Sunday, April 15, 2018

REVIEW: 'Killing Eve' - Eve and Villanelle Have to Defend Their Recent Actions in 'I'll Deal With Him Later'

BBC America's Killing Eve - Episode 1.02 "I'll Deal With Him Later"

In the aftermath of her recent assignment, Villanelle is ordered to take a break. Never one to do as she's told, she goes ahead with her next mission. Eve is given a dream opportunity to join a secret MI6 unit tracking Villanelle and the shady organization she works for.

The series premiere of Killing Eve was all about showing off the various skills of Eve and Villanelle. They are two equally talented and resourceful women. They are so incredibly different as characters. They are about to clash in an epic way as they represent obstacles that both will have to overcome in order to continue in their current professions. And now, "I'll Deal With Him Later" provides further examples of the various investigations they are heading in order to look into one another. Eve was fired from her job at MI5 last week. She was determined to prove that her hunch was right about the killer in her case being a woman. She broke a number of rules just to interview the witness and prove that her gut was leading her in the right direction. It was a decision that ultimately got several people killed. Meanwhile, Villanelle just casually ignored the order to make the death of the witness look like suicide. She was proud to put on a show to prove to the world that she was a killer with style. It was such monstrosity on display in that hospital room. It wrecked Eve as she tried to find a way to come back from that awful outcome. And now, the world presents her with a new opportunity just as it is questioning Villanelle's continued capabilities of doing this job. They are both asked to defend their actions and argue for why they should continue investigating and killing like they have been. It's a case of their closest allies questioning their judgment and whether or not they can still be trusted to perform this work. It's a lot of fun to see both Eve and Villanelle push back to prove that they are the women for these jobs. It just continues to set them up on a collision course that is bound to get very explosive very quickly.

Eve just has a simple breakfast meeting with Carolyn after losing her job the previous day. It's a case of Eve not knowing what kind of meeting she is walking into. She knows that she has a potential ally in Carolyn because she too is aware that there is a female serial killer operating throughout Europe that isn't on anyone's radar. She wants to hear Eve's rationale for why she determines some murders as being attributed to this killer. Carolyn demands justifications for the files that were found on Eve's computer. It could create an awkward situation where Eve faces even more repercussions for using her office's resources in investigating cases she had no business looking into. And yet, it's through those investigations that she proves her skills to Carolyn. She is worthy of being entrusted with this new case. When Carolyn heard Eve's suggestions of this assassin being a women, she was intrigued. She was willing to listen to her theory with genuine curiosity. And now, she sees a very capable and confident women who knows exactly what she is looking for. As such, she is given the team and resources to actually make an official inquiry into stopping this mysterious woman and the organization she is working for. It's still an incredibly daunting task. Carolyn can give her this operation but cautions that no one can know about it and the resources being devoted to it. They have to operate in secrecy. She gives her a new office to work out of as well as permission to hire two more individuals. It's not surprising that she brings Bill and Elena aboard. The show is still setting up this investigative unit. But it's pretty thrilling nevertheless.

It's surprising to see just how skeptical Bill is as Eve presents her case for why all of these murders are connected. He wants to present as the voice of reason saying all of these murders could be completely random with no grand connection tying them together. He wants Eve to remain open to the possibility that she is chasing something that just isn't there. He appears to be incredibly reluctant to take this job. That stands in stark contrast to Elena who is very eager to move up the ladder and continue to support Eve while also impressing Carolyn. Of course, Bill is still happy to have a job. He even enjoys getting to attack Frank to question if he ever truly had surveillance footage of the crime that happened in the premiere. It turns out to be a complete fabrication. At least, that's what the story is currently saying. The back and forth nature of this specific plot point basically means that something more may be worth following up on here. Frank is still a series regular character after all even though the other main characters are no longer working for him at MI5. They got promotions despite being fired and quitting. And Eve is still following her gut. She knows that she needs to look at all of the female employees at the hospital to track down the one person who could have been a witness to the crime. It's only then that it dawns on her that the woman she met in the bathroom was actually Villanelle, the killer. That's such a crucial realization at the close of this episode. Eve understands that she knows exactly what the killer looks like. She can use that to further this investigation and understand the organization that is currently manipulating these events.

