Killing Eve recap: Is [SPOILER] dead?!
There was a moment in last week's Killing Eve where Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) confirmed that her father was, as Villanelle (Jodie Comer) put it, a sexy gay spy.
"Daddy did have a penchant for the penis," she said.
At the time, it seemed like just another clever line in a series that has no shortage of them. Little did we know it would turn out to be the setup for the best episode yet this season (and, in my humble opinion, a sure contender for all-time top five.)
It begins in black and white: the year is 1979, the place is Berlin, and the woman in combat boots striding through a party full of Cold War revolutionary types is Carolyn Martens (The show tries to play coy about this, but actress Imogen Daines is so good at channeling that cool-as-hell Carolyn energy that you know instantly who you're looking at).
Carolyn is deep undercover in this crowd of conspirators, canoodling with the young Lars Meier (who in 1979 was known as Johann) but also fixing her sights on another man, whose bearish good looks should strike any dedicated Killing Eve fan as familiar. (Hint: Bearish hunk is played by Louis Bodnia Andersen, who is Kim Bodnia's son.) She's also sharing a home — and a profession — with her father, for whom "sexy gay spy" is an understatement. If you ever wondered where Carolyn got her penchant for both the penis and the art of seduction as spycraft, wonder no more: she clearly learned from the best.
But this family affair in Berlin will be short-lived. After bringing the revolutionaries back to her house for a party, Carolyn goes to the garage in search of more liquor and finds a note on the door:
Some toerag found out. Don't come in.
Behind it is her father, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the photos someone was using to blackmail him tucked against the windshield of his car. Carolyn takes in the scene, takes a bottle of whiskey, and returns to the party.
"Let's trash the place," she says.
Meanwhile, in present day, Villanelle is still in Havana and embracing Carolyn's suggestion that she "be good at what you're good at" — and what she's good at is killing. At first, she becomes a sort of avenging angel, murdering her housekeeper Benita's abusive husband in a way that is indescribable and involves a firehose. But when Benita offers Villanelle's services to all her friends, she starts to reconsider: Villanelle was born to kill, but she's still not much for charity. And so she departs Havana for the British seaside, where Konstantin is training her replacement.
On that front, Pam's conversion from backroom weirdo to sexy assassin is still underway, but she's just not the couture junkie her predecessor was. Instead, she raids the "clothes bucket" at the carnival for an outfit that is cute, but not exactly killer — or even original. When she asks Konstantin what he thinks of her new look, the answer comes from behind her.
"It's been done," Villanelle says.
Keep this in mind while we jump back to Berlin, present day, where Carolyn is taking a long walk down memory lane. She questions a friend from the old days, Carolina, who says she hasn't seen Johann/Lars and claims to be shocked that he's still alive — but she fiddles with her ring while she does, a sure sign that she's lying. Later that night, Carolyn breaks into her house and learns that she's got a cabin in the woods where Lars is almost certainly hiding out. And all this reminds her powerfully of…
1979, when she broke into her lover's flat and discovered a passport with his real identity on it. That handsome bearish fellow? He's a Russian spy. And that Russian spy, is, of course, Konstantin. This is how he and Carolyn met all those years ago, and it's no wonder their relationship is so complicated: while Carolyn was using Konstantin, he was using her right back, to get the information and photographs he used to blackmail her father. And given that this is why Carolyn's father died by suicide, this might have ended very badly for Konstantin, if not for an interruption by a surprise guest: Johann!
Johann is furious at what he assumes is a plot between Carolyn and Konstantin, which means the latter two have to think fast and team up before he kills them both. And now we know why Carolyn was so surprised to find her old lover alive in Cuba: she always thought she'd killed him herself! She and Konstantin manage to knock Johann into a lake and take turns hitting him in the head with a pair of oars until he goes under and doesn't come up.
This wasn't just a formative moment for Carolyn and Konstantin; it's also part of the mystery that Eve (Sandra Oh) has been circling since she started hunting the head of The Twelve. So while Carolyn relives her glory days, Eve is just a step behind her, putting the puzzle pieces together — but this time, she'll be too late. Because while Carolyn converges on Lars's hideout, Eve has made a critical mistake: after that confrontation and creepy kiss last week, she upped the ante by kidnapping and befriending Helene's (Camille Cottin) daughter. To Eve, this was just playing the game, a bit of posturing to remind Helene that she's not the only bad bitch in town. But this is (and has always been) Eve's Achilles heel: she can pretend to be an ice-old mercenary, but Helene actually is one, and you provoke her at her own peril. Which is how Eve ends up in the back of Helene's car in Margate, screaming in horror as Villanelle steps into the street and is immediately taken down by an arrow from an unseen assassin's bow.
I'm sorry, what?! Did this just happen? Did Killing Eve kill off (sorry Eve, but seriously) its most beloved character with three episodes left before the series ends?!! We'll find out next week, no doubt (And realistically, the answer is probably not). But until then, Villanelle certainly looks dead… and, ugh, fabulous. If this orange resort confection was her last outfit ever, let it be said, it was a good one.
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