Three series and some 24 episodes of stylish yet deranged psychopathy. Dozens and dozens of truly grisly murders and more bloody violence than you can shake a stick covered in broken glass at. And yet we still love the utterly sociopathic Russian hitwoman Villanelle. Well, we did, anyway…
That was before she killed a cat.
Poor little Lucifer. Okay, so this hit was an accident, but still. The sight of Jodie Comer’s character casually dumping the manslaughtered mog was more than enough to make us finally pick our side in Killing Eve’s final season. We’re fully #TeamEve now. We’ve decided.
So what’s happening aside from feline ferocity? Well, the tables – it seems – have turned. It was always MI6 agent Eve Polastri trying to grab the elusive Russian assassin Villanelle. Now, it’s all about ‘nelle capturing Eve. Supposedly a changed woman, her plan is to impress and win back the affections of her imaginary paramour by ditching the massacring and finding God. Although her heart’s not really in it. Almost drowning her new bestie in her new church’s holy water sort of suggested that.
Meanwhile, her old adversary/pseudo lover Eve has a new focus of her own: vengeance. She’s now working in private security and moonlighting with her handsome colleague/love Yusuf (Robert Gilbert). The pair are hunting down The Twelve, with her determined to destroy the shady group of international assassin types.
As for Carolyn, she’s been demoted to a nothing job as a cultural attaché out in Majorca. Still keen to take down The Twelve herself, she doesn’t really have the scope, clout or ability to on her own. So she ropes Eve in once again. Meanwhile, Konstantin is apparently keeping a ‘low profile’ back in Russia by running a high-profile campaign to be a local mayor. For some reason.
By the time Eve and Villanelle finally meet back up at the end of this opener (staring at each other through a brightly-lit fish tank, Romeo + Juliet-style), we can sense that the dynamic has changed between them. The frisson and dark attraction still exists, but it’s nowhere near as strong. Villanelle is still obsessed with Sandra Oh’s former spook, but it’s a one-way thing. Eve is (mostly) over it, you can tell.
And there’s the sticking point as we embark on the final run of what has been one of the best TV thrillers of the past decade. The driving force behind Killing Eve has always been the two lead characters’ electric and confused desire to get close to the other. While this new style of interplay suggests character growth and maturity, it also kind of also loses the show’s strongest point. After all, it’s not much of a ‘will they, won’t they?’ when you’re fairly certain that they won’t.
When the cat loses interest in the mouse, it stops being a cat and mouse game. Let’s just hope that independently, the cat and mouse do enough to keep us all entertained over the next seven weeks.
So if this last ever series of Killing Eve isn’t focused on the way the two main players play off each other, it looks to be the tale of how they finally go their separate ways. It seems likely that neither will survive the eight-episode run.
Eve’s death was eerily laid out in a confident premonition by Konstantin here. ‘You’re going to die, you know? Whatever this is, you’re not coming out of it’ – to which Eve coldly shoots back, ‘thank God.’ While surely even a tale this dark can’t have the deranged killer strolling off into the sunset, whistling.
Our love and admiration for this ground-breaking series will see us happily tuning in each week. Okay, so if this opening 45 minutes is an indicator, the thrills, chills and kills won’t be quite what we’ve enjoyed in the past. But until Eve is killed, we’re sticking with Killing Eve.
Did you tune in for Killing Eve series 4 episode 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
Still catching up on Killing Eve series 4 episode 2? Read Steve’s review of episode 1 here.
While we’re sure that the three main characters will meet again and their stories converge before the big climax of Killing Eve, so far they’re all being kept rather separate.
Eve, for a change, hasn’t been spending too much time obsessing over the erstwhile assassin Villanelle. She has a new preoccupation to busy her wired mind with: getting bloody revenge on ‘nelle’s former employers, The Twelve.
