8.0

Eve hires Villanelle to kill her in “Smell Ya Later”

TV Reviews Killing Eve
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Eve hires Villanelle to kill her in “Smell Ya Later”

“Sisyphean. That’s the word I won with.”

It took a while to get Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) back in the same room, didn’t it? But here we are. And it’s about time. Poor Villanelle’s talents are being rather wasted on low-hanging-fruit assassinations (car wash!) and Eve’s looking a little listless herself. The Ghost is annoyingly un-fun to interrogate (“She kills people for a living! You’d think she worked in accounts!”), but she has heard of Villanelle (“The demon with no face.”)

Eve’s … well, a little desperate. Desperate enough to suggest that the way to crack The Ghost would be to hire Villanelle to do it. And the way to get Villanelle into the room would be to put a hit out on … Eve. What could go wrong?

Highlights: The “Psychopathy 101” presentation is pretty stinkin’ funny. Eve’s outrage that the photo used in the contract to Villanelle is unflattering, ditto. And Villanelle screaming “When are you going to get over that?” when Konstantin makes a quip about her having shot him. Mostly, it’s still the two women’s expertise in one another, the way their obsession with each other destroys their judgment and the bizarre tone of their attraction to one another. Villanelle’s “arsenic” fakeout is stellar, not just for its edgy comedy but for the startlingly genuine willingness in Eve’s expression as she swallows it, (“Of course it isn’t poison, do you think I am insane?”) and the endlessly weird intimacy between them.

The editing has a terseness to it that is interesting when it does work and confusing when it doesn’t. It’s clear Eve has mixed feelings about using Villanelle to get information out of The Ghost, but it’s honestly not clear why. Even knowing what we know about them. It’s not clear what Villanelle has done to The Ghost to get her to talk and it’s not clear whether it should be clearer. Villanelle’s appearance in Oxford gets a big reaction out of Nico but it’s not totally clear which of many possible things is specifically provoking him. Every once in a while your attention is suddenly drawn to the fact that you’re watching something very stylish and kind of thin on story. But you generally forgive it. The episode has a stochastic quality that doesn’t necessarily work; it’s a mosaic of little tiny vignettes that often feel unconnected even when they are. But it was great to finally get Villanelle and Eve in the same room.

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