Reviews Television

KILLING EVE: Season 2, Episode 8: You’re Mine

Rachel reviews Killing Eve's eighth and final episode of season two.

WARNING: Contains heavy SPOILERS for Killing Eve Season 2, Episode 8

It turns out that shoehorning the word ‘gentleman’ into a sentence was easier than Villanelle had anticipated. Cast your mind back to the previous episode of Killing Eve and you may recall that ‘gentleman’ was the assigned safe-word in the event that the operation with Aaron Peel was compromised. Well, we didn’t have to wait long for things to go wrong, just 4 minutes to precise.

Under usual circumstances, this wouldn’t be too much of an issue. Safe-word uttered, our anti-hero should immediately be swept into the protective arms of highly skilled backup personnel and a clean up crew for good measure. Yet as no one has let us forget on this season of Killing Eve, there will be no back up for Villanelle and Eve; they’re on their own now.

Villanelle’s use of the safe-word and the true reasoning behind her saying it is left ambiguous. She’s hardly a stickler for the rules, in fact she more often than not will actively fly in the face of whatever protocol is laid down before her. Perhaps she is genuinely concerned for her own safety and the integrity of the operation, but more than likely she’s concerned for the repercussions that The Twelve’s involvement in the operation could have on Eve’s safety.

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Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Jodie Comer in Killing Eve Season 2 (2019) – source: BBC America

Like clockwork, as Eve listens in via Villanelle’s mic, there’s a bang and a thud in the corridor just outside of the hotel room – right where Hugo has just gone to make a phone call. Eve manages to avoid being the next victim by hiding under the bed. I’m not joking, she really didn’t die purely because it would appear that The Twelve sent their dumbest member to kill Eve.

Play Dead!

After discovering that Hugo is in fact still alive, he was merely “playing dead, the hero’s technique”, a tip that may come in handy for one of our characters later in the episode, Eve leaves him bleeding out despite his protestations, to go and help Villanelle instead.

Of course, this isn’t surprising to the viewer. At this point in the season it’s absolutely clear that despite what Eve herself might think or believe, she would do almost anything for Villanelle. Whether that is leaving behind her bleeding colleague, ruining her marriage or losing her job, Villanelle is the priority in almost every way. Whether Eve will admit this or not, is another question.

Eve arrives at Aaron’s hotel to find Villanelle in seemingly no trouble at all. In fact, Aaron takes it upon himself to offer Villanelle a job, going further and saying he would “give her everything”. This sounds like an echo, a call back to episode five where Villanelle asks Eve at knife point if she’ll give her “everything I want” to which Eve acquiesced. Clearly for Villanelle, it’s not a case of what’s being offered, but who’s doing the offering.

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

Instead of agreeing to Aaron’s request to kill Eve, Villanelle chooses to slit Aaron’s throat. Whilst it was fairly obvious from the get go that Aaron Peel wasn’t going to make it into season three, his chilling smile as he watched his own throat get cut in the mirror is something that will be missed next season. Seeing Villanelle interact with a fellow psychopath, even if it was one with a fundamentally different outlook on his own mentality, was one of the highlights of the season. Aaron Peel has been a worthy adversary and a chilling antagonist, quite surprisingly so.

Looks Like it’s Just Me and You

Eve reacts less than agreeably to Aaron’s murder, exclaiming “Do you have any idea how much trouble we’re in?” before questioning why she even came to the hotel. Villanelle answers for her simply: “Because you wanted to save me. And you did.” Despite Eve’s evident concern, her growing panic for the operation, she leaves with Villanelle.

After being slapped out of her rising hysteria by Villanelle – “You Were in shock. You needed a surprise. Like hiccups.” – the pair formulate a plan. Eve heads back to the hotel in order to collect the recordings of Aaron which are the only remaining evidence of his wrongdoings, whilst Villanelle looks for a getaway car. Their shared gaze and the way they tell each other “See you soon,” is so heavily weighted and loaded. The general sense of foreboding in this episode is one that creeps in gorgeously whether you want it to or not.

