Killing Eve’s third episode gave us a double helping of murder with a side of past childhood trauma. Villanelle stayed busy, offing not one but two targets (and an unfortunate witness), both of which changed the game in terms of character development and the show’s narrative future. But only one involved a baby in a trash can, and that’s the hit we’re focusing on this week.
The Trash-Can Baby After A Kill
Technically there were three murders this week on Killing Eve, and though one directly links back to the mystery of The Twelve, it’s the episode’s opening double-hit that feels like it’s foreshadowing a seismic shift in our main psychopath. Babies make everyone sentimental, even a globe-trotting assassin hardened by years of bloodshed and her own turbulent upbringing, but no one could’ve guessed just how up in her feelings Villanelle would get from hanging with a pair of cherubic cheeks.
But before their mommy-daughter date, Villanelle’s got to get rid of the kid’s real mother, a musician with obsessive-compulsive disorder over the cleanliness of her instruments. Villanelle’s offed many people who you couldn’t help but sympathize with. This woman ain’t one of them.
She quickly lodges a tuning fork in the back of her skull before a baby monitor lights up, and Villanelle goes to investigate. She finds a nanny trying to soothe a wailing butterball, one who begs her to spare the child. Killing Eve has always been a darkly funny show but we could have never guessed they’d manage to get us cackling over an innocent maid pleading for her life.
She flits between threatening to kill the house worker and the newborn, wondering why the woman would sacrifice herself for a child that wasn’t hers, before making the nanny’s brain her human bullseye and kidnapping the kid.
It’s almost impossible to differentiate between sincerity and sociopathy when it comes to Villanelle and her choice to lunch with the baby doesn’t do much to define that line. She tells Dasha she’s practicing her character work and the two have a bitingly humorous squabble over Villanelle’s more manic tendencies and her recent managerial failings, but there’s something deeper at play for the notoriously closed-off killer. Psychopaths don’t get sticky-fingers for miniature poop machines. As with anything she does, there’s a method to Villanelle’s madness. While we’re thinking that over, here’s Dasha dumping the baby in the trash.
Villanelle may not be ready to return to London and see Eve but she’s in no position to turn down a job, so she arms herself with the scent of a Roman gladiator returning from battle to meet his old foe, and carries out another hit — this time coming dangerously close to ending Carolyn’s life in the process. She bunks with Konstantin after the job, where the baby continues to haunt her. She’s seen the child reunited with its father on TV. She’s reminded of her own orphaned status, of her mother’s abandonment, of what led her to this life to begin with. She’s also reminded of the fact that she has no idea what she looked like as a newborn.
An unnaturally bulbous head or not, Villanelle seems determined to reacquaint herself with her roots by episode’s end. Again, she claims she needs to know her origins because “knowledge is power,” and she wants to keep enough of it to ensure The Twelve can’t control her life, but it’s odd that this desire to find her family comes after another job gone sideways. Is Villanelle getting sloppy, as Dasha claims, or is she finally breaking free of whatever hold her employers have on her and discovering what she really wants from this life of crime?