Sunday, May 19, 2019

REVIEW: 'Killing Eve' - Eve and Villanelle Head to Rome for a Potentially Dangerous Mission in 'Wide Awake'

BBC America's Killing Eve - Episode 2.07 "Wide Awake"

Villanelle dives deep into the dangerous world of her target under the guise of her newfound persona, Billie. Eve may have worrying competition for Villanelle's affections.

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.

"Wide Awake" was written by Emerald Fennell and directed by Damon Thomas

Eve proclaims that she is wide awake now that Villanelle is predominately in her life. That is such a pointed and perfect summation of what their relationship actually is at this moment. Eve can basically argue that she has been sleepwalking through her entire life. Villanelle is the person who made her fully aware of the true realities of this world. Sure, there are things that are still being hidden from her. She continues to be deceived by those she believes are her closest allies. And yet, the rush of this relationship with Villanelle continues to be absolutely intoxicating and thrilling for Eve. This hour may hit the audience over the head with that idea. But it's absolutely solid heading into the season finale as well. The temptation is ever present. The seduction is more sexual and forward than ever before. Villanelle and Eve are both projecting their desires for each other onto other people. The outside world understands just how complicated this core relationship has become as well. Their eyes are wide open as well. Carolyn and Hugo understand that Eve's judgment may be clouded when it comes to Villanelle. Even Eve acknowledges this. It gets to the point where people question if she is a psychopath as well. This season has flourished because Villanelle is no longer the only person who feels bored by the world and thus feels confident abusing it. She is just one of many. MI6 is trying to reign her in and keep her on mission. But it's always dangerous to be working with her. She has the freedom to run off and do her own thing. That leads to such lethal consequences for Eve and her family once more. Villanelle essentially loves playing with her victims. And yes, Eve and Aaron are certainly the current objects of her fascination. Villanelle fills the exact same role for Eve as well. Eve knows that she is getting way too close and probably should be removed from this mission. But she is still in Rome overseeing everything that Villanelle is currently doing. Kenny warns her not to go because of some mysterious intelligence he has gathered from his new assignment. The psychopath expert warns everyone that Eve is displaying some troubling tendencies that could risk many innocent lives. And yet, the show also explains how everyone is a little casual towards death. It just hits the people who work in the government and deal with these life-or-death stakes differently. It's a part of the job for them. This is a cost of doing business in the hopes of improving the world. They are charged with protecting the people who rely on the privacy of their lives to enjoy the freedoms of society. Aaron is essentially selling that information off to the highest bidder. That's what he is doing in Rome. But no one should become numb to the threat of murder. Carolyn knows that Villanelle will be tempted to kill but can't with this mission. She still signs off on this job. But it's a horrifying final image for Niko to wake up and discover that Gemma has been suffocated to death. That's grim and shows that Villanelle really just enjoys disrupting Eve's life in a way that continues to just tease her along. She gave Niko and Gemma this momentary happiness together. But she also understands what Eve's reaction would be if Niko were killed. It would not be pretty and could risk ruining the entire dynamic they have together.

Of course, this episode also requires the audience to accept a lot of odd plotting in order to get to these profound and dangerous situations. Aaron Peel is a man who arms himself with as much information as possible. He invades everyone's privacy in order to get to the truth and secrets that they may even be keeping from themselves. He uses that in order to beat people into submission. That's the way that he conducts his business. And yet, he doesn't really have any concerns about Villanelle as she enters his life as Billie. In fact, he too is obsessed and attracted to her because she is a void in this world. That would seemingly send off a ton of red flags. Eve and her team put in the work to give Billie an online presence. However, this software Aaron has created can seemingly penetrate a person's whole identity. As such, it shouldn't be fooled by this ruse. It's all just to prop up this idea of people watching over Villanelle, fantasizing about her and trying to control her. It's the position she has been flung into. She adores the attention and is more than willing to use it to her advantage. She fought back against Aaron in the previous episode in order to stand up to his bullying ways. But now, he controls every aspect of her life as they make this trip to Rome. It presents Aaron as a voyeur who loves watching over people. He watches Billie eat and get dressed. He has the technology to watch over absolutely everything she does. And yet, there is conveniently a blindspot in the room so that she can plant the listening device that Eve has just handed off to her. That's a little absurd. The show is contorting itself all over the place in order to get to that moment in which both Aaron and Eve are listening in on Villanelle's seduction. There is the fear that if she says anything out of the ordinary she will be exposed. However, she plays into the narrative that she is being watched. She accepts that as who Aaron is while also knowing that Eve is listening in on everything too. These are two people who are obsessed with her. Of course, the action only shows how one of them is reacting to all of this. Aaron is important in that he is selling this technology that is absolutely terrifying and illegal. With Eve though, it's all about how personal this relationship is becoming. Eve and Hugo had their own brief tease of romance previously. The season hasn't exactly been building to the two of them having sex. But that's exactly what occurs here. It's a freeing moment because Villanelle teases Eve into doing it. Eve really isn't having sex with Hugo though. She doesn't acknowledge it as such. He is just a stand-in for the person she wants to be intimate with. That's Villanelle. He acknowledges that as well. He knows that it was more so a threesome than an act of pure physical attraction. He understands the reality of this complicated situation. But again, it poses a significant threat because Villanelle is in Eve's mind and will more than likely make it seem as if killing is the only good option for how to bring all of this to a satisfying close.