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Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh in Killing Eve Season 2 (2019) – source: Gareth Gatrell, BBC America

However, Eve is confronted by Carolyn at the hotel, where it’s revealed in no uncertain terms that Carolyn plotted Aaron’s murder the entire time. In a heated back and forth, Carolyn lays it down plain as day. “I told you both repeatedly and strenuously not to kill him, but it’s hardly our fault of an assassin for The Twelve murdered Aaron Peel,” before going on to say “It’s my job to get the best out of people…you were the person who made this whole operation possible.” Outraged and feeling betrayed at being used as a pawn, Eve threatens to tell Kenny about Carolyn’s plan. “He already knows, he’s part of the cleanup.” is her reply.

Meanwhile across town, Villanelle is learning a similar fate for herself from Konstantin. Eve herself had told Konstantin in an earlier episode that it was possible to keep Villanelle under control as long she believed that whatever she was doing was her idea. She’s right. His murder felt like Villanelle’s decision, yet the entire operation was orchestrated by Carolyn and Konstantin. Her downfall is that she’s predictable in her unpredictability and her constant need to break the rules is one of her biggest flaws.

Blood is Thicker Than Water

Konstantin’s motive was his family. Carolyn agreed to give him the necessary information and presumably some protection to enable him to see them again. Villanelle is rightfully upset by his betrayal. “I thought we were friends?” she says, almost tearfully, as Konstantin replies “We are, but we are not family.” Villanelle cannot relate to the concept of betraying someone for your family, as she says “I wouldn’t know, all of mine are dead.” Konstantin looks thoughtful for a moment before responding “Most of them, sure.” This is surely something that will be explored in season three, as there can’t simply be an implication that Villanelle has living family that’s never followed up.

However, this was one major criticism of season two as a whole. Whilst it’s possible that the many questions that were raised this season – and some leftover from season one – will be answered in season three, there’s no guarantee. Ultimately, we come out of this season no closer to figuring out who The Twelve are and how they operate. Viewers are still unsure as to exactly who Carolyn and Konstantin are working for and it’s still yet to be confirmed as to the nature of Carolyn’s visit to Villanelle in prison in season one.

It’s not that kicking up multiple potential narrative threads at once is inherently a bad move, but considering season three will see the entrance of yet another writer, Suzanne Heathcote, she’s got quite a task in untangling the multiple threads that Fennell has left dangling.

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

Family or no family, Villanelle tells Konstantin that “We are the same.” referring to herself and Eve. This is perhaps her biggest misjudgment of the season. Consistently, Villanelle and Eve’s problems, the reasons they so often misunderstand and misconstrue each other’s meaning, stems from their inability to dissect their own feelings or express themselves accurately to one another.

Whilst the show has been steadily aligning them both, allowing Eve to spiral into the darker recesses of her mind, towards moral ambiguity and Villanelle to become softened and driven by her feelings for Eve, they’re not at that point yet. There’s still a way to go before they meet in the middle.

Pretend He’s a Log

Eve does take one more step towards Villanelle though, just before the season ends. Raymond is in the hotel, waiting with an axe in hand for Villanelle, anticipating her arrival. After a tense and thrilling fight, Raymond manages to overpower Villanelle, pinning her against the wall and throttling her in the process.

Behind Raymond, Eve is creeping up on the grappling pair. With some feeble pleading from Eve for Raymond, “stop it” and “let go of her”, she eventually wields the axe and lets loose on Raymond’s shoulder. This isn’t enough to kill him however and Villanelle encourages Eve to “Do it” and “Hit him in the head”. Unbeknownst to Eve, Villanelle has a gun stashed in her waistband. She is encouraging Eve to kill, to fully give into her darker desires, to cross a line that there’s no going back from.

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

Eve does, and they flee the hotel together, Villanelle grinning as she guides a clearly shocked Eve down the streets of Rome and into some abandoned ancient ruins.

With Eve clearly still shaken, Villanelle begins planning their life together, ruminating out loud as to whether they should go to Alaska and what they should cook for dinner. It’s at this point when Villanelle gets startled by some birds suddenly flying overhead and she reveals the concealed gun for Eve to see.

*What is Love?

Why didn’t you shoot Raymond?” She asks, clearly starting to come out of her dazed state. “You had it under control,” is Villanelle’s reply. It’s at that point that Eve realizes that she’s been manipulated yet again, that Villanelle wanted her to kill someone, for Eve to align herself with Villanelle.

