Killing Eve premiere recap: One wedding and two funerals
Last season's Killing Eve concluded on quite the cliffhanger, as Villanelle's hoped-for happily-ever-after with Eve ended the way these things always do: with tears, with blood, with ... a lot of blood, wow. Honestly, who knew a guy had so much of that stuff inside him?! The last time we saw our favorite fashionable assassin, she was walking away from (she thought) her lover's corpse in Rome. Sorry, baby, indeed. But as season 3 of the BBC drama picks up, we find ourselves not in Rome, but in Russia, several decades in the past. There's no sign of Eve or Villanelle; instead, we meet Dasha, a young gymnast-in-training. She's performing on the parallel bars, watched by her coach and a smiling young man. She's perfect almost until the end, but then — distracted by the young man's presence, or maybe just the sound of the door closing as he leaves — she takes her final swing off the bars and lurches as she lands, one foot flying forward. Her coach erupts, screaming, "A real winner sacrifices everything!"
Some time later, the same smiling young man approaches Dasha in the locker room. He's holding flowers: "You're a winner to me," he says. Some girls would find this charming. Dasha finds a good grip on the guy's ears and bashes him to death against the gym equipment, then drowns his open-mouthed corpse in a bag of gymnast's chalk. Now that's what I call sticking your landing! Bad-dum, tssss.
You'll see Dasha again soon, but for now, we have a wedding to attend. The setting is an elegant estate, immaculately styled, no expense spared. The bride, a brunette beauty, is radiant in white. She raises a glass to her beloved, describing the moment they met at an airport and an opening line for the ages: "I'm going wherever you are going."
The other bride, wearing a black tuxedo jacket over a mesh bustier, gazes up at her wife with a shark's smile.
It's Villanelle, of course. Raising her glass, she talks about how she met Maria on the heels of a bad breakup. But now, all is well! “When I think about my ex today, I realize I’m so much happier now she’s dead.”
God, I have so many questions about this marriage, the most important of which is where did Villanelle get her whole entire outfit. But also: who proposed? Is Maria an idiot? Did Villanelle pick her up at the airport literally hours after shooting Eve and leaving her for dead? (The answer to that last one seems an obvious yes, not just because of the apparent timeline but because Villanelle has always been a real rebound queen.) But the wedding is nothing but a set-piece, so all you need to know is that it's not going to last. Villanelle looks across the dance floor, spots an older woman wearing a smartly tailored suit, and tackles her — which causes another pair of nearby guests to start fighting, and another, until the whole wedding has descended into slapstick chaos with one wailing woman in white at its center. The other bride, of course, is long gone.
Villanelle is also wrong about her ex, though she doesn't know it. Miles away in the London suburb of New Malden, Eve is alive and ... well, alive. Her brief and glamorous stint as an MI6 agent is all but forgotten; her new life has her making dumplings in a restaurant kitchen and surviving on ramen and cheap wine. She visits Niko every few days in the institution where he's recovering from a nervous breakdown, but he doesn't really want to see her or be with her: “If we’re honest, we both admit that I deserve more,” he says. (He also says that Gemma's parents think she committed suicide, which seems truly insane; MI6 couldn't invent a drowning accident or something after their pet serial killer suffocated an innocent woman to death?) When Eve gets drunk enough, she sends text messages to Kenny, who comes to check on her, because he's (still, always, forever) the sweetest. They don't talk about what happened, except to talk about how they're not talking about it. When Kenny tries to tell Eve about his continued investigation into the Twelve, she won't let him. And amid all this, we check in with Konstantin, who is still in London and receiving cryptic messages about "fishing" in his takeout containers, and Carolyn, who has been supplanted at MI6 by the ne plus ultra of bureaucrats.
But mostly, this episode belongs to Villanelle and the older woman she tackled at her wedding — who, yep, is actually Dasha, all grown up and now a recruiter for the assassin's league. Dasha is fascinating, and a bit of a cipher: she's pompous, proud, a legendary killer in her own right. She wears the hell out of a velour tracksuit. There's also an interesting vibe here, different from most of Villanelle's relationships with older women, in that she respects Dasha enough to strangle her, but not in a sexy way. Dasha wants to go back to Russia, which she'll be permitted to do if she brings Villanelle back into the fold. But Villanelle wants something new, something more: to be a "keeper" (side note, do we know what this is?), instead of just a killer. In the meantime, though, she accepts a new assignment that lets her flex her two most well-honed skills: doing murders and antagonizing her handler. First, she beats a shopkeeper to death with a jar of pickles; then she copycats Dasha's own signature move by pouring spices into the dead woman's open mouth.
That was fun!
This next part is not.
After a rough day at work and the realization that self-isolation is doing her no favors, Eve agrees to meet up with Kenny for some after-work drinks. But when she shows up to his office, he's gone. She calls him, then picks up his phone herself: it's on the desk in front of her. And as she looks down at the screen, behind her, a body falls past the window.
She doesn't see it, but she hears it.
You're hoping it wasn't Kenny.
I was hoping it wasn't Kenny.
But it was. It was Kenny.
The bad news (I mean, the worst news; there has never in the history of Killing Eve been a piece of news this bad, ever) is that we will never see Kenny again, except possibly in flashbacks, and that will hardly be any consolation for this awful loss. The good news is that Eve will find the person who did this and avenge him.... Right? Until next week, let's hope so, and for God's sake, don't you dare make that South Park joke.