Get weekly recommendations and eBook deals in our newsletterSign up

Get weekly recommendations and eBook deals in our newsletter Sign up

Killing Eve series 1 review

Episodes: 8

Premiered: 2018

Duration: 45 min

Killing Eve is many things: a heart-stopping cat ‘n’ mouse action thriller, a clever international spy drama, a wicked black comedy… It’s also an intense psycho-sexual tale of obsession and love. And quite possibly the best television series of the past few years.

This wildly creative and consistently beautiful series follows smart but reckless intelligence operative Eve Polastri (Grey’s Anatomy’s Sandra Oh), as she’s tasked with capturing a woman named Villanelle (Jodie Comer, Doctor Foster), a highly-skilled and idiosyncratic assassin. As the hunt develops, the pair nurture a powerfully mutual fixation with one another that begins to take over their lives…

Here’s our Killing Eve series 1 review.

Killing Eve episode 1 review

At its core, it’s a familiar concept: it’s Sherlock vs. Moriarty, Harry Potter vs. Voldemort. Two foes, one good and one evil. The protagonist and the antagonist. Enemies that become obsessed with each other, not least because of a bizarre and grudging respect for one another’s powers and talents. We’ve seen it so many times down the years that it’s become a staple trope in literature and drama, pretty much since their invention. And so it goes with the BBC’s remarkably sharp, witty, thrilling and enjoyable new crime thriller Killing Eve.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge (writer of Crashing and the critically-lauded Fleabag) adapts this eight-part series based on Luke Jennings’s popular Codename Villanelle series of novellas. While its cat n’ mouse premise may be recognisable, few other things about this opening episode smack of commonplace. Is it a crime drama? A spy thriller? A comedy? A tale of obsession? A feminist parable? Or a little of all of them? Well, we guess we’ll find out over the next two months’ worth of no doubt engrossing and unmissable Saturday night programming…

Killing Eve sets its tone stall out nice and early with a cool, classy and visually stunning pre-credits sequence – one that evokes a genuine belly laugh by the time the huge bold letters flash up on screen telling us what we’re watching. A beautiful woman sits alone in a Vienna café, casually watching a cute little girl on the table opposite smiling as she spoons ice cream into her mouth. Initially refusing to smile back to the woman, the kid watches the woman get up and walk over to her. Then quite deliberately she tips the kid’s dessert all over her. The woman, we immediately learn, is quite, quite psychopathic. Deliciously so, in fact.

She’s Villanelle (Jodie Comer – Thirteen, Doctor Foster), a talented, eccentric and skilled hit(wo)man. One, we soon learn over the course of two precise hits and one rather horribly violent bloodbath, that likes to get her perfectly-manicured hands dirty. Across the events of the opening episode, we discover that she’s highly intelligent, nimble, conniving, manipulative, brutally funny, a stone-cold killer and more than a little reckless.

The Sherlock to Villanelle’s Moriarty? Sideways and Grey’s Anatomy’s Sandra Oh. She’s the Eve of the title, Eve Polastri. An MI5 officer who yearns for a chance to get out from behind her desk and get out ‘into the field’. Something she’s allowed to do by the end of the opening episode, but only after showing equal amounts of insight, initiative, cunning and, well, recklessness.

Eve, while being briefed on the latest of Villanelle’s assassination, has a hunch that the killer is a woman. Scoffed at by her male superiors, she conducts a little light extra-curricular investigation and has her suspicions rather quickly confirmed. It ends in some ‘nastiness’ that sees both her and her immediate boss (quite rightly) being fired, but it’s not long before her nose for the Russian killer gets her back in the fold, this time with MI6.

The rest of the cast isn’t exactly showy, but it’s nicely put together. Fiona Shaw impresses as the head of the Russian division of MI6 who recruits Eve, and it’s always fun to see Four Weddings… and The Thin Blue Line’s very own DI Grimm, David Haig, in something. Fans of The Bridge and/or Nicolas Winding Refn’s tremendous Danish Pusher trilogy will recognise Kim Bodnia as Konstantin, our assassin’s patient but wary handler.

