Killing Eve 2×04 “Desperate Times” takes us hunting for the Ghost — and breaking hearts left and right.
In the third episode of season 2, Eve narrowly avoided both Villanelle and reconciliation with her husband, while losing much of Carolyn and Kenny’s respect. Meanwhile, Konstantin took Villanelle back under his wing, setting off for a new life of murder together.
In this latest episode, “Desperate Times,” things get, well, desperate. But all we can think of is EW HUGO NO, STOP.
Let’s talk about it.
Every boss has a boss
We start out following Carolyn into a waiting room with a slightly creepy male receptionist for a female boss with anger problems (I love how this show flips gender stereotypes so casually). Everyone has a boss — and Carolyn’s is a demanding, cranky old lady who really likes Pringles. Who might also be one of my favorite characters so far.
The boss is not happy with how things are going in “operation Mandalay,” and wants to shut the whole thing down. She also references a bad case in Lebanon… will we ever find out what happened there?
But don’t worry, Carolyn pointedly says that everything is going according to plan. It looks like she’s up to something.
Meanwhile, the investigation around the Ghost is in full swing after yet another murder. Eve’s colleagues come to work to find her poring over tons of information: she’s figured out that everything centers around Alastair Peele. Almost everyone he’s ever been connected with has died, and it’s only getting worse. Is Peele’s son involved in this weird conspiracy? Or will he be its next victim?
But Peele isn’t interested in collaborating at all. His company is the most pretentious millennial stereotype and it’s bursting at the seams with secrets — secrets that seem to be much more precious than his personal safety (but not in a selfless way; he’s incredibly arrogant). His secretary tries to get Jess and Eve to sign NDAs, and he won’t even talk about what his company is selling or who they’re selling it to.
But it seems like they’re dealing in information, because Peele believes that the data they own makes companies like his more powerful than MI6 or the Pentagon. Could this be what the Twelve are about?
B O R I N G
While Eve’s life is full of excitement, Villanelle is having a much less fun time… well, by her standards. She’s in Amsterdam, living in a nice hotel and going from museum to museum with Konstantin, and she hates it. She’s not excited to do any freelance work with Konstantin, even though she gets to brush off Instagrammers while scouting out a family in fancy clothes. She needs a laptop or something — I’ve never been that bored since I was a toddler. But what does she want? What did her life in Paris have that she doesn’t have now?
A certain gory painting catches her eye at the museum, and she buys a postcard of it to send bae (Eve) saying, “Don’t forget me!” The idea of getting Eve’s attention is what gets her hyped for her next murder.
Inspired by the painting, Villanelle does some “art” of her own in the Red Light District, tracking down the creepy man she was stalking while dressed like a sexy pig(?) — since he has “a thing” for farm animals (cringe). She does her showiest murder yet, hanging him from the ceiling and slicing him open like a pig, with an audience that includes the victim’s wife! It seems that the wife is the one behind it all.
Murder complete, Villanelle sits back and waits for Eve to arrive.
And we STILL don’t know what Konstantin has up his sleeve. Is he really here just enjoying his new life with Villanelle, casually talking about his daughter as if he doesn’t miss her, or is he up to something much more sinister?
Niko deserves better than this!
Eve comes home to find a bodyguard in her house, which she neglected to tell Niko about. At this point, her forgetfulness surprises no one.
After what happened in the last episode, I had hoped Eve would finally come to her senses and realize what she’s doing to her marriage by keeping Niko at arm’s length, but instead she went in the opposite direction. Now, it’s like she’s purposefully trying to forget that Niko is a part of her life.
Niko does not deserve this treatment, but he takes the higher ground… which makes all of this so much more agonizing. Instead of taking the angry, demanding approach with Eve (as he’s done in the past), he calmly tells her that their reality isn’t normal, and that she’s clearly trying to gaslight him. But instead of putting her down, he reminds Eve of her worth — reminding her that she’s kind, and so much better than this. He asks her to come back to him.
Eve doesn’t deserve Niko, and this scene proves it. While I had my doubts about his loyalty last episode, this episode confirmed to me that Niko is one of a kind, and deserves all the good in the world. But Eve wishes he had been aggressive, because this is a truth she can’t face. She lashes out and walks away.
Eve seems to want her life to be solely composed of her cat-and-mouse chase with killers. She doesn’t want friends, she doesn’t want family, and yet she’s still upset when people question what she’s doing, as if they should just silently slink away from her life. What’s Eve going to do when she’s truly alone, and a psychopathic murderer is the only person left in her life?
