Killing Eve: #Villanelle Isn't Positive Queer Representation

‘Killing Eve’: #Villaneve is the Worst Kind of Queer Representation

In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, 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.

[UPDATE: I’ve watched season 3 of Killing Eve and the growth I’m seeing makes me cringe at my own words. Updated version coming soon.]

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have strong feelings about Killing Eve. After watching season one I wrote a piece denouncing Killing Eve as positive queer representation and Villaneve as one of the most toxic relationships out there. And after watching season 2, I’ve got to say that I A) see the show with fresh eyes B) understand Villaneve’s obsession with each other and C) still think this ship is toxic AF.

First, the brand new set of eyes.

Season one was a mess where they were trying to set up why Eve was so obsessed with Villanelle. And where season one failed at giving me any reason to care for these two together, season two made me see things from a new perspective. Eve is a messy AF budding psychopath who sees herself in Villanelle, as twisted as that may sound. And Villanelle wants Eve to be hers in body, spirit and soul.

These two end up being opposing forces that twist each other up into unrecognizable versions of themselves. Eve is no longer that good person that her husband believes her to be. And Villanelle is connecting with someone in a way she never could with her past loves. Together they form this toxic AF duo that is no way, shape, or form positive queer representation. 

If anything, Villaneve is one of the most toxic ships out there that promotes manipulation, murder, and gaslighting. And I know you’re not supposed to judge people for their ships but I’m making an exception with Villaneve. I will, can, and shall judge you if you ship Villaneve. But what if you understand they’re toxic? Doesn’t matter. You still ship them and it’s pretty twisted to see these two and think, “Hey. It’d be cool if they were together.”

On the understanding Villaneve’s obsession with each other in season two, I’ve got plenty of thoughts. Eve is obsessed with Villanelle because the latter makes the former feel things, exciting things, that she’d probably want to keep hidden but can’t. Villanelle twists Eve up and makes her consider the world in dark, fucked up, and warped ways. And Villanelle is obsessed with Eve because she sees herself in the woman and wants to own her.

And again, how is this a ship or a pairing that I can get behind? Because as queer people we shouldn’t be taking table scraps from toxic ships like this and act like we’ve been fed. We haven’t. Instead we’ve been teased over and over again in interviews, promos, and pictures that queer bait without giving us actual positive LGBTQ representation we can get behind. 

Villaneve is toxic. It has always been toxic. And pretending that it is anything but a hot damn mess is lunacy in itself. Yes, hot messes are fun sometimes. And yes, I’ll probably watch season three because it’ll be a shit show that we don’t see women getting to be. But I’m not going to delusion myself into believing that this is anything more than two psychopaths falling in love, hate, love, hate, and love until the end of time or until this show gets cancelled.

Which, how long can we keep this cat and mouse game going between Eve and Villanelle? Not for long, I’ll tell you that!

Killing Eve season 3 premieres April 12, 2020 on BBC America.

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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  1. Why is it that straight people can have as many destructive romance narratives as they want but any time a same-sex ship shows even the slightest hint of toxicity and co-depedency everyone loses their minds?

    1. Author

      I don’t know how the straights think but I’d call them out in a heartbeat as well!

    2. I just don’t get why I see so many fans that root for this toxic relationship. I see it as Eve being obsessed with her abuser and I don’t think it’s hot.

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