Sunday, March 6, 2022

REVIEW: 'Killing Eve' - Eve Challenges Helene's Stature While Villanelle Strives for Forgiveness Once More in 'Don't Get Eaten'

BBC America's Killing Eve - Episode 4.02 "Don't Get Eaten"

Eve locates Helene, who may be useful in her revenge mission against The Twelve. Villanelle's quest for change goes awry. Carolyn is pushed aside by MI6 so is forced to seek cooperation elsewhere.

"Don't Get Eaten" was written by Laura Neal and directed by Stella Corradi

Eve doesn't believe Villanelle is capable of change. However, she also wants to know if it's possible. She consults Martin, the one expert she knows on psychopaths. He insists reinvention may be nothing more than avoidance. That sets expectations accordingly. It confirms no one should treat Villanelle's new path seriously. This episode does cement that status by having her kill the family she has been living with. It's a long path to get to that point. Until then, she is trying to earn back their trust. She wants to prove she is a good person now. It's a huge achievement that she didn't kill May when she had the opportunity to do so. The sheer attempt is damaging enough. That can never be an impulse Villanelle embraces. It's so easily accessible for her. That hasn't changed despite her determination to succeed in this new venture. She wants to present as good. She isn't. Some people are aware of that right away. They know to be skeptical. She wants to be praised for doing a good job when it's what everyone else accepts as basic human decency. Some are willing to give her a chance. They see the performative aspects of her actions. However, they don't believe anyone is beyond redemption. It can happen for Villanelle so long as she keeps her heart open to it. Instead, the action mostly depicts an internal struggle as she envisions herself as Jesus Christ. It's a more blunt way to showcase the battle between good and evil within her. Of course, that would require the audience to buy into the argument that she is capable of good. It's a choice of how much damage she is willing to inflict on others. With Phil and May, she wants them to suffer after they turn against her. They see pure hatred in her eyes. It's the devil come to life. They have that clarity. The best thing to do would be to cast her out of their community. She will leave. She simply must kill in order to mark her final impression on these people. That's how they will always remember her. It's not about the actions she wants to embrace. It's what she has actually done. She can't decipher between the two. She wants to shame Phil because he did something heinous and despicable. Exposing that can potentially help her deal with her own murderous past. She is still that person. Phil has changed for the better. Meanwhile, Villanelle feels the urge to kill the physical representation of her ego. She can't follow through. It all works as a metaphor for ongoing turmoil instead of offering exciting drama that can offer unpredictability at all times.

Similarly, Eve wants confirmation she can pursue her goals the way she wants. Yusuf and Martin believe it's insane to show up at Helene's door. Eve views it as a way to successfully challenge her authority. Helene is the new power player for the Twelve. As such, Eve has to show her willingness to compete with that influence despite the danger it brings. She won't let anyone talk her out of it. They believe she is acting foolishly. She doesn't care. She has already decided this path ends in her death. Her partners at least want her to be strategic about it. That outcome should only occur once she receives the satisfaction she demands from this investigation. Right now, she could just be making herself an easy target. That's what she does and it astonishingly works for her. Part of that comes from the mystery surrounding Helene. The audience has no true understanding of how she'll react. It could prompt torturous depravity that seeks to preserve the stability of the Twelve. Or it could be intrigue for this insane women who is desperate to get to the truth. At the moment, the audience is simply suppose to accept that Eve and Carolyn will take massive risks to unmask those who have plagued their lives for awhile. It means showing no loyalty to anyone or any institution. Carolyn defects to Russian intelligence because she assumes they will allow her to work in this field. Her respect can be restored. It comes with a cost. That can't so easily be justified away. Again, Carolyn is the person who carries that burden and actually reacts to it. With Eve and Villanelle, it's always about moving on to the next extreme. With Carolyn, each moment is more careful and precise. She is just as consequential to the overall narrative. Her path clashes with Eve and Villanelle. She has experience and caution they don't have. She still privately reckons with what she has done. She refuses to allow anyone to see her break. She must maintain control no matter what. She pursues opportunities that will hopefully provide that for her. She's still betraying ideals that once meant so much to her. Now, she has new interests and concerns. That makes her an elastic player throughout this whole mess. Many of these characters survive because of their intriguing and risky moves. It mostly comes across as convenient for storytelling purposes. Eve needs to be in a new cat-and-mouse game with Helene. They may be allies. They may be enemies. They still have to figure that out. That requires close proximity. The show provides that regardless of if the journey getting there was consistent and earned.