Killing Eve’s Finale Brings Back Memories of Lexa on The 100

The following contains spoilers for Killing Eve Season 4, Episode 8, "Hello, Losers," which aired on Sunday, April 10 on BBC America.

For better or worse, Killing Eve's Villanelle and Eve Polastri were linked together by a strong force powered by love. Their realtionship was what drove the critically acclaimed series for four seasons. It's too bad that death pushed them apart, and unsettled Killing Eve's queer audience along the way.

Villanelle and Eve's cat-and-mouse game finally came to an end in the final episode. After spending the entire fourth season primarily apart, both on separate journeys of independence, the two crossed paths again and gave into the chemistry and love they've been ignoring between each other. For a short second, it felt like fate finally was on the polar opposites' sides. Villanelle spent Season 4 trying to become a better person by devoting her life to God, and Eve was desperate to excise Villanelle from her life, but tracking down The Twelve wasn't the smartest way to accomplish either goal.


In Season 4, Episode 8, the two women reunite and show the potential to be a committed couple. Both of their character developments throughout the series put them on an even playing field, and even if it still seems unrealistic that the two could live happily ever after, Episode 8 tries its best to reassure viewers that it's possible. However, Killing Eve has become the new Game of Thrones, and pulls the hopeful rug out from fans' feet. After moments of happiness on a short road trip that involves an intimate sleeping bag cuddle and kissing scene, Villanelle is shot dead on orders given by Carolyn Martens.

It's not like the show wasn't foreshadowing one of the women's deaths before. There were obvious Romeo and Juliet parallels, talks of "'til death do us part," and even a Death tarot card. Either Eve or Villanelle was going to die -- but it was the nature of the death that is upsetting. It recalls a conversation sparked in 2016 after a similarly controversial episode of The 100 was released. Season 3, Episode 7, titled "Thirteen" was the final episode for Lexa, who was shot shortly after consummating her relationship with The CW's first bisexual lead character Clarke. That wasn't the first time a lesbian character had been killed off-screen on a cult hit TV show. Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Tara Maclay was also shot by a stray bullet back in 2002, shortly after getting back together with her girlfriend Willow. See the pattern that Killing Eve perpetuated?

Many lesbian characters have been killed off violently on television between The 100 and Killing Eve, but Lexa's death still hits home for the reason that fans are upset about Villanelle's death. It's not the fact that they died; it's that they barely had a chance at happiness before dying. Villanelle dying isn't a bad ending because the show was expected to end tragically, and if it had been done correctly, the show would be praised for its boldness to define itself as a tragedy. But Killing Eve killed its own reputation by separating its two protagonists for the majority of the season, and then using their short-lived reunion as a deadly trap (both for them and the audience).

the 100 lexa and clarke
the 100 lexa and clarke

The finale reinforces a trope many LGBTQ fans have rallied against since Lexa's death referred to as "Bury Your Gays." The trope gives a little sliver of queer representation in TV shows or movies for the sake of reaching the LGBTQ audience, but destroys it as soon as they've done the minimum. The 100's case was exceptionally terrible because producer Jason Rothenberg had spoken proudly about finally having LGBTQ representation, yet the show rarely ever featured any LGBTQ relationships after Lexa's death. A similar version of the "Bury Your Gays" trope is The Walking Dead, which killed off Tara's girlfriend Denise just after they proclaimed their love to each other; Tara never had another relationship after that.

To play devil's advocate for Killing Eve, the series provided a lot more queer representation than The 100 ever did. But killing off Villanelle gives off a gross idea that members of the LGBTQ community don't deserve happiness. Villanelle worked hard for her redemption and immediately snatching that from her (twice, if you consider her brief fling with May) is distasteful. The cherry on top of Killing Eve burying its gays was the dramatic "The End" card right after her death, not even allowing the audience to see Eve grieving beyond that scream. The final episode of Killing Eve makes it seem like not much has changed since 2016.

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