Reviews Television

KILLING EVE: Season 2, Episode 3: The Hungry Caterpillar

Rachel reviews Killing Eve's third episode of season two.

WARNING: Contains heavy SPOILERS for Killing Eve Season 2, Episode 3

Leave her alone. She’s a parasite Eve. She gets into your brain, she eats you up to make space for herself. Like that book with the hungry worm and all that food – pickles, tomatoes…” “The Hungry Caterpillar?” Few shows on TV would open by referring to one of their main characters as a parasite, yet as it displays time and time again, Killing Eve is of course not like any other show.

It’s fair to say that Villanelle has all but fully recovered. We see her perform her first kill under her new handler Raymond, one that she was instructed to carry out in a manner which was both “boring and discreet”. Raymond almost definitely didn’t have being caught in an elevator by a tie in mind when giving Villanelle these instructions, yet in her true style, that’s exactly what he got. Of course this hit wasn’t performed before she had time to comment on the quality of the tie. When her target Greg Richardson insists that his tie is from Hermès, Villanelle is courteous enough to correct him by telling him it’s a knock off, before strangling him with said tie. Most stylish assassin? Confirmed. The cherry on top of a good kill is always Villanelle’s obvious glee afterwards, and it’s oddly refreshing to see her back to full health and relishing the return to her job.

KE S2Ep3 Villanelle School Disguise

Jodie Comer in Killing Eve Season 2 (2019) – source: BBC America

Upon arriving back to her hotel – one that she appears to disdain now that the lows of last week are well and truly behind her and her regular standards have returned – Raymond admonishes Villanelle by bringing up the one thing that he knows will hurt her; he implies that Eve no longer cares for her. This seems to be a theme this week, with Konstantin later repeating a similar refrain that Eve is no longer thinking about Villanelle at all, rather keeping her focus on ‘The Ghost’.

Villanelle’s reaction was both brilliantly petty and very ‘on brand’. She immediately calls up Niko’s school to make a complaint against him. “Another” complaint, I might add. The thought of Villanelle just continuously making complaints against Eve’s husband was particularly amusing, it seems that a jealous Villanelle will indeed consume anything in her path in order to get what she wants.

The Green and the Brown Eyed Monster

Jealousy is on the agenda this week in more ways than one. Whilst Villanelle is busy filing complaints against Niko and stalking Eve from afar once more, Eve is introduced to a colleague of Niko’s names Gemma. In Eve’s own words, Gemma clearly “wants a piece of Mr. Polastri” a fact that Villanelle monopolizes by giving Gemma hints on how to essentially drive a wedge between Eve and Niko. Gemma asserts that her tips “sound a bit manipulative” to which Villanelle replies “it is, that’s why it works” before inquiring “do you have cats?”. It’s Villanelle back to her taunting and manipulative best.

Gemma may prove to be a fleeting character, but her presence this week seemed to do the trick of pushing Niko further from Eve. After another argument that boils down to Niko and Eve’s burgeoning differences in lifestyle – meaning that Niko has nightmares about things not being filed alphabetically whilst Eve chases real life assassins – Eve is left alone, with Villanelle in disguise just inches away from her.

KE S2Ep3 Eve and Niko

Sandra Oh and Owen McDonnell in Killing Eve Season 2 (2019) – source: BBC America

As Villanelle rises, Eve appears to sink this week. Besides isolating herself from Niko, Eve also pushes away both Carolyn and Kenny. She uses her position of seniority over Kenny, forcing him to find the address of the safe house that MI6 are keeping Konstantin’s family in, in order to get leverage when asking Konstantin for Villanelle’s whereabouts. Eve becomes domineering here, it’s like watching her become more taut as the episode progresses, just waiting for the moment that she snaps over her obsession. She has complete tunnel vision and single-mindedness on her mission to catch Villanelle, disregarding even her own instincts.

For instance, she goes behind Carolyn’s back, near enough abandoning ‘The Ghost’ and Alistair Peel case – it’s mentioned literally twice this entire episode – to continue to hunt down Villanelle via the information Konstantin gave her. Even when asking Konstantin for an exchange in information, Konstantin warns her that she’s “making a mistake”, but there’s no stopping Eve in this episode.

Reunited and it Feels So Good

Eve’s misplaced trust in Konstantin does reap rewards for the viewers however, as it leads to the Villanelle and Konstantin reunion. After exchanging niceties to the effect of ‘sorry for shooting you’, Konstantin and Villanelle go rogue, but not before Eve almost catches them.

