Sunday, March 13, 2022

REVIEW: 'Killing Eve' - Villanelle Seeks Out Therapy as Eve Works a Personal Connection for a Lead in 'A Rainbow in Beige Boots'

BBC America's Killing Eve - Episode 4.03 "A Rainbow in Beige Boots"

Having stalked Helene, a new lead allows Eve to uncover a name in The Twelve's top tier. Villanelle is rejected by Eve when she seeks help, so she attempts to enact change another way. Operating abroad, Carolyn discovers more promising intel on a spate of torturous murders linked to The Twelve.

"A Rainbow in Beige Boots" was written by Kayleigh Llewellyn and directed by Anu Menon

The cat-and-mouse game between Eve and Villanelle is over. Villanelle is arrested and sent to prison. Eve pursues the action she should have taken the first time they met. Instead, Villanelle's arrest has been long delayed because of the electric connection between them. Eve has complete focus over her mission now. Villanelle is no longer her main target. She has found a new killer to track down. That obsession drives her. Villanelle simply lingers on the periphery. She remains a loose end that must be dealt with. It's merely a nuisance when she shows up in Eve's hotel room hoping to stay. Eve only becomes concerned about Villanelle when she threatens other people. That's a distraction. Martin is hopefully fine after spending several days with Villanelle as her therapist. Those scenes showcase a willingness to change. Martin even notes the metamorphosis has begun. He sees something within her that he has never encountered before in dealing with psychopaths. He still sees the superiority complex. He fears for his life every second she is near. He wants to treat this like a regular session with a patient. Villanelle always demands more. Instead, she is greeted with consequences for her actions. She isn't held accountable for all the crimes she has committed across the series. Instead, she's simply arrested for killing Phil and May. She didn't want to kill them. That was still the end result. The murders were publicized. Villanelle's face was revealed. She needs to be locked up. Of course, it's unlikely this is the end of her story. The complexities between Villanelle and Eve will probably continue. They have always been the hook of the show. Carolyn is great too. However, her story is increasingly tangential to everything else going on. She's pursuing a lead no one else seems aware of. That too shows the influence and extent of Helene's actions. That further confirms Eve's suspicions. However, Carolyn and Eve are pursuing things in vastly different ways. Eve is developing a personal connection with the target of her investigation. Meanwhile, Carolyn pursues the evidence left behind at each crime scene. Members of the Twelve are being killed off. They remain faceless identities. That's striking in an episode that aspires to have the audience always remember the human stakes of the story at hand. That stylistic choice mostly comes across as unnecessary though. That matters especially when so much of the narrative presents in the same way the stories have always been told.

The names of the characters splash on the screen during their first big moments of the episode. It doesn't necessarily indicate a change in focus. It's not the show playing around with perspective. It's simply pointing out who needs to be noticed for the ongoing drama to work. Elliot doesn't last long. He is killed by his sister, Pam. That too sends Helene into action. She has been cultivating this new assassin. Pam has the skills. She can go unnoticed in life. She isn't ready to make the move. That's where she is right now. She needs to move up because her actions have already drawn suspicion. Helene must clean up after her while ensuring Eve doesn't get too close once more. Helene must carry that burden herself. She has her own personal motivations. She is trying to figure out who is actually running the criminal organization she works in. Every name only produces a lead to someone else. It's a grand mystery that seemingly never goes far enough. It may all be pointing to Fernanda's ex-husband who has mysteriously vanished. Eve figures that out. It's a way to prove herself to Helene in their next interaction. However, they have different interests in wanting to learn the truth about this organization. Helene supports the criminal endeavors. She continues to build on the successes that have long worked. Eve hopes to take down the organization and expose those responsible for the damage done to the friends she's lost along the way. She is more than comfortable dying in pursuit of this path. That may be how all of this ends. Does a show called Killing Eve need to actually kill Eve by the end? What does that action actually mean? It may suggest the show itself can't change what it is. That's what Eve expresses with the lame frog and scorpion metaphor. So many creatives love using that story to prove why people can't change. It's been overdone with no one finding a creative way to include it into the proceedings. It's clunky here. Eve can only barely commit to it. The only question is over which one of them is the scorpion. Is it Villanelle or Eve? They want to believe they've changed so much since they started this journey together. Based on that history, they know how to react to any given action. It may all cement the inevitability of them destroying each other. It has to produce a cost to justify the amount of time spent with them. The show has struggled with maintaining that rationale over the years. This season has yearned for stronger focus. It hasn't quite achieved it yet. It may get there.