Killing Eve 2×03, “The Hungry Caterpillar” has everyone scrambling to get something, anything, right… and reveals where everyone stands
In the second episode of season 2, Eve met her new team and discovered a brand new killer, while Villanelle took refuge with the creepiest of creeps. They narrowly avoided meeting, and Villanelle ran straight into her organization’s arms (which aren’t so gentle anymore).
In this episode, “The Hungry Caterpillar,” Eve and Villanelle have to share London, emotions run rampant, marriages threaten to collapse, and everyone is up to no good — on all sides.
And yes, kids, Konstantin is back. We never really thought he was dead, though, did we? We didn’t see his face after he was shot in the season 1 finale, which is always a sign. Now, Eve meets Konstantin in Carolyn’s house and the game begins.
This love will hurt you
Konstantin and Eve jump right into their weird conversation style (remember, last time they were both pretending to laugh very heartily). Konstantin knows about her looove… and he’s full of warnings.
“Look what happens to the people she loves… Look at Anna, Nadya, and look at me.”
He compares Villanelle to the Very Hungry Caterpillar, which I’m skeptical about. When I lived in Eastern Europe, no one even knew who Barney the Dinosaur was. How the heck does Konstantin know about the Very Hungry Caterpillar, which is so specific to American childhoods?
Back at home, Eve tries to appreciate her husband more — but doesn’t seem willing to go beyond giving Niko breakfast. “I’ll just masturbate under this omelette, I guess,” he sighs. Eve goes to work.
Normally, this exchange would be funny and perfectly on-brand with their dry style… but with everything that’s been going on, it feels more ominous than amusing.
Back in the game
Villanelle carries out her first kill back with the organization! To celebrate, she pulls it off in the showiest way she can imagine. Using an elevator as a weapon is a little tough, but she’s happy with the end result.
But her showiness has its consequences. After a friendly exchange with the clerk, Villanelle has to face the music… i.e., Raymond. Despite her show of not feeling threatened, he knows exactly what buttons to push. He wants her to be boring and discreet, and to be jealous of how much the organization likes the Ghost… and it all feels very calculated. Is the Ghost really that much better than Villanelle, and could she eventually replace her? Or does she exist for the sole purpose of riling Villanelle up so she’s easier to manipulate?
So many questions.
Villanelle is not happy. She’s humiliated, living far from the glamorous life she craves, and threatened with losing her job. To get it out of her system, she makes a phone call with a freaky kid’s voice, accusing Niko of what seems to be abuse. That’s just plain evil.
As Eve leaves home a little later, Villanelle stalks her… only to be intercepted by Raymond, who sets boundaries by being SUPER CREEPY with Eve, implying, “I can touch her, but you can’t.”
Trouble in paradise
Eve and her team start to suspect there might be two different organizations at play, as if things weren’t confusing enough already. Jess implies that Eve is Carolyn’s “current favorite,” which sounds a little scary, to be honest. Back from work, Eve realizes she forgot Niko’s big teacher-meeting-thingy, and he isn’t surprised. Apparently, she’s forgotten about this for many years, which really isn’t a good look. He goes ahead without her.
Wearing her new blue sexy dress, Eve finds Niko at the meeting chatting with Gemma, another teacher, who is awkward af for the entire duration of the conversation, making it look like she’s up to something (and that something is seducing Niko). Not only does she make Eve feel a little less seen, but she also references the “complaints” — which Eve didn’t know about. So in an effort to rekindle the flame and mark her territory real hard, Eve takes Niko up to his classroom to try and seduce him. Little does she know, Villanelle is basically next door.
Villanelle strikes a conversation with Gemma (after pretending she enjoys smoking), and leads Gemma on an extremely manipulative conversation to persuade her to break Niko and Eve apart. She’s hitting Eve (and me) where it hurts, because she knows exactly what’s going on.
