Ever since Killing Eve first landed on our screens, audiences have been left enthralled with the development of the British spy thriller.
Alas, all good things must come to an end, and with Killing Eve Season 4 now about to grace our screens, we prepare to bid adieu to this highly-entertaining BBC drama series. For the past three seasons, audiences have tuned in to watch Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), a British intelligence investigator tasked with capturing psychopathic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer).
The series also boasts an impressive supporting cast including Fiona Shaw who portrays Carolyn Martens, head of the Russia Section at MI6. In case you’re not up to speed, Killing Eve Season 4 opens after the emotional climax of season three, which has left our Eve, Villanelle and Carolyn in very different places.’
Following Eve and Villanelle’s exchange on the bridge, Eve is on a revenge mission whilst Villanelle finds a brand new community in an attempt to prove she’s not a ‘monster’. Having killed Paul, her MI6 Supervisor, Carolyn goes to extraordinary lengths to continue to chase down The Twelve and the person that ordered the hit on her son.
This season follows our extraordinary women, each driven by passion, revenge, and obsession, building towards a messy, nuanced and totally glorious season finale. In this interview, Sandra Oh discusses more about Killing Eve Season 4, the development of the characters and also saying goodbye to Eve Polastri.
So, where do we meet Eve in season four?
We meet her in a surprising place, I hope. During this break – not only for the fans but in our shooting, because clearly the pandemic has happened – a lot has shifted, not only in the making and the creative process of Killing Eve, but within Eve’s character. In the very first episode, we see that she’s come through into a place of decisiveness and action. In some ways, what she’s been searching for, and what she’s been chasing, hasn’t changed that much, but her attitude towards it has. She’s not scared of it anymore and she’s moving towards it.
Eve has changed as a person since season one. How do you think this has affected her mentally to bring her to where she is now?
She has changed so much since we first saw her in the pilot to the end of season four. Four seasons isn’t necessarily a short period of time, but it actually is – and I don’t think I’ve ever played a character who’s changed so much in such a short period of time. It’s hard for me not to bring in the framework and the experience of the pandemic, but many people have changed, they’ve shifted, things have challenged them, or they’ve questioned things.
I have definitely integrated that into this last season because it affected me, it affected the entire production. You see Eve go from someone who has always dreamt of possibilities to then moving into a place of acting out possibilities, and now she’s suddenly inside the possibilities. That’s been very interesting and challenging to play. In a very broad way, you could go from someone who is trying to wake up, to someone who’s been forced to wake up in ways that she hasn’t wanted to.
Can you talk about how each season has been different in terms of character evolution?
Each season has been so different in terms of character evolution. That’s the great and challenging thing about television – you don’t really know where you’re going. Each season has a different tone, a different flavour, a different challenge. The first season is really about her discovery, and the awakening and energy that Villanelle brings. When we end the first season, you can see that Eve is going to continue on in this journey, which is something that propels the rest of the three seasons.
The second season is how she’s afraid of it and the third season is how she’s avoiding it. But in every single episode she’s pulled into it on her own accord. This last season is that she’s not avoiding it. She’s meeting it. She wants to meet it and take it down, or meet it and push through it, or meet it with as much as she can. She realises at this point that to meet her end, she could only do it with Villanelle. And that’s something which grows from being afraid, to avoiding, to denying, to then absolutely accepting, embracing, and integrating.
What has it been like for you to embody your character over the years?
It’s been difficult for me to embody Eve for this many years, because I feel like I’m learning about myself at the same time that the character grows. Sometimes that’s not easy. It’s very difficult to explain, but I do experience it. Eve is trying to figure out the dynamic, the pull towards Villanelle, even though she knows it’s wrong for her. I feel like I’ve had to go through that too. She also has this system of The Twelve bearing down on her, and she has to try to find a way through it and still get to her objective, even though they’re trying to kill her. I also have to find my own way for me, so that it feels true for Eve.
What have been your favourite things in the new season?
Eve does a bunch of things that we haven’t seen her do before, and it’s been great to play. One, my clothes are better. I was so jealous of Villanelle and Carolyn’s wardrobes. It’s been nice to then, in a believable way, take up the parts of Villanelle that Eve has integrated and made her own. Eve is still Eve, she’s still the same person, but it’s like when you’ve been working out for two years and you have more muscle and flexibility. So even though Eve might be doing things that are slightly out of the box or more reminiscent of Villanelle, or even Carolyn, she’s definitely still fundamentally the same character.
What can fans expect from season four?
I hope what fans get from season four is the excitement of how the characters change and deepen. This is the last season, so even Villanelle’s relationships get deeper and more intimate. We explore Carolyn’s morality, what her true character is, and what she represents in a way that I think is quite exciting. We also see the introduction of Pam (Anjana Vasan), our new character, and Yusef (Robert Gilbert), and the return of familiar past characters. Hopefully we’ve been able to wrap up the season in a way that will be satisfying for the fans and shows how far they’ve come.
What would you say to the fans as we say goodbye to the character and to the season?
This is our last season, and I want to thank you, the fans, for your support and your enthusiasm, because it’s been great to play these characters, and to know that there is a fan base who will appreciate and is curious to see what happens to Eve and Villanelle. This last season has been a tough shoot, and a deeply satisfying one. And as fans, I hope you feel it too, of where we bring Eve and Villanelle for the end. We did our best to honour them, and I hope you enjoy it.
Watch new episodes of Killing Eve Season 4 every week, starting from Monday, 28th February BBC First, available on UnifiTV channel 481 and BBC Player | Astro GO.