Sunday, April 12, 2020

REVIEW: 'Killing Eve' - Eve Wants to Disappear But Gets Pulled Back Into the Chaos in 'Slowly Slowly Catchy Monkey'

BBC America's Killing Eve - Episode 3.01 "Slowly Slowly Catchy Monkey"

Having been shot and left for dead in Rome by Villanelle, Eve is attempting to rebuild her life. Believing Eve dead, Villanelle is also moving on. That is, until she is approached by an old foe offering her a brand new opportunity. Carolyn is being undermined at work and Kenny can't leave his own investigation into The Twelve alone.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of BBC America's Killing Eve.

"Slowly Slowly Catchy Monkey" was written by Suzanne Heathcote and directed by Terry McDonough

This show has certainly embraced the eccentricities, extravagance and glamour of life even in death. It loves going to some loud and broad places while still earning the emotional depths of the twists and turns for the characters. And yet, the plotting has become an issue because the central premise of Eve vs. Villanelle has been dragged out to the point where it can lose the specificity. It was terrifying to watch them grow closer in the first season. It was erratic to watch how each behaved in the second. And now, it's clear that the third season wants the main characters to reckon with the choices they made in the past. Eve survives being shot in Rome. That isn't all that surprising. When this show kills a character, it makes it incredibly clear that that is what happened. Sure, eleven minutes go by before Eve is on the screen once more. But it's clear this experience has forced her to take a step back from life. She was determined to prove herself as a MI6 operative who could see things that others could not. She saw the energy and spark that came from Villanelle's kills. And now, Eve wants to retreat into her own world where no one could possibly threaten her. A place where she is essentially invisible. People can walk right by her and not even notice she is there. That's the life she seemingly wants. It disappears as this premiere goes along though. She can only sustain it herself for so long. She refuses to get sucked into Villanelle's orbit or the investigation into the Twelve. That's how she differs from Kenny who was also surprised by the actions his mother took in the second season. He felt betrayed by her. It was no longer healthy to continue working for her. Of course, he still lives with her and is still investigating what the Twelve actually wants to accomplish. That still remains an elusive question after three seasons. That means the organization appears less as a daunting and all-powerful adversary and more as just this convenient excuse that may all make sense eventually. Villanelle is the face of that world. She is the one running around the globe killing people. She responds to feeling betrayed by Eve by getting married as quickly as possible. That doesn't last long. She is right back to killing. In fact, it seems like the show wants to get back to basics with that character. Konstantin is no longer her handler. He is still part of the show though. He is still a terrible father too. Instead, a new figure from Villanelle's past emerges in Harriet Walter's Dasha. She too is a brutal and extravagant killer. They spar over who has the more memorable style. She presents Villanelle with the offer to be even more prominent within the Twelve. That is enticing to Villanelle. However, it doesn't really mean much to the audience. It's just a way to keep Villanelle within her basic function for the overall plot. The narrative wants to challenge whether or not these characters are capable of living how they have been for the last two seasons. They have made questionable decisions that should have consequences for them. But it's mostly just something that they have to put up with for a little while. Carolyn has a new boss overseeing her work. It's all very basic. And then, the ending presents a way for these characters to once again conflict with one another. Eve was coming out of her shell once more simply by wanting to be friends with Kenny again. But he winds up dead simply because he apparently uncovered something about the financial transitions of the Twelve. That's a vague tease. But this murder is used as the driving force for what could happen next. It means Eve's life is once again filled with death even though she wanted to leave that world behind. She couldn't escape to what her normal life used to be. That is essentially gone with Niko. However, the path forward has to be different as well. The show owes it to the audience to remain mysterious and unexpected. It also has to be bold with the steps it will take without feeling like a collection of characters the audience likes but who doing things that don't have much weight to them.