“I think about you all the time. I think about what you’re wearing and what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. I think about what friends you have. I think about what you eat before you work and what shampoo you use and what happened in your family. I think about your eyes and your mouth and what you feel when you kill someone, and I think about what you had for breakfast. I just wanna know everything.”
– Killing Eve 1×08
Hyped up shows can sometimes be slightly disappointing. You’ll start watching and won’t understand why people are raving about the show. When it comes to Killing Eve, it was the exact opposite experience for me. The show is based on a novella series called “Codename Villanelle”, so for those who like reading books first, there’s that tidbit of information.
Killing Eve focuses on Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) who works as an MI5 officer and her life seems almost too quiet. Instead of enjoying that quiet, she’s actively craving excitement of some kind. The kind that her husband, Niko (Owen McDonnell), indefinitely doesn’t provide for her.
Sandra Oh’s performance throughout the series doesn’t remotely disappoint. She hasn’t lost her spark in the slightest. The way she portrays obsession from Eve’s POV is delicious. At first it’s just apart of her new job (after she’s fired from her MI5 job) doing off the books work with her own team. Then her motives change due to Villanelle (Jodie Comer) killing her best friend, Bill (David Haig). That’s when her obsession morphs into something more dangerous. She vows to kill Villanelle with her bare hands. From the first episode she heads down a path of destruction and it unravels her life. Her new job and obsession with Villanelle causes her to behave recklessly. Thus leading to her marriage slowly taking a nose dive. Though Eve still remains determined to finish what she started.
Each moment Eve and Villanelle have together is nail biting and sensual. With Eve she displays her curiosity more softly, where as Villanelle is more abrasive about it. Despite Villanelle’s violent behavior, she manages to care about Eve’s well being. In a sense their obsessions with each other save both their lives. Neither of them genuinely wants to kill the other (many opportunities arise).
What makes Killing Eve so fantastic isn’t just the brilliant acting from the main and supporting cast, the songs by Unloved, “Killer Shangri-Lah” – Pshycotic Beats, the atmosphere or the sensuality of it all. It’s also the writing, the slow burn and how unapologetic Villanelle especially is about being bisexual. There’s no messy queer baiting or stereotypes. That in itself makes for a breath of fresh air.
During the season finale it all comes to a head when Eve is suddenly in Villanelle’s apartment. Her life is completely flipped upside down and she finally has the upper hand. This is probably one of the top episodes of the season. You get to see Eve physically damage Villanelle’s things, it’s a representation of what she’s done to Eve. She caused chaos and disrupted Eve’s life with her presence. Only they once again can’t kill each other. They instead have a conversation about their obsessions. Despite how it’s not normal, it feels normal. You can see clear as day that there’s extreme desire there. And just when you think the moment’s coming, Eve stabs Villanelle. That singular moment shows how obsession can kill you or almost kill you.
Their relationship depicts how violent wanting can actually be. Similar to Root x Shaw (Person of Interest) they show us another side of a queer romance. It’s a twisted love story but it’s deliciously twisted.