Season 2 of Killing Eve is a wrap, and I am left with puzzling questions. My questions stem from points in the plot that don’t make sense to me.
Carolyn wanted Villanelle and/or Eve to kill Aaron Peele to protect MI-6 and to a lesser extent the world from his sneaky surveillance weapon. Through her psychological profiles of Villanelle and Eve and their obsession with each other Carolyn and Konstantin knew a kill was inevitable, it seems. Now that Aaron Peele is dead what is going to happen to the weapon? Why didn’t Carolyn try to take the weapon? It could fall into the wrong hands like maybe one of his associates? Killing Peele doesn’t really solve anything other than maybe protecting people he may kill in the future.
What role does the 12 play in this plan? Konstantin tells Villanelle that someone asked the 12 to delay killing her until after she killed Aaron Peele. Did Carolyn make the request or was it Konstantin? Here, I’m confused because I thought Konstantin was on the 12’s kill list, thereby, squashing any chance he could negotiate with the organization. Carolyn seems like the only person with enough cache to make such a request, but why would she do this since she’s trying to make it look like the 12 killed Aaron Peele?Through this season, the 12 seems like less of a real organization than a useful plot point the writers use as a catchall answer to any unanswered questions: “Why did x happen? It’s the 12.” I need more concrete information about Carolyn and the 12 to keep the plot from falling apart for me.
The season finale opens with Villanelle snooping around Aaron’s palazzo seemingly alone. She ventures into a room with a door that is ajar obviously for her. I find it hard to believe that Aaron left this door unlocked and open since it holds his surveillance equipment. But oh well. Villanelle finds three monitors and videos that are catalogued by name. The one of Matilda reveals her gruesome murder–she bears a striking resemblance to Villanelle–at the hands of a man in black dressed like a butler, wielding a blade. I agree with the assessment Villanelle gives later about the video. It lacked narrative.
When Villanelle joins Aaron for breakfast he tells her he is expecting more potential buyers and thus he is snooping around in their “knickers” to find dirt. Villanelle gleefully asks to see–I assume she wants to see the dirt he has found on them–but Aaron shows her a picture of Raymond. Villanelle immediately uses the safe word when she nervously quips, “What a weird-looking gentleman.” I think I get why Villanelle uses the safe word. Raymond is her former handler from the 12 whom we have learned wants to buy the weapon. Is Villanelle afraid Raymond will try to kill her or blow her cover? At this point in the show, I am lost as to Villanelle’s association with the 12. She had essentially left the 12 and escaped with Konstantin to become an independent contractor. Konstantin had left Carolyn’s protection from the 12 to become Villanelle’s partner. The more I dig into this the more I get lost in the details and the plot starts to break down for me.
Meanwhile back at mission control, Hugo is still throwing shade at Eve about the previous night’s lovemaking by proxy session, calling her Mrs. Robinson, referring to Villanelle as Eve’s girlfriend, and giving Eve tepid coffee. He leaves the room as he phones Jess. When Eve hears the safe word, she springs into action, calling out to Hugo just before gunshots ring out. Hugo has been shot in almost in the same spot Eve stabbed Villanelle last season. Are the writers fixated on the lower abdomen or what? Why was Hugo wounded and not killed, though? Seems like sloppy work to me. Were the assassins in such a rush to find Villanelle that they couldn’t properly kill Hugo? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I wanted Hugo dead, but it just doesn’t make sense. In my first viewing of the episode, I thought his shooting had been staged as a sort of prop for Eve, but later it seems obvious the shooter was from the 12 and not MI-6. Eve tries to help Hugo by applying pressure to the wound, but she she leaves him (to attend to his own wound–cold-blooded, Eve!) despite his calls for her to stay with him. Her fixation is on rescuing Villanelle by herself, a risky move, right? MI-6 should have sent trained agents to burst in for the save.
Eve rushes to the hotel lobby to find it abandoned. She dials 911 and then I think 999, but gets no answer. I checked and found that 112 is the emergency code used in EU countries, but anyway… Eve is interrupted by a goon who is looking for the other goon that earlier caused Eve to hide under the bed. I can’t believe he didn’t look under the bed first! That the goon didn’t know who Eve was leads me to believe the 12 wasn’t trying to kill Eve. The exchange that ensues between them with Eve playing the amiable Front Desk Agent and the goon asking her out on date was that distinctive KE comic relief. It must be hard find competent assassins. These two are clueless.
After agreeing to a meet up at 6pm–also surprised she didn’t use military time–Eve changed into a maid’s outfit and jumps into the role of diminutive, foreign domestic (like the Ghost) as her disguise to get into the palazzo. She bursts into the room amid Villanelle’s laughter wielding a letter opener. Why didn’t Eve sneak in or put her ear to the door? Did she think Villanelle was in immediate danger? Bursting in half-cocked is such a rookie move for Eve. She’d done it before though when trying to give Villanelle the earpiece. She also made a move to intervene to help Villanelle during “family sups” with Aaron and Amber. Eve is so eager which is probably why the psychiatrist suggested she be pulled off the case. That Aaron greets Eve using her full name signals that he has probably been surveilling her. It was like he was expecting her.
That is when he reveals what this trip to Rome has really been about: a job interview for Villanelle. He wants her to help him feed his voyeuristic obsessions to create his own video library of murders to look at when he wants some stimulation. Is that why he hired the Ghost? How many other killers has he hired to do this? Who was the killer in the Matilda video? How does he find his killers? How did he find Villanelle? I mean he had to find out about her particular set of skills before or shortly after she met Amber at AA meetings.
