DISCLAIMER: This Killing Eve recap of “Nice and Neat” contains more spoilers than the number of times Eve and Villanelle have narrowly missed running into each other. They like to play the physical version of “phone tag.” You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Killing Eve fanatics! Our favorite thriller blessed us with another stellar episode this week. Villanelle found herself in an unsavory situation with a strange fellow named Julian. As if suffering from a gory stab wound wasn’t enough, she had to literally kill her way to freedom. Meanwhile, Eve met two new members of the elusive MI6 gang: Hugo and Jess. Eve also discovered that a new female assassin was on the rise, one that MI6 dubbed as “The Ghost.” Said assassin is the complete opposite of Villanelle – she’s meticulous, discreet and tidy with her killings. Oh, and remember Konstantin, who we assumed was no longer in the Land of the Living? He’s very much alive, and very much in cahoots with Carolyn.
Alright, ready to delve into “Nice and Neat?” Just be sure to pick up some cake with lemon drizzle for Villanelle. It’s her favorite.
We open with Villanelle (Jodie Comer) arriving in England in the trunk of an unsuspecting family’s car. She hastily departs once they’re parked in front of their home. Meanwhile, Eve (Sandra Oh) is laying in bed with her husband Nico (Owen McDonnell). She surreptitiously pulls out her laptop and searches for any signs that Villanelle died in Paris. However, before she can really scan through the search engine results, she notices Nico tossing and turn beside her. She quickly pretends to be online shopping, much to Nico’s surprise. She ends up purchasing an item of clothing that greatly appeals to her husband. I love impromptu online shopping sprees!
Next, we see Villanelle asleep on a bench inside a laundromat. The proprietor chastises her for sleeping, citing that her establishment isn’t a homeless shelter. Villanelle notices that her medications are missing from her bag. In an act of revenge, Villanelle swipes some clothing and spills laundry detergent prior to leaving the laundromat. Anarchy, indeed.
Then, Nico and Eve discuss the latter’s impending work regarding Villanelle. Eve is officially rejoining MI6 with a new team and a new mission – track down Alistair Peel’s murderer. She mentions that her dream the previous night involved Bill and her involuntary urge to text him. Nico comforts his grieving wife before he departs. Grief is a strange and painful creature.
Meanwhile, Villanelle is out of her pajamas and into the clothes she stole from the laundromat. She’s perusing a grocery store, on the hunt for someone to give her money and a roof over her head. Villanelle turns up the charm, batting her eyes and even donning a British accent. Finally, she tracks down a middle aged man who could be easily swayed by her charms. She feigns tears and claims that her stepfather physically abused her. Villanelle points to a man outside the grocery store, informing the Good Samaritan that the former is her stepfather. She asks the Good Samaritan to hide her as she attempts to escape her vicious stepfather’s clutches. He acquiesces.
Next, Villanelle’s hero takes her under his wing and invites her to stay at his place for a night or two. Villanelle is not particularly enthused to be spending time with him, but desperate times, my friends.
Later, Eve meets with Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) outside the new stomping grounds for their sector of MI6. She introduces Eve to Jess (Nina Sosanya) and Hugo, the newbies in town. Kenny (Sean Delaney) resurfaces, and Carolyn reveals that it would be best to have someone from the former Trafalgar team on hand. Next, Eve reunites with Kenny in private and brings him up to speed. She reveals that she stabbed Villanelle, but is unsure of whether the latter survived. Kenny urges Eve to withhold this information from Carolyn, since both are unclear as to where Carolyn stands in all this. Hugo believes that Eve and Kenny are having an affair. Well, mostly because Eve cited that as her reason for meeting Kenny in private.
Then, Eve introduces Villanelle via slideshow to Jess and Hugo. We see photos of Villanelle’s past kills and her old mugshot. Eve also brings up the current homicide on file involving Alistair Peel. She describes Villanelle’s killing style as flamboyant, and that the latter loves to have an audience. We see Eve go on a Villanelle tangent for a bit, and I couldn’t help but hope for their ship to sail sometime soon. Evinelle? Villaneve? I’ll let you decide.
Later, Eve is doing more online sleuthing when she stumbles upon a news article from the day before. We see that it’s about Gabriel, the boy Villanelle murdered in Paris. Eve receives the crime scene photos and peruses them. She is taken aback by the bitten apple placed just so in Gabriel’s hand. Apple…Eve. It’s clearly a message to Eve from Villanelle.
Meanwhile, Villanelle bathes and gets all cozy for bedtime. She beseeches her Good Samaritan, Julian, to fetch her antibiotics from the pharmacy. Villanelle’s stab wound is in dire need of medical attention, especially since her medications were stolen. Julian brushes her off, claiming she merely needs a “good night’s sleep.” After Julian leaves her room, Villanelle hears a suspicious noise. Armed with a porcelain cat statue, she investigates the source of said noise. She stumbles upon Julian’s mother, and the pair scream with fright. Julian reveals that his mother has dementia, and he’s taken to locking her inside her room at night so she doesn’t wander off.