The basic idea behind the series may be familiar, but nothing else about it is. While it’s absolutely grounded in reality and far from surreal, it’s certainly subversive. And not just because it’s so stylish or because it places two unique and richly imagined female leads at its centre. Killing Eve‘s real pièce de résistance comes from its ability to simultaneously present a glamorous James Bond-esque world of spooks, spies and assassins alongside one that’s packed with humdrum normality and reality (Eve’s flaky croissant and hangover at her Saturday morning meeting is a perfect case in point). It’s this clever little juxtaposition that allows the show’s humour to really make an impact.

After this debut episode it’s difficult to know who to root for, if we’re honest – the sexy, insane, murderous and yet oddly likeable killer or the rebellious, sardonic, tetchy and yet oddly likeable spy.

Maybe we’ll pick a side next week.

Did you tune in for Killing Eve episode 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read Steve’s review of episode 2 here.

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

1 Comment

    Hello

    I’m not into MI5 or MI6 Series because I find them slow and politically orientated but watching the first episode of “Killing Eve” I was looking forward to the next episode.
    I found it fast paced and refreshingly witty.

Join the discussion

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.

Killing Eve episode 2 review

Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 1 here.

Last week’s ice-cold ice cream Killing Eve opener was a tonally perfect way to set up the new series and tip us off about the kind of thing we can expect over the coming weeks. While it only hinted at the violence and misanthropy to come, it did so with real style and panache. This week’s pre-titles scene was a little less subtle. Our assassin Villanelle is stalking and toying with her latest prey in an high rise office block. While he smears blood all over the windows and begs for his life, she dispatches her target with her usual insouciance. All the while, a woman below on a bus, watches, seemingly in horror. Stunned, she reaches for her phone and dials… her mother. To see if she needs anything from the shop on her way home. As dark and nihilistic tone-setters go, it’s certainly up there.

Luckily, there is plenty of heart in Killing Eve too. The other, more human side of the hitwoman/spy coin is Sandra Oh’s Eve Polastri. Now working for MI6 under the tutelage of the similarly socially awkward and straight-shooting figure of Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw), her first job is to put together a team. So she recruits her former assistant Elena (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and her old boss Bill Pargrave (David Haig). She’s also given Kenny (Sean Delaney), a useful computer hacker type. Smashed together in an office smaller than Villanelle’s wardrobe, their job is as clear as it is tricky – find out who’s offing everyone across Europe.

It’s Villanelle, we know that. Eve doesn’t. Not quite yet, anyhow. It’s not going to take long, though. Her and her team are no mugs, but more than that – the Russian killer’s becoming a little too showy and leaving clues all over the place. Her handler Konstantin urges her, and then tells her, to take some time off. But that’s not really her style. She does kick back for a day or two though, time which she spends banging her neighbour’s headboard with him and getting the poor sap killed. Soon after, she’s taking on the job that Konstantin refuses to give her. She likes working, you see.

After Eve’s first day in her new role, she returns home to her husband Niko and he remarks how ‘glowing’ she looks – the implication being that getting out from behind her desk and chasing after assassins in the field has reinvigorated Eve more than a little. Which very much appears to be the case. She likes working too, you see.

This is kind of the point. There are parallels between the two women – similarities, like. That’s how these cat and mouse things tend to go and we’re sure to see more and more of them as the series progresses. Yin and Yang. Light and dark. They’ve things in common, but ultimately they’re rather different. Given that Jodie Comer’s character’s raison d’être seems to be snuffing people out.

The investigation looks to be a pretty tricky one until a revelation. Eve remembers the nurse at the hospital from the bloodbath. The one with the hair advice (“Wear it down…”). The killer she’s looking for. From this clue, it looks as though next week will lend itself to a more action-packed slice of drama. While this second episode was witty in spades and plenty cool, the sheer amount of (quite necessary) exposition required to set up the rest of the series slowed it down a wee bit. Plus, it was always going to be difficult to match the intensity and sheer number of unforgettable set pieces from the first blast of Killing Eve.

Next week is all set up for some serious continental cat n’ mousing and we won’t lie – we’re excited for it. God bless iPlayer and catch-up TV in general, but heck… This show’s so good it’s worth staying in on a Saturday night for.

Did you tune in for Killing Eve episode 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read Steve’s review of episode 3 here.

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

Join the discussion

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.

Killing Eve episode 3 review

Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 2 here.

