DISCLAIMER: This Killing Eve recap of “Smell Ya Later” contains more spoilers than the number of aliases in Villanelle’s assassin arsenal. Our favorite psychopath is a woman of many identities. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Killing Eve fans! This week we were blessed with another knockout episode, rife with otherworldly performances by Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. Those two are capable of spellbinding magic when together. Their on screen chemistry sizzles. We learned just how much Villanelle cares for Eve when her next target was the latter herself. Meanwhile, Eve attempted to elicit crucial information out of the Ghost. She resorted to utilizing Villanelle, since our little psychopath has a way with words. Villanelle paid Nico a visit at Oxford with a shocking message to impart. Always a flair for the dramatic, that one.
Alright, ready to delve into “Smell Ya Latter?” Just be sure to steer clear of Eve when she’s on the war path. Hell hath no fury like an Eve scorned.
We open with Villanelle (Jodie Comer) up to her usual assassin antics. She takes out a mystery man inside a car wash, which is perhaps the most discreet killing we’ve ever seen from her on the show. Perhaps she’s taking a page out of the Ghost’s book? Speaking of which…
Now, we see Eve (Sandra Oh), Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) and Jess (Nina Sosanya) observing as another MI6 agent is interrogating the Ghost (Jung Sun den Hollander). However, it’s not going well. The agent is springing from the “bad cop” angle, but his scare tactics trickle off the Ghost like rain water. Loose lips sink ships, am I right? Eve decides to have another go at her. Eve grills the Ghost on whether she knows of Villanelle. The Ghost refers to Villanelle as “The Demon with No Face.” Like some elusive, mythical creature.
Later, Eve learns from Jess that Villanelle has a sweet new gig in Amsterdam – freelance work courtesy of Konstantin. Making a killing while killing! Eve proposes that they introduce the Ghost and Villanelle, especially since the former is terrified of the latter. Perhaps Villanelle could get the Ghost to talk. Then, she makes a bolder suggestion – they put a hit out on Eve. That would be the best way to draw Villanelle away from Amsterdam. Initially, Jess believes Eve is joking. However, we know Eve will do just about anything in the name of chills and thrills. Jess inquires Eve as to why the latter never complains about all the red tape agents have to hurdle through. That could be because Eve never leaves a paper trail, never documents her cases as per the law. Hmm.
Meanwhile, the team gets the ball rolling on creating a fake “hit” for Eve. Hugo (Edward Bluemel) crafts up feigned documentation and attaches a photo of Eve. Suddenly, a man named Martin (Adeel Akhtar) comes blustering into headquarters. He ushers the team to gather around as he begins a presentation on the duality of psychopaths. Eve questions him every step of the way as he fumbles about with vague tidbits on psychopathic traits. A photo of Villanelle as Oksana pops up, followed by more images of gruesome murders. Everyone else is squeamish save Eve. Next, Martin meets with Carolyn for a debriefing on said presentation. He mentions that Eve is entirely too close to the case and should be pulled from it. Methinks this all was a setup courtesy of Carolyn.
Later, Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) informs Villanelle of her latest target: Eve Polastri. Villanelle is beside herself. We see her slog through a depressive breakdown, even ordering a hotel bellhop to cradle her and gently caress her hair. Aw, she’s like a lost puppy.
Then, Eve arrives home to Nico (Owen McDonnell) and is feeling particularly feisty. The two chow down some takeout and make their way upstairs for a private tangoing session. About time these two reveled in a moment of shared happiness, however brief it may be.
Next, we see Hugo fitting Eve for a bulletproof vest. She’s preparing for her meeting with Villanelle, wherein the latter is instructed to take her out. Obviously, the vest is precautionary. We know guns aren’t really Villanelle’s style. Kenny (Sean Delaney) pulls Eve aside and expresses his fears for the latter’s safety. He reminds Eve that Villanelle murdered Bill in public. Not to mention, Eve is now putting herself in harm’s way by being Villanelle’s next hit. Eve decides it might be best to move Kenny to a different team. She’ll make the suggestion to Carolyn. No, I like these two together!
