of both their lives, Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) find themselves drawn together despite their better judgement. Eve and Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) double down their efforts in trying to take down the Twelve, even while an unknown person is ruthlessly hunting down the terrorist organisation’s members. Villanelle finds herself faced with an identity crisis.

Killing Eve finally bade farewell to viewers after its recent fourth season finale. But what should have been a gratifying, bittersweet moment, ended up being more bitter than sweet. 

The final season had enough ups and downs, from a rough start to an intriguing few episodes where the story started to pick up, to ending on a note that is nothing short of a trainwreck. The abysmal, cliched ending feels so out of place that it marrs the few good moments that the final season did have to its credit. 

Laura Neal served as head writer this season, and she certainly had a tough act to follow, taking the mantle up from the likes of Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Emerald Fennell, whose riveting writing soared the show to popularity as well as multiple award nominations and wins. Sadly, Neal seems to have buckled under the enormous pressure, as this season’s writing is a combination of fan pleasing, cliches and recycled material from previous seasons. Season 4 did have its share of enthralling moments in a few episodes, such as the episodes It's Agony and I'm Ravenous, A Rainbow in Beige Boots and Don’t Get Attached. But the last few ones failed to capitalise on the momentum these episodes manage to build up, resulting in a lacklustre ending. 

In the continuation to Eve and Villanelle tumultuous relationship this season, seasoned viewers can clearly see how the growth and understanding that was achieved between the two over the course of the last season was completely chucked out. While Villanelle was back to her untamed obsession with Eve, the latter is seen once again trying to wash her hands clean of the former. It seemed like the carefully crafted evolution they each had was completely ignored, just so it could be built back up in an entirely different way this season. But Villanelle’s character bore the brunt of this regression, as Eve on the other hand had more layers added to her this season with her new found purpose of taking down the Twelve.

Besides Eve, Carolyn seems to be the only other character whose arc took an interesting turn this season, as we see moments where her sophisticated veneer finally starts to slip more and more in her attempts to avenge her son’s death. She and Eve, although ceasing to work together, are driven by their sole purpose of hunting the Twelve down, which leads to some very shocking moments indeed when an unknown someone starts to sadistically torture their way through the terrorist group’s members.

But sadly even though their arcs take interesting turns here and there, it ends up inadequate to make up for the way they end. And this is something that unites them with some other important characters who had shown great promise in the previous seasons and episodes. The sloppy writing does not spare Konstantin and Hélène either, who end up being the victims to the hasty way the writers try to tie up their arcs, leaving it far from satisfactory. Pam’s character seems out of place this season as she has little to no contribution to the story and ends up being a placeholder only to facilitate the death of an important character. Besides that, her presence of absence bears no weight to the story at all.

The finale has its heart in the right place, as it did try to give viewers the closure they deserved, but failed spectacularly in its execution. It ends up leaving viewers with too many questions than answers, leaving them with a very bad taste in their mouths indeed. Several episodes spent carefully crafting the ominous and dangerous identity of the dreaded Twelve becomes undone in an instant, as the ‘final showdown’ ends up being no showdown at all. All that teasing and hype viewers were put through culminates in just a few moments where neither their identity, nor purpose is explored and they are given the same rushed treatment the other characters get as well. The final season ends with many loose ends and unanswered questions like why was Hélène so hell bent on bringing down the very organisation she worked for (and no, the idealistic and half baked reason she gives Eve does not count), why does the selfish Konstantin do a 180 and risk everything for Pam (the final phone call he gets from his daughter is again too thin a reason for him to go off the rails for a complete stranger) and perhaps the most important, what is Carolyn’s deal?

True, Eve and Villanelle did finally reach a point in their relationship that viewers have been looking forward to since the very first episode. But it develops in a way that is far from organic and seems like the writers were trying to throw viewers a bone to calm them before hitting viewers with the shoddy excuse for a series finale.

Despite the faltered writing, the cast do give it their all this season, as they did in the previous instalments. Unfortunately performances, no matter how dedicated and compelling, can only carry a series so far.

Verdict:

The final season of Killing Eve has its moments in terms of great acting and a few absorbing episodes. But unfortunately rushed, directionless writing leads to a very cliched and disappointing finale that does not do justice to this great show.

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