DISCLAIMER: This Killing Eve recap contains more spoilers than the number of times Villanelle has sent Eve a cryptic gift. Because everyone should receive a beautiful rouge lipstick concealing a handy dandy blade from a psychopathic assassin. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Killing Eve fans! Sunday nights are most certainly the best nights thanks to our favorite cat-and-mouse thriller. “Desperate Times” called for desperate measures on this week’s Killing Eve when Eve closed in on the elusive Ghost. Villanelle strove to find a cure for her boredom in Amsterdam in the most Villanelle-y way possible via grandiose murder, copious amounts of drugs and thinking about Eve. Always thinking about Eve, that one. That and murder, because in Villanelle’s line of work that results in piles of money.
Alright, ready to delve into “Desperate Times?” Just be sure to send the one you love a macabre postcard proclaiming said love. You wouldn’t want them to forget about you, would you?
We open with Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) paying her boss Helen (Zoe Wanamaker) a visit. Helen is none too thrilled about Konstantin’s AWOL status, especially given his ties to the Twelve. She demands that Operation: Mandalay be terminated. However, Carolyn vows the situation is under control, and Helen takes the former at her word. Problem solved!
Later, Jess (Nina Sosanya) and Hugo (Edward Bluemel) arrive at the office to find Eve (Sandra Oh) already hard at work. From the looks of it, Eve pulled an all-nighter in her quest to pinpoint the Ghost. She informs the crew of another murder in connection to Alistair Peel. Eve also discovered that these murders share a commonality – all of them were made to look natural and accidental. The Ghost is incredibly meticulous in this regard. That makes her all the more dangerous. Jess asks Hugo to get her and Eve in to The Pharaday Company to get an interview with Aaron Peel, the deceased’s son.
Meanwhile, Villanelle (Jodie Comer) and Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) are living it up in Amsterdam. Konstantin has a new assignment for Villanelle. But first thing’s first – museum time! Konstantin tries to introduce some artistic culture to broaden Villanelle’s creative palette despite the latter’s boredom. Villanelle is inspired by a painting of two men hanging like pig carcasses at a butcher shop. She even states they remind her of bacon. That Villanelle – always thinking about food. Well, that and murder. And Eve.
Next, Jess and Eve arrive at Pharaday where they promptly refuse to sign NDA agreements. However, they snag an interview with Aaron Peel (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), who plans on selling aspects of his father’s company. Eve grills Aaron regarding what he plans to sell and the reasoning behind it. Unfortunately, Aaron brings in legal counsel and keeps his lips sealed, staying mum on every question thrown at him. Jess and Eve decide to leave, but not before the latter reminds Aaron that people in connection to his father are dying. Should Eve learn that Aaron is conducting illegal business or he’s linked to his father’s death in any way, MI6 will act swiftly. Give him the business, Eve!
Then, we see Villanelle observing her next kill as he’s spending time with his family. She’s scrawling a note on a postcard addressed to Eve. Said postcard is illustrated with the carcass painting from the museum. See, everyone is inspired by good art! Later, Villanelle has lunch with Konstantin. He asks Villanelle what she learned from observing her victim. Ultimately, Villanelle is still suffering from a pesky case of boredom. She inquires Konstantin of Eve, but the latter orders her to forget Eve Polastri. Forget London. He also reveals that Villanelle’s fondness of Eve has made her weak.
Later, Jess and Eve pop by the flat of Alistair Peel’s late secretary. Another victim of the Ghost. Eve finds herself taken aback at how clean and neat the scene of the crime is. The Ghost is almost caring and considerate of her victims. No blood in sight. Very unusual for a murderer.
Next, we see Markus (Roeland Fernhout), Villanelle’s target, is roaming the Red Light District for some good ol’ fashioned fun. Villanelle appears before him in an elaborate disguise complete with a pig mask. He does harbor a love of farm animals. She lures him into a small room and proceeds with bind him by his wrists and ankles. Initially, Markus believes this is all part of the act – some foreplay before the sexy tangoing to come.
However, once Villanelle opens the curtains for public viewing, Markus rethinks his decision. A slew of tourists gather around and watch. We see Markus’ wife is amid the throng of people. Villanelle hoists Markus up by his ankles, mimicking the painting from the museum. Art imitates life imitates art. She proceeds to gut him like a fish. Everyone watches in awe, thinking it’s part of an act and not a real murder. Villanelle even bows for her audience, like a performer receiving praise at curtain call. Art imitates life imitates art.
