Queerly Not Straight: ‘Killing Eve’ and Its Ship is Toxic AF

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In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.


Killing Eve is toxic AF. The ship Villaneve is even more so.

Let’s go back and start from the beginning. Killing Eve is a BBC show starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. Oh plays Eve Polastri, an MI6 officer who is on the trail of a dangerous female assassin played by Comer aka Villanelle.

Killing Eve succeeds, when it shouldn’t, because of how strongly written Eve and Villanelle are. Eve is determined, weird, hard-working, funny, and passionate. Villanelle is cut throat, psychotic, merciless, and has such a disconnect with her emotions that she kills (or tries to kill) everyone that she’s ever cared about without even stopping to question why.

 

 

That’s where the good or interesting part of this show ends and where the toxic AF behavior begins. Eve and Villanelle circle around each other, not in the same fashion that cat and mouse stories have done for ages when it comes to the bad guy and the hero. They’re in love. Well, more accurately, they’re in intrigue, lust, and obsession.

Villanelle, after seeing Eve one time in a bathroom, becomes obsessed with the officer and her amazing hair. In turn, the assassin lures people into her life and web while asking them to wear Eve’s clothes, which she stole, and help her live out her fantasy to be intimate with Eve. It’s creepy, it’s obsessive, and it’s only matched by Eve’s own questionable behavior.

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Eve is obsessed with Villanelle. And it’s not just because the assassin killed two close friends of hers and broke into her house for a late dinner. That would be enough to traumatize anyone and should be the reason why this officer is after the assassin. But no, Eve is obsessed with Villanelle because the psychopath is exciting. Until now, Eve has been living a “boring life” behind a desk and here she is, now out in the field, after an assassin she’s only dreamed about.

Yes, I said dream. Eve continually romantizied who Villanelle was. She painted Villanelle as this sad and tortured young woman who fell into a bad situation and is just looking for a way out. Eve decided to be her savior even though Villanelle has only proven to be vicious, manipulative, and a brutal murderer. It makes for a toxic and twisted relationship that is in no way romantic or what we should accept for F/F, queer, or LGBTQ relationships on TV.

“Oh but we know it’s toxic. That’s the point of the show. Don’t you get that?” I’ve read these words or a variation of them, all over Twitter when it comes to this show and the ship that has blossomed between the two leads. My queer female brain understands that these two women are toxic AF. I get that. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to idly sit by while people romanticize the relationship between Eve and Villanelle.

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These two women are poison to each other, who hurt each other over and over. Villanelle killed Bill & Frank, two of Eve’s colleagues because she could. And Eve, the one that isn’t supposed to break in shows like this, trashes Villanelle’s apartment before confessing her love and then stabbing her new obsession. How is that ok? How is that something I should just accept as part of the show or positive queer representation?

I can’t and I won’t.

Eve and Villanelle could’ve been great. You don’t really see POC female leads who headline their own show, especially ones that are older and have a female enemy that they play a cat and mouse game with. And honestly, I was so looking forward to them chasing and outsmarting each other and showing the boys that ladies got this in the bag.

Instead Eve and Villanelle spiraled into a boring and obsessive connection that leads to one of them being stabbed by the other because she “could” before turning around and regretting it two seconds later. And they LITERALLY just confessed their “love” to each other moments before the stabbing and subsequent shooting.

Killing Eve is messy, misses the mark, and delivers a female duo that is toxic AF and who would be absolutely destroyed if they were a M/F relationship. It’s like, our lack of representation in the queer community has made it so we latch onto toxic relationships like this because that’s what’s out there and we’ve got to accept it or have nothing at all.

I say, fuck Eve and Villanelle’s toxic F/F relationship. It’s not healthy, it’s not interesting, and it’s the kind of queer representation WE DON’T NEED! I think we deserve better. No, I know that we deserve better. We deserve big, grand, loving queer relationships that blow us out of the water with it’s amazing writing and attention to character.

That’s not what Eve and Villanelle are, not even close. They are the worst of the worst when it comes to queer relationships on TV. And with another season on the way, I know & fear that the writers are going to continue romanticizing the bond between these two women and their toxic AF relationship.

So, save yourself from countless hours of disappointment and plenty of WTF’s. Watch some positive, well-rounded, and memorable queer relationships like Wynonna Earp’s #Wayhaught or Korra and Asami from Legend of Korra. Hell, jump on the non-canon ship and get your Supercorp from Supergirl on.

Forget Killing Eve. You’ll be better off without it.


Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)

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