Yet Eve is not there yet. She is clearly feeling betrayed once more, used. When Villanelle declares “You love me.” Eve denies it. When Villanelle follows it up with “I love you” Eve replies “You don’t understand what that is,” to which she has a point. The idealistic version of events that Villanelle lays out before Eve, the normal, mundane, domesticity that Villanelle equates with love is not the love that either of them want, or either of them possess for each other. It’s not that Villanelle and Eve can’t have some kind of future together, it’s just that what Villanelle is describing, one which sounds remarkably similar to Niko and Eve’s marriage, is something that neither one of them would want. Eve and Villanelle could be together, without having to be toxic and possessive, yet neither party has figured out how to do that at this point. Villanelle is describing a love that mimics what she has seen before, but it’s not one that she truly wants herself. Who is to say what Villanelle in a loving, domestic relationship would look like, but let’s hope for the sake of our sanity as viewers that it’s not as dull as Niko and Eve’s.

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

Villanelle claiming “You’re mine,” and yelling it at Eve is confirmation that Eve is right; Villanelle doesn’t understand love, at least not in the conventional sense. Of course she has feelings for Eve, of course in her own way she does love Eve, but this possessive exclamation just proves that they still have a way to go before they can be together.

Villanelle’s reaction to Eve’s rejection, is to therefore shoot her. The episode plays out as a lifeless looking Eve hits the ground and Villanelle walks away.

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

Here’s Where You Lost Me

Having scrolled through social media after watching the finale, it appears that the vast majority of die hard Killing Eve fans were disappointed. Upon first viewing, I was completely content with the ending, if not a little vexed that there was no kiss between the pair, even one that was fueled by hatred or anger.

Yet after sitting on it for a few days, mulling it over and eventually rewatching, my feelings began to change quite drastically. The root of my discomfort, the cause of the fundamental unsettled feeling, comes from the fact that Eve is almost exactly where she was at the end of season one. Her and Niko are estranged, she has no job once again and she’s all but isolated herself from anyone who vaguely cares about her. That’s without even mentioning the absurdly on the nose callback to the fact that Villanelle was stabbed at the end of season one. The season two finale then, just feels like a haphazard and lazily scrawled out inverse to that.

With new writer Suzanne Heathcote taking over from Emerald Fennel as well, it’s hard to imagine exactly how cohesive season three will be. The problem with having new writers each season is that the audience has to once again adjust to a new voice, a new way of storytelling and that takes time. It’ll be no mean feat for Heathcote to settle in either. With Fennell essentially pressing the reset button, Heathcote will have to not only untangle the threads that Fennell has left lying around and see which ones are worth exploring further, but also have to do so in a way that’s markedly different from the beginning of season two. There’s only so much that the fan base will take before they tire of seeing the same narrative play out season by season.

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

Sorry Baby x

However my biggest gripe, the aspect that really gets under my skin, is the fact that overall the episode and the season, was spectacular. It was deliciously tense and once it started running, it never showed signs of slowing down. As always, the performances were spectacular all around, but there’s still that uneasy feeling going into season three. How will Suzanne Heathcote inject some variety into the show next season, keeping it innovative and surprising whilst staying true to the groundwork that’s already in place?

As incredible as Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh are, there’s the worry that their shoulders will eventually tire of having to carry an entire season on their shoulders or that their legs will grow weary of chasing each other around Europe to no eventual pay off.

Season two was an auspicious season, one which soared when it was at its best and stumbled only slightly at the last hurdle. Suzanne Heathcote; here’s a weed whacker, get to tidying up this overgrown mess.

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

All Killer No Filler

  • How long have you been standing there? You’re such a drama queen.
  • Eve: You are such an asshole. Villanelle: It’s not my fault that you’re dressed like a maid. You look cute by the way.

Added Grumbles

  • Eve killing Raymond in large part because of Villanelle’s coercion. It would’ve been more authentic, more true to Eve’s development this season if she were to have reacted instinctively in order to save Villanelle
  • Villanelle’s cold demeanor as she shot Eve. Again, it would’ve been more consistent with the emotional development this season if Villanelle were to have shot Eve out of a sudden burst of rage or hurt.

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Sandra Oh and 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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