There was always that one really cool kid at school, wasn’t there? Maybe it was a lad a few years older than you who sat on the back seat of the bus, just generally being cool. Or perhaps it was your friend’s cool older sister. They didn’t notice you, they just went about their own business of being effortlessly cool and not caring what anyone thought of them. And, well, Killing Eve is kind of like that cool kid…

Everything about the BBC’s brilliant new Saturday night crime drama is stylish and sophisticated. Yet it never seems like it’s trying. Or like it even cares what you think. If it did, it certainly wouldn’t spend an entire episode making you fall in love with one of its main characters and then kill them off right at the end, would it…? No.

Even when it’s being ostensibly mundane, Killing Eve is being fly. There was a point in this third episode, in a Berlin hotel room, where work colleagues Eve and Bill are talking about dresses and bras and past romantic liaisons where we realised that we’d probably still love the programme if it were about two medical supply salespeople chasing down an annual bonus. Such is the laser-sharp wit, incredible level of performances and innate elan of the thing. The kid’s so cool she could turn up for school in pyjamas and everyone would still fancy her.

As it is, Killing Eve is not about people trying to flog kit to hospitals – it’s a wee bit livelier than that. It’s about people (assassins) killing people in various grim ways – this week it’s gassing someone at a fetish club disguised as a clinic while the mark’s testicles are clamped – and people (MI6 spies) trying to catch them.

This week was basically The Eve & Bill Show. As much as this third slice is about Villanelle and Eve growing more and more obsessed and entangled with each other, it’s basically about giving Eve a reason to not just be fascinated with the Russian killer, but to hate her too. So this was an hour of establishing Eve and her former boss’ relationship and then tearing it (and him) apart in the most vicious of ways.

It was Villanelle’s imaginative murder of a Chinese hacker known as ‘Fat Panda’ (“which is slightly racist. And fattist.”) that drew the pair to Berlin. To get close to the Panda, Villanelle posed as a nurse at the BDSM place, provocatively signing herself in using Eve’s name – almost as if to lure her to the German capital. Once Eve arrives, our hitwoman begins to stalk her MI6 foe, partly out of curiosity and partly because she’s instructed to by her handler Konstantin.

What stands Killing Eve out as – and we’ll say it – the best show currently on television is its absolute confidence shifting between drama and comedy. And we’re not talking about the odd wry observation here. We’re talking genuine belly laughs. This week was packed full of wonderful moments between Sandra Oh and David Haig’s characters, but the real comic relief came in the shape of the sleazy but oddly likeable Chinese attaché named Chin that Eve had to demean herself and fraternise with, sans bra – as per Bill’s suggestion – to prize vital information from him. It’s often the little one or two scene characters that can really light up a series like this.

As for that final goodbye scene for Bill in the classically ‘Berlin’ nightclub at the end? Ouch. In repeatedly puncturing Bill’s heart, Villanelle broke ours. She’s robbed us of his wit, his style and his hilarious interchanges with Eve. It was a genuine gut punch to lose him.

Damn it, we made the mistake of falling in love with the cool kid, didn’t we? Forgetting that the cool kid doesn’t care how much you moon over them and write them love letters, they’re just going to do whatever they want. Like kill Bill.

And somehow it just makes them even cooler.

Did you tune in for Killing Eve episode 3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read Steve’s review of Killing Eve episode 4 here.

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

1 Comment

    Late to the show, catching up on the series via streaming….

    I thought this episode was really weak, unlike the first two episodes which were stellar.

    An unarmed, past his prime, intelligence officer follows a deadly assassin into a dark night club without any backup. His noob intelligence analyst, an analyst with no defense training, finds out and rushes to the night club to see him. This is lazy writing.

    Hopefully, the episode quality reverts to its usual high levels in subsequent episodes.

Join the discussion

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.

Killing Eve episode 4 review

Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 3 here.

London. Paris. Berlin. Tuscany. Bletcham. When the screen-hogging words flash up at the start of each new location on Killing Eve, they introduce us to a glamorous and as-yet-unannounced European location for us to admire and visually drink in. Until this week. Not that there’s anything wrong with rural Buckinghamshire, of course. It’s just not what we’ve been used to so far in BBC America’s excellent crime drama/comedy/thriller Killing Eve.