Villanelle may or may not have left an apple in Niko’s classroom, which immediately puts an end to sexytimes, as Eve reacts instinctively and pulls the fire alarm, forcing everyone out of the building. Her instincts were, as it turns out, correct. But Niko isn’t happy. This was his one moment to shine, and yet again Eve made it all about her. He tells her to leave and goes with Gemma.
Villanelle sneaks up behind Eve and drops lipstick in her bag in what has to be one of the scariest but also sexiest(?) scenes ever.
If Niko does cheat on Eve with Gemma, he has no justification. But with the way things are right now, Eve really is at fault. She hasn’t properly appreciated Niko since season 1 — and I’m not talking about breakfast in bed or showering him with compliments: I mean meaningful stuff, like asking him about work, and being there for his moments of success, and communicating with him properly so he stops feeling like she’s pushing him away.
None of this would have happened if Eve had told Niko about Villanelle. And if she doesn’t start to mend those wounds right now, then it’ll be too late to salvage their marriage. It might already be too late.
Konstantin and Carolyn are “playing house” at Carolyn’s, instead of sending Konstantin to a safehouse. Konstantin is restless because he misses his family, but Carolyn admits that she would be okay with saying bye to Kenny forever. She’s always “been careful” about loving her kid.
Her kid, meanwhile, is swiftly turning down Eve’s request to investigate where Konstantin’s family is. Eve uses her position to bully him into doing it behind his mother’s back, and then goes to Konstantin (he answers the door like he’s the boss of the house.)
Eve blackmails Konstantin and I don’t know how I feel about all of this. He’s evil, but what she’s doing is also evil. You can see in his eyes that he’s about to run away, and Eve should have been able to see that, too.
‘The hotel now has a new guest’
Right on cue, Konstantin shows up at the hotel, leaving a cryptic message with the clerk. Villanelle has clearly been worn down by the current state of affairs because she missed him so much she doesn’t even stab him!
Konstantin is here to pick her up and start a new life where they can both make money, together. (I was almost expecting him to go the “we’re family now” route.) Villanelle says she doesn’t want a pimp — but Raymond is much more dangerous than even she imagined. And Konstantin has called MI6 to the hotel, effectively taking the decision out of her hands.
Two seconds later, MI6 bursts into the hotel with Eve following close behind. They suck, because they check only one room? So Eve uses her weird psychic powers (the power of THIRST!) to find Villanelle in the room at the end of the hall.
After some door-stroking on both sides (how does this feel more sexually explicit than any other scene in this show?) Eve raises the alarm. But it’s too late — Villanelle has chosen Konstantin, and they’re off on a roadtrip together, fun tunes and all.
Everyone is frustrated
Now we all deal with the fallout.
Carolyn proves once more that she is the worst mom ever (although she is well-dressed), bringing work meetings into the house that up until recently hosted an international criminal. Clearly, she isn’t very good at keeping work and family separate. She wants Eve to stop fixating on Villanelle and focus on the Ghost instead.
It’s painful for Eve, but doesn’t even compare to how painful Kenny’s words are a few seconds later: “I thought you were different.” Ouch.
Properly berated, Eve goes home and tries on the lipstick Villanelle left her, because why not? She’s worn the clothes, drunk the drinks, and now worn the makeup that Villanelle gave her. But it isn’t just any lipstick: it’s actually a secret knife that slices through her lip. And Eve likes it. Probably likes it a little too much.
This episode was frustrating for everyone, but it revealed exactly where everyone stands, and that probably means trouble for the future.
Is Konstantin really just planning to start his own killing firm with Villanelle, or is this actually a plan to exact his revenge for what she did to him and his daughter? Or was Konstantin really talking about missing Villanelle all along, and not his biological family?
Will Eve put in the effort to get Niko back, or are they too far gone? Who is the Ghost? Will Kenny ever be appreciated?
I guess we’ll find out next week in 2×04, “Desperate Times.” (It doesn’t sound like things are going to get any easier.)
Killing Eve airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. on BBC America. See trailers, clips, and the full episode guide here.