DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Killing Eve season premiere “Just Dunk Me” has spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome, assassins! Killing Eve‘s back, and all is right with the world. “Just Dunk Me” introduces a vastly different world from Season 3, with Villanelle pursuing righteousness and Eve embarking on the path of vengeance. They’ve exchanged journeys — it’s a stark disparity from their introduction in the first season.
“Just Dunk Me” boasts its fair share of Killing Eve‘s signature tongue-in-cheek, dark comedy, bolstered by consistently fantastic performances, compelling characters and a kickass soundtrack by Unloved.
Ready to dig deep into “Just Dunk Me”? Let’s get to it.
We open with a mystery motorcyclist speeding through the streets of Russia. Even though the camera mainly pans on them, we glimpse faded posters featuring Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) accompanied by Russian text. It appears he’s in politics now.
The helmeted motorcyclist stops in front of what looks like a government building, entering the premises while brandishing a gun. This person arrives at Konstantin’s swanky new office and removes their helmet. We see it’s none other than Eve (Sandra Oh). She shoots Konstantin in his hand “for Kenny.” Then, she asks him about Hélène’s location and her cache of assassins. Konstantin writes down the name of Rhian; the assassin Villanelle shoved onto the train tracks.
Meanwhile, we see Villanelle (Jodie Comer) singing in church, clad in crimson robes with a ruffled white collar. She’s a holy lady now! After the ceremony, Villanelle cleans the sanctuary with May (Zindzi Hudson), who showers compliments on our fave killer. May commends Villanelle for being perfect.
Eve heads into the Drayton Hotel where she’s staying to continue diving headfirst into Hélène’s whereabouts. She also works for a private security firm, and we see her hand a protein shake to Yusuf (Robert Gilbert), her coworker/boy toy. He’s assisting Eve with her revenge mission.
Eve receives an invitation to Villanelle’s baptism. However, Villanelle styles herself as “Nelle Petrova.” She’s a wanted woman, after all. Eve rips up the invite.
Next, Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) sits at her desk in Mallorca, where she works as a cultural attaché for the UK. Her assistant rattles off her duties for the day. Carolyn looks utterly bored by it all.
After they roll in the hay, Yusuf hands Eve a pamphlet for the funeral home that arranged Rhian’s funeral. Gold! Eve plans to do some digging among the dead (no graverobbing here, folks).
Carolyn dines with Milos (Robert Luckay), who gives her the scoop regarding the latest assassin causing quite the stir. This person flays their victims and appears to target members of the Twelve. Hugo (Edward Bluemel) makes a surprise appearance, citing his promotion following when he got shot on the job.
Hugo orders Carolyn to stand down — she was demoted to her station in Mallorca for a reason. He threatens her, but Carolyn believes that Hugo’s still a bit clueless despite his new position. Hugo shows Carolyn a photo of Paul Bradwell after she killed him. That’s one way to keep someone in line.
Villanelle eats with May and Phil (Steve Oram), her father. Phil doubts Villanelle’s faith and her desire for baptism. Meanwhile, May continuously gushes over her new pal. Lucifer, the kitty, isn’t a fan, though.
Later, Villanelle dons a white nightgown and prays to God. Lucifer wanders into the bathroom, and Villanelle scoops him up, seemingly converting the feline to her side until he scratches her. Simultaneously, Villanelle breaks Lucifer’s neck while throwing him into the bathtub. Uh oh.
Villanelle barges into May’s room while the latter types lesbian erotica. Admittedly, I think I speak for all of us when I say we need to read the rest of that story. Anyway, Villanelle lays on May’s lap and asks her friend to list her best attributes.
Then, Eve reunites begrudgingly with Carolyn, who gives her an economic opportunity. Carolyn wants Eve to hunt down whoever’s killing the Twelve. She’ll pay handsomely for it and offer her substantial files on the case. Eve takes the files but rejects Carolyn’s job offer. Eve washes her hands of Carolyn’s games.
