Sunday, May 17, 2020

REVIEW: 'Killing Eve' - Eve and Villanelle Struggle to Break Free From the Brutal Patterns of Their Lives in 'End of Game'

BBC America's Killing Eve - Episode 3.06 "End of Game"

As the investigation continues, Carolyn finds out information is being withheld by those close to her. Eve finds a lead which might bring her closer to Villanelle. Meanwhile, Villanelle has had enough and decides on a different path. Konstantin's loyalties are split.

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 next episode of BBC America's Killing Eve.

"End of Game" was written by Krissie Ducker and directed by Shannon Murphy

At the start of the season, it felt as if things were falling into a familiar and routine pattern. Villanelle would kill and Eve would have to investigate. Circumstances kept producing dire and tragic twists in order to keep both of them fulfilling those basic roles. They couldn't expand beyond those specific archetypes. That's how the story had to function. The season that has developed so far hasn't exactly challenged that notion. There has been a notable lack of agency and urgency to some of the stories. Villanelle and Eve are purposefully being kept apart in order to better showcase how they operate as individuals. Of course, people in their lives are constantly commenting on how they still hold strong feelings for each other and that has to be clouding their judgment at any specific moment. It's probably more complex than that. But it was still enticing and enthralling when the two of them finally reunited in London earlier this season. That was a combustive moment that was built entirely around the idea that the two of them spark something passionate and new within each other. That is a feeling they are continually chasing. They know they aren't healthy together. That may only be destined to end with one of them dead. They went back and forth on who the ultimate victim would be. This season they have been yearning for more. But they are also using these patterns in order to find some structure and purpose in a life that seems destined to crush them no matter what. Eve has shrunken because of her near death experience. She wanted to escape to a small and unnoticeable life. She wanted to blend into her surroundings. There was no longer a reason for her to live. The plot forced her to care about others though. That happened first with Kenny's death and then Niko's. Sure, it's absolutely frustrating and baffling to realize that Niko has actually survived his run-in with Dasha. That moment was designed to send Eve spiraling even further. And now, the narrative is essentially saying that Eve has to continue holding onto these personal feelings for her husband even though he wants to be as far away from her as possible. He keeps getting more and more hurt because of her obsessions. He wants nothing to do with her anymore. And yet, he can still be used to exploit and hurt Eve. She still cares about this relationship. He is nothing but a pawn to be exploited. Dasha saw that clearly and made her influence known. And now, Eve can track down Dasha and operate with the clarity that she is Villanelle's new handler. She can throw her off her bowling game. That may be it though. Eve doesn't head into this meeting wearing armor or powerful information. She is reckless because she is confronting a killer with no real support. But that's how careless she has grown. She has to get to the truth because it has been propped up in her mind that it is important. Carolyn states that the Twelve has taken their loved ones. They don't need to know who specifically killed Kenny and severely injured Niko. Eve doesn't buy into that argument. It may also just be an easier way for Carolyn to cope with her difficult reality. She knows she can't trust her new superior. And yes, the audience gets the clarity that he is working for the Twelve and is giving orders to Konstantin. That isn't all that original a twist though. It's reminiscent of what happened in the first season. Now, it's just clear that things are continuing to escalate for Konstantin. He wants to escape this life with his daughter. Villanelle latches herself onto that plan. Even if she isn't invited, she wants to know where this little family unit is escaping off to. She knows that Cuba is the final destination. Meanwhile, Irina is showing her own deadly impulses. Villanelle and Irina actually follow through on their desires to kill people who are suppose to be their family. Villanelle had to burn down her family because they couldn't offer her the clarity she is currently seeking. She got her hopes up about a promotion. Instead, it's mostly just the clarification that the job will stay the same for her. Nothing is going to change. It's just more killing. She continually hopes that others can offer her what she seeks in her life. That will take true introspection for her to realize if this is all that she's meant to be and if that can offer her true happiness. She has been successful as an assassin. And yet, she is also broken down on the floor needing Dasha to stitch her up at the end of this hour. These realities and norms are breaking for the characters. They have to change. These lives seem inescapable to them. They can't break free without risking the safety of so many around them. That freedom may be entirely selfish. The powerful and mysterious forces in the world may always require them to sacrifice and suffer in this way. It's crushing. Carolyn at least has her daughter. She wants to rely on that relationship despite being so annoyed by her. That connection has potential. Everything with Eve and Villanelle though seems destined to end in even more tragedy because they are stuck in their lives and their obsessions in ways that aren't easy to digest or separate themselves from.