“If people want to be suspicious, go ahead,” Killing Eve star Sean Delaney said over the phone to Refinery29, enjoying the view of a beautiful London day from his apartment. “That’s great. Because all it does is stop you from seeing the little things — the clues that are given away throughout [the story], which is really important.”
Delaney, who plays sweetie pie fan-favourite Kenny Stowton, is reflecting on whether fans should be suspicious of his character’s new girlfriend, Audrey (Ayoola Smart). Because, as viewers who watched Killing Eve’s season 3 premiere “Slowly, Slowly Catchy Monkey” know, beloved Kenny is dead. In the final scene of “Monkey,” protagonist Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) finds Kenny’s bloody body on the sidewalk directly outside the office of his new employer, an investigative digital publication called Bitter Pill. While we don’t see who killed Kenny, it is suggested an assassin for shadowy The Twelve organisation pushed him off the roof to stop him from digging further into the group’s finances (Delaney agrees this dubious death “for sure” hints a new assassin may be running around Killing Eve).
With Kenny dead, it’s easy to start seeing the newest people in his life in a different, more wary, light. Hence, the conclusion-jumping speculation about Audrey. Delaney is fine with such armchair detective work, as he continued, “It’s all about having stuff in front of you that you end up missing because you assumed something before you were actually ready to make a decision about it.”
In general, Delaney actually seems shockingly content with his Killing Eve exit, particularly since producer Sally Woodward Gentle thoughtfully “proposed” the idea of Kenny’s death months before season 3 began filming. Although, Delaney still does have some deeply foreboding parting words for the series’ central, wildly twisted duo: Eve and joyful assassin Villanelle (reigning Emmy winner Jodie Comer).
“God, this is really wanky of me and really teasing,” Delaney said with an obvious smile in his voice, as he pondered whether Eve and Villanelle should be together. “But I think no matter what they pick, it’s gonna hurt. Unfortunately for the two of them, no matter what path they take, it can’t end up well.”
Delaney thinks that essential and tragic truth about Killing Eve is actually the major foundation of his own character’s death. “To drive the series forward in any kind of way, you need to see the cracks unfolding and the danger of [their relationship]. Because at the end of the day, it’s really easy to forget since Jodie’s so brilliant and she’s so charismatic and attractive as a character that you want to see her,” Delaney explained.
“But in reality, Villanelle is a dangerous person to be hanging around with. You wouldn’t want to be with them,” Kenny's portrayer pointed out. “It’s life and death, despite all the comedy and the wit and the quirkiness of Killing Eve. What’s a better way to remind people of how fragile and how dangerous the world that they’re stuck in is than killing off someone who was seemingly so safe?”
The death of Kenny also speaks to the much darker and rarely spoken about underlying current in the dangers of Killing Eve: mental health. "I didn’t think about this at all, until after I was told, but I really appreciate the idea that nobody killed Kenny and that there’s an option there where it wasn’t murder,” Delaney said, suggesting the possibility that the horror of two seasons of deadly spy games pushed Kenny to death by succeed, despite a lack of visible depression “signs.” All of a sudden, it’s impossible to ignore how the constant terror of MI6 machinations may actually be influencing its characters' emotional lives.
“Particularly with Sandra’s character over the last couple of years, and now especially with Carolyn, the idea of mental health actually is becoming a real presence in the show. It’s really important,” Delaney said. “Because you can’t have what happened to all these characters over the last couple of seasons without the cost of it.”