Are Konstantin and Carolyn working together?!
Villanelle is deliriously planning out her future in London with Eve, much to Konstantin’s chagrin. He keeps trying to tell her that Eve is more concerned with the Ghost than with her. But Villanelle ignores him: she has faith in their love.
But she sent the postcard to MI6, not Eve’s home, so Carolyn got her hands on it first. And Carolyn is adamant to build space between Eve and Villanelle… so Jess gets assigned to the pig murder, and Eve is visibly upset by it, as much as she tries to hide her jealousy. Once more, she acts rude and careless, almost putting down Jess’ abilities as an agent.
Carolyn knows exactly what she’s doing, and executes her plan perfectly. Is this why she was so confident in speaking to her boss? Or, wait… are she and Konstantin working together to use Villanelle’s love for Eve against her?!
Blissfully unaware, Villanelle acts like she’s about to go on a date. She wears a silky bathrobe, pays off a prostitute to stay across the street from the murder scene, and waits for MI6 to show up.
But when MI6 does show up, it’s Jess, and not Eve, who steps out. And Villanelle suddenly realizes that maybe Konstantin was right, and Eve has forgotten her.
What follows is the first time we ever see Villanelle vulnerable on this level. She’s just absolutely broken. If Eve forgets her, then Villanelle has nothing — not a home, independence, or a steady job. Without Eve, the purpose driving it all is gone, and she’ll have to find strength within herself — divorced from outside validation — to continue.
Because in her heart, Villanelle is really just a little girl starving for approval. Heartbroken, she cries a lot, goes to a club and gets high, picks a fight and nearly kills someone. Konstantin saves the day by rescuing her, but she doesn’t seem to do much better the next day, staring into the mirror like she can see Eve through it.
She smiles, but I have no idea what she’s smiling about. Villanelle on drugs is not a good look.
NO, EVE, NO
Eve, meanwhile, hasn’t forgotten Villanelle at all. She’s brooding about the whole thing, while still thinking about how she’ll catch the Ghost. She goes out for food with Hugo, and ends up smoking a whole cigarette even though she thinks it’s disgusting (it’s amazing how Eve and Villanelle parallel each other without knowing it.)
Hugo gets it. Eve is bored (again, just like Villanelle).
“What is it? Do you like watching her, or do you like being watched?
And then we all collectively screamed EW NO HUGO because he got super close to Eve, and then NO EVE NO because she didn’t move away, and thank God they were interrupted because if they had kissed I would have been so done. What the hell are you doing, Eve?!
Niko is right: Eve could be better than this, but she’s choosing not to be.
MI6’s investigation has progressed nicely, but a lot happened behind the scenes. The next thing we see is Eve walking toward a school, speaking to her mother in Korean over the phone. This is the first time Eve’s family is really acknowledged, but it’s an extremely short exchange that doesn’t seem to be more than small talk. Will we see more of them? Could Eve’s mother, at least, pull her out of the psychological mess she’s created for herself?
But the conversation is shot. Eve ends up at a school, where she has a very awkward random conversation with a woman we’ve never met. When the woman finally gets fed up with it and asks if Eve is okay, she says she’s “just waiting.” The woman turns and there’s a laser pointed at her forehead.
“Do you want us to shoot you in front of your kids? It’ll be easier if you come with me.”
Eve has tracked down the Ghost! And she’s a mother, a person of color, harmless-looking… exactly all the things Eve predicted she would be.
Back at MI6 headquarters, Eve is watched carefully by Carolyn as she preps for the interrogation. Carolyn, it seems, is still trying to figure Eve out. But while Villanelle cries into a sink in Amsterdam, Eve ties up her hair. Maybe she is moving on, after all.
This episode was an emotional rollercoaster. It was fascinating to see Villanelle break down like this, and watch Eve prove that she is an expert at taking down female killers. But a lot of relationships and ideals broke in this episode… and who knows if they’ll ever be mended.
We still don’t know if Carolyn and Konstantin are working together, or if this is all just one great coincidence. We still don’t know if Konstantin is planning to stab Villanelle in the back. And we have no idea how Villanelle is going to deal with Eve now that she’s been left behind.
See you next week for 2×05, “Smell Ya Later,” where we’re told MI6 will “make a pact with the devil.” And who’s more devilish than Villanelle? Things are about to get even crazier.
Killing Eve airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. on BBC America. See trailers, clips, and the full episode guide here.