Killing Eve premiere recap: Sweet Crocs, Villanelle
The last time we saw Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), she’d just consummated her lustful obsession with international assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) — by climbing into bed with her (normal) and plunging a knife through her guts (okay, a bit weird, but who are we to judge their love?!) It was a bloody, bizarre end to the game of cat and mouse that saw both women driven deep into a codependent fixation; it’s also where we picked up on Sunday, as the show kicked off a new season.
The premiere begins just seconds after the last moments of season 1, as Eve flees down the stairs and narrowly avoids a group of German-speaking women who are dressed as EMTs but are clearly not (big giveaway: they are carrying guns and shoot Villanelle’s next door neighbor.) Eve is in full Lady Macbeth mode, with a generous side helping of PTSD; she barely makes it through the security line at the Gare du Nord before realizing the bloody knife is still in her pocket. (Sidenote: “I had a bad oyster” has to be the most perfect excuse ever for idiosyncratic security line behavior, in that it is tactful and elegant while still very directly invoking the terrifying specter of diarrhea.) Back in London, Eve’s phone rings incessantly as she tries with zero success to pretend that everything is normal; Niko comes home to find her chopping vegetables for a roast chicken she’s forgotten to put in the oven, Villanelle’s blood still under her fingernails.
Meanwhile, Villanelle has eluded the cleanup team at her apartment; she careens through the streets, bleeding, until she finally manages to stop a cab by throwing herself in front of it. When the panicking driver tells her the hospital is still ten minutes away, she deadpans the episode’s title: “Do you know how to dispose of a body?”
At the hospital, a stitched-up Villanelle convinces the doctor to keep her out of the system by claiming she was stabbed by her police officer husband. She also makes friends with the patient in the next bed, a heavily-bandaged kid named Gabriel. With his help, she manages to steal an ID and lab coat, raids the hospital’s supply room, and then outfits herself in his spare set of pajamas and some stolen shoes from the nurse’s station (hence solving the major pre-premiere mystery of just what the world’s most fashionable assassin was doing out in public wearing a pair of tween boy’s PJs and, even more inexplicable, Crocs.) In return, Gabriel asks a favor: can she peel off his bandages and tell him how bad his injuries are? She looks, and doesn’t mince words:
“You look like a pizza.” [Pause.] “Oooh! Wait, did you lose an eye?!”
Back in London, Eve finally meets with Carolyn. She doesn’t tell the MI6 boss about the stabbing or near-sexytimes (I, for one, do not blame her), but does offer an opinion on Villanelle’s apartment (“chic as shit”) and gets her job back, because of course, she does. This is where we get the first peek at what’s likely to be the season’s secondary occupation: the ongoing, big-ass mystery of the international organization known as The Twelve. Remember that note that the doomed Nadia slipped under her door at the prison last season? There was a name written on it: Alistair Peele. Peele has been dead for two months, the victim of an ordinary pulmonary embolism — but in light of the Nadia note, Carolyn has had him exhumed. Eve posits that the reclusive Peele was likely killed by Villanelle during his weekly pedicure. And all things considered (all things including the fact that Villanelle will come for her, sooner or later), Eve has no choice but to get back in the game… which is of course where she belongs. (This episode is a gold mine of one-liners, but Carolyn delivers one of the best as she re-recruits Eve: “There’s no need to play the reluctant ingenue with me. Save it for your husband.”)
But she doesn’t have to, because Niko, bless his beautiful Polish heart, understands how much Eve’s work means to her. And he knows she’ll keep doing it; all he asks is that she tell him what’s going on. She starts by confessing… that she ordered a ton of new and extremely expensive windows for their home. But perhaps she’ll get to the stabbing and espionage and weird, codependent relationship with the Grand High Empress of Knob-Chopping later?
Let’s hope so, anyway! Because there’s not much time. Villanelle stays at the hospital just long enough to have a final chat with Gabriel, who starts to cry, and says he wishes he’d died in the accident that killed his parents. She gives him a hug — and snaps his neck. And then she’s off, stowing away in an English family’s minivan for the long journey to London. As night falls, the two women lie awake, staring into the dark. Thinking of each other.
Soon, they’ll be reunited.
And then? Honestly, who knows. This relationship is bonkers.