Here in this second episode of the show’s final run, Eve focuses on another beautiful and deadly woman, Hélène (Camille Cottin, House of Gucci, Stillwater). Her pursuit and confrontation of the Frenchwoman is reckless, but it’s what Eve lives for. Steak knives in waistbands, bubbling violence tinged with a sapphic frisson… shepherd’s pies. It’s all quite familiar and pleasing to fans of the show.
There was a return to ‘normality’ for Villanelle too. After almost two episodes of trying her very best to find God, it all got a bit too much for Jodie Comer’s killer character. Try as she might, she just couldn’t turn the other cheek. Whether it’s by humiliating a vicar during the forehead/Post-It Note game Who Am I? Or viciously stabbing that same vicar and his daughter with a tent peg, just as Jael does to Sisera in the Book of Judges. While Phil and May would’ve no doubt preferred not to die horrible bloody deaths, at least there was a biblical tinge to their undoing.
It was never going to work though, was it? Villanelle and religion. After all, who imagines Jesus Christ as themselves, but with a little beard? A life dedicated to God requires a fair amount of humility. And a really rather minimal murder count.
Both lead figures here are trying to do the right thing and find redemption, be it through a vengeance mission or by finding The Light. The latter plan has already failed. We’ll have to see how Eve gets on. Whatever happens, we sense the pair will likely find each other and – we’re hoping – decide to work together to bring down The Twelve. Eve’s smart, but she lacks the killer instinct of her spiritual partner.
As for Carolyn, well, she’s still a bit lost. She’s now stuck in a Moscow safehouse after some defecting and undermining of MI6 assets to old pal Vlad. All in a bid to avenge her murdered son Kenny. She’s a skilled player, but she can’t do it all alone. Really, Carolyn’s going to need to team up with Eve. And, hopefully, Villanelle. The Three versus The Twelve.
This second part had a little more pizazz and style than the series’ oddly flat opener. And in Barbara’s family saying, one huge belly laugh moment. We were a little concerned last week that we may have been in for a dud series, but it seems not.
Of course, Killing Eve works best when the main players are all in a room together, so let’s hope we’re not waiting too long for that. We want to see The Twelve reduced to The Zero.
Did you tune in for Killing Eve series 4 episode 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Still catching up on Killing Eve series 4 episode 3? Read Steve’s review of episode 2 here.
It took the best part of three episodes of this fourth series but we finally got there. Eve and Villanelle, back together, in the same room, sparking off each other. Albeit those sparks are a little smaller and less intense than we’re used to as Killing Eve fans.
The dynamic has definitely shifted. We’ve come a long way since the first series that aired all the way back in spring 2018. There’s still a connection between Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer’s characters, but it’s no longer sparked with electricity. The symbiosis is gone. Villanelle still craves Eve’s gaze, but it’s not reciprocated.
Having broken into Eve’s hotel room in the opening scenes here, our ennui-filled assassin is desperate. She’s on the run from the murderous events of last week’s instalment and looking for sanctuary. Only Eve is no longer interested. She doesn’t care much for Villanelle – she’s far more preoccupied with The Twelve.
Shunned and with nowhere else to go, ‘nelle heads for a spot of therapy. Of course, she doesn’t just book a session like the rest of us. She doorsteps Adeel Akhtar’s psychopath expert Martin and forces him to skive work to help her stop feeling ‘like sh*t all the time’. She doesn’t give up on Eve, though. A trail of breadcrumbs is left for Ms Polastri to follow all the way to Martin’s surprisingly tastefully-decorated house.
Eve, now largely indifferent to Villanelle, ends up – rather shockingly – turning her in to the police. So we wrap up this week’s Killing Eve with Grassing Eve and a banged-up Villanelle. Surely that won’t be the end of our favourite moody assassin…? Not that Eve cares either way, she has the classy French handler Hélène to sniff around.
Eve’s mission to reach – and presumably rip off – ‘the head of the monster’ edged ever closer to being accomplished here via some clever booze-fuelled inveigling of Hélène’s recently-dumped ex-beau Fernanda. It appears like the main man may have been revealed too… A certain Lars Meier. We’ll no doubt be introduced to him in the coming weeks.
