Killing Eve's season 2 finale ends in much the same way that season 1 did - except this time instead of Eve (Sandra Oh) stabbing Villanelle (Jodie Comer), it's Villanelle who shoots Eve and leaves her for dead in a Roman ruin. This ends a tumultuous season in which the MI6 agent and the Russian assassin ended up working together on a mission to investigate shady businessman Aaron Peel, and Villanelle sunk her claws a little deeper into Eve.
In Killing Eve season 2, Emerald Fennell took over from series creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who preoccupied with making Fleabag season 2) as the show's lead writer, and Suzanne Heathcote is set to move into the showrunner role for the already-confirmed season 3. Even more so than last season's finale, Killing Eve season 2's ending leaves both Eve and Villanelle in a precarious position - Eve having killed someone for the first time and now possibly facing death herself, and Villanelle having turned her back on both The Twelve and her partnership with Konstanin (Kim Bodnia).
As the wait for Killing Eve season 3 begins, let's take a look back at that shocking season finale, and what it means for Eve and Villanelle's thoroughly messed-up relationship.
Aaron Peel's Weapon and Carolyn Martens' Secret Plot
After learning that tech mogul Aaron Peel had ordered the Ghost to kill his father and his father's associated, Villanelle was tasked with getting closer to Aaron - not an easy task, given his suspicious nature and cold demeanor. In Killing Eve's season 2 finale, Villanelle discovered videos on Aaron's computer that revealed he had not only been secretly filming her, but he'd also filmed other women that he'd brought to his Rome palazzo - before brutally murdering them. Villanelle didn't use the safe word "gentleman," however, until she learned that her old handler Raymond (Adrian Scarborough) was in Rome and planning to meet with Aaron.
Raymond was supposedly coming to Rome to purchase a "weapon" from Aaron - one that had attracted mega-wealthy buyers from all over the country. This weapon was actually information that had been collected en masse from the browsing habits, social media, texts and basically everything else digital of everyone else in the world, forming a treasure trove of blackmail material. Eve had been repeatedly instructed by Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw) not to let Villanelle kill Aaron and Villanelle had been told the same by Konstantin. When a panicked Eve shows up at Aaron's palazzo, however, Villanelle disobeys these instructions - slitting Aaron's throat and making him watch himself die in the mirror.
This, it turns out, had actually been Carolyn's plan all along. Jess (Nina Sosanya) had pointed out to Eve earlier in the season how odd it was that she wasn't turning in reports of her work, meaning that someone didn't want a paper trail of (for example) MI6 hiring a notorious assassin. Since there's no record of Villanelle working for MI6, Aaron Peel's death can now be written off as just another assassination by the Twelve. Carolyn sends in her team of cleaners to collect all the recordings of the mission, and during a tense conversation Eve quickly realizes that she's simply been a pawn in Carolyn's game. The real aim of the mission wasn't to collect evidence to incriminate Aaron, but to kill him.
Kenny (Sean Delaney) had tried to warn Eve about the true nature of the operation earlier in the season, after she fired him and Carolyn transferred him to another team. That team was actually the cleaning crew for the Rome operation; Kenny had been in charge of emptying the hotel room of all evidence after Aaron had been dealt with. Now Eve has no way of proving Carolyn's underhanded tactics, and is left to decide whether or not she'll continue to work with Carolyn and MI6 after seeing their ugly underbelly exposed.
The Double Meaning of "Killing Eve"
From the start, it has seemed like the title of Killing Eve referred to Villanelle actually killing Eve, something that seemed even more likely when Villanelle was actually hired to kill Eve (something that was Eve's own idea) in season 2. Of course, this was actually just a ruse to get Villanelle to force information out of the Ghost (Jung Sun den Hollander), but Villanelle seemed to relish the theatrics of the job, even showing up to Eve's house in a black outfit and funeral veil. This ended up being foreshadowing for the end of the season, when Villanelle goes through with shooting Eve - but let's face it, there's no way Eve is actually dead.
The other, less obvious meaning of Killing Eve emerged in the season 2 finale when Eve killed Raymond with an axe. Villanelle allowed Raymond to choke her, despite the fact that she could have shot him at any time with her concealed gun, in order to force Eve to make a choice: let her die, or kill Raymond. Eve ultimately chose the second option, first hitting Raymond in the shoulder with an axe, and then chopping at his head while Villanelle held him still. As Oh explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "She now becomes the killing Eve. The Eve who kills." She even takes a cue from the Ghost - using a maid's outfit to gain access to Aaron's palazzo, knowing that his security will overlook her.
For Villanelle, Eve killing Raymond is a moment of triumph. She believes that Eve has crossed a line and become just like her, and that they can now ride off into the sunset as a Bonnie-and-Clyde duo, traveling the world and killing anyone who gets in their way. However, Eve realizes that Villanelle's understanding of love is flawed; when challenged on what it means, Villanelle replies, "You're mine" (which is where the finale's episode title comes from). Villanelle only wants to possess Eve, and is perfectly happy to ruin Eve's life to get what she wants. In the end, they disappoint each other. Eve walks away, and Villanelle kills her for it... Or does she?
Who Actually Died in Killing Eve's Season 2 Finale?
Fans are understandably skeptical of Killing Eve season 2's ending scene, since we don't actually see Eve get hit with the bullet and she's only shown from wide angles after she falls. There's blood slowly spreading out from her abdomen, but it doesn't necessarily look like a fatal wound. We already know that Eve isn't quite as skilled with a gun as she is with other methods of assassination, since she tried to shoot Konstantin in the heart and missed last season, so it's possible she may have failed to kill Eve this time around as well - either accidentally or deliberately. Perhaps she just wanted to give Eve a bit of payback for that stab wound.
Then there's Hugo (Edward Bluemel), who was last seen bleeding from a gunshot wound after being attacked by a hired gun in the hotel. Eve failed to call an ambulance for Hugo and ultimately abandoned him to go and "rescue" Villanelle, and when she returned he was gone - apparently cleaned up along with the rest of the operation. Eve asks Carolyn what happened to Hugo, and doesn't get an answer, so there are three possibilities about what happened to him. The first is simply that he died from his wounds, and the second is that MI6 got him to a hospital in time to save him. A third possibility is that the hired guns actually worked for Carolyn, not the Twelve, and were there to heighten the perceived sense of danger. If that's the case, then Hugo could have been on on the plot all along, and his gunshot wound was actually faked.
Finally, there's the question of what will happen to Niko (Owen McDonnell), who was last seen locked up in a storage facility with his dead colleague, Gemma (Emma Pierson). If someone doesn't come along to rescue him soon there's a risk that he'll die from lack of food and water. Assuming that he does get rescued, however, he could be on the hook for Gemma's murder - and at this point it seems unlikely that he and Eve will ever get their happy married life back.
One person who is definitely dead, however, is Raymond. Killing Eve season 2 has been heavy on religious imagery, with Villanelle leaving behind apples as a kind of calling card and love letter to Eve. This highlights the fact that the show is really about Villanelle corrupting Eve, like the snake in the Bible story. The first major turning point was Eve stabbing Villanelle in the season 1 finale, and now things have escalated even further with Eve hacking "chunks" off Raymond as she killed him. She may have rejected Villanelle for now, but killing a man has surely changed Eve. Will she find a way to break Villanelle's hold on her, or continue even further down this dark path in season 3?