WARNING: mild spoilers for Killing Eve series 2 episode 1 below.
Killing Eve was, hands down, the best television drama of 2018. Cleverly written, tightly plotted, beautiful shot and impeccably performed, the debut series of BBC America’s Golden Globe and Emmy-winning spy series comes about as close to perfection as television gets. An enormous hit with audiences and critics alike, it was an absolute powerhouse. A titan of a show. And that very rare thing – a phenomenon where the hype was justified.
So no pressure on series 2 then, eh?
Following up a bona fide smash hit is never easy. Bands and singers have always famously feared the dreaded ‘second album syndrome’. This sense of terror doesn’t escape film and TV producers, either. A sequel to – or second series of – a successful outing comes with added expectation and responsibility. What do you do? Do you up the budget? Bring more creatives in? Sign up a big name actor in an attempt to go stratospheric? Or do you keep things as they are…?
Well, it all depends. Perhaps the most logical – and certainly the easiest – way producers can try to replicate their success is by sticking to the tried and tested formula. Thankfully, that’s just what they’ve done here with everyone’s favourite cat ‘n mouse psychosexual feminist thriller. With only a few very minor tweaks.
Killing Eve may have been off our screens for some seven months, but you’d never have known. Series 2 episode 1 picks up just half a minute from where series 1 episode 8 left off. In other words, we’re thrown immediately back into the chaos.
We pick up with Jodie Comer’s sociopathic Russian contract killer Villanelle having fled the clutches of Sandra Oh’s smart-but-awkward MI6 agent Eve Polastri in Paris. On the lam, but with a nasty Eve-inflicted stab wound to the belly, our assassin-y antagonist has to get herself into hospital, keep her visit anonymous, get treated and get out. To achieve this, she recruits the assistance of bruised and battered kid Gabriel in the bed next to hers. It’s a sweet – if short – relationship that ends in typically atypical Killing Eve style. Out of hospital, Villanelle heads to Calais and hides herself in the boot of an English family’s car. She’s on her way to The Smoke for a showdown with her old friend/nemesis Eve.
Meanwhile, Eve’s making the same trip, returning to London from Paris, believing she may well have killed her great foe/beau Villanelle. Swapping her bloodied knife for about 120 Euros worth of consolatory L’Pick et Mix at the Gard du Nord train station, she gets the Eurostar home, back to her husband Nico and no job. Her spell of unemployment doesn’t last all that long though, of course. Idiosyncratic MI6 boss Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) rehires her toot sweet. Her first job? To investigate a murder. The likely suspect? A certain Russian hitwoman.
Both alive and both recovering from their rather hectic last meeting, the two-way hunt can begin again.
One of the maiden season’s biggest strengths was its writing. To such an extent that its head scribe – the woman tasked with adapting Luke Jennings’ Codename Villanelle novellas – became something of a star in her own right. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s stock is so high at the moment that’s she currently co-writing the new James Bond movie. So busy has she been since Killing Eve hit the big time, she decided to hand over writing duties on this series to fellow writer and actress Emerald Fennell, though Waller-Bridge is still on-board as a producer.
Luckily for us, Fennel gets it. This opening hour of series two is a total barnstormer. Every bit as smart and funny and sharp as the eight episodes before it, everything we came to adore about the first run is on display here. It’s still a drama, it’s still a thriller, it’s still a comedy, it’s still a twisted love story. It’s still very much Killing Eve.
What did you make of Killing Eve series 2 episode 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
Killing Eve series 2 airs on Saturdays at 9:15pm on BBC One, with all episodes available on iPlayer from 8 June.
WARNING: some spoilers for Killing Eve series 2 episode 2 ahead. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 1 here.
Last Saturday, some 3.7 million people tuned into BBC One to watch the return of the award-winning and brilliant Killing Eve. Understandably so, too. Not only was the black comedy spy thriller the standout TV offering of 2018, it was also left on something of a cliffhanger. The anticipation was real and the tension over these past 7 months was – at least for some of us – almost unbearable.
Head writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge has since handed the typewriter to Emerald Fennell, but stayed on in an executive producer capacity. Some critics and folk online have criticised last week’s opening episode, claiming it already seems to lack the spark of series 1, citing the writing changes as the reason behind it. We, however, couldn’t agree less. We don’t sense a dip in quality at all.