Somehow the inexpressive mortician Pam, Hélène’s latest recruit, looks set to be central to how the story of Killing Eve finally wraps. Perhaps it will be her that finally kills Eve. Unless Villanelle can break, charm or con her way out of prison.
We’re also waiting for the proper return of Konstantin, who we’re sure is likely to come back into the picture and help things tie up nicely.
We’re still not too sure how the remaining five episodes will play out here. But after a slow start to the series in week one, these past two chapters of Killing Eve have shown us glimpses of what made the BBC America thriller such a phenomenon a few years ago.
Did you tune in for Killing Eve series 4 episode 3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Still catching up on Killing Eve series 4 episode 4? Read Steve’s review of episode 3 here.
As we’ve remarked a few times already in our reviews of this fourth series of Killing Eve, this is a show that works best when its two leads are in each other’s company, bouncing off each other. Both metaphorically and literally.
We’ve had a few glimpses of it already and hope to see Eve and Villanelle together again soon. Which is almost a certainty. After all, can you see our newly-rejuvenated Russian assassin allowing Sandra Oh’s character to get away with having her banged up at the end of episode 3? Nope. Us neither.
While we may have to wait for our main duo to pair back up, this latest episode treated us to plenty of other intriguing couplings. We started out with an uncharacteristically vulnerable Villanelle being slipped out of jail and assigned a mission by Hélène: head to Cuba and take care of Carolyn. There’s a mutual respect and fear that ebbs and flows between the women, with neither letting their guard down. It’s an interesting if not hugely exciting dynamic.
Then Hélène and Eve share an awkward wager as to who can take down The Twelve first. Before sharing a bath too. It’s a charged scene that builds up its punchline nicely. If you’ve ever seen shared baths on screen and thought they looked romantic or erotic, you need the toe-poking reality of this scene to put you straight.
Elsewhere, another unlikely coupling made for some amusing interplay. Newly unemployed mortician Pam, fresh from stabbing her brother many, many (many) times, is desperate for a job with The Twelve. Hélène allows her to start her training and assigns her a handler we’re all quite familiar with – Konstantin. Oh, how we’ve missed his cheery belly laugh. There aren’t many people out there who’d find being shoved into The Channel quite as amusing as our Konstantin.
But as we hit the halfway point of Killing Eve’s final season, it became clear who the most entertaining new double act was. Not Eve and Hélène, nor Eve and the loveable Yusuf. It’s not Pam and Konstantin, either. It’s Villanelle and Carolyn.
Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw have shared screen time before, of course. But here, they’re allowed to luxuriate into scenes, trading beautifully written dialogue. This latest series isn’t quite to the standard of its predecessors, but it still has a script that sparks. Like the mojitos they enjoyed while playing, the two’s game of Truth or Dare here was a delight to drink in.
Villanelle, always open to parent-like figures to connect with/be manipulated by – when she’s not cruelly torturing and murdering people – doesn’t take long to fall for the former MI6 boss’ charms and flattery. Soon, the two are working together trying to take down The Twelve themselves.
If only Carolyn and Villanelle could team up with Eve. And Hélène. Then the dirty dozen of the Twelve really would be in trouble.
The show’s Big Boss has finally come into view too. An old flame of Carolyn, we got our first proper glimpse of Lars Meier in Havana this week, a man who is – seemingly ‘at the head of the monster’, as Eve put it last week. He didn’t look all that scary…
We’re sure Eve can take him down. Or Hélène. Or Carolyn. Or Villanelle. Or all of them.
Actually, yeah. We don’t fancy this Lars chap’s chances at all.
Did you tune in for Killing Eve series 4 episode 4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Some spoilers for Killing Eve series 4 episode 5 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 4 here.