One way of looking at episode 4 is that it’s a bit of a holiday for a series that last week we called ‘the best show currently on television’. A short break from the Bond locations and a quick dip into more Midsomer Murders territory. Which is fine by us, of course. Who doesn’t love Midsomer Murders? The only trouble is, the quality kind of took a wee break this week too – though only a wee one.

It wasn’t a dramatic dip in quality, don’t get us wrong. ‘Sorry Baby’ was still funny, clever and hugely enjoyable. But with the three preceding episodes offering up near-perfect TV, in contrast, things just didn’t really spark quite so brightly here.

The majority of this week’s Killing Eve took place in the idyllic Home Counties village of Bletcham – ‘as English a village as you’ll find’. Well, we say ‘idyllic’. It was idyllic until a carload of assassins pitched up firing bullets everywhere. Driven by the patronising and rather unlikable Diego, in the passenger seat is the brooding and unhappy figure of his girlfriend Nadia. In the back? Villanelle. Signing herself into the Berlin clinic to kill the Fat Panda as Eve Polastri came with consequences… A demotion from lone renegade hitwoman status to the lowly ‘Assassin #3’. As you can imagine, it’s not a role that suits our unpredictable Russian antagonist very well.

There’s beef in the car. With Villanelle working with people, it was inevitable. As Nadia launches herself at her temporary colleague, we soon clock that the resentment between the two is real. It’s not until the climax of the episode that we find out what it’s all about; the pair are former lovers. As is the way with Villanelle, the work-based grievance escalated and had to be solved with an automatic rifle and the back wheels of a minivan.

The group’s target? Frank Haleton, Eve’s former MI5 boss. Only Frank, bless him, had been made as the Russian’s mole, the double agent. He’d become a liability to Moscow and needed to be dispatched. Somehow three crack shots, three deadly mercenaries, managed to miss their target, despite the thousands of bullet casings left scattered all over the Buckinghamshire countryside. Villanelle, it appears, really does work better alone.

It was Eve and Elena to the rescue as they’d tracked Frank down as the mole too and had gone to speak to him. Despite the pair’s lack of field experience – or skills – they managed to bundle their disgraced former chief into the back of a car and (maybe) get away…

One thing we definitely noticed this week is that Killing Eve’s feminist principles are really starting to come to the fore. To begin with, the series was an almost frill-free nod to feminine force, a matter-of-fact story where the two strong leads just so happen to be women. As the weeks have gone on, however, it’s become a full-on flexing of female muscle.

Each female character is whip smart, controlled, witty and impressive in some way. Whether it’s in a flamboyant and showy way, as with Villanelle, or less so, like with Eve. After countless decades of TV drama that not only veered into sexist territory but set up full-time camp there and lit an immediately out-of-control barbecue, Killing Eve’s approach here is more than a little refreshing. After all, how many films and TV shows have shown clever male detectives solving the grisly murders of helpless women victims down the years? Where the bad guy is, well, a guy? And it’s thrashed out at the end mano a mano…?

Quite.

Did you tune in for Killing Eve episode 4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read Steve’s review of Killing Eve episode 5 here.

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

Join the discussion

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.

Killing Eve episode 5 review

Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 4 here.

There’s a now-classic scene in Michael Mann’s definitive 1995 crime drama Heat that has its two main players, a wily and brilliant criminal and a determined oddball cop, facing off in quite tremendous style. Not over a hail of bullets, though (that comes later). Instead, the tense stand-off occurs in a humble roadside diner. In reality, it’s more of a sit-off.

Robert De Niro’s master thief and Al Pacino’s LAPD detective are arch enemies, growing increasingly obsessed with each other. Their personalities differ, but they’ve plenty in common. Their reciprocated fascination with the other stems from equal parts admiration and resentment. It’s this recognition of the other as a worthy foe that’s not to be underestimated that leads the two sworn adversaries to sit across from one another and discuss the terms of their rivalrous relationship over a cup of coffee.

Episode 5 of the BBC’s absurdly good Killing Eve, ‘I Have a Thing About Bathrooms’, has its very own Heat-style diner scene. And it’s arguably the most tense, heart-stopping and thrilling five minutes of the series to date. Which is no mean feat.

