Killing Eve: Is Bitter Pill a Real Online Publication?

In season 3 of ‘Killing Eve,’ the theme of moral ambiguity bleeds more prominently into the narrative, blurring the lines between the good and the bad guys even further. Despite the distance between Eve and Villanelle, the season finds both women working towards a similar goal— unraveling the elusive identities behind The Twelve. While Villanelle equips a more direct approach, pursuing a promotion within the organization to become a Keeper, Eve goes down a more investigative route. However, done with the MI6, Eve allies herself with an online publication, Bitter Pill, where Kenny works as an open-source investigator.

The publication ends up playing a crucial role in the season’s central storyline, providing a home base for Eve to operate as she collaborates with Carolyn in her investigation. For the same reason, the publication may attract the viewers’ attention, compelling them to wonder if it has a basis in reality. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Bitter Pill: A Fictional Publication

Since ‘Killing Eve’ is a work of fiction, most of the storytelling elements within the narrative retain a similar sense of fictionality. Consequently, Bitter Pill, the private journalistic agency that delves into investigative work about seemingly any and all topics, is one such fictional element. At first glance, the publication serves to enrich Kenny Marten— a narrative staple— and his storyline. Since his first introduction to the show, Kenny has been defined through his impressive hacking and investigation skills, which the MI6 employed for their benefit.

Nevertheless, after a particularly heartless operation in Rome, Kenny decides to give up on the service and chooses to blaze his own path outside of his mother’s shadow. As such, he arrives at Bitter Pill, an online publication that highlights hard-hitting truths— or, as the name suggests, bitter pills that remain hard to swallow. In that sense, one can compare the company to other real-life investigative journalism websites, drawing a realistic parallel, at least in terms of professional reputation and presence. Thus, one can compare Bitter Pill to real-life publications that talk about socio-political news, such as ProPublica, Open Secrets, or Reveal.

However, as a cog within the show’s overarching espionage-addled narrative, Bitter Pill takes regular investigative journalism a step further, withholding no qualms about bending the law to get to the truth. For the same reason, the company holds an appeal to former MI6 operatives Eve and Kenny. Therefore, within the show, Bitter Pill and its founder, Jamie, also become an alternative to Carolyn’s British Intelligence Agencies, providing Eve with the tools to carry out her investigation without the bureaucratic parameters.

The show’s set designing team carefully constructed this same casual and effortless environment within Bitter Pill, infusing its office with small, near-negligible details that create the bigger picture. From things like an extra pair of shoes forgotten in the editor’s office to the evidence board with information relevant to the investigation— the office sports elements meticulously crafted to remain realistic. Thus, Bitter Pill blends into the show’s criminal narrative with ease. Even so, despite the show’s authentic approach to Bitter Pill, the publication holds no tangible, real-life counterparts, rendering itself a work of fiction.

Read More: What Happened to Elena Felton? Why Did Kirby Howell-Baptiste Leave Killing Eve?