One of the best episodes of Killing Eve is structured as if it were a morose puzzle that starts on a bizarre note and then snaps firmly into place with a pitchfork through the throat. It’s an episode where the season’s threads are coming together and, minus the shocker at the end, perhaps the writers were concerned about the episode not registering as resoundingly with audiences. The writers therefore structured the episode using a puzzle of vignettes that crisscrossed one another. They dropped beautiful little hints about where the second half of the season was going, and ended with a fantastic extension of its opening scene, but in a way in which its emotions were completely flipped. The marketing team teasing this season and the episode’s opening sequence inspired audiences to believe that Niko (Owen McDonnell) would have a much larger role in the story. No one was expecting him to die in front of Eve (Sandra Oh). Cheeky.
Niko’s murder comes about at the hands of Dasha (Harriet Walter), who is instructed by a too-cool-for-school member of the Twelve to drive a wedge between Villanelle (Jodie Comer) and Eve. They’re concerned, she notes with the cool tone of a woman who knows just how cool she appears to be, with Villanelle running around London for Eve’s sake when her concern should be on her job. She has good reason for her concern – from Villanelle sending Eve a bus stop cake after her own homemade cake was deemed to be less than satisfactory, to her singing “She’s not over it” to herself in a pink floral number, the complicated passion in her relationship with Eve is exploding after their now famous bus kiss.
Dasha plans to extinguish this passion by making Eve so disgusted with Villanelle. By making Villanelle seem responsible for Niko’s death, any hope for their relationship to becoming something more simply dies. It’s going to backfire – it’s no mistake that the murder happens in an episode whose thematic undercurrent is the idea of consequences. It’s going to backfire because Dasha has little idea as to who Eve is.
Eve’s attraction to Villanelle is partially sexual in nature – the kiss confirms that. But it wouldn’t have had such far reaching consequences and transformational power if that was the extent of it. There is plenty to unpack in that attraction, but there is an attraction of brilliance, of seeing parts of herself in Villanelle, of her being the pinnacle of everything forbidden that has attracted and occupied Eve’s mind for so many years. If it was just sexual and or romantic attraction, perhaps Dasha’s actions would have gotten the job done (although you could still argue for a plethora of actions that would get the job done short of straight up impaling a man in the neck in front of his estranged wife). But it isn’t and Dasha’s failure to think of this is likely to have the opposite effect.
As for people who seem to be going for a resounding lack of subtlety in their own criminal plans, Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) is having a few issues of his own. Konstantin has been a regular presence in this series, but even he always seems to be in the background of the story, his operations have been conducted in the shadows. For the most part, Konstantin seems comfortable there but slowly and surely he is finding such operations to be more difficult to manage than he could have expected. I’m not sure exactly what is happening with him just yet, which is entirely fine, but the series is giving us the impression that he is trying to prevent the threads tying him to safety from unraveling and dooming him. His daughter Irina (Yuli Lagodinsky) senses as much. Even if she doesn’t know exactly what his job entails, which quite frankly is for the best, she knows him well enough to pointedly accuse him of working only for himself. Konstantin chafes at the accusation, but if asking Villanelle to kill the accountant’s widow (Rebecca Saire) off the books suggests anything, it’s that Irina is hitting closer to home than he wants to admit. And now Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) knows that something is up.
+ Wow, does Eve need some therapy after this.
+ Eve and Jamie’s (Danny Sapani) connection was nicely done.
+ I want to go to Barcelona to shop, even though that’s likely not going to happen anytime soon.
+ Carolyn is soothed by the sound of frogs!
+ The conversation between Geraldine (Gemma Whelan) and Carolyn.
+ Dramatic entrance with shoes? She’s problematic but we gotta stan.
+ Carolyn screaming into her pillow.
+ I have also angrily tossed things and then had an immediate feeling of regret.
+ I have also spent way too much time looking at my phone and thinking, “Is he going to text back?”
+ Villanelle’s expression when Dasha criticizes her cake.
+ I would also go on a Jack the Ripper walking tour for the sake of morbid curiosity.
+ “I gained a valuable insight into Victorian gender politics.” Me as a child, reading everything from Pride and Prejudice to Jane Eyre after the gym teacher was like “Okay, you can just sit down.”
+ I have also spent money in anticipation of earning a higher paycheck
+ “You really don’t have to be so dramatic.” All of my friends to me
+ “You want it nice or do you want it efficient?” Me when people have unrealistic time expectations of me.
+ I also have breakfast in a turtleneck, coat, and surrounded by gold
Outfits (3+, 1-)
+ Villanelle’s white shopping dress is a no.
+ But her pink floral number? Perfect for lounging on a patio, waiting for your lover to come back with a cheesecake.
+ Carolyn’s turtleneck outfit at breakfast. BOSS.
+ Villanelle’s turtleneck number at the end? Is my obsession with turtlenecks being validated by Killing Eve? Why yes, yes it is.