Killing Eve took an unexpected and enjoyable new direction this week as we broke away from the main story for large parts and enjoyed what was effectively Carolyn’s origin story.
We’ve never really seen or even heard how Fiona Shaw’s character came to be so involved in The Twelve or how she got her start in the espionage game. Well, now we know. It turns out that she was so integral to it, she even came up with its name.
The former chief of MI6’s Russia desk, Ms Martens has long been something of an enigma. We know she’s a sly operator, with a wry smile, a host of ex-flames in the business and a wardrobe full of incredibly chic overcoats. But until now, we never knew her back story.
Considerable swathes of this fifth episode of season 4 has us in 1979 Berlin. We know it’s the olden days because it’s all filmed in black and white – clever, no? Carolyn is a young woman in a Baader–Meinhof-style anarchist group. It’s The Twelve and she’s infiltrated them. This is, we learn, her first mission as a British spy.
And so we discover how she got close to its de facto leader Johan (now Lars) and, eventually, how she (thought she had) killed him. We also meet a young man with a beard, a beer belly and a hearty laugh. You can probably guess his identity.
As for Villanelle, well, she’s still in Havana. She’s still looking for a purpose and it looks like she’s about to find it when housekeeper Benita reveals the extent of her abuse at the hands of her husband. Perhaps Villanelle can use her skills for good. She kills the horrible husband with a hose, but soon abandons her Dexter-style plan to instead go find Hélène and the rest of The Twelve again.
We’re left on something of a shocker here. Despite Eve’s rather brazen abduction of her child, Hélène seemingly turns the other cheek and finally invites her in on her plan. The Frenchwoman has found Lars and asks Eve to join her on her revenge mission. That’s not the shocking part, however.
The jaw dropping moment comes just afterwards when Hélène reveals that she was lying about the teaming up idea and did in fact plan to punish Eve for her kiddy nicking. From the back window of Hélène’s chauffeur-driven car, the two women watch Villanelle emerge from a door, having just left Konstantin’s in Margate. And then PING! She’s shot with a giant arrow from an unseen archer…
After an enjoyable but ever-so-slightly disappointing first half of the series, this final ever run of Killing Eve certainly picked up here. This was almost like the golden age of the show, its imperial phase from back in the day.
Imogen Daines (The Witcher) stands out as the younger Carolyn, perfectly capturing the world weariness but innate flair and style of the character. We wouldn’t have minded seeing more of her throughout this climatic series.
This background story is needed, to flesh out older characters, but also to help us understand exactly what The Twelve is. It’s always been so shadowy that it’s almost entirely illusive and unknown. Now we know how it came to be, though… Well, it is a teeny tiny bit underwhelming. Never mind.
Still, we’re here for the characters. After four series of slow building and creation of our main players, plus a few newer but still interesting faces, we care what happens to them. Even if the wider story isn’t quite as interesting as the writers might have hoped for.
Onto next week and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for the next seven days, hoping Villanelle pulls through. Not literally, thought. That would just be weird.
Did you tune in for Killing Eve series 4 episode 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Some spoilers for Killing Eve series 4 episode 6 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 5 here.
When BBC America’s Killing Eve first burst onto our screens, it was undeniably excellent. That’s why it won almost as many awards as it did fans. Emmys, BAFTAs, Golden Globes, you name it. Audiences adored it, critics tripped over themselves to write gushing reviews, dedications and think pieces about it. Back in 2018, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge as its lead writer, Killing Eve was nothing short of a television phenomenon.
Within a year, the popular female-centric spy thriller was back – this time with Emerald Fennell on scribing duties. Luke Jennings’ books got a second near-perfect eight-part adaptation. The cat and mouse chase was still happening, this time with even more at stake.
2020’s third run had plenty of highlights and was only slightly less thrilling than previous seasons. Still, though, critics and viewers were starting to see cracks and at least some of the excitement had worn off Eve, Villanelle and Carolyn’s exploits.