Jodie Comer’s master assassin and Sandra Oh’s oddball MI6 agent are also, as we know, arch enemies, obsessed with each other. As they sit down opposite each other for the first time, it all feels very Heat. Except their electrifying sit-off happens over microwaved shepherd’s pie, not coffee. You could cut the tension with the knife Villanelle (or should we say ‘Oksana’?) ends the scene pressing into Eve’s windpipe.

How did we get here? Well, we ended last week’s drama with a cliffhanger. Would Eve floor it and drive away from her bullet-dispensing Russian foe? Or attempt a dangerous and mostly senseless eye-to-eye? It was to be the foolish latter option, with Eve risking everyone’s life to get a closer glimpse of the focus of her obsession. Villanelle eventually disappeared into the woods, leaving the carload of spooks to fight another day. And a reheated minced beef-centred face-off to come…

Despite Eve and Elena’s impressive extraction of the mole – the snivelling, brown sauce-loving Frank – Villanelle stills gets to the double agent. Not only does she snuff him out, she also metaphorically emasculates him by leaving him wearing the dress she’d bought, and later stole back from, Eve.

Don’t worry, we won’t mention the rather grisly literal emasculation of Frank. Some of you, we appreciate, may be eating as you read this.

The dress was pinched during our lovable hitwoman’s enforced earlier dinner date at Eve’s. The sit-down bisects the episode with a deliciously seat-edging eleven minutes of real-time nerve jangling. If there’s been a more subtly thrilling scene on television so far in 2018, we’re yet to gawp slack-jawed at it.

Niko’s return home brings a close to the ad-hoc meeting. The shepherd’s pie was demolished, but Eve’s throat remained intact. A chirpy Villanelle happily trotting off to put the knife to better use on Frank’s particulars.

To end this week, a few revelations. Our assassin’s employers? Not merely the Russian government or an alphabetised intelligence service of theirs, but a shadowy group known only as ‘The Twelve’ (how very Frederick Forsyth, eh?). We also learn that Nadia didn’t die under those wheels last week and is, we’re told, in a Russian jail, capable of spilling The Twelve’s secrets. Next week, we’re teased, sees ‘Oksana’ rather daringly infiltrating the prison as an inmate to shut her up on a permanent basis.

So if this week had shades of Heat, perhaps next week might feel a little more Shawshank Redemption. Let’s just hope Villanelle manages to get hold of a poster of Rita Hayworth in order to help her break back out.

We’re sure she’ll have some sort of plan to escape. Only we can’t quite see this incredible series ending with our brilliant baddie languishing over bowls of cold borscht in some grimy Russian nick, can you?

Did you tune in for Killing Eve episode 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read Steve’s review of Killing Eve episode 6 here.

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

Join the discussion

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.

Killing Eve episode 6 review

Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 5 here.

As recent headline news seems to suggest, you deal with the intelligence services of Russia at your peril. This is a lesson that Villanelle would have done well to learn before the events of Killing Eve’s sixth episode, ‘Take Me to the Hole!’ Only by the closing credits, our wily and vicious assassin antagonist found herself double-crossed by them and languishing in a less-than-pleasant Russian prison (a penitentiary ably played here by Oscar Wilde’s former residence, Reading ‘Gaol’).

More on that shortly.

After recent weeks of rather thrilling action that saw both Eve and Villanelle running about the place shooting at people, getting shot at, eating microwaved shepherd’s pie and just generally having fun, this episode was a rather more miserable affair. With neither woman in control of what was happening around them. Both had to settle for effectively being pawns in the big chess game going on around them, while the principal players sat back strategising from a rather safe distance. Such is life.

This sixth instalment saw something of a race. Who could get to Nadia first? Eve and Carolyn, with their polite questions about The Twelve and their false promises of extradition? Or Villanelle, with her shank and instructions to find Nadia and shut her up toot sweet?

After hearing that Nadia had somehow survived getting run over (twice) and had been locked up in a remote prison in Russia, Eve and her boss Carolyn flew east in a bid to speak to her and discover a little more about this whole silly ‘everyone getting killed’ business. To get it done, our experienced MI6 top brass had to call in a few favours from some contacts in Moscow: a man called Vladimir (no, not that one…) and another named Konstantin (yep, that one…).

