WARNING: some spoilers for Killing Eve series 2 episode 5 ahead. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 4 here.
Last week’s Killing Eve left us thinking that episode 5 would be all about Eve going up against The Ghost in the interrogation room. But there were no such Line of Duty antics to revel in here in ‘Smell Ya Later’. In fact, our intrepid intelligence agent barely even tried to elicit the identity of the quiet assassin’s employers from her prisoner. Eve entirely abandons the AC-12 approach in favour of a far madder plan. The gist? To go full Silence of the Lambs.
In order to get The Ghost to spill the beans about who hired her to kill Alistair Peel, Eve hits upon a crackpot scheme that allows her to indulge both her increasing lunacy and her preoccupation with Villanelle, by effectively recruiting her pseudo paramour to help crack the stoic nut that is our tight-mouthed Korean killer.
Headhunting the world’s most ruthless and flamboyant female assassin to catch a fellow hitwoman is a complicated business, though. You can’t just put in a call to a recruitment agency. Instead, you – apparently – have to take a hit out on yourself and pray that the expert murderer doesn’t, well, y’know, actually murder you. It’s a bold strategy.
The trap worked, though and Villanelle came calling for Eve.
It took four and a bit episodes, but we finally saw our two leads face to face again. Putting her life ever-so-slightly at risk, Eve welcomed a veil-wearing Villanelle (“I’m about to be in mourning…”) into her house. But only after making her take off her shoes, confirming what we’ve long suspected about people who make you go shoeless in their house (they’re powerplaying you, dammit!).
A tense face-off in the Polastri kitchen brings to mind one of the highlights of series 1, when the pair danced around knives and ate microwaved shepherd’s pie. This time, however? The dynamic has changed. The frisson remains, but now it’s charged with distrust, fear and hurt. There’s emotional baggage weighing them down now. There’s something oddly refreshing about that, though. There’s now something more akin to actual love between them, not just the lust and infatuation of old.
Villanelle accepts her Hannibal Lecter-style assignment and agrees to work with Eve. Cut to a storage container deep in the Forest of Dean surrounded by tall birch trees that, funnily enough, actually bring to mind the opening scene of Jonathan Demme’s 1991 Silence of the Lambs film. There’s no jogging Jodie Foster here though, just an off-screen inquisition by Villanelle which seems to bear fruit. Eve discovers that it was, in fact, Peele’s son Aaron who, apparently, ordered the hit on his old man to gain control of ‘a secret weapon’ (“It’s always a weapon,” Villanelle offers up).
Quite why everyone’s decided to believe Villanelle and not assume she’s either lying or that she’s struck a deal with The Ghost is anyone’s guess. But there you are.
Could this be the way forward for Eve and Villanelle’s relationship? A Clarice Starling/Hannibal Lecter-style ‘quid pro quo’ set-up? Or was this a one-time thing? We’ll have to wait and see.
It was good to see the two of them interacting directly again this week, only Killing Eve isn’t really Killing Eve without the magnetism and danger of Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer’s characters sparking off one another in the same scene.
Who knows? It could eventually all lead to a pleasant future relationship. One where Villanelle can occasionally have her old friend for dinner… Maybe with some fava beans. And a nice Chianti.
What did you think of Killing Eve series 2 episode 5? Let us know in the comments below…