Luckily for (most of) us, episode 1 was a stormer. It was as if Villanelle and Eve had never been away. Here though, in the second episode, the mood, pace and style does change a little. This week’s hour could likely upset some people even further. Only the episode revolves around something we’re yet to see from Killing Eve… A very vulnerable Villanelle (try saying that with a boiled sweet in your mouth).
Sandra Oh’s performance as MI6 agent Eve Polastri is a huge draw here, of course. But it’s Jodie Comer’s Russian assassin that’s the real star of the show. A complex, flamboyant and hilarious central character, she drives the plot by being an unstoppable badass. Here, though? She’s weak. Having smuggled herself to Basildon, of all places, she’s on Eve’s tail. But with no clothes, no antibiotics for her now-infected stab wound and no roof over her head, she’s running on empty. Her plan is simple – zone in on a trusting, friendly type and exploit their kindness.
Which is easier said than done here in the UK.
Eventually though, she finds a mark. Affecting a cut glass Home Counties accent and adopting a lie about an abusive stepfather, she convinces mild-mannered, Rover-driving, still-living-with-his-mum Julian (played by real-life Julian, Julian Barrett) to take her in. Which, of course, turns out to be something of a mistake…
We’re so used to seeing our anti-heroine slickly dispatching targets and generally being immortal that when things turns weird and dangerous for her here in her incapacitated state, it’s all rather unsettling. In the heightened reality of Killing Eve, of course Julian was always going to turn out to be a mad and controlling creep and pervert. He allows her into his house full of dolls, but soon locks the doors and windows.
Julian is Norman Bates with a hint of Annie Wilkes. The majority of this episode plays out like Misery meets Psycho, but with 50% of The Mighty Boosh in the lead role. And it’s every bit as disturbing as that sounds.
Of course, as this is a cat ‘n mouse collision course, Villanelle can’t stay trapped in the house forever, so she eventually escapes, making inventive use of a tent peg along the way. Things don’t look up for long, however. She’s picked up by her new handler, the deceptively affable-looking Raymond (Gosford Park’s Adrian Scarborough), who immediately reminds Villanelle of the hierarchy by nearly choking her to death.
As the woman herself says at one point, it’s been a ‘really sh*tty couple of days.’
Still. We can’t help but think ol’ Ray might’ve made a bit of an error introducing himself in such a hands-on way. He’ll no doubt live to regret that. Though, probably, not for very long.
Speaking of handlers, there’s an unexpected return at the end of this second episode as an old friend pitches up at Carolyn’s house to say hello to Eve. We wonder what the topic of their conversation will be…
Before that we saw Eve continuing to work on Alistair Peel’s death, as an ‘outside expert on female assassins’ alongside former colleague Kenny (Sean Delaney) and new workmates Jess (Last Tango in Halifax’s Nina Sosanya) and Hugo (Edward Bluemel, A Discovery of Witches). She’s also told all to husband Nico. Which is nice/highly dangerous, isn’t it?
Unlike some harder-to-please types out there, we saw nothing here in this second episode to suggest a drop in quality whatsoever. Killing Eve is still tense, funny, clever, unpredictable and stylish as hell.
What did you think of Killing Eve series 2 episode 2? Let us know in the comments below…
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…
WARNING: some spoilers for Killing Eve series 2 episode 4 ahead. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 3 here.
While it may be a series dominated and driven by incredible women, Killing Eve doesn’t skimp on providing its audience with smart, cleverly-written and insightful male characters.
The first run (well, the first three episodes of it, at least) had David Haig’s hilariously droll Bill Pargrave as an emotional anchor for Eve as she nearly got lost in a sea of intrigue and assassins’ bullets. Both series have had Villanelle’s affable but deadly arch manipulator and handler Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) on display too. As well as Eve’s placid, supportive but strong-willed husband Nico (Owen McDonell).
Now it looks as though we might well be able to add sex-obsessed cad Hugo’s name to that list. Eve’s new Oxbridge-educated colleague (played by Edward Bluemel), it seems, isn’t just a horny young graduate, he’s also pretty adept at reading people. Here, in Killing Eve series 2 episode 4, Hugo admits to Eve that he’s worked out what’s going on between her and Villanelle. He knows that they represent pure and unadulterated excitement to one another.
