Killing Eve season 3: Return of assassin thriller starring Jodie Comer divides critics

Killing Eve writer explains shocking death in season 3 premiere: ‘Beloved characters inevitably die’

Killing Eve is known for being one of the bloodiest, most merciless dramas on television – so it should come as no surprise that a major character was killed off in its season three premiere.

The first episode of the new series rejoins Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) who, having survived being shot by Villanelle (Jodie Comer), is laying low and working in a restaurant kitchen.

Eve is dragged back into the espionage world when Kenny (Sean Delaney), who is quietly doing his own investigation into mysterious organisation “The Twelve”, contacts her to ask for help.

When she goes to visit him in his office, however, she discovers Kenny’s lifeless body on the ground outside. The official explanation is suicide, but Eve suspects he was murdered by someone who was unhappy with his snooping.

On her decision to kill off Kenny, season three writer Suzanne Heathcote said: “It’s such a tough call.  Sean is a brilliant actor, Kenny is a fantastic character and beloved. He has an emotional relationship with Eve. But it was really because of all those reasons that the death would mean so much.”

Heathcote told Variety she knew the show needed a shock event to bring the characters back together.

“It had to be something that meant a lot,” she said. “It couldn’t just be professional – it would never be enough. It had to be something bigger than that. It had to be like a bomb going off in Eve’s life to wake her from this cocooned existence that she put herself in.

“They are always difficult, those decisions, but it’s on a show there has to be an element of danger. You have to really feel like anything can happen. And unfortunately that does mean that some beloved characters inevitably die. And so it’s a double-edged sword.”

Heathcote said Delaney thought it was a good creative decision. “Sean, when we told him, he was the first to say, ‘It’s brilliant, story-wise,’” she said. “But we were all sad to lose him because he’s such a great guy.”

Killing Eve was Delaney’s first major role. He will next be seen in Venom 2 and the film Seacole.

In a two-star review, The Independent’s critic Ed Cumming wrote that Killing Eve has become “stale and predictable”.

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