REVIEW: Killing Eve (S2 E6/8)

Something about the way in which Villanelle has been exciting Eve’s libido seems to have rubbed off on Nico, as the maths teacher comes in out of the rain after his encounter with the psycho in Oxford and treats the submissive Eve to a sound seeing-too.
But the aphrodisiac effect doesn’t last, and Nico ends up leaving Eve and moving in with the fecund Gemma, while Villanelle breaks into Eve’s house and interferes with her knick-knacks.  
Carolyn has been convinced by killer Jin’s revelation about her employer, and demonstrates to Eve what a slimeball Aaron Peel really is; but it’s Eve’s idea to embed Villanelle in Peel’s party when he travels to Rome to do a deal for his dodgy data.
Villanelle jumps at the chance to go undercover, assuming the identity of a whiney American addict, a role which reveals rather more about the emptiness at the heart of her psycho personality than she might have liked. But at least it gives her the chance to kill again, bumping off an obstructive bodyguard as she worms her way into the affections of Peel’s sister.
After a stunningly awkward dinner with the brother-and-sister nut-jobs, and an abortive search of the house (as if Peel would leave a folder lying around labelled ‘My Secret Plans and How to Foil Them’), Villanelle finds herself alone and frustrated in London, and stalks a couple of party girls – but with violence or sex in mind?
Again, something of a filler episode as we work up to the shenanigans of a trip to Rome, but valuable in giving us a bit more insight into the way Villanelle’s mind works, and how Eve is becoming the manipulated rather than the manipulator.
The confrontation between Eve and Gemma though, nominally the dramatic centre of the episode, falls a bit flat for us because we’ve never been able to warn to Nico – Eve might well be better off without him, and the odd domination session aside, we can’t see why a split with the porn moustache guy would be much of a loss. Ah, but this is surely a dramatic tool to drive a confrontation between Eve and Villanelle, with Nico the action hero primed to jump in and save her – once he’s done the marking and prepared the week’s lesson plans.
No, Eve would definitely be better off with a more dynamic partner –and with her working relationship with Villanelle sliding over into a personal one, we think she’s going to get one. Maybe, next week, in Rome, the budding romance will finally bloom.
Chris Jenkins

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