WARNING: some spoilers for Killing Eve series 2 episode 3 ahead. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 2 here.
Attention seekers are only really happy when they’re the focus. When everyone’s looking at and thinking about them, egotists are in their element. The moment that attention shifts to something – or someone – else, their world falls apart.
That’s what we saw here in the third episode of Killing Eve’s second series.
Villanelle is a beautiful, flamboyant, elegant, idiosyncratic and elusive international hit-woman. Understandably, people take notice of her. Yet that’s exactly why she’s something of a liability to herself and her employers. Assassins usually work better when they slink about the place entirely undetected. It’s for that reason that ‘the 12’ are starting to favour her more subtle and anonymous new colleague ‘the Ghost’.
Throw into the mix the idea that Eve is now looking into the Ghost’s murders and Villanelle is really displeased. She’s being upstaged. Usurped. And that just won’t do. She is, after all, hungry for attention. Hungry for praise. For excitement. For love. She’s just, well, she’s just hungry.
She’s the Very Hungry Caterpillar, according to her former handler, the now-not-dead-somehow Konstantin (Kim Bodnia). “She gets into your brain. She eats you up to make space for herself. She’s a parasite.”
Like that greedy larval pre-butterfly, Villanelle also has a habit of munching on apples – something that’s started to become more than a little preoccupying for Eve. As a metaphor for lust and temptation, the forbidden fruit is hardly subtle – especially given Mrs Polastri’s first name – but it works here.
A shiny red apple in Nico’s classroom convinces Eve that Villanelle is close and poses a threat to her, her husband and – well – just about everyone. It sends her off in a panic, leaving her doubting her own sanity. It was, it seems, just an apple. And not a coded message from a psychopathic and obsessive contract killer. That said, Villanelle was in the building, manipulating Nico’s mooning colleague, fellow teacher Gemma (Emma Pierson), into trying to steal Nico away from Eve. So, in her defence, Eve’s paranoia is somewhat justified.
Eve may have confided in her husband of late, but her distance and obsession with work is still affecting their relationship and getting to him. Expect him and Gemma to get close in the coming weeks. Not that Eve would likely notice.
Over with Villanelle and she’s got her own man trouble to worry about. Forced to off a hedge fund manager target by the detestable Raymond, she faces the prospect of a career of drudgery until the smart, double-dealing and not-dead Konstantin pitches up to emancipate her from her hotel Hell and make her a proposition… Freelance murder, with him as her handler/agent, a 50/50 split. It’s an offer she can’t refuse.
Is it a genuine deal, though? Only Konstantin was laughing an awful lot here. A little too much joviality we think, considering how Villanelle shot him and kidnapped his kid fairly recently. We think the man may well have an ulterior motive here.
Back to the main thrust of what makes Killing Eve such an unmissable and thrilling drama – the tension, chemistry, attraction and spark between the two main characters. Twice here they were within kissing/stabbing distance of each other: once when Villanelle dropped a nice/nasty gift in Eve’s handbag and once at either side of a hotel door.
This third chunk of series 2 had its moments and did help propel the plot forward a little. It introduced us to the possible future Nico/Gemma affair and threw Konstantin back into the mix. Yet lacked any particularly lively, standout moments. Save for the final minute or so…
Rediscovering the make-up gift that Villanelle has left her, Eve decides to put a little on (even though Villanelle LITERALLY killed someone with a poisoned lipstick not too long ago). As she applies it, the red of the lipstick blends with the red of her blood. Because there’s a tiny little blade secreted inside it. A little wink from the gift giver. Not freaked out, Eve smears the blood around her lips rather sensually.
It looks as though Eve is every bit as hungry – and bloodthirsty – as Villanelle.
What did you think of Killing Eve series 2 episode 3? Let us know in the comments below…