It's abundantly clear that Villanelle has no real interest in the organization that she works for though. She is just ready to accept whatever job Konstantin presents to her next. She enjoys killing. So far, every job has gone according to plan. That's what makes her feel so emboldened right now. She feels like she has the skills to accomplish any job no matter how daunting it seems. She doesn't see the point in needing to be under review. She believes the way she killed the witness could have been perceived as a suicide. She's absolutely wrong to believe that. But that's her perspective. She doesn't think that anyone will be looking too closely into the crime and be able to associate her with it. She believes she's still operating under this mysterious guise. She feels invincible. She is once again emboldened to take action during the latest job. She actually steals the card of information from Konstantin. He doesn't believe she is ready to travel and kill once more. The therapist agrees after asking Villanelle a very specific question about the dreams she's been having. That's a very ominous tease for the future. So much of the storytelling so far has proven that Villanelle doesn't really connect emotionally with anyone. She's completely willing to pull a knife on Konstantin if he starts questioning her judgment. She kills two more high-profile targets without any problems whatsoever. Meanwhile, her new neighbor and romantic partner becomes collateral damage because he gets a whiff of the lethal perfume she used in her latest kill. It's tragic but she doesn't really care. It basically solves a problem she would have had to deal with at some point.

And yet, Villanelle is being targeted by someone who knows that she is the one killing these various targets. Villanelle doesn't know anything about the organization she works for and their agenda in eliminating these various people. She targets a seemingly low-level employee working at the office late at night as well as a very influential donor who supports feminist causes. It's so horrifying to see what happens to both of them. But Villanelle never truly feels a genuine threat to her until Konstantin sits her down to say that MI6 has started an official investigation into her. The fact that they already know about the existence of Eve's unit means that the organization they work for is very influential and powerful. They don't have anyone actually inside Eve's unit to tell them exactly what she knows and just how seriously they should take this investigation. But it's certainly enough for Villanelle to worry. In fact, she only asks for the name of the person leading the charge against her. She does a little research online until she realizes that the woman leading this unit happens to be the same woman she saw in the bathroom at the hospital. That immediately makes her see Eve as a threat. She has actually seen her face and may be able to use that to the benefit of the investigation. It's such a pivotal moment to occur at the end of the second episode. Eve and Villanelle are now both completely aware of what the other is doing and that they ran into each other in that bathroom at the hospital. Now, it should be very fascinating to see how they use that information in order to move their agendas forward next week.

Some more thoughts:
  • "I'll Deal With Him Later" was written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and directed by Harry Bradbeer.
  • Carolyn cautioned Eve that she will have to lie to her husband in order to become a spy who works for her. She suggested that it was better to have him suspecting her of an affair. Their interactions were very clandestine. Eve continues to keep up the ruse for a moment as well. But she can't ultimately lie to her husband. She may be putting him into harm's way because of this investigation. As such, she feels the need to share with him that she is working as a spy for MI6. It's something they don't really discuss but his reaction should be important.
  • It's established that Frank's wife died and he is left as the sole guardian of their children. Eve and Bill pity those children for having Frank as a father because he appears to be an alcoholic. It's fascinating how the one man with actual problems is the one who actually gets to keep his job in the department. The others were all fired but received much better opportunities afterwards.
  • It seems like Frank is very quick to react once learning that Elena is interested in talking with him. She quit. It wasn't a contentious issue either. He wants this meeting to be someone from the office having sympathy for what he went through. But she is perfectly fine manipulating him by defending him against Eve and Bill during this brief interrogation at the pub. That's her role and she has a blast playing it.
  • The show feels a little formulaic in feeling the need to introduce a hacker who can access any information from around the world for Eve to use in her investigation. Sean Delaney is a series regular as well. So, Kenny will become a crucial member of this time. He has his quirks as well in suggesting Eve bring her own toilet paper to the office. But Eve is also asking a lot of him at the moment - including searching for all female psychopaths in a certain age range from around the world.
  • Konstantin tells Villanelle that she needs to kill Sebastian right after learning that he knows she just went out on a job. That feels like the only rationale to explain why he must die. Not all of her hookups need to be killed. It's just anyone who learns any personal details about her. As such, he's curious about if she sold her perfume. He is just a sweet and simple artist who has no idea that the woman he slept with is a dangerous killer.