Meanwhile, Eve arrives home to find Nico (Owen McDonnell) and a new friend – their bodyguard. Eve apologizes, claiming the new development slipped her mind. Nico pulls Eve aside and the two have a tense conversation. Nico cites that needing a bodyguard isn’t normal despite Eve’s assertions that everyone in MI6 has one. Eve leaves the scene, claiming that she has important work to do.
Later, Villanelle fills Konstantin in on the success of her murder. We learn that Markus’ wife was the one who put the hit out on him, and hell hath no fury like a wife scorned. Villanelle is ready to embark on a trip back to London – back to her little game with Eve. However, Konstantin orders her to erase Eve from her mind and enjoy doing nothing the next day. Villanelle+immense boredom=assured destruction. Side note: I love that this shot of Villanelle sitting on the couch in a pink frilly dress is reminiscent of the scene from Season 1 Episode 2 where she’s given a psych evaluation.
Next, Carolyn learns of the murder in Amsterdam. She decides to send Jess as the liaison for MI6 instead of Eve. Eve is instructed to continue her mission regarding the Ghost. She wonders if Villanelle is involved, but does as she’s bid anyway. Speaking of which…
Now, Villanelle is perched inside a sex worker’s room in the Red Light District, watching the scene below unfold as MI6 arrives to inspect Markus’ murder. Naturally, she’s hoping to see Eve, but she’s sorely disappointed when Jess steps out into the light. Perhaps Eve really doesn’t care about her anymore.
Meanwhile, Eve learns the circumstances surrounding Peel’s secretary’s murder, and that the Ghost knows quite a lot about drugs. She asks Kenny (Sean Delaney) to search hospital databases for a non-white nurse or doctor in her mid-30s. Here’s hoping his searching won’t be futile.
Later, while Kenny digs further into hospital databases in the area, Hugo offers to take Eve out for a nice 1am lunch. Dinner? Breakfast? Regardless, food is involved. Eve takes him up on his offer. They munch on delectable chicken fingers and talk about sex because, as far as Hugo is concerned, that’s all life really is. Chicken fingers and sex. The two share a smoke outside. Both of them find common ground in their desire for thrill-seeking, and Hugo asks Eve if Villanelle fancies her. He even slowly leans in for a kiss, but before the two can smooch Eve receives a phone call from Carolyn. Saved by the call!
Next, Villanelle roams the streets of Amsterdam and stumbles upon a drug dealer. She partakes in some fun paraphernalia and hits the underground club scene. Villanelle calls out a girl who cuts in front of the lengthy bathroom line. In true Villanelle fashion, she proceeds to beat the snot out of said girl. Before she can deliver the death blow, Konstantin arrives in time and drags Villanelle away literally kicking and screaming.
Then, we see Eve is on the phone with her mother as she turns into a school parking lot. She chats it up with a woman who, we learn, is actually the Ghost (Jung Sun den Hollander). A tiny red laser point appears on the Ghost’s forehead, signifying that snipers are on call should she resist arrest. The Ghost acquiesces and is carted off to, presumably, MI6 headquarters. Go Eve, go! Get those baddies!
Later, Villanelle wakes up from her drug-infused club bender. She stands before her bathroom mirror and bursts into tears. At MI6, we see Eve standing before a mirror inside the interrogation room, fixing her hair into a bun. Carolyn observes from the other side. Villanelle weeps for her loss of Eve and her assumed knowledge that the latter has truly forgotten her. I love these mirror shots where Eve and Villanelle appear to be “mirroring” each other. It shows that the pair are not as different as they seem. They both long for adventure and loath boredom, for starters. Carolyn asks Eve if she’s ready to interrogate the Ghost, and we hear a buzzer as the assassin herself is being led inside the room.
For me, the best part about Killing Eve is the relationship between its two leads – Villanelle and Eve. Of course, it helps immensely that Comer and Oh are incredibly gifted performers. You know that Villanelle is psychopathic, you know that she’s unpredictable and a ticking time bomb, but you can’t help but root for her to reunite with Eve. That’s the mark of an astounding actor – the ability to make one cheer for them despite their character’s moral inclinations. Villanelle and Eve’s mutual attraction is the glue holding this series’ universe together. That and the incredible writing, music, cinematography and imagery. Pitch perfect.
Do you think Eve will learn much from her interrogation of the Ghost? Did Konstantin really abandon his post to join team Villanelle? What else will Villanelle do to get Eve’s attention? Join me next week as I recap Killing Eve, here on Geek Girl Authority.
Killing Eve airs Sundays at 8pm on your BBC America affiliate.
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