“Do you like watching her, or do you like being watched?” He asks her at one point. “I wanted this job for exactly the same reason as you did,” he goes on. “I didn’t want to die of boredom…”
But Eve is getting bored. While tracking down efficient female assassins like ‘the Ghost’ for the intelligence service might be exciting to schlubs like us, to Eve? It’s just, well… it’s just not quite the thrill of hunting down the flamboyant, poetic, artistic, idiosyncratic and spell-binding Villanelle.
You can tell that Eve’s bored – she’s smoking, eating fried chicken at 1am and very nearly copping off with a colleague half her age. She needs Villanelle.
And Villanelle needs Eve. She’s every bit as lost and unentertained as her wavy-haired counterpart. Even when she’s jetting off to Amsterdam to kill a pervert in the most brutally public (not to mention disturbing) way imaginable, she’s still so utterly lifeless.
These two need to get it together or get over it…
We may have lauded a slight breakthrough for a male character earlier, but again – Killing Eve deserves huge praise for its well-drawn female roles. This week’s standout performance? An incredible three minute cameo from none other than Love Hurts and My Family star Zoë Wanamaker as Carolyn’s foul-mouthed, volcanic, Pringle-eating, stripey sock-wearing boss. It’s the kind of scene you could happily rewind and watch again two or three times.
This week’s instalment, called ‘Desperate Times’, is Killing Eve (very nearly) back to its absolute best. Nothing will likely top the standout five star moments from series 1, but these 45 minutes felt like they could well have come straight from it.
That said, it’s somewhat difficult to get too excited about the subplot involving the murdered associates of Alistair Peele and all its potential conspiratorial fallout. Not because it’s uninteresting or poorly devised, more just because, well, it’s not all about Eve and Villanelle. And that’s what Killing Eve is all about at its core. For all the cameos and supporting cast and set pieces and gags and music, it’s all about Eve. And Villanelle, of course.
What did you think of Killing Eve series 2 episode 4? Let us know in the comments below…
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…
WARNING: some mild spoilers for Killing Eve series 2 episode 6 ahead. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 5 here.
“I hope you like missionary!”
Not only is this the name of this sixth episode of Killing Eve’s impressive second series, it’s also the standout line from 45 minutes that are jam-packed with memorably barbed quips and insults.
This particular one-liner is fired at Gemma, Niko’s work colleague/friend/probably future love interest. It’s spat out by Eve after she discovers that Niko has sought refuge with her after (somewhat understandably) walking out of their marital home after the whole Eve and Villanelle thing gets too much for him.
It had looked as though the Polastris were going to patch things up after Niko stormed into the house, rain soaked, and rather passionately and aggressively pinned Eve to the wall and growled:
“Do you like all of this? Does it excite you? What do you want from me, Eve? Do you want me to love you or do you want me to frighten you?”
Turns out, however, that despite enjoying the proceeding slap n’ tickle session, Niko decided that he just couldn’t handle the lies. Or the fact that Villanelle, who suggested the idea of a little ‘forceful union’ to him at the end of last week’s Killing Eve, knows his wife’s desires better than he does.
Even with that rather varied and lively evening’s activity, Eve uses Niko’s usual normal guy approach in the bedroom as an insult when yelling “I hope you like missionary!” to Gemma. Gemma gives her intentions away a wee bit by instinctively shooting back, “I do, actually!”
Unsurprisingly, Eve throws herself into her work – well, even further into it – and into the figurative arms of Villanelle. Now certain that data king and blackmailer Aaron Peel (Henry Lloyd-Hughes, bully Mark Donovan in The Inbetweeners) killed his dad, Eve and Carolyn need solid proof. Yet again, the only way Eve can think of getting it is by hiring a certain hit-woman.
That’s twice now that Villanelle’s been hired by MI5 as some kind of criminal consultant for hire. She’ll be on a retainer soon.
To get to Peele, Villanelle must exploit his one weak link – his sister. So she befriends her at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, killing her minder along the way. Partly for convenience, partly to remind Eve that, when all is said and done, she’s still a stone cold killer, after all.
As if that wasn’t enough, she spells it out for Eve too…
“Don’t speak to me like that, Eve. I like you, but I don’t like you that much. Don’t forget – the only thing that makes you interesting is me.”
Is that a diss? Or some more twisted flirting? We already know there’s something of a sub/dom thing going at work here.
