Killing Eve Season 3 Episode 4 Review: Still Got it

Killing Eve sheds dead weight and plays to its thriller strengths with one of its boldest, bloodiest murders yet.

Killing Eve Season 3 Episode 4: Still Got It
Photo: Daniel Kosuth/BBCAmerica/SidGentle

This Killing Eve review contains spoilers.

Killing Eve Season 3 Episode 4

Killing Eve Season 3 has a clear message that this episode burns into our eyes: only two people on this show are truly safe, Eve and Villanelle. Carolyn comes in third, but don’t get too comfortable with that, either. Everyone else is fair game. 

Niko’s death was necessary (and perhaps overdue), but at least it was dramatic as hell. It was great to see Dasha in action in the present tense and her willingness to kill Eve or manipulate her into thinking Villanelle killed Niko was necessary after the audience fell so much in love with her quirky grumpiness. Both the pig death and giving Niko the axe a great reminder that as adorably cranky as she is, this fun retired assassin is still, well, an assassin. 

Was Niko the “Brody’s family” of Killing Eve? Just baggage that might have been interesting at one time, but frankly at this point needed to be cut in favor of much more interesting developments? Probably, but at least now he’s dead, and in an interesting way that will send Eve after Villanelle with a renewed fervor. After all, V always knew it was the one line she couldn’t cross. It does feel like it comes a bit late, though. The only real argument I can think to make against killing Niko last season would be to spread out the emotional bombs, to get more bang for their narrative buck. So much happened at the end of last season that Niko’s death would have gotten lost in the shuffle. This way, we can see Eve get properly catatonic over it.

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Eve’s reaction leaves us with a lot to parse. Regardless of how fans may feel (or how detached Eve may have felt from their marriage over the course of the show), the fact is that when we met her, Eve was very happily married. The directing choices here were excellent – the buzzing noise, Eve falling to her knees, unable to make her way to him. How often have we seen her at a loss for words? But then, is there almost a weird look of fascination in Eve’s eye? Is her psychopath side intrigued in this gruesome death? Is Killing Eve about to swerve on us again? We’ll have to wait and see, but I love this show all the more for making me wonder. 

Even more than the fact of Niko’s death is the thriller artistry of how the lead-up was written. The episode sent us chasing down a proper mystery, with the red herring of “Niko’s” texts to Eve and all. Right up until the last moment, it felt like Eve might have prevented Niko’s death by getting there too early but instead the show gave us one of its boldest, bloodiest murders yet. 

This is the beginning of the location cards getting a bit cute, with characters getting their own names flashed on the screen in bright colors and the trademark font instead of locations. It’s sort of fine for now, I guess, but fair warning, next episode’s use of the cards crossed over into something even more cloying.

It’s good to see Eve back in armchair detective obsessive mode, the way we first met her. Her knowledge of the murder at the Olympics in the ’80s is what will help her get Dasha, but for now, she’s still a few crucial steps behind. Whether it’s Dasha murdering Niko or Villanelle sending a bus cake (which prompted Eve to hurdle it off the roof before abruptly realizing it was how Kenny died), Eve is still early in her chase and too far behind. Perhaps that business with the cake might trigger some break in the investigation for her, as her unusual actions have in the past. 

Geraldine proves that Carolyn isn’t the only one in the family who lies – although she might be the only one left who lies well. Given the bug he planted, Konstantin is clearly up to his old tricks, although he may have underestimated how bad Geraldine is at keeping secrets, and how badly this is going to sour his relationship with Carolyn. While we don’t know for sure how far its gone, the creep factor of a guy buttering up both mother and daughter makes this one of the grosser things we’ve seen Konstantin do. 

That said, Konstantin is really only a symptom. At the crux of the surface level fight is this disagreement over how women are “supposed” to mourn and show emotions, and Geraldine’s even deeper-seated emotions surrounding how she was raised. 

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This week it’s Dasha who’s charged with serving us Killing Eve’s critical serve on gender roles. As a quiet old woman (who made herself look older, quieter, smaller), Dasha is immediately seen as non-threatening. How many of The Twelve’s assassins are women? We’ve only met two men so far, Villanelle’s former lover in season 1 and Felix. 

Killing Eve has introduced yet another presumed member of The Twelve, a glamorous woman in red heels and a blue scarf. Every time we fall a little bit in love with another murderer, the show has to find us a less appealing one to turn into a new villain. Last season it was Villanelle’s awful new handler. This season it appeared to be Dasha, but so far she’s still too fun. This new woman brings us as the audience entrée into the upper echelons of The Twelve, while also creating someone the rest of the characters could kill who isn’t Villanelle or Konstantin, or even Dasha. At least for now. 

Other notes:

  • Konstantin’s daughter Irina might just be the coolest person on this show. More of her, but not so much that she becomes a murderer/murdered, yeah?
  • What is with these pink underboob gems on Villanelle’s white foofy dress? No thank you.
  • Even with throw-away jokes, Killing Eve is on brand. Villanelle claimes she went on a Jack the Ripper walking tour in London: “I gained valuable insight into Victorian gender politics.”
  • What do Villanelle’s hiccups mean? Has her attitude toward killing changed? Also, what a delight that entire garden scene was.
  • Carolyn getting her office back is a boss move. 
  • Villanelle feeling for her neck is a bit of a trip. Even more intense: She’s home.

Rating:

4 out of 5