The maddening forty seconds, watching Villanelle on one side of the door and Eve on the other is the most emotionally charged and intense scenes of the series. The episode stands out if not for that scene alone. 

Eve’s feral exclamation when she realizes she was so close to capturing Villanelle sets the mood for the upcoming weeks. When Eve said at the very beginning of the episode “Honestly, it feels like I’m losing my mind a little bit” she couldn’t have been more succinct if she tried. Her toxic and compulsive need to track Villanelle seems progressively more inexplicable, to the point where she literally could not explain to Kenny why she was behaving the way she was, nor could she listen to Konstantin’s warning that “She’ll love you to death”. Whilst it may not be death, a love note from Villanelle in the form of a blade concealed inside a tube of lipstick seems to be a start, yet what’s more concerning was Eve’s look of contentment and sparkling excitement as the blade pierced her lip. Eve’s fixation on Villanelle doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon.

KE S2Ep3 Villanelle and Konstantin

Jodie Comer and Kim Bodnia in Killing Eve Season 2 (2019) – source: BBC America

Murky Ms. Martens

Waiting in the wings of this episode, however, is some increasingly important character arcs. Whilst Eve and Villanelle continue to orchestrate their way into each other’s lives, Carolyn Martens is becoming more and more enigmatic by the week.

Whilst attempting to pry his family’s whereabouts from Carolyn, Konstantin attempts to appeal to her maternal nature, imploring “What would you do if you could never see Kenny again?” to which her reply was “I’d be fine”. She goes on to expand, saying she’d be fine “Because I’ve always been careful.” Konstantin asks “About loving your kid” and Carolyn replies “Yes.” Even Konstantin, a long time associate of Carolyn’s, seems alarmed and taken aback by her cold and callous answers. Whilst this may simply be showing Carolyn’s devotion to MI6, could it also be significant to something darker?

KE S2Ep3 Eve and Jess ft Armed Police

Sandra Oh and Nina Sosanya in Killing Eve Season 2 (2019) – source: Parisa Taghizadeh, BBC America

Furthermore, during the exchange between Jess and Eve where Jess asks her to talk to Carolyn for more info on the Alistair Peel case, she claims “You’re her favorite” before adding “Current favorite, then, until the next poor sod gets the tap on the shoulder” after Eve protests. This is an interesting exchange, one that seems to want to cast the doubts against Carolyn again, highlighting the changing loyalties and favorites of MI6 and the seeming ease with which people can be cast aside. In an odd sense, Villanelle’s own situation seems to parallel this, with the implications laid by Raymond that ‘The Ghost’ could be her replacement. They are both on some level, seemingly replaceable assets that are kept only as long as they are useful.

Desperate Times

With Villanelle and Konstantin reunited, where does that leave Raymond and the rest of The Twelve? Will the backlash from the organisation come sooner or later? Is Carolyn really heartless or is it just her face? How many more complaints will Niko receive from anonymous students with varying accents? Perhaps we’ll get the answers to none of these questions, but what’s certain is that more bodies will drop.

All Killer No Filler

Here’s some bits that weren’t relevant to the plot or character development, but deserve honorary mention:

  1. Niko: I’ll just masturbate onto this omelette I guess.
  2. Villanelle singing “Listen To Your Heart” by Roxette
  3. Niko: You like Pythagoras?  Eve: Oh God, yes, Pythagoras! He’s the sexiest!

KE S2Ep3 Villanelle Car

Jodie Comer in Killing Eve Season 2 (2019) – source: BBC America

Killing Eve will return next year for a third season and it is set to air in the UK starting June 8th on BBC One.

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Rachel Chandler is an English Literature with Creative Writing graduate from the University of Birmingham. Born and bred in about as middle England as you can get – The Midlands are real and she will fight you on it – she spends her time slinging pints for the masses by day and obsessively watching films by night. Her favourite film is staunchly Donnie Darko despite its edge-lord following, any French or Australian cinema as well as anything that’s gay even if it’s pure trash. Her writing has feautured in RADICL Mag, HighClouds and Screen Queens. You can scope out her many ramblings at @RShanaynayChand or @RachelC978 on Twitter as well as getting in touch via her film blog recrecs.wordpress.com

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