BBC America’s ‘Killing Eve’ first framed itself as procedural: a show about assassins and the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service that attempts to take them down. More than that, though, the show tangoed through an elaborate cat-and-mouse game between Jodie Comer’s assassin and Sandra Oh’s MI6 agent. This season, that game evolves for the better, and our weekly coverage will keep an eye on how this show’s transforming, and it (along with those kills) is only growing bolder with the passage of time.
Killing Eve took a break last week from the usual format to focus on The Villanelle Show, which saw the woman born as Oksana reject her own origin story. After the mother of all kills, the most revered assassin within The Twelve crime organization returned to London while feeling unmoored in all areas of life. This week, Villanelle pushes forth with those career dreams that don’t go as planned, so she’s looking for a way out. She also has no clue that Dasha pitchforked Niko while attempting to make it look like a Villanelle kill. While we’re on the Niko subject, we must acknowledge this surprising turn: he’s aliiiiiive (and we talked with with actor Owen McDonnell about this development).
Not only is Niko not dead, but he wants nothing to do with his wife. Get outta here, Eve.
Yep, there’s no more Mr. Nice Niko to be found, and really, it’s impossible to side against his stance. He’s already sent multiple clear messages to Eve about being done with their marriage. She refused to believe it was over, not after he fled to Poland, so of course she fell for Dasha’s fake messages and showed up in time to see him get the pitchfork treatment from Fake Magda. Meanwhile, Bear could not stop talking saying “pitchforked” this week, but the guy’s still growing on me. He also helped Eve deal with her vending machine fury. “Sometimes you just need to let it win” followed by chocolate success is a wonderful turnabout that wasn’t even one of the episode’s top moments.
What does qualify, though? We’ve got a dueling pair of sports-related showdowns. Both scenes are pretty great at advancing all the balls in the air this season.
What a contrast: Eve and Dasha pulling off bowling strikes (with one claiming to never pick up a ball and the other with her name emblazoned on a velour jacket) against each other while throwing down Villanelle lore. Eve suspects that Dasha may have attacked Niko herself, and Dasha responds with swaggering mockery glazed with unmistakable fear. She’s rattled by this woman who’s not rattled, but this ain’t Eve’s first assassin rodeo, and Dasha knows this, so the “end of game” line is rich. Want more sports? We’ve also got hockey-game antics from Villanelle, and that scene doubles as the first of four stressful dynamics in this episode for Konstantin. I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve all of this conflict because the duplicitous jester in him had it coming.
1. Villanelle: Her passive-aggressive pelvic thrusting at the hockey game continues her long-running beef with her on-off handler. And he can’t quit her, even though she’s shot him. Well, his “adopted” daughter’s attempting to elbow out his bio daughter, Irina. Konstantin is correct, no doubt, when he accuses Villanelle of not thinking through her sudden plans to flee with him to Cuba. She’s unaware of her current series of impulsive decisions, and her mindset has been worsened after that disappointing (and homicidal) visit to Mother Russia. Also, her promotion as a “keeper” is sucking harder than she expected, and she’s got no Eve in her life. Things grow worse for Konstantin when Villanelle spends time alone with Irina and encourages her to kill someone, which gives Irina a not-so-gentle shove toward what she does later.
2. Carolyn: The hits kept coming for Konstantin all episode long, including when he got picked up by an angry-as-hell Carolyn. Man, his whole adult life is catching up with him, and fast. During this car ride, we find out that Carolyn and Konstantin used to be lovers, and apparently Kenny knew this already? At least, Konstantin claims that Kenny asked if he was his father, and that inquiry chilled Carolyn to the bone. Konstantin also let fly that Geraldine put the moves on him, which does seem possible, given how he’s been overly (and deceptively) sweet to her during her understandably fragile emotional state. No wonder Carolyn left him on the side of the road.
3. Paul: And finally, Konstantin gets the bejesus scared out of him again in the dark by Carolyn’s shady new boss, who is definitely involved with The Twelve. Carolyn seems to have accepted this as fact, even though she didn’t exactly articulate those words during their awkward confrontation. But Paul makes it clear that he’ll toss Konstantin underneath the bus if he had anything to do with Charles Kruger’s wife being murdered. Since Konstantin and Villanelle had everything to do with it, this ain’t over yet.
4. Irina: At the end of the episode, Konstantin watches, aghast, as Irina runs over her mom’s boyfriend and looks awfully proud of herself. When Konstantin called Irina “a little sh*t taking a sh*t on a big sh*t and three sh*ts combined into one enormous sh*t,” he wasn’t wrong! Not that he’s ever been a father of the year, but he didn’t see this coming.
– The Eve-Niko thing continues to perplex me because I don’t understand why Eve’s deluded enough to think there’s still a shot at marital redemption. Still, she’s determined to find out who pitchforked hubby, so good on that. She’s also not at all fooled by the “still got it” note because, while emotionally stunted, she’s still got her investigative wits about her. After a tip-off from Bear, Eve ends up piecing together Villanelle’s connection to Dasha. I’m tickled as hell that Dasha, who no one knew existed until this season, fits so seamlessly into the mayhem.
– Villanelle is even more of a volatile mess than usual, but I enjoyed the bit of softness we saw between her and Dasha at the end. Despite the heebie-jeebies of watching someone get stitches without painkillers, it was kind-of a nice moment. There was a hint of heart there that could be overriden by self interest at any second but I think this is as capable as either of them is at genuine tenderness. We shouldn’t expect it to last.
BBC America’s ‘Killing Eve’ airs on Sundays at 9:00 PM EST with simulcasting on AMC.