Sunday, April 10, 2022

REVIEW: 'Killing Eve' - Eve and Villanelle Risk Everything to Defeat the People Who've Long Plagued Their Lives in 'Hello, Losers'

BBC America's Killing Eve - Episode 4.08 "Hello, Losers"

Eve and Villanelle focus on making a seismic stab at The Twelve, even if it means risking their own lives. With fresh intel, they pursue the mission before it's too late. Carolyn arrives home as a traitor, she has a finite amount of time to use her intel as leverage to get herself back in the game.

"Hello, Losers" was written by Laura Neal and directed by Stella Corradi

Whenever the main storyline of this show was incomprehensible, one subplot was at least consistent enough to still be enjoyed. However, this finale closes everything not really having a firm grasp on any of the characters and their stories over the years. Yes, it yearns for the nostalgic quality from the first season by remembering all of those who have been lost along the way. And yet, it mostly comes at the expense of their legacies. Eve and Villanelle simply acknowledge their current dynamic is messed up after Villanelle killed Bill. That was such a dramatic moment. That offered the first genuine twist that allowed every thrilling moment to propel to excellence. It's now treated so casually. They can never forget it. They can move past those complicated emotions. In fact, the narrative suggests that Eve and Villanelle have always been standing in their own ways. The only thing keeping them from being together is themselves. The outside pressure simply doesn't exist. It's all the internal view of what giving into this dynamic actually means. For Eve, it's an embrace of being a psychopath herself who is more than capable of killing. For Villanelle, it's reckoning with the human cost of what she's done and try to find a noble pursuit to bring about redemption. Those personal trajectories are so extreme. They are dominant throughout the narrative. It sucks up all the oxygen. As such, that leaves the few who are capable of being level-headed on the sidelines. They are the ones who recognize Eve and Villanelle as carrying the burden of all the lethal decisions. Those who linger in the background can simply let them work and then scoop up the rewards for themselves. Of course, it's all built on the audience's willingness to believe Helene would be invited to this meeting. The only point of her story was in showcasing how she didn't know who led the Twelve either. She never received that clarity. She tried to reach those answers. And yet, she apparently was invited to a rare meeting where everyone would be together in one location. The leaders didn't know she was dead yet. And so, information was continually teased to Eve and Villanelle. It was easy for them to decipher. Their only obstacle was finding a phone charger. It's easy for Villanelle to kill when she arrives in the room with these faceless individuals. It doesn't ultimately matter who they are. That pursuit meant something to Eve and Villanelle though. That creates the illusion that their bond has always been more important than everything else. That's a perfectly reasonable assumption to make. However, the show has to earn those beats as well. It doesn't because of all the twists, turns and agony that have always defined them for so long.

Villanelle is told her future has life while Eve is marked for death. It's something they don't particularly take seriously. And yet, the audience can see the inherent tragedy in the situation. The creative team is setting up that expectation. One will die in this quest. One will survive. And so, they only have a few fleeting moments together. As such, it doesn't make sense for them to continue being complicated. They can embrace the true understanding they have for each other. Martin told Eve she needed to confide in people who understood her to her soul. Villanelle is the only person who meets that description. That also pulls her back into this dysfunctional and chaotic world of the Twelve. Eve proclaims she came to Gunn's island to be with Villanelle. In reality, Eve needed Villanelle's help to finish the job. These emotions are conflated together. The show believes it has put the work in for all of it to be easily understood. It's much more complicated than that. Everything that was vital to this season must have some purpose. In the end, it may be nothing more than each character deciding how far they are willing to go and who they want at their side. Carolyn sees Pam yearning for purpose. She could be a great asset for MI6. She doesn't want the job though. That's a surprise. It's the only thing that genuinely shocks Carolyn. She can't allow that to distract her. All emotions are frivolous. They will only lead to more turmoil. She can't afford that. She must make her move. That's simply recognizing opportunities when they present themselves. She kills Villanelle after she eliminates the leadership of the Twelve. Again, it cements the idea that this story was always going to end tragically. It concludes with Eve wailing as Villanelle has been taken from her. Her body is forever out of reach. Their connection burned bright and fast. It was extinguished just as quickly. Carolyn took that from her. It's all just part of the game. The cold cruelness is intoxicating to Carolyn. Eve has to recognize that and try to weaponize it. It doesn't work. Personal emotions ultimately got distracting for her. Carolyn never faltered in that way. She was careful even when she was seemingly dictated by searching for who actually killed Kenny. The answer was already given. She embraced chaos believing there was more to the story. And now, she simply does whatever it takes to return to good standing with MI6. She achieves that goal by torturing people who have aggravated her for years. They serve a purpose and are then discarded. That's the callous way the show opts to end. It's depressing. But again, the emotions of that moment are drained completely because the personal stakes of the show simply no longer match the intrigue of the central mission. Even that grew tiring as the final season went on with nothing exactly replacing that value or meaning.