In its first episode, the new series demonstrates exactly why it should be your next TV obsession (though ‘addiction’ may be a better word). This isn’t just another crime drama, and you’d be doing yourself and it a disservice if you call it such. The main characters are smart, complicated and a bit twisted and fun. It’s a show about spies and assassins and murder, but there’s a humor to it that, even when inappropriate, adds to its entertainment.
Ruining Ice Cream in Vienna
In an ice cream shop, Villanelle fails to get a smile out of a young girl until she copies the expression on the face of the young man who works there. After checking her watch (there’s blood on it), she leaves, knocking the girl’s ice cream into her lap as she does.
Hungover and Bored in London
When we first meet Eve, she’s screaming in bed but not from a nightmare. No, as she tells her husband, Niko, she fell asleep on both her arms. “It was scary.” Her head hurts after the night before, but she still has to go into work — on a Saturday.
Thanks to her assistant, Elena, Eve at least has a croissant to munch on during a meeting with Frank and Carolyn (the MI6 head of the Russia desk) regarding the murder of a Russian sex-trafficking politician. (Bill and Eve, as his assistant, are to be Carolyn’s liaisons.) After the man left a sushi restaurant in Vienna, an assassin managed to slice his femoral artery with a blade without him or his girlfriend, Kasia, noticing, in a CCTV blind spot. “Cool,” Eve remarks.
Kasia, the only witness, fled but was picked up in the UK and needs protection. Eve whispers her theory to Bill (the assassin was a woman), and it’s only as Carolyn’s almost out the door that she voices it to the room: since the politician was a misogynist and sex-trafficker, he may not have considered a woman to be a threat, and she could have gotten close.
Humiliating and Disturbing in Paris
Villanelle returns home and cruelly urges an elderly woman lugging bags down the stairs with, “Come on, you can do it.” The woman’s responses suggest that she’s used to it (and maybe just doesn’t care). Up in her apartment, Villanelle stores a wig and her toiletries with her weapons before staging her body to look like she committed suicide by overdose.
Her handler, Konstantin, isn’t concerned (he can see her breathing) and passes along a bonus for her work. He also has another job for her, and he leaves her with a Tuscany postcard. The code on it brings up her next target on her computer.
Heroin Polish, Bridge Players and Planning Murder in London
“Please don’t make this a thing,” Bill asks of Eve, and that’s exactly what she does. Despite him telling her that Frank said that it was a man on the CCTV footage that just showed up, Eve continues to pursue her theory. She goes to talk to Kasia, but the translator isn’t much help, offering something about a plank of wood. “Does anyone in the department speak heroin Polish?” Eve asks at one point. “I’m serious.”
Fortunately for Eve, Niko is Polish, as is one of the kids playing bridge with him. Between Niko and Dom, Eve has a description of the assassin: a “small-breasted psycho.” She’s right. A woman killed the politician.
Later at home, Eve presses a knife into her leg, only making a small cut and wiping away the blood when Niko joins her. When he sees the photo of the politician’s body, he says that all the blood coming from a tiny puncture is “awful.” She calls it “impressive … and awful.” It’s comments like this and the one she made earlier that offer a look at the other side of Eve, the one that can’t be happy in her desk job — or marriage. (She asks her husband if he wants to have sex, then gets distracted by thoughts of the CCTV footage. He doesn’t mind.)
Games and Gifts in Tuscany
Villanelle easily makes her way into her target’s home (climbing up a drain pipe) and briefly hides from a guard by folding herself into a suitcase. (She doesn’t even look like she’s in pain after she climbs out!) She changes into his wife’s dress, mingles with the rest of the party downstairs and watches him play with his grandson. She then uses that grandson to lure him upstairs under the pretense of having a gift for him.
She locks the kid in the bathroom with, “If you make a sound, I will kill you too, okay?” He remains in that bathroom as Villanelle greets his grandfather, asks who made the throw on the bed, chastises him for touching her face without asking and then kills him by stabbing him in the eye with her hairpin. She steps aside to write the name of the throw’s designer on her hand before watching him die. (She’ll later order a throw for herself and lie on it as she looks at her next postcard: Bulgaria.)
There’s yet another quick turnaround for Villanelle after she returns from Tuscany. Konstantin sends her to London to take care of Kasia. Make it look like a suicide, he tells her.
Hairstyles, Job Losses and Clandestine Meetings in London
“Don’t do anything weird,” Bill tells Eve before sending her to the hospital just to make sure that Kasia is cozy and safe. She brings along Dom to pose as Kasia’s cousin.
In the bathroom, Eve encounters Villanelle dressed in a hospital uniform. After giving her a strange look, the assassin advises her to wear her hair down before leaving.
Bill then calls to inform Eve that she was right and there was no CCTV footage of the assassin. When she returns to Kasia’s room, the guards are already dead, and there’s nothing she can do to save Kasia. (Villanelle did not make it look like a suicide.)
“If they fire you, you better drag me down with you,” Bill advises Eve before they meet with Frank and Carolyn. She doesn’t, but he is still fired when Frank axes her for her illegal investigation and the four people whose deaths he blames on her. Carolyn, however, is interested in her claim that she was right. The killer is a woman, Eve says, sharing what Kasia told her.
That night, Carolyn visits Eve at home and has her walk to the store with her. The assassin has been operating for two years across 10 countries, she reveals. She’s highly-skilled, untraceable and starting to show off. She invites Eve to meet her for breakfast on Thursday — and to buy some milk so her husband doesn’t think she’s having an affair (as they’re apt to do before thinking they’re secret agents).
“I think Niko would assume I was an agent before ever thinking that I was having an affair,” Eve says. “You might want to make him think you’re having an affair then,” Carolyn suggests before leaving.
What did you think of the Killing Eve series premiere? Are you hooked? Are you looking forward to seeing Eve and Villanelle interact once the former realizes who the latter is? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Killing Eve season 1 airs Sundays at 8/7c on BBC America. Want more news? Like BuddyTV’s Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of BBC America)