“Killing Eve” kicked off its third season Sunday by doing something a popular American series of the same genre would never think of doing — disposing of a main character.
Fans of the Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer-fronted psychopath drama were in for an early thrill after BBC America and AMC Networks moved the show’s third season premiere forward by two weeks to April 12.
However, shocked viewers didn’t see this dramatic — and deadly — plot point coming.
Warning — spoilers for the premiere of “Killing Eve” Season 3 follow:
Kenny Stowton (Sean Delaney) was killed by a mystery assailant as he continued to investigate the Twelve. Eve (Oh) found out in the worst way, arriving at the office to meet him. He was not at his desk but his phone was. Seconds later, Kenny’s body descended past the window from the roof above. A horrified Eve raced outside and found his body on the ground.
Scores of outraged fans were fast to register their distress on Twitter: “NOPE. I am NOT ok with that,” one viewer tweeted with a chorus of crying emojis; “bbc is lucky killing eve is a good ass show cause i would have stopped watching after them killing off kenny,” another disgruntled fan chimed in.
Meanwhile, executive producer Suzanne Heathcote (“Fear the Walking Dead”) explained her decision to off the boy as a means of getting Eve, who had been left for dead at the end of Season 2, back into working to destroy the Twelve.
Heathcote told Entertainment Weekly, “Nothing was going to bring her back into investigating the Twelve for a professional reason. It was just too much water under the bridge for her, emotionally. So we knew there had to be something really personal happen to bring her back in. And the more beloved the character, the more it means when they go.”
Still, Heathcote, who also serves as the head writer of “Killing Eve,” told Variety it was far from an easy decision.
“It’s such a tough call,” she told the industry outlet of her move to kill Kenny. “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.”
The remainder of the eight-part series will be simulcast Sundays on BBC America and AMC. The Season 3 cast also includes Harriet Walter (“Succession”), Danny Sapani (“Harlots”), Gemma Whelan (“Game of Thrones”), Camille Cottin (“Call My Agent!”), Steve Pemberton (“Inside No. 9”), Raj Bajaj (“A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding”), Turlough Convery (“Ready Player One”), Predrag Bjelac (“Harry Potter”) and Evgenia Dodina (“One Week and a Day”).