Sunday, April 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'Killing Eve' - Villanelle Reaches Out for Help and Gets a Surprising Response in 'Nice and Neat'

BBC America's Killing Eve - Episode 2.02 "Nice and Neat"

Carolyn introduces Eve to her new team before Eve briefs them on the Villanelle case. Needing to lie low while she recovers, Villanelle finds a Good Samaritan to take her in and care for her. Eve finds out a secret that Carolyn has been hiding from her.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of BBC America's Killing Eve.

"Nice and Neat" was written by Emerald Fennell and directed by Damon Thomas

This season is starting to ask whether Eve is an expert on female assassins or if she is just obsessed with Villanelle. The latter would absolutely be true. And yet, her new assignment within MI6 is to work with a new team in tracking down other murders that were likely done by trained female operatives. The murder that Carolyn uncovered in the premiere points to a completely different killer. Villanelle may have provided the clue as to where to look for more of the work from the Twelve. But she wasn't the assassin used for this particular death. Instead, it's a complete newcomer to the story who immediately gets labeled "the Ghost." She is perceived that way because she isn't flamboyant. She doesn't want attention in the same way that Villanelle craves. Eve was able to track Villanelle throughout Europe because she loved being noticed and commended for her work. She wants people to recognize the way she kills people even though she changes it every single time. She doesn't have a signature kill tactic. She enjoys killing people in a variety of ways. She is trained to make any kind of encounter lethal if need be. Ghost is the exact opposite. She blends into a target's life to the point where they don't even notice that she has the proximity to actually kill them. It's the show adding a racial element to the proceedings. That is very engaging and compelling. Eve had a unique perspective in the Villanelle case. She is now willing and able to identify this new killer even though the team has no known description of her. They aren't working with a lot at the moment. They just recognize that Villanelle is hardly the only female assassin operating in this world. In fact, she may no longer be the most pressing threat that MI6 needs to eliminate. The Twelve operate as an organization with its pulse on the geopolitical standing of so many industries. Villanelle was just given the orders of where to go and who to kill. This new killer is probably operating in the same way. However, this show may be offering Eve, Carolyn and the audience with new clues as to the larger purpose behind all of this. It may be expositional at the moment. But it's the work that's necessary in order to keep the central premise going for another season. Eve now has to find the balance between her MI6 work, her marriage to Niko and her obsession with Villanelle. She will continue to hunt Villanelle no matter what. Kenny is the only person she tells about her deadly encounter in Paris. She even gets the confirmation that Villanelle is still alive here. And yet, that is only a fleeting glimmer of hope. Of course, Villanelle looks to Eve as a lifeline as well. She isn't the woman who stabbed her with the intention of killing her. Villanelle saw the act as one of love that shows just how connected the two of them are. This was Villanelle introducing her world to Eve and allowing her to act on these impulses. It just means that she is now trapped in a situation in which it seems like she no longer has any allies in the world. She continues to survive because that's what she does no matter what. Right now though, she is just subjected to the torture of a deranged man who wishes to control and abuse her. That too is a startling image that may even make Villanelle sympathetic. She thought she could manipulate his emotions to find shelter and the proper medications. Instead, she is trapped in a world without ever being allowed to leave. She has to kill Julian in order to escape. She still has those skills. She just has to reach out to all of her contacts in order to survive. That tips off everyone that she continues to thrive in this world. It just makes her at the mercy of the Twelve even more so than before. Her leash will be tightened which may make the hunt for her even more complicated moving forward.