WARNING: spoilers for Killing Eve series 2 episode 8 ahead. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 7 here.
“It’s okay if you feel weird. You just killed someone for the first time… with an axe!”
It was supposed to be a bloodless mission. Well, that’s what Carolyn told Eve, anyway. In reality, as we discovered here in the final episode of Killing Eve’s second season, that was never really the plan. Fiona Shaw’s character, in her capacity as a top spy boss, knows only too well that you can’t employ an expert assassin – who also happens to be a psychopath – without a little death…
So, the mission ended as it always supposed to. With the blank-faced Aaron Peel (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) not being able to sell his ‘data weapon’ due to, let’s just say, a rather sore throat. Villanelle may not have known that she was effectively carrying out her mission by acquainting Peel with the cutlery so enthusiastically, but nor would she particularly care. She kills people, that’s what she does. Carolyn, after all, was counting on it.
No one was counting on Eve killing anyone, though. Apart from Villanelle, of course. The aforementioned axe murder seemed – at the time – to be Eve saving Villanelle. A show of love and dedication that was leading somewhere. Somewhere romantic, perhaps. But, alas, it was yet another act that Eve was merely manipulated into performing. Yet again, she’s the puppet and someone else has hold of the strings.
Now a killer, there are even more similarities between the two central characters here. They’d be peas in a pod were it not for Eve’s (generally well calibrated) moral compass. So it’d make sense for the two of them to walk off into the sunset together, right? Right. And that’s very nearly what happened…
But for a bullet.
This final episode was a good example of the series as a whole: brutal, bloody, inventive and unpredictable. This has been an enjoyable, smart and classy eight-odd hours. What’s it’s not been, however, is the first series. The maiden Killing Eve was so incredible, few people expected this follow-up run to match it. And it hasn’t. Not quite. Let’s get it right, though – this is still exemplary television.
We’ve not always been thrilled by the Aaron Peel story-line and a few plot threads felt a little like they were cut off without being fully explored (mostly the Ghost’s and Niko’s colleague/love interest Gemma’s), but that’s nit-picking. This second run actually excelled when it ignored propelling the plot forward. Its highlights lay in its self-contained moments. For us, Killing Eve series 2 was never better than in its opening couple of episodes. Villanelle’s pyjamas and anti-malingering in episode 1 and her Misery moments in episode 2 stood out in particular.
There’s a rather pleasing symmetry to the end of this follow-up series. Series 1 episode 8 ended with Eve nearly killing Villanelle. Series 2 episode 8 ended with Villanelle nearly killing Eve. We’re assuming Eve isn’t actually going to die; our guess is that she’ll employ Hugo’s ‘hero’s technique’ of playing dead. Otherwise series 3 of Killing Eve may have have to be retitled ‘Killed Eve’.
That third series, by the way? It’ll be with us next year. Between now and then we’ll just be Killing Time.
What did you think of Killing Eve series 2 episode 8? Let us know in the comments below…