We end with Villanelle – in character as bored New Yorker Billie – blagging a dinner at the Peeles. It’s a rendezvous that ends on a rather sour note, but could well see her get what she – well, Eve – wants next week. Meanwhile, in a rather odd final scene, we’re left wondering if Villanelle is about to keep herself busy by turning a couple of young women into kebabs…
The quality of script is still very much there with this sophomore series, even if the set pieces and action are a little short of the frankly absurd standard of the debut run. What we lack in glamorous locales and truly memorable scenes is more than made up for in performances. Sandra Oh just gets better and better the more Eve breaks bad. But, as ever, we need to talk about Jodie Comer.
Seriously, is there a better actress working on television today? Okay, so the six exceptional female leads on Big Little Lies might have something to say about it, but for us – the Liverpudlian’s ongoing performance here as Villanelle is utterly perfect. Whether she’s playing the character as lovelorn, angry, bored, jealous or just plain daft, Comer hits the right note every time. Pitch perfect.
Not only that, but her ability to slip between personalities and characters when Villanelle is called upon to adopt a new persona and accent is just scarily good.
There’s a moment here when Villanelle is Billie and she ‘opens up’ to her AA circle that is just heartbreaking. Get some Brasso in, Jodes. You’ve got an Emmy headed your way.
What did you think of Killing Eve series 2 episode 6? Let us know in the comments below…
WARNING: some mild spoilers for Killing Eve series 2 episode 7 ahead. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 6 here.
It’s a been a rather saucy series, this. The first run of Killing Eve had its risqué moments, of course – not least of all that whole Freudian slow-knife-in-the-belly bedroom scene at the very end. But things have really ramped up a notch here. Last week forced us to spy on Eve and Niko as they indulged in a little marital caper in a scene that should have come with a ‘do not watch with family members’ warning. And this week? Well, it’s all going on…
We were presented with a twosome of threesomes here. Kind of. The episode opened with Eve discovering Villanelle’s ménage à trois with the two young women she met in the kebab shop (classy) at the end of episode 6. Later, as Villanelle treated an excited Eve to some breathy pillow talk via a hidden microphone, Eve decided to take her earpiece commentary into bed with Hugo.
“Thanks for the threesome,” he spat out rather crossly when he realised in the morning what inspired the rather impromptu bunk-up.
Then there’s the true pervert of the piece – Peel. Aaron Peel, we already know, is a control freak psychopath intent on selling his ‘data weapon’ to the highest bidder. As he does so, he fancies having a living doll to accompany him in Rome for the deal. One he can watch and instruct. Like the blank-faced and voyeuristic computer programmer he is. His objectification of Billie/Villanelle here is rather stomach churning to say the least.
Speaking of churned stomachs, we were reminded that Villanelle isn’t just a great actress who’s happy to moonlight for British intelligence just to get a chance to hang out with Eve. She’s also – still – a bloodthirsty killer. Much like Hannibal Lecter and his work with Clarice Starling and Will Graham in Thomas Harris’ books and their adaptations, the smart but maniacal murderer can be a useful pet, but it’s one to be kept on a very short leash.
After scheming to get Niko and his mooning colleague Gemma together to free up Eve, Villanelle decides this week to attack them both, merely knocking out Eve’s husband but doing away with Gemma in typically grotesque fashion.
It’s a strange decision. Even given their mutual obsession with each other and Eve’s propensity towards psychopathy herself, she’s still not likely to just brush off such a senseless and cruel murder, is she? Even if the victim was a love rival of sorts.
This was the penultimate episode of this thankfully rather excellent second season. There was very little hint as to what to expect from next week’s big finale here, but one can only imagine that Eve and Villanelle’s plan to entrap Aaron goes awry, the creep sees through the charade and it all goes south.
We’re not convinced there’s too much peril in the shape of Aaron Peel, given he’s just a humourless spoiled brat IT type and Villanelle is a world class assassin backed by MI6, but hey – this is Killing Eve… It’ll be brilliant somehow.
We’re imagining the Peel story will get wrapped up in fairly short order, leaving the rest of the final episode as an Eve/Villanelle face-off. Which is always when this stand-out crime drama, well… stands out.
What did you think of Killing Eve series 2 episode 7? Let us know in the comments below…
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…