Updated: Jan 24
This past Sunday, the delightfully twisted Killing Eve made its triumphant return to television screens everywhere. Well, as long as you have AMC or BBC America. In my humble (and not so expert) opinion, this is one of the best shows on television at the moment.
To catch everyone up to speed, Killing Eve follows the lives of now-former MI6 agent Eve Polastri and talented yet unstable assassin Villanelle. Last season saw the two teaming up on an unsanctioned MI6 mission before Villanelle shot Eve, leaving her for dead.
The big question heading into season three was the fate of Eve. There was little doubt she would survive the shooting, but there was no telling how she would be doing. Honestly, Eve isn't in a great place after the shooting, and it doesn't seem like things won't get better anytime soon. Actress Sandra Oh is channeling the dark and twisty side of her other famous role from a long-running medical drama as she delves into Eve's deteriorating mental state.
At the start of season three, she is still wrestling with the personal ramification of murdering someone along with the disintegration of her marriage. Eve not longer works for MI6, spending her days working in the kitchen of a restaurant while spending her nights drowning her sorrow in wine and ramen. Christina Yang would be proud!
Eve's life is at a standstill. Niko is divorcing her, and she has nowhere to go. She seems content with ignoring the past as she hides in the back of the restaurant, making dumplings.
With Eve's life unraveling, Villanelle is trying to move on as well. The show opens up with Villanelle getting married, accompanied by an awkward speech about how she is glad her ex (i.e., Eve) is dead. Party guests didn't seem enthused by this, but at least her new wife found it funny. What's the old saying, love is tone-deaf to weird mentions of murder in wedding speeches? Or Blind? Or something like that?
Of course, neither of our heroines can truly escape their past. Villanelle is quickly roped back into their former life, and subsequent association with The Twelve, by her old gymnastic coach/assassin mentor Dasha.
The relationship between Dasha and Villanelle is like a dysfunctional family. There is a rivalry that lends itself to hatred at times, but Dasha serves the motherly role in Villanelle's life, similar to how Konstantin acts as her father figure. There is probably more to their back story we haven't seen yet, but it will be interesting to see how this dynamic evolves through an uneasy alliance.
Dasha's unexpected arrival comes with an opportunity for Villanelle to return to her former life as an assassin with The Twelve. If Dasha can convince Villanelle to start working again, she can return to her homeland of Russia. Villanelle accepts, completing a new job, but it feels like she is angling for something bigger here that will hopefully begin to unfold over the following weeks.
In many ways, Villanelle's story this season helps the show return to the global trotting storytelling featured in season one. Don't get me wrong, season two's slow-burn approach focusing on one location worked well as the show expanded on the weird, sexual chemistry between Eve and Villanelle. But actress Jodi Comer is at her best when we get to see her dive deep into her role as an assassin and assimilate to different environments, so this is a welcome return.
While Villanelle is forced back into this world by her past, Eve drunkenly brings herself back into the fold by sending a text, sponsored by too much wine, to former colleague Kenny. Kenny also quit MI6 after the events of last season and has since started a career as an investigative journalist.
He is also at odds with his mother Carolyn for her actions throughout season two. Much like Eve's life, Carolyn's is unraveling at the seams. After ordering the unsanctioned operation with Villanelle and Eve, MI6 brings in a former colleague, Paul, to oversee her actions. For the first time, Carolyn has no agency in her job. With Kenny's ultimate fate, Carolyn will have a lot to unpack in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, Kenny met his end this week. If you are like me, I am sure your mind went straight to the famed South Park gag/line "Oh my god, you killed Kenny!". While these words may ring through the audience's heads everywhere, the real question we should be asking ourselves is: who killed Kenny?
I am sure this will be the central mystery of the season. It feels like it was The Twelve, who Kenny was still investigating, but that could very well be a red herring. Kenny's death won't sit well with Eve, who discovered Kenny's body. She is almost assuredly to insert herself into Kenny's investigation. Maybe she leaves her job at the restaurant to pursue a new career as an investigative journalist.
Either way, both Villanelle and Eve are back in play. Their paths will cross at some point this season. Villanelle believes Eve to be dead, so there is no telling how she will react. But it promises to explosive.