Eve makes strides in her pursuit of Helene, while Villanelle murders her own personal Jesus.

In this, our fourth year of Killing Eve viewership, it's safe to say that the best episodes of this show have one thing in common: they contain at least one shared onscreen moment between Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer), whose fascination with each other remains the driving force behind the drama. 

So, you will all understand what I mean when I say that this episode doesn't have that. 

C'est la vie.

Instead, we open on Eve, alone and in disguise, following Helene (Camille Cottin) and her daughter around what appears to be a Spanish Inquisition living history exhibit. An actor in an arming cap is being tortured for information. Helene's daughter asks if being tortured hurts.

Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri Killing Eve Season 4 Episode 2
Credit: Anika Molnar/BBCA

"Only if you let it," Helene says. (Which is a weird thing to say to a kid! But we'll let it slide since it's such a great line, especially when it pops up again later this episode.)

Eve is stalking Helene in order to plant a tracker in her purse, but she's also learning some key information — for instance, that in addition to being a bad parent, Helene also prefers the company of women. Do we think this show might be trying to say something about sexual fluidity and its relationship with moral ambiguity? After all this time, is there anything left to say about that? 

Well, anyway: While Eve is busy plotting, Villanelle is still trying to be good. On the bus to a church retreat, a colorful moth lands on her hand — a little moment of grace — but then it flits away, in an apt metaphor for the longevity of Villanelle's religious conversion. At the suggestion of her hallucinatory personal Jesus (who we'll call "Veezus," because it just feels right), Villanelle focuses her attentions on forgiveness: May is still freaked out about Villanelle trying to kill her, while Villanelle prefers to focus on the fact that she didn't succeed. An incomplete murder? That's progress! 

Incredibly, May agrees: more than that, she believes it's her job to help Villanelle on her journey to redemption. But May's dad, the vicar, is still suspicious of Villanelle, and May makes the mistake of revealing that he has his own dark past: he was the drunk driver in a car accident that killed May's mother.

"You can't tell anyone," she says. 

Jodie Comer as Villanelle and Zindzi Hudson as May Killing Eve Season 4 Episode 2
Credit: Anika Molnar/BBCA

Then there's a cut, and the best shot of the episode: Villanelle sitting on a tree stump with a post-it note on her forehead that says HITLER. You can almost see the wheels turning, the twisted logic that fuels what happens next. Here's Villanelle, pushed to the fringes of the group, humiliated by the vicar who has no business judging anyone. If the others knew what he'd done, surely they'd reject him and thank her for revealing the truth! 

And that's when Villanelle writes the name of the vicar's dead wife on a post-it and slaps it on his forehead. 

Needless to say, this confrontation does not go as she hoped. The group shuns her. Villanelle is stunned. This is not the love and acceptance that Veezus promised her she deserved!

Jodie Comer as Villanelle Killing Eve Season 4 Episode 2
Credit: Anika Molnar/BBCA

Meanwhile, Carolyn's (Fiona Shaw) own pursuit of The Twelve brings her to increasingly dark places. First, her collusion with Vlad (Laurentiu Possa) requires her to supply compromising information about her former MI6 colleagues, including Hugo (Edward Bluemel) (who she identifies as a horny egotist who's "primed for honeytrapping.") But when she learns that one of the women she helped Vlad blackmail committed suicide, Carolyn is clearly rattled, even though she had to know that blackmailed people sometimes do this. Is this too much, even for her? Has she lost her stomach for the business of betrayal?

Finally, in Paris, Eve prepares to confront Helene. Yusuf (Robert Gilbert) urges her to be careful, but Eve has dealt with enough lady psychopaths in her life to know that the way to a woman's heart is through her stomach. She shows up on Helene's doorstep with a bottle of wine, the ingredients for shepherd's pie, and an offer of collaboration: Helene, as it turns out, also wants to bring down The Twelve. (Sidenote: Showing up at the home of the person who wants you dead with an offer to dine together? This, too, is a very Villanelle move, further suggesting that Eve isn't so much liberating herself from the assassin as becoming her.) 

This whole endeavor has been fraught from the start with fears that Eve might get burned, and in fact, she does. Literally: Helene holds her hand to the stovetop, and asks Eve if it hurts.

"Only if I let it," Eve says. (See? That weird moment from the start of the show was totally worth the payoff.) 

Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri Killing Eve Season 4 Episode 2
Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri
| Credit: Anika Molnar/BBCA

It's worth noting that this little game of cat-and-mouse would play a lot better if Helene and Eve had even an ounce of the sexual chemistry we're apparently supposed to see in this scene — but they don't, and so their jockeying for the upper hand all feels sort of hollow and performative. It's not even clear who comes out on top: Eve looks sort of triumphant, and Helene looks sort of confused, so… Eve? Probably? But it's only the second episode of the season, so the tables will probably turn again soon enough. And when they do, it's a fair bet that Villanelle will be there to take a seat, because her flirtation with salvation is officially dunzo. Listening outside the vicar's tent, she hears May say that she believes Villanelle is literally the devil. For Villanelle, it's the last straw; for May, her last words. Villanelle murders them both — and then turns on the lying false prophet who led her astray. She knocks Veezus down, kisses him, and nails him right in the stigmata with a tent spike — and if you ever wanted to know who Villanelle really is, the sight of her trying to strangle her drag disco Jesus alter-ego to death pretty much sums it up. No matter how many times or how many different ways she reinvents herself, she's still the same monster. Wherever she goes, there she is. The only question, as the credits roll, is where she'll end up next.

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