Sunday, May 12, 2019

REVIEW: 'Killing Eve' - Eve and Villanelle Work Together to Learn More About Aaron Peel in 'I Hope You Like Missionary!'

BBC America's Killing Eve - Episode 2.06 "I Hope You Like Missionary!"

Villanelle uses her unrivaled infiltration skills to immerse herself in the world of a new target. Their relationship on the rocks, Eve and Niko confront each other about their future.

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.

"I Hope You Like Missionary!" was written by Jeremy Dyson and directed by Francesca Gregorini

It's very dangerous that Eve and MI6 are willingly teaming up with Villanelle on multiple occasions now. They are asked to forget the discretions of the past in the hopes of pulling off a major arrest. And yet, none of these characters or the audience should forget who Villanelle truly is. She isn't capable of participating in a mission that doesn't require her to kill someone. She isn't built to be a spy. She carries all of these different personas that she can pull out quickly. She has many identities to try on for Eve to figure out which is the best for the job she is hiring her to do. And yet, normal life is boring to her. She doesn't care for the nuances of human interaction and building trust with someone. A lot of things have come easy to her. Even if they haven't, she has forced the world to bend to her will because of her deadly capabilities. She is prone to violence and has long seen that as the answer to any kind of conflict. The season has pointed out just how similar Eve and Villanelle are. However, Eve heads into the field with a carefully crafted plan of attack for how to infiltrate the Peel family. She builds a backstory for a character that can undergo intense scrutiny from Aaron who doesn't let anyone into his life. It's eery to see just how close Aaron and Amber Peel are. They present as the only family they have left. But Aaron is also a bully who is trying to force the world into making him rich, successful and revered. It doesn't matter that he is mining the privacy of the consumers who use his product. He just sees that as a valuable revenue stream for his company. Plus, it can offer a ton of research when it comes to silencing any potential journalist who tries to expose what the company and this sale actually is. He is a cold and calculating antagonist in that way. He must be stopped. He presents as the new target. Eve and Villanelle are working together. But the show is also asking the audience to believe that Villanelle is the most qualified person to send into the field for this operation. It makes it seem as if the MI6 team Carolyn is in charge of are the only people who are even aware of the heinous actions Aaron and his company are committing. That seems odd and slightly jarring. Why can't they just bring in someone from within the agency? Why do they have to contract this out to a literal assassin for hire? This isn't a job that plays to Villanelle's strengths. When she goes to the first AA meeting hoping to gain Amber's trust, she is essentially laughed out of the room because they know that she is lying. It's just a performance to get under Eve's skin. It's successful. Villanelle continues to take actions to create an enemy out of MI6. She murders the woman standing in the way of her success. That's brutal but it's all so casual as well. It presents as if everyone on the team is perfectly fine with that as well because it gives them a person on the inside. Of course, that person is more than willing to punch Aaron in the face when he starts poking around her backstory. Villanelle can't withstand that pressure which seems only likely to blow up this entire operation. That too is odd and proves how the people ruining this intelligence operation may not be as smart and capable as they have always seemed.

Of course, Villanelle continues to infiltrate Eve's life in a meaningful way too. Eve's relationship with Niko has always presented as the boring and safe option. He is the normal guy she is married to. He doesn't excite her in the same way that Villanelle does. And yet, Eve never fears for her safety or feels compelled to stab him in the stomach. There is a loving comfort there. But it's also enticing and arousing when a bit of dominating role playing leads to the best sex of their marriage. That is a significant change that is a direct result of Villanelle's actions. But it also implodes this relationship because Eve is so much more attracted to that energy than who Niko is on a daily basis. And he is absolutely right to be pissed with her because she has shut him out of her entire life. He doesn't know what's been going on with her. He doesn't understand the severity of her work or her obsession with Villanelle. He only recently was able to put a face to the name. But now, it has pushed him away and into the open and willing arms of his colleague. Villanelle fueled those flames as well. She wanted Eve to be unhappy and distrustful of Niko. He never cheated on her though. And now, she is the one invading his personal life. He has left for valid reasons. She sees him running to the woman he would rather be with. She is boring and normal as well. They can create a peaceful and happy life together. Eve sees the missionary position as an insult to hurt them. But it's comforting for these two. Eve doesn't know if she wants to be safe or afraid. And yet, she does feel the pull to mess up this other woman's life. It's the exact same reaction that Villanelle had to being in Eve's home all by herself. When Villanelle was there, she felt the urge to mess up the living space and put items where they just didn't belong - like half a banana in the salt container. Eve understands that urge and wanted to mess up the bedroom that can serve as this idol for what Niko may want instead. It's all devastating. But again, it shows how Eve and Villanelle are kindred spirits. Those actions are one simple thing though. It's another thing entirely when it comes to them locking eyes right before Villanelle kills. That is so casual to Villanelle. She feels nothing regarding it beyond being able to continue with her mission. Eve's reaction is just as crucial though because it could inform whether she will continue to condone this or if she will support whatever methods Villanelle takes in order to arrest Aaron Peel. Right now, the two are certainly getting closer to that goal.