Fast forward two years and the climactic run has certainly veered away from what made it just so deliciously quirky, fun and darkly thrilling. Killing Eve is by no means out of the race, but by this point – with just a couple of laps left – it’s limping somewhat to the finishing line.
Everything we’ve come to expect from the series is still here, they just don’t all come together to delight us as they once did. The violence and kill count was certainly upped here in this sixth episode as we came away from last week’s intriguing 1979-set back story of The Twelve and returned to the chaos of 2022.
What’s happening? Well, everyone’s killing – or trying to kill – everyone else. Each of the four main characters has their own reason to track down the head of The Twelve and off them. Each continues to work independently, much to the detriment of their overlapping individual missions.
Perhaps if there’s one overriding theme of this fourth and final series of Killing Eve is that the shared goals of women are better achieved through unity instead of atomisation.
While Eve may have always been the moral core and hod carrier of the story and various plots here – and Sandra Oh is never less than brilliant – the true power and allure of Killing Eve emanates from Jodie Comer’s Villanelle. Sure, Carolyn’s dry wit amuses, Konstantin’s always a welcome screen presence and the four series have provided us with dozens of fun peripheral characters. But, let’s face it, this is The Villanelle Show.
That’s why this conclusive season hasn’t quite had the power of its predecessors. A fatal mistake has been made: Villanelle has been underwritten for the first time. We’re glad she survived last week’s arrow and we’re certain she’ll delight us with a few more verbal arrows of her own across the next – and final – two episodes. But will it be enough?
Will the climax live up to the first two incredible years of the show? It seems unlikely. Still, a TV thriller with as much class as this… Even when it’s not at its best, it’s a damn sight better than a lot of its peers.
Unless you’ve already binged the series on iPlayer, the penultimate ever Killing Eve can be seen on BBC One on Saturday evening. As always, you’ll be able to read about it here from Monday. Here’s hoping there’s a big ending in store, eh?
Did you tune in for Killing Eve series 4 episode 6? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Some spoilers for Killing Eve series 4 episode 7 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 6 here.
‘I swear to God… You women will be the death of me.’
Poor old Konstantin. With his silver beard, echoing belly laugh and yet almost permanent gloominess, he’s been a welcome feature in almost every episode of Killing Eve since its debut back in 2018. An assassin handler who specialises in training deadly women with daddy issues, his is a dangerous game. Just hours after delivering the line above, his prediction proved to be true.
Tasked by the now-dead Hélène – making the hit essentially now pointless – new apprentice Pam took a pizza cutter to the old Russian in his Margate hotel room. Poor Konstantin. Villanelle won’t be happy with Pam when she hears about it.
On something of a revenge mission gone awry, Villanelle found herself on a remote Scottish island owned by a reclusive Twelve assassin called Gunn – the initial plan being to kill the woman for shooting her with an arrow. Marie-Sophie Ferdane’s character is every bit a match for ‘nelle, however, and the two end up bonding. They even share a rather passionate kiss. When Gunn moves Villanelle’s belongings from the barn into the main cabin, you sense a real romance could blossom.
Don’t hold your breath, though. We ended up with a machete-wielding Gunn chasing Villanelle into the forest. There to help her old pal? Eve, who had come to recruit Villanelle as the final push to take down The Twelve veers its ugly head.
Sound a little messy? Well, it is. And that’s before we’ve explored the clues around weird bird symbols that Carolyn and Eve were following and touched on the idea that Konstantin’s daughter Irina (remember her?) is now a Twelve hitwoman.
All roads seem to lead to a mysterious ‘Barn Swallow MI6 Pub’, seemingly where next week’s final ever episode will see Killing Eve meet its end.
Will the climax live up to the billing? Well, perhaps. But only because that billing isn’t really promising much. This final ever series has been something of a disappointment, to say the least. The flair is still just about there, but the electricity that’s powered the thing for the past few years is gone. The characters are sauntering towards an ending that’s been built up with very little drama.
