I think it’s safe to say that by the end of “You’re Mine”, Eve (Sandra Oh) might finally be done with Villanelle (Jodie Comer). The second season of Killing Eve ends with some pretty startling, life altering events for both of our leads, not to mention the trail of blood that this episode drags behind it on its way to this season’s finale.
Eve has managed to get Villanelle to take a case for MI6, working to infiltrate the inner sanctum of Aaron Peel (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), a wealthy megalomaniac that has found a way to weaponize security data. Villanelle’s job is to get information on buyers and details on how Peel’s “weapon” works, but she finds that Peel might be a lot more dangerous than he appears.
Villanelle locates Peel’s surveillance room, where she finds the recordings he’s made of her while she’s under his roof. She also finds another set of recordings in which Peel can be seen clearly killing a woman. Villanelle makes her way to the dining room, where she makes small talk with Peel about his “weapon”, and works her retrieval safe word into the conversation.
Eve is listening in at a nearby hotel, but she has trouble of her own- an assassin for the Twelve has arrived, and shoots Hugo (Edward Bluemel) before leaving. Eve makes her way out of the hotel to Villanelle, which sets off a whole chain of events that may have been entirely orchestrated by major players working behind the scenes.
Killer Acting Brings the Suspense on Killing Eve to a Perfect Pitch
I’ve been singing the praises of both Comer and Oh for this entire season of Killing Eve, and this episode does not disappoint with either actor’s performance. Villanelle is so close to getting what she wants, and the look of giddy anticipation on her face is tinged with just enough menace- a cat that caught a mouse and has so much fun planned.
Oh is playing her character with the panic dial cranked all the way to 11, but Eve is incredibly smart. Even under pressure, with certain death mere feet away, she can think her way through a problem- which she does several times in this episode. Oh is fantastically frantic, with Eve’s resolve unraveling in real time, but at no time does she become a helpless victim.
Fiona Shaw and Kim Bodnia give amazing performances as well, with Shaw’s Carolyn finally coming into the light as one of the major threats on the show. Bodnia’s Konstantin has been scheming with Carolyn all season, but when all those pieces fall into place, seeing the final picture is pretty amazing.
There isn’t a weak performance on the show, though. It’s so easy to get caught up in the mega-wattage of Comer, Shaw, Bodnia and Oh’s acting abilities that I sometimes forget there are other actors working on Killing Eve. I’ll get into that in more detail in the spoilers, below.
“Do You Want to Watch?” (SPOILERS AHEAD!)
I really have to hand it to Henry Lloyd-Hughes. He plays Aaron Peel with this dispassionate, nearly soulless abandon, and it’s creepy as hell. He’s not outright sinister, but he’s definitely not your run of the mill weirdo, either. There is an amazingly tense scene where Eve busts into the Hotel to “rescue” Villanelle, and Peel begins to piece it all together. He offers the assassin a job, with Eve as her first target.
Villanelle asks Peel if he wants to watch- he’s clearly excited to see something different for once, and actually starts to smile when Villanelle pulls him in front of a mirror and slits his throat… he’s finally animated, happy to see something new, even if it’s his own murder. Lloyd-Hughes is so perfectly chilling, and I’m surprised he didn’t end up being a bigger villain.
Eve returns to her room to retrieve her recording equipment (and maybe help Hugo), only to find Carolyn close behind. The entire operation was a set up, with Carolyn issuing strict orders to Villanelle and Eve both that no one can be killed. It turns out that Carolyn intended for Peel to die all along, but needed Eve’s connection to the Russian assassin to make it happen.
And to make matters worse, Carolyn is making it look like Villanelle is a rogue agent. Shaw plays Carolyn so cold and mercilessly amused, like she’s daring anyone to figure out what she’s up to it before the killing blow lands. Seeing the big villain reveal play out like this was completely unexpected, too. I thought Carolyn might be one of the Twelve, but no. She’s just a really ruthless spy.
Villanelle comes to retrieve Eve, but is met by her old handler, Raymond (Adrian Scarborough). They get into a fight, and Eve intervenes by killing Raymond with his own ax. It’s a brutally gruesome scene, but played with just enough humor to take the horror down a smidge. This was all a game to Villanelle, though. She’s convinced that she and Eve are the same kind of person, and that Eve just needed a little nudge to help her become a killer.
Villanelle could have ended the fight with Raymond before it even started, since she had a freaking gun hidden in her waistband.
The pair make their escape, and Villanelle is planning for their future, but Eve isn’t so sure. The way Comer plays this scene is breathtaking, with Villanelle enraged at Eve one moment, then glossing it over with a chuckle a moment later. The episode ends with a cliffhanger that rivals season one, and that’s all she wrote for season two of Killing Eve.
And we still don’t know anything more about Niko (Owen McDonnell)… season three can’t get here soon enough! Killing Eve has already been renewed for a third season by BBC America, we’ll report back when we get news of when!