This Killing Eve review contains spoilers.
Killing Eve Season 1, Episode 7
Who is Villanelle? It’s a question Eve is obsessed with, Konstantin has maybe figured out, and Carolyn is lying about knowing anything about. It’s also the question that drives this latest episode of Killing Eve in particular, a stirring character study into who Oksana was and the Villanelle she’s become.
For an episode that is so much about Villanelle, the character doesn’t get so much to do in the first two acts. She’s still stuck in Russian prison, now in “solitary” confinement with a large, seemingly catatonic woman named Inga. It says a lot that, while Inga is treated like the most dangerous creature to ever have been stuck in this prison by the guards, Villanelle takes her out with a bite to the jugular. The moral: never underestimate Villanelle.
It’s a lesson Konstantin has obviously already learned, even if he was foolish enough to leave Villanelle in prison. When Villanelle is broken out by The Twelve, she is ordered to kill Konstantin. She seems kind of conflicted about it—even going so far as to ask new handler Anton about it as soon as she is free. It would have been interesting to see if Villanelle would have gone through with Konstantin’s murder had he not just left her to rot in prison.
As it stands, we get a showdown between Villanelle and Konstantin that is the best scene in the entire episode and one of the standouts from the season thus far. Villanelle forces Konstantin to take pills that he claims will kill him. Konstantin tells Villanelle how proud of her he is just before hitting her over the head with an endtable to make his escape via boat like the James Bond villain he kind of is. Through it all, we are left to wonder if Konstantin is telling the truth when he says he loves Villanelle best of all. My take? He truly does… he’s just smart enough to understand how stupid that is.
Meanwhile, Eve makes a house call to the last person who maybe loved Villanelle: Anna, the woman whose husband Oksana murdered and castrated. From Anna’s retelling, Oksana saw it as a gift for Anna, who joked along with her student only a day before that the only reason she loved her husband was because he had a penis. It’s not the kind of joke you should make with Oksana.
Eve and Anna’s tea and cake date is reminiscent of Villanelle and Eve’s dinner date: cordial on the surface, but built on a Jenga tower of impolite questions. Unlike her encounter with Villanelle, Eve waits until she is out the door with cake in hand before leveling the most impolite question at Anna: Did she sleep with Oksana? “No,” says Anna angrily before slamming the door. Whether it’s the truth or just the truth Anna wants to believe, it’s clear that Anna and Oksana were closer than the typical student-teacher relationship. And it’s telling that not only do Eve and Anna have similar hair, but that Villanelle has given them both similar presents.
For Anna, one such present was a designer winter coat sent in the mail. When Eve is going through the liner (as you do), she finds a passport with Oksana’s face on it, along with cash. Did Anna and Oksana have some kind of plan to run away together or was this solely a plan Oksana made on her own? Either way, Anna seems eager to see Oksana again and, with the assassin out and about in Moscow, a reunion seems likely.
The final twist of the night? Best case scenario: Carolyn is definitely hiding things. Worst case scenario: Carolyn is straight-up evil. (I still think she’s a member of The Twelve.) Not only has she been secretly corresponding with Konstantin for years, but she knows far more about Villanelle than she is letting on. When Kenny hacks into the prison video system, he and Eve see a recording of Carolyn visiting with Villanelle in jail. Why did Carolyn give Eve the job of finding Villanelle if she seems to know how to find her? Did she think that an inexperienced MI6 agent wouldn’t be able to do the job? If so, she is sadly mistaken. Like Villanelle, Eve is someone who should never be underestimated.
So… Konstantin just doesn’t care that much about his family, then?
I’m not pro-murder, but watching Villanelle straight-up kill Anton after he condescended to her for a good five minutes was pretty cathartic for anyone who has ever been spoken to this way by a male superior who just showed up on the scene. This is one of the many things Killing Eve excels at.
Why does The Twelve want Konstantin dead? Did Carolyn order his execution? Is she one of the Twelve?
Niko still isn’t answering Eve’s phone calls, which is both understandable and worrying, given what Villanelle did to the husband of the last lady she fancied. Eve tells Anna multiple times that she should stay with a friend, but she has yet to give her husband the same advice. It might be time to start considering it.
Does Villanelle want to be free? If so, why is she choosing to work for The Twelve? Is it just a way to make money for her, or is there some other reason she continues under their employ?