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Eve is getting scarily good at her job on a restless Killing Eve

Photo: Parisa Taghizadeh/BBCAmerica
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Killing Eve has never suggested that anything good will come of the relationship between Villanelle and Eve, but tonight’s episode offers some compelling evidence that they’re going to struggle when they’re separated, too. Eve manages to capture the Ghost, but is such a wild mixture of tweaked out, bored, and exhilarated that she almost kisses Hugo. And Villanelle is so at a loss without the structure of her previous life that she loses it at a club and tries to kill a woman in the bathroom. She may be a killer, but she’s never been an out of control killer. 

And the ending suggests where all this could go if they stay apart. Is Eve becoming a tool of Carolyn? We get some suggestions at the beginning of the episode that not all is right in Carolyn’s world, even beyond Eve’s shenanigans. For once, it’s clear that she is answerable to someone (who, in true Killing Eve fashion, is another woman), and that there could be real consequences for all our lovable weirdos if Eve keeps screwing up. She has quite a lot riding on turning Eve into the person she hired her to be, and that does not mean letting Villanelle send her love letters.

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Villanelle, much as she missed Konstantin’s attention, clearly isn’t living her life the way she wants to anymore. The problem with Villanelle as a character is that she’s an ill person, but she’s also a totally invented type of ill person. Would someone like her cry? It’s affecting in the moment, sure, as a way of showing the very different points she and Eve are at, but it also doesn’t seem totally true to who she is. We’ve seen Villanelle frustrated before, even angry, but never vulnerable like that. It suggests a very different side to her than she’s ever shown before. If she and Eve started on very different poles of heartlessness, this is the first sign they might meet in the center. Is a Villanelle who cries one who can kill with the same degree of effectiveness?

Photo: Parisa Taghizadeh/BBCAmerica

The capture of the Ghost is almost underwhelming. Now that Eve has a bit more experience at the whole assassin business, she quickly puts together all of the clues she needs to figure out who the woman is. She turns out to be a lot easier to find than Villanelle, which is not surprising given her apparent medical background and the fact that Villanelle lives very much off the radar. And rather than breaking down a hotel door with whatever the British version of a SWAT team is, Eve collects the Ghost politely in the schoolyard after chatting with her mom. Does the Ghost make the same mistake people make around her all the time, by assuming a woman of color over 35 can’t possibly be a threat? Considering we never hear Eve speaking Korean or even acknowledging her parents, it seems quite intentional that she’s having that phone conversation as she approaches a woman she knows to be extremely dangerous.

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It also further solidifies the sense that Eve is becoming a completely different person. Or it may be more accurate to say, per Hugo’s argument, that she was always this person. She’s just finding ways to let it out now. The painful conversation with Niko makes this all the more clear. It’s sweet that he wants to remind her that she’s the kindest person he knows, but it also sounds like he doesn’t actually know who she is. His wife is not a kind person. She may have other good qualities, but if that’s the thing that he loves best about her, this marriage would be doomed even without Villanelle’s toxic influence. And even beyond that fight, has Eve ever seemed like she’s acting like the true version of who she is around him?

But while Niko is concerned by the new version of Eve, she is effective when it comes to solving crimes. Will the Ghost’s handlers act quickly to pull her out of custody?

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Stray observations

  • Any Korean speakers in the comments want to translate the conversation Eve was having? Even apart from the plotting choice of having her do it, it was also just nice to see the show have Sandra Oh speaking Korean. This is entirely anecdotal on my part, but I feel like often when characters on TV speak another language, they use it to make a point, or solve a crime, rather than in the daily ways people do when they speak another language with family.
  • Did everyone enjoy the show’s brief argument in favor of legalized prostitution? That creep Villanelle kills gets about two seconds to threaten the other prostitute before her security guard stops him. Sex workers are constantly at risk when their behavior is criminalized, but being out in the open protects this woman.
  • There was a lot of interesting framing of our two assassins in this episode, what with seeing the Ghost in her cleaning clothes followed immediately by Villanelle in a dress so outrageous a woman asks to put her on her Instagram. There are points where Villanelle looks like a model, standing in picturesque locations, wearing designer clothes with her blonde hair flowing. It felt like this episode was making unusually heavy use of Jodie Comer’s beauty, and not always in ways that seemed to be serving the plot.
  • Eve indicates Rose Tyler is the Dr. Who companion she thinks is hottest, which I think might be one of the only times she’s overtly suggested an attraction to women?
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About the author

Lisa Weidenfeld

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Lisa is a writer and editor based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.