This KILLING EVE review contains spoilers.
Killing Eve Season 3 Episode 7
It’s starting to become clear that death no longer sticks on Killing Eve – at least not for anyone who matters. Not anymore.
We lost Mo rather unceremoniously this episode, and in three seasons of both male underlings and assistants of color (he’s the first to fill both roles simultaneously), he is perhaps the one we know the least about and are the least invested in. That’s no crack on the actor or the character’s personality – viewers simply haven’t had much chance if an opportunity to become invested in him. His most pivotal role has been as a human comedic springboard for Fiona Shaw’s deadpan humour to clang off of. True to form, the only emotion wrought out of the whole thing was a thinly veiled confrontation between Geraldine and Carolyn about their grief over Kenny. Who uses people now, Carolyn?
Which is how, even in an episode where we see a man lying dead in shallow water, all I can think about is how no one dies on Killing Eve anymore. Some of that is thematic – Villanelle has the yips, or perhaps she’s grown herself a soul, or maybe the source of the whole thing was her need to kill her mother and now that that’s sorted, she’s run out of sociopatic steam – but considering the show is populated with more killers than ever before, it unfortunately feels like something of a referendum on the shows potency. Dasha, Helene and Rhian have all come onto the scene, Paul would definitely kill someone for the right bath bomb or the British equivalent of a Brooks Brothers shirt, and Eve’s eyes are dancing with delight every time she contemplates snuffing out a light, like they did as she pressed her foot into Dasha’s chest.
So why isn’t anybody dying?
Since Kenny, there’s been Felix who died on the job (so to speak), the older lady in Poland (if we’re really being picky), Villanelle’s family minus two, Irina’s stepfather (I suppose) and Mo. Everyone else was an official hit. That’s a sad little list, when it comes to centrality to the plot and the element of surprise. Perhaps the worst part of Villanelle being off her game or wanting to play house is that we’ve lost the playful strangeness of her kills. Watching her tolerate a misogynist American golfer felt turgid and rote rather than taut and thrilling. Even the pivot to Dasha was rather expected.
Even when people die, it’s not anyone we care about it. And when the deaths are someone important – Carolyn, Niko, Konstantin – they never quite stick. At this rate, they might as well take Geraldine and either Bear or Jamie.
Speaking of Geraldine, it was nice to see her stand up for herself with Konstantin and lay something of a trap for him. But, again, it didn’t feel like anything bad would ever happen to anyone, or like anything more than a woman getting mad at a guy she liked in a romcom. Hell, it seemed like she might take him back immediately. Maybe asking for this from Geraldine is a tall order, but where’s the spy vs. spy energy? Those of you thinking she’s a secret murderer or some other conspiracy theory are running out of time/options on that one.
Over to the other spy daughter, Irina is still a spot of delight, regardless of what’s happening around her. There’s something brilliant about the way this character weaponizes (pardon the pun) the precocious kid trope and extends it out to the most extreme. I don’t love that the show is pivoting to making her Villanelle Lite, especially since she was so disapproving of her father’s line of work beforehand, but at least the character and Yuli Lagodinsky, who plays her, are a guaranteed high point every time she’s on screen. Her line delivery was excellent: “This place is amazing. Look what someone just gave me! It’s a shank made out of a toothbrush.”
Eve’s go at Dasha is yet another example of our MI6 agent’s descent toward the darkness. It seems the harder it gets for Villanelle to kill, the easier it’s becoming for Eve. Or at least, the closer she is to doing it again. As we hear more and more elegant descriptions of the art and joy of taking a life, it’s becoming clear that those words no longer fit Villanelle. Increasingly, though, they seem suited to Eve, and something dark is calling to her. It would be reductive to say they’re simply swapping places – Villanelle still has a long way to go, though moreso than last season when Eve was giving herself over to the dark side, she seems to teeter on the edge largely based on who’s calling to her from the other side.
Over in the world of The Twelve, Villanelle seems determined to put Helene in the role of sexual aggressor, all evidence to the contrary, while Helene is stepping into surrogate mother. It feels like my interest should be piqued by her, but I was honestly more curious about the room they were in. In her first episode Helene had that air of unpredictability that makes for Killing Eve’s particular alchemy of sexy and dangerous, but it’s been flagging ever since. Silent newcomer Rhian, on the other hand, has my interest. What’s her status relative to Villanelle within the organization?
Perhaps Villanelle’s only moment of realism – this episode? This season? Ever? – came when she admitted to Konstantin that she doesn’t want him to die, and this time he might actually (will he though V? Come on.) Konstantin made an interesting choice to tell Eve where Villanelle was. On the one hand, he’s always playing both sides up the middle. On the other, I’ve got to think some part of him is wondering if Eve wont simply run away with Villanelle. But as Carolyn warned, the hero only gets the girl in the movies. Is Eve even the hero anymore?
- Helene’s entire “agent of chaos” speech felt like she’s been reading fanfic.
- That moody Taylor Swift cover was an interesting choice – it really redeemed a tough song.
- I’m not sure how to feel about the fact that when Eve brings up Carolyn having “her own thing” with Villanelle and finally gets an answer, it’s the first time I’ve thought about that loose end in forever. The “Carolyn has secrets” plot feels much more current/centered around Konstantin and Kenny than on Villanelle or any attempt to backstab Eve again at this point, though I’m not sure I can put my figure on why.
- Jamie vaping is spot-on character work.
- How long until we meet Dasha’s son? That is for sure causing Villanelle some serious jealousy.
- Villanelle’s dedication to tartan was excellent (#PlaidOnPlaid), but her golfing outfit was next level. Absolutely giant forrest green trousers, more plaid, and what can only be described as a highlighter green muppet on her sleeves and shoulders. Jodie Comer can both act anything and wear anything.