That’s right, Villanelle’s handler Konstantin is Russian secret service. It came as something of a surprise when he plonked himself down at the table with Carolyn, Eve and Vlad, although we’re not quite sure why. It makes sense, given that the man is up to his silvery beard in all sorts of intrigue. It was a tense meeting, what with the situation and all that’s at stake. But it soon transpired that at least some of that tension was sexual. Carolyn had, we discover, slept with both men in the past. It’s a revelation that Eve uses against her in a rather risky move later on when she feels things aren’t moving quickly enough.

This undermining of Carolyn could, on the surface, seem a bit treasonous or at the very least be a tad disloyal of Eve. But in light of Ms Martens’ rather out of character behaviour this week, it may well have been the shrewd move. Russia, it appears, does rather funny things to her.

Back to the even darker side of Killing Eve and Villanelle. For an ass-kicking genius, she’s oddly trusting of her handler. Nadia needed to be offed and when given the job, she sulked a bit but accepted it without question. Despite the fact that, surely, a prisoner could just have been paid to kill her. Why go to all the trouble of sending in and extracting Villanelle? The answer? Well, it wasn’t that much trouble. Given that Konstantin didn’t bother with the whole ‘extraction’ part of the deal…

Nadia – and a kitchen full of prison guards – dispatched, our pro killer awaited her secret release. But it wasn’t to come. It seems as though her client/handler/boss/father figure/tormentor had had enough of his pet killer’s unpredictability and occasional veiled threats and decided, rather coldly, to dump her in ‘The Hole’. Unless he’s just making her stew a little before getting her out as way of a warning or a little punishment. If it’s the latter, it’s a cruel trick, given Villanelle’s history in the prison and associated trauma.

Whatever his reasoning, we sense it’s a move he might well regret.

Did you tune in for Killing Eve episode 6? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read Steve’s review of Killing Eve episode 7 here.

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

Join the discussion

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.

Killing Eve episode 7 review

WARNING: spoilers below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 6 here.

If years and years of James Bond and John le Carré novels and films have taught us nothing else, it’s that the concept of trust and the intelligence services are not natural bedfellows. In fact, the pair would struggle to spend the duration of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy sat next to each on the sofa.

All we’re saying is, in the world of spies, assassins and shady meetings in Moscow with umbrella-clasping men called Vlad, don’t be hugely surprised if you find yourself betrayed, double-crossed or left to rot in solitary confinement after the plug is pulled on your assignment to kill the only living witness to the international crime syndicate that you work for.

At the beginning of this, Killing Eve series 1’s penultimate episode, we’re reminded how Villanelle was sold out by her Twelve handler Konstantin and left to die in prison after successfully bumping off Nadia. Who can she trust now? Well, just herself, really. Certainly not her giant cellmate Inga (“My understanding of solitary confinement is that it is solitary…”). A beast of a woman who waits until people fall asleep before she treats them to a particularly close shave.

Of course, Inga tries her luck with her trusty razor and soon finds herself missing a significant part of her jugular vein. You’d have thought that the word might’ve spread by now, wouldn’t you? Don’t. Mess. With Villanelle.

The series couldn’t end with our antiheroine languishing in some fleapit Eastern jail though, could it? So episode 7 quickly looks to sets Villanelle free. A prison van, a few bullets and a motorbike courier later and she’s out. Courtesy of her employers who try to assure her that that whole imprisoning thing was just Konstantin going rogue and, as such, she should kill him. She accepts the job, though it may be a little off the books. Especially given that her ghastly new handler Anton gets a bullet between the eyes at the end of the meeting (how many times have we all dreamed of ending a meeting like that…?).

Also struggling with who to trust is Eve. And Kenny, really. Only it’s his mother – and Eve’s boss – that we’re a little concerned about as the series edges to its climax. Speaking of which, it was Carolyn still wearing the same clothes from the night before which further tipped Ms Polastri off as to her boss’ nocturnal mischief. The team leader clearly thinks it’s a good idea to get into bed with Russia in every sense of the term. It seems as if Carolyn and her Russian counterparts are natural bedfellows.

The big reveal was saved for the end, though. As Kenny and Eve reviewed hacked CCTV footage from the prison and discovered for certain that Villanelle is (or at least was) inside, they also saw how she escaped. Carolyn got her out. Is she one of the Twelve? It certainly appears likely.

