A Bothy From Killing Eve, Explained

One of the ways in which ‘Killing Eve’ defines its visual personality is through the blocky and bold text that takes up the screen to announce different characters’ different locations at any given time. Considering the various storyline threads that the show follows— from Villanelle and her assassination jobs to Eve and Carolyn’s international investigations— the location-indicating texts remain helpful for the audience to keep track of the various narratives unfolding within the same time frame.

However, where most of these screen-occupying texts remain straightforward, indicating the storyline’s geographical (or, at times, character-centric) location, one instance in the show’s finale presents a change. Consequently, as the words “A Bothy (google it)” flash across the viewers’ screen during the show’s finale, it’s bound to capture their attention, inciting intrigue regarding a Bothy and its significance. SPOILERS AHEAD!

A Bothy is a Free Shelter

Traditionally, a Bothy is a rudimentary shelter structure that is a common occurrence in the Scottish Highlands and can also be found in a few nearby regions. Bothies, usually rundown buildings, may vary in size and are available as emergency shelters for any user without the option of commercial usage. Taking shelter in a Bothy—for whatever reason— is always free of cost, usually arriving with an expectation to follow a set of rules known as the “Bothy Code.” The code simply demands a common respect for the free accommodation and others who may come to use it in the future. For instance, actions such as tidying the place and leaving dry kindling for fire are essential rules within the code.

The quality of Bothies differs from individual buildings but usually sport a structure that provides safety from winds and water, alongside a fireplace and a raised platform reserved for the users’ sleeping bags and such. Whether or not one might find an inside toilet and working plumbing within the building is entirely up to luck. The emergence of these handy structures has roots in the historical time of the 1900s and before, when they were provided as accommodations for gardeners and other laborers. Since the practice has died down over the years, these days, landowners with Bothies on their land are generally responsible for their continued existence.

Even so, landowners tend to have little involvement with their Bothies outside of permitting these structures to be used as shelters. Therefore, contemporary Bothies are seen as locations of safety and security, open to anyone who might need it. Within ‘Killing Eve,’ the Bothy that Villanelle and Eve share with another pair of hikers— another common practice— provides much the same for the two protagonists.

Eve and Villanelle’s Stay At The Bothy

Despite Eve and Villanelle’s central roles and the significance of their infatuation-tinted romance in the show, both characters rarely find the opportunity to spend any quality one-on-one alone time together. Furthermore, any actions of tenderness and passion are usually quickly followed by an abrasive turn of violence due to the convoluted nature of their dynamic. Eve and Villanelle share an invaluable bond, born from each character’s innate— even if reluctant— understanding of the other woman.

Therefore, after seasons of witnessing the constant push-and-pull of Eve and Villanelle’s romance, the season 4 episode 8, ‘Hello, Losers,’ offers a unique instance of calm for the two women. Even as they are on a hunt after the Twelve, within the Scottish Highlands inside the cozy, albeit overcrowded Bothy, the duo find the freedom to explore their relationship in an unprecedented manner. Consequently, the Bothy momentarily shields Eve and Villanelle from the elements and the complications of their impossible lives. Thus, it becomes a symbol of shelter in more ways than one.

Showrunner Laura Neal shared similar sentiments about the finale and the Bothy’s role in it in a conversation with Collider. “The intimacy that they’ve [Eve and Villanelle] shared in the Bothy opens up that moment for them as well. They’ve had this sharing of the sleeping bag together. They’ve had the scar moment, touching each other’s scars. They’ve recognized their shared history, what the other has done to the other, and also what they’ve given each other,” the showrunner said. “It just felt like, emotionally, that was the moment where both of them could get there at the same time, which I don’t think has happened before.”

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