Thus begins Aaron’s pitch to Villanelle to join him. An offer she really considers when he says he will give her “everything”? She gets super excited about having everything. What does everything mean to Villanelle. During the night Villanelle came to kill Eve after she had put a hit out on herself, I remember Villanelle asking Eve if she would give her “everything” she wanted if she agreed to help her find the Ghost. Eve agreed, but I don’t know what that meant. I thought it meant she wanted to sleep with her that night, but it was never revisited. At this point, I know something is about to go down but it is most definitely not what Aaron thinks when he suggests that Villanelle kill Eve right there. Aaron has a look of someone watching porn and loving it. Unfortunately for him, he miscalculated the situation and found himself neck deep in the blade he thought Villanelle would use on Eve. The smile on his face as he watches the blood stream from his wound while Villanelle holds him in front of the mirror most certainly means he died orgasmically happy.
Villanelle seems happy too since all these events have placed her where she wants to be: on the run with Eve. But Eve is in shock and after a sound slapping from Villanelle she stops nagging her about the perilousness of the situation. I loved it when Villanelle said she slapped her to give her shock like when you have to get rid of hiccups. The episode then transitions to Eve gleefully looking forward to her “normal” life with Eve while Eve swings between disbelief, disgust, dismay, and daring. Refusing to leave without gathering the tapes of Aaron Peel, Eve agrees to meet Villanelle in a getaway car outside the hotel. They separate after a mutual, “See you soon.” I’ve been wishing for them to get together all season in some form so that Eve can indulge whatever she’s seeking from Villanelle. But I quickly tired of Villanelle begging Eve to go with her. Villanelle indulges her like an understanding lover who knows Eve is trying to process all the gory events. Despite this, I’m not used to Villanelle begging so much.
Konstantin finds Villanelle trying to steal a car, and he once again tries to save her, this time from Raymond who is due to kill her soon. They are at odds again when Konstantin’s life line doesn’t involve Eve. Again he is puzzled about her obsession with Eve and asks Villanelle about it. She says it is because they are the same. Villanelle will do what Villanelle wants so she rejects Konstantin’s plea that she leave Eve. She also threatens to find him and his family which he blows off as he walks away. This scene mirrors the one Eve has with Carolyn when she reveals the ruse that led Villanelle and Eve to do exactly what they wanted. Carolyn wrongly warns that Villanelle wouldn’t have saved Eve, unaware of Villanelle’s refusal to leave without Eve. Carolyn becomes all the more shady to me in this scene, though it was obvious in previous episodes she was setting Eve up for something.
In the next scene, she shows her willingness to fight for Eve. The standoff between Raymond and Eve presents the perfect opportunity for Villanelle to get Eve’s hands dirty. Sure enough, she goads Raymond into putting down his axe and underestimating Villanelle and Eve for that matter. They fight and Raymond resorts to his preferred form of intimidating Villanelle, asphyxiation. Remember, he chocked her out in the car when we first met him earlier in the season. Sure enough, Eve falls in line to save Villanelle when we know there is a gun at the ready. Villanelle has the same look of pleasure (that Aaron had, though more giddy) on her face when Eve inefficiently buries the axe in his shoulder, pulls it out, and then finishes the job with a few more whacks. Villanelle was eager to give Eve killing pointers and real assistance like a kill coach. Villanelle obviously is the true kill commander.
As they escape, Villanelle is preoccupied with what they will eat for dinner. Eve suggests spaghetti as she walks around in a haze. Villanelle then starts to talk about where they can live and how she will care for Eve. The birds startle them and Villanelle brings out her weapon. This changes everything for Eve. She surmises that Eve orchestrated the Raymond kill and then their argument begins. Villanelle wants the object of her affection to be in her possession. Eve is now seemingly come to her senses, I guess, but she still isn’t thinking straight. She forgets who she is dealing with and turns and walks away. Villanelle raises the pistol and shoots. We don’t see the shot, but we see Eve’s body prone on the floor of the beautiful ruins. We have come full circle. Season 2 ended in the same way as Season 1. One main character on the receiving end of violence at the hands of the other. Villanelle walks away coldly, unlike Eve who last season tried to render aid. We already know Sandra Oh isn’t dead. It’s still Killing Eve, not Killed Eve.
I really like this show, but I didn’t like this ending. As I wrote earlier, the 12 and its connection to various characters is disjointed. Since the show was intent on creating the sexual tension and obsession between Eve and Villanelle, why are they now veering off that path. I want Eve to truly process her feelings and decide whose side she is on. I wish she would acknowledge her attraction to Villanelle and make a concrete decision to reject or accept it. Yes, I guess she did that at the end when she turned her back on Villanelle. But this decision was more petty anger at Villanelle for manipulating her. Isn’t that was psychopaths do, though? Villanelle has been the queen of manipulation in plain sight of Eve. In the last episode she said she was wide awake. Hmm. I don’t think so. Maybe if she just had sex with Villanelle she would get it out of her system and could stop making such rookie mistakes or at least make a clear-eyed decision.
I’m looking forward to next season. Too bad it won’t come back in the Fall like most shows. I hope the new show runner can give some concrete answers on the 12 and find a way for Eve to contend with her inconsistencies.