Later, Eve is en route to her flat. A rude metro passenger pushes past her, and as the train approaches Eve contemplates pushing him onto the tracks. It represents our capacity to do evil, that darkness that dwells within all of us as humans. We’ve seen this side of Eve before, and I hope the series continues to explore her grappling with the darkness inside her.
Now, Eve boldly charges into the lion’s den. When Villanelle rings the bell she decides to ditch the vest. Uh oh. That might not be the best idea. Villanelle is dressed to the nines, as per usual. She dons a black flowing gown fit for a funeral. She’s even sporting a fascinator. The two verbally duke it out – Villanelle thinly flirting with a knife’s edge while Eve attempts to decipher her words. Villanelle notes that Eve doesn’t seem particularly shocked to see her. When Eve discovers what Villanelle planned to use for her murder, she twists it against the latter. Eve immediately starts popping the pills meant to kill her, downing them with a bottle of wine. Villanelle stares at her in bewilderment, and we see the tears forming in her eyes. Eve thinks Villanelle won’t actually kill her, and the pills are harmless. Placebos. Villanelle bursts out laughing and admits that she had no intention of murdering Eve. God, these two are brilliant. This scene had me on edge the whole time. Just brilliant.
Next, Eve coerces Villanelle into following her to an undisclosed location. We know that Villanelle loves surprises, so this must feel like Christmas for her. Reunited with her Eve. We see Konstantin and Carolyn are sitting in a car together, observing as the duo departs Eve’s flat. Something’s up with these two. Konstantin was initially labelled as an agent that went AWOL, but perhaps he’s still loyal to the cause. Maybe it was all a setup, culminating into this moment.
Meanwhile, the Ghost is sitting in a truck, bound and blindfolded. She’s escorted off said truck in a remote, wooded area. She’s then locked away in a large shed of sorts, once again bound and blindfolded. Only this time she’s sitting in total darkness within while armed guards stand watch outside. Eve arrives on the scene with Villanelle in tow. She steps inside solo to interrogate the Ghost. Eve grills her on who exactly put out the hits on Alistair Peel and his colleagues. When the Ghost refuses to cooperate, Eve sends in reinforcements in the form of Villanelle.
Later, Villanelle emerges and informs Eve that the hits were courtesy of Aaron Peel, Alistair’s arrogant son from the previous episode. Case closed? Villanelle is hurt that Eve doesn’t immediately thank her, so the latter issues a nonchalant “thank you” as a courtesy. However, Villanelle doesn’t feel properly thanked. Their first fight! How sweet. Villanelle storms off.
Then, Eve returns to the Ghost to find the assassin in tears. She’s shaking with fear. The Ghost peers up at Eve and mutters “monster,” which is obviously in reference to Villanelle. Villanelle elicited the information Eve needed for her case, and she did it using everything in her arsenal. Fear, violence and more fear.
Next, we see Nico chaperoning a school trip tour at Oxford University. Villanelle is observing from a distance, dressed sharply in slacks with a sweater draped over her shoulders. Seriously, that girl could make a bland paper bag look good. She finally meets Nico and drops a bomb on him – that Eve stabbed her. Eve visited Villanelle at her Paris flat, the two canoodled on her bed followed by Eve stabbing her. Ah, true love. Naturally, this news rocks Nico’s world, but we’ll have to wait til next week to witness the damages unfold.
Now, Killing Eve just hits all the right buttons as far as the thriller genre is concerned. The imagery, the dialogue, the music and the action. Not to mention, its dark humor coupled with heart-wrenching drama. Of course, leading the charge is Oh and Comer, always outdoing themselves with every episode. Killing Eve is also adept at the slow burn, the steady buildup to these cathartic, climatic moments. Take Eve and Villanelle’s “almost reunions,” for example. Their fascination with one another. How these two seemingly opposite women are actually cut from the same cloth. The duality of humankind. I could go on and on, but I’m sure you all have better things to do than read my prattling.
Do you think Konstantin is really on the side of the good guys? Will Villanelle stay in London, near Eve? Or will she put Nico in further danger? Join me next week as I continue recapping Killing Eve, here on Geek Girl Authority.
Killing Eve airs Sundays at 8pm on your BBC America affiliate.