Meanwhile, Villanelle and Phil rehearse for the former’s baptism ceremony. Villanelle recites scripture by heart, much to the annoyance of Phil. I love the shot of her standing in front of the angel mural, as it looks like Villanelle has wings.
Someone brings in Lucifer’s corpse in a plastic bag, and Phil shows Villanelle footage of her disposing of the body. Villanelle lies, telling him that she found Lucifer on the side of the road and sought to bury the poor kitty. Phil questions again if Villanelle’s ready to dedicate her life to the Lord.
Later, Eve visits the funeral directors for more information on Rhian. She meets Pam (Anjana Vasan), who quietly examines a body on a slab. Eve pretends to be Rhian’s former teacher, asking for clarification on her death. Pam evades Eve’s questions until the latter asks if there’s another point of contact on the matter. Pam returns with a “no.”
It’s Villanelle’s big day! She scours the sanctuary for a sign of Eve but is gravely disappointed. Villanelle grows angrier, urging Phil to rush through the ceremony and get to the baptizing bit. “Just dunk me!” she screams. Then, Villanelle sticks her head in the water. This scene is pure, unadulterated Villanelle and comedic gold.
Eve and Yusuf brainstorm potential suspects behind the Twelve murders. Eve wonders whether Pam might be involved, citing her aloofness and peculiarness. She heads into the hotel lobby, hunting for nuts, but she unexpectedly runs into Villanelle instead. Villanelle forgives Eve for failing to attend her baptism. She’s on the path of righteousness now.
However, Eve believes Villanelle’s the same person. If she’d genuinely changed, she wouldn’t reconnect with Eve. Villanelle falls to her knees in prayer.
Villanelle counters that if Eve changed, she wouldn’t allow Villanelle within spitting distance of her. Eve slaps Villanelle in the face.
Next, Eve follows Pam while she departs the funeral home. Eve tails Pam to an empty alley, wherein the latter lays the smackdown on Eve. While Eve clutches her side in pain, Pam flees the scene. But Eve resumes her mission, spotting Pam getting in a vehicle with Hélène (Camille Cottin).
Villanelle talks to God in the church after she meets with Eve. Our Villy questions God’s existence, and May creeps into the sanctuary amid her tirade. Villanelle and May find themselves by the baptismal well. As they’re about to kiss, Villanelle shoves May’s head into the well and holds it there while May struggles.
May ceases struggling, stirring fear in Villanelle. She performs the Heimlich maneuver on May. Thankfully, May regains consciousness. Villanelle embraces her, crying out that she’s glad she didn’t kill anyone.
Meanwhile, Carolyn arrives in Moscow and reunites with Vlad (Laurentiu Possa), who doesn’t look happy to see her.
May keeps her distance from Villanelle, much to our fave killer’s dismay. Villanelle wanders into the living room to find Jesus Christ herself (Villanelle dressed like the Messiah), thigh-high gold metallic boots and all. Villanelle initially doubted the existence of Christ, but now she’s a believer. Or is this a metaphor for Villanelle’s narcissism?
Villanelle sheds tears of joy at the sight of the Lamb that was slain.
Comer and Oh continue to provide the backbone for Killing Eve, churning in mesmerizing work across the board. It’s hard to look away when either of them is onscreen, and their combined presence is always a delight.
Villanelle’s relationship with Christianity is intriguing. She feels living as people did in the Bible will keep her sinless and pure, and having a strict rulebook by which to abide ensures she lives a Christ-like life. Villanelle claims she wants to atone for her sins, but Eve’s right — she hasn’t changed. She merely longs for Eve to see her growth, no matter how superficial it is. Villanelle desires all the dressings of religion without exerting the effort.
I’m hoping we get VillanEve at some point, but I’m giddy this show is back. May it continue to deliver the goods and fire on all cylinders, morbid humor and all.
Killing Eve airs Sundays at 8 pm on your BBC America affiliate.
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