We were treated to even more trust gone wrong this week in the shape of the mythical Anna. Finally, we discovered who she was (a former teacher of ‘Oksana’) and why she means so much to her (the two were kind of, sort of, a little bit, totally madly in love with each other). The first person to show Oksana/Villanelle love, Anna became a figure of fixation and it ended in heartbreak. And castration. And murder. Well, love does tend to do funny things to people, doesn’t it?

Back to Villanelle as she pays Konstantin a house call. Wife and child bundled into a cupboard, she goes about forcing the man to gobble down pills that will kill him ‘with dignity’ (and whisky). We’re treated to a touching moment as the mentor figure tells his protégé how proud he is of her and that he loves her. In all the teary-eyed confusion, he then hoys his tumbler at her face and knocks her to the ground with a log before escaping out the back onto the lake on a speedboat, just like a Bond villain.

What is it with men and emotions, eh…?

Another almost perfect hour of television, we’ve just got the one instalment of Killing Eve left now. Villanelle is out for revenge, miniature Konstantin kid-shaped hostage in tow. Eve is out to find Villanelle still, but also get to the bottom of what Carolyn is up to.

And we’re very excited about all of it.

Did you tune in for Killing Eve episode 7? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read Steve’s review of episode 8 here.

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

Join the discussion

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.

Killing Eve episode 8 review

WARNING: spoilers below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 7 here.

“God, I’m tired…”

The title of the eighth and final episode of the BBC’s stellar and unforgettable first series of cat n’ mouse, spy n’ assassin crimer Killing Eve takes its name from a line Eve heavily exhales towards its end. As she slumps on Villanelle’s bed, gun in hand but no longer pointing at the target of her hatred/lust/obsession, she means it too. She must be tired. In fact, they both must be. After all, it’s been a pretty exhausting few weeks for the pair.

Hunting a ruthless Russian killer and actually being a ruthless Russian killer looks like hard work. And so, after so many sleepless nights, twists, turns, double-crosses, kidnappings and gunfights, Killing Eve ends with the two women, so very different from one another, yet so alike, laid back, slumped in bed together. Yet as exhausted as they are, neither has sleep on their mind. More on that shortly.

Eve and Villanelle are, we’re sure you’d agree, an unlikely coupling. Yet odd duos have been one of the key features of this unusual yet entirely wonderful series. Nearly every scene pops as two vastly different characters are thrown together, either by force or design. Eve and Villanelle, Carolyn and Vlad, Kenny and Elena, Eve and Niko, Villanelle and Konstantin, Villanelle and Anna, Villanelle and Konstantin’s smart but ‘annoying’ daughter Irina who our antagonist snatches in a bid to get to her former handler and kill him… We could go on.

To that last pairing – episode 8 devotes quite some time to this latest odd couple and it’s a match that brings out the very best of writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s immeasurable talents. The back and forths really snap here, with the underlying theme of the conversation being the relative worth of being good as opposed to evil. It’s a conundrum that, of course, Villanelle isn’t the least bit interested in exploring. She’s far too busy shooting the two of the great loves of her life, Anna and Konstantin, stone cold dead.

Back to the bed and it’s a scene that crackles with anticipation and a genuine feeling that anything could happen. Will they kiss? Get under the covers? Will Villanelle try to kill Eve? Will Eve try and arrest Villanelle…? Well, as it turned out, it was none of those. As the two lent in with parted lips, Eve sank a giant kitchen knife right into her bedfellow’s belly.

Way to kill the mood.

Eve is no killer, though. Blade halfway in she panics, recoils and goes to get towels to stop the bleeding. It’s the ten seconds her friendly foe needs to escape. In her place, her elderly neighbour to announce that ‘she’s gone.’ Eve’s response? ‘WHERE?!”

Aaaaaaand that’s where the second series will surely pick up… And it can’t come a day too soon.

We’ve heaped plenty of glowing praise on Killing Eve over our past seven reviews, so we’ll refrain from adding to the mountain we’ve already created. Suffice to say that this is a show that we can’t see ourselves ever getting tired of.

Did you tune in for Killing Eve episode 8? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle

Luke Jennings

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

Join the discussion

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.