Then, we see Julian standing over Villanelle’s sleeping form the next morning. Creepy. Once again, she pleads with him to snag her some antibiotics. He accuses her of being a hypochondriac, but claims he’ll oblige all the same. He refers to her as his girlfriend, and this already sounds like a gender-swapped reboot of Misery.
Later, Eve and Carolyn arrive at the home of Alistair Peel, where they break the news of his murder to his children. They refuse to believe that it was a murder, citing that the initial news of his death claimed he passed of a heart attack. They reveal that a beautician came to their home to give Peel a pedicure. Eve procures a photo of Villanelle, but Peel’s children don’t recognize her. Huzzah! Villanelle actually didn’t murder someone, and that’s character development.
Next, Eve and Jess discuss their findings at the Peel house. Eve surmises that whoever murdered Peel was someone with the ability to fly under the radar. A woman that nobody noticed because her profession wasn’t interesting. We see the back of a cleaning woman surreptitiously murdering an office worker. Now, we don’t see her face. Eve believes that there could be a new assassin rising through the ranks, one that’s more careful and discreet than Villanelle. Jess makes an executive decision and informs the group that they can rule Villanelle out of the case at hand. From now on, they’ll only pursue “The Ghost” – their code name for the new assassin. However, Eve urges the crew to continue hunting down Villanelle.
Meanwhile, Villanelle continues to beg Julian to grab her antibiotics from the pharmacy. He scolds her for hounding him on the subject, and brusquely vows to buy her flu tablets. Flu tablets won’t help a stab wound, bud. After he departs, Villanelle goes into panic mode. She’s quite weakened from her wound. She tries to pry open windows and unlock doors. However, Julian has his home locked up nice and tight for the benefit of his mother. Villanelle uses his rotary phone to call for help and, in a last resort act, she even calls MI6 to speak with Eve. Villanelle leaves a voice message asking for Eve. Unfortunately, Julian arrives home before she can try contacting Eve again.
Now, Julian is enraged, and he tears his phone from the wall. He reprimands Villanelle for making him look like a fool, for thinking she could feign innocence and play him like a fiddle. Villanelle tries to save face by claiming she was using his phone to send Julian a lovely cake for taking her in. Julian instantly falls to his knees and apologizes for mistreating her. However, it’s too late. Villanelle drops her quaint British accent and coldly states that he’s going to bleed to death. The two begin to fight, throwing punches, kicking and rolling about on the floor. Julian kicks Villanelle in the stomach, right where her stab wound resides. She makes a break for the door. The two continue to fight and it appears that Villanelle might lose due to her weakened state. That’s when she stabs Julian in the neck.
Next, Julian bleeds to death, just as Villanelle promised he would. She stumbles outside his house. We see Julian’s mother wander outside as well, and Villanelle allows her to leave. A red car sitting off to the side flashes its lights at Villanelle, and she hops right in the passenger seat. A man claiming to be her next handler informs her that, well, he’s her next handler. Villanelle refuses to accept this, claiming she was under the impression she was fired. Then, her new handler puts her in a choke hold after Villanelle tries to choke him. He asserts his dominance, saying that he’ll make sure she stays in her place. He chokes her until she almost passes out, and then cheerfully informs her that antibiotics are in the glove compartment. They drive off.
Meanwhile, Eve and Carolyn arrive at Julian’s home. Carolyn shared Villanelle’s message with her, which they used to track her via coordinates. Right before they enter the house, we see Villanelle and her handler drive by. Villanelle is quite out of it, but she spots Eve out of the corner of her eye. So close and yet so far! Eve and Carolyn discover Julian’s lifeless body, and a toilet scrubber jammed into his open mouth. Very Villanelle. Eve is frustrated that she narrowly missed her again. Carolyn invites Eve over to meet with a mysterious someone, and we see that someone is none other than Konstantin (Kim Bodnia). He’s alive! Perhaps he’ll help our duo track down Villanelle once and for all.
Killing Eve sure knows how to orchestrate an excellent cliffhanger. Revealing that Konstantin is alive has me craving for next Sunday’s episode. How did he survive Villanelle’s attack? Perhaps Russians are just built differently than the rest of us. Not to mention, the prospect of another female assassin called The Ghost is a delightful new addition to the plot. The ying to Villanelle’s yang. Once again, Comer is raw, brutal and bold as Villanelle. If she doesn’t snag an Emmy any time soon I may riot.
Do you think The Ghost is someone we know? What new assignments will Villanelle’s handler give her? How did Konstantin survive after his attack? Join me next week as I continue to recap Killing Eve, here on Geek Girl Authority.
Killing Eve airs Sundays at 8pm on your BBC America affiliate.