Killing Eve has been a powerhouse of thrilling telly these past four years. Witty, stylish, surprising, energetic, refreshing and gripping. It’s just jumped the shark, as the old TV cliché goes. The writing here has seemed scattergun, with no real cohesion and very little dramatic tension.
You can’t help but think that this series would have benefitted from having its two forceful main figures teaming up a lot sooner to hunt down The Twelve. Instead, we’ve been served up an extremely fractured run of episodes that explores too many dead ends.
Speaking of dead ends… Who will live and who will die in the conclusive part? Well, it’s anyone’s guess, really. Killing Eve has never been afraid of murdering its main characters, after all.
While we’d love to see the two central characters survive and maybe even stroll off into the sunset together, leaving bloody footprints behind them, we don’t think it’s likely. Besides, if they did, it might just encourage the writers to make another series down the line. We can forgive a limp ending to one of this century’s finest televisual offerings. We’d likely be a whole lot less generous in the future.
Did you tune in for Killing Eve series 4 episode 7? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Some spoilers for Killing Eve series 4 episode 8 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 7 here.
Often, when you reach the big finale of a TV series or an epic film, everything falls into place right at the very end. Plot threads are tied up neatly, with us viewers being left satisfied as the main characters get together in the end or sacrifice themselves for the greater good or however the writers decide to conclude things.
Done right, these sweeping films or complex TV dramas can capture everything good about the thing in their closing scenes or episode. Distil everything that made them so enjoyable into one showstopper of an ending. Done right.
Done wrong and, well, you end up with Killing Eve’s final ever episode, as televised on BBC One on Saturday night.
On our screens since 2018 and something of a television phenomenon, Killing Eve has to go down as a huge success. Instantly loveable, it was fresh, exciting and unique. A brilliantly-written and unpredictable tour de force of feminist fun and ferocity. We’ll remember it for it’s near-perfect debut season and its almost-as-great follow-up. We’ll try not to let a patchy but watchable third series and this rushed – and at times fairly aimless – final run affect its legacy too much.
As ‘THE END’ flashed up here in the closing seconds of this last ever episode, it all just felt rather flat and underwhelming. After a good half an hour of enjoyable but rather slow preamble, The Big Showdown was more of a Big Letdown.
We’ll swerve any major spoilers here. Suffice to say that it appears fairly unlikely that the show will make a return. There’s a seemingly rather big twist at the end, but the full story around that is rather unclear and presents more questions than answers.
Throughout this final series, there’s been a distinct feeling that it was written almost on the fly, with characters and plotlines introduced that don’t really serve the main story or series in any real tangible way. Peripheral ideas were given too much space, while major ideas were rushed. For instance, Pam, an assassin for about three days, is given several hours of screen time in this final series, yet the killing of The Twelve gets about fifteen seconds in a montage.
Killing Eve has always worked best when its two central players are together. There’s a real dynamism and electricity between Eve and Villanelle. Here, working together, there’s a lot of humour and thrills (and snogging). Their road trip from Scotland to London in the stolen and ‘stupid’ campervan was easily the highlight of the series. So why did we just have to watch seven episodes where the two spend practically no time together…? If it was supposed to be for dramatic tension’s sake, it just didn’t work.
We’re also left with what’s presented as a twist ending, but it’s so oblique and goes against so much of what we’ve been presented before that it just doesn’t really work. So, personally, we’re just going to carry on like the rug-pull non-ending didn’t happen. It makes it easier to process and put to bed.
It seemed only right that the climax here would happen aboard a boat, given that most of this final series has felt adrift and all at sea.
This wasn’t the incredible and satisfying ending we’d all maybe hoped for. It wasn’t a disastrous series or conclusion, just not to the standard of 2018-2020 Killing Eve that perhaps the show deserved.
Would we watch every single episode all over again, though…? Absolutely.
Did you tune in for Killing Eve series 4 episode 8? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!