Jump to content

Killing Eve (BBC America/BBC One)


AncalagonTheBlack
 Share

Recommended Posts

It's been so long since I watched season 2 (2019), how I felt about it has mostly faded from memory, though I do recall my reaction was not as favorable as to the first season (2018), where I thought the BBC should have stopped. So much has happened -- and not happened -- and been attempted -- in our personal and national lives since then! Only now in 2022 am I watching season 3 (2020), about which I knew nothing, except the general reaction was on the unfavorable end of the spectrum. I'm enjoying it! A lot!  I did not expect to!

I'm going to amplify a bit I brought up about season 3 in the Watching thread, after seeing three episodes of Season 3.  The cast is mainly terrific female actors, who, preposterous as the show might be, appear to be enjoying themselves in it, so whether the show itself makes any sense or not, there's plenty of value provided.  It's often a comedy, in its psychopathic way. Still laughing at the matter-of-fact manner in which Villanelle picks up the crying baby, carries him over to the garbage bin, comes back to the café table, while her handler doesn't even comment, and doesn't care.

This seems to encapsulate this season – women behaving w/o even being aware of the millions of social norms societies everywhere have decreed are to govern every bit of behavior performed by women, from how they dress, to how they should behave when being pushed out of their job, to how they treat children, even to how they should react to the death of a son, a death of a brother – Carolyn’s character doesn’t grieve, she pulls out every devious capacity she’s achieved through years of practice and experience to find out if his murder was committed by The Twelve. She's obsessed with cracking them -- this is her job! That her daughter is played by Gemma Whelan makes her behavior all the more pointed for me somehow. At least the first part of season 3 is so much about these women and their jobs, their work, in one unexpected, and often, very funny, satiric scene after another. All of them mention often, how good they are at their jobs, and how often the higher ups attempt to replace them with time-servers and incompetents.  Which isn't how women are supposed to be, either.

“Just so you know, I’m kind of a big deal in this industry,” says Villanelle, who -- movin' on up the career chain -- supposedly is apprenticing a rookie assassin.  As on the job, he's an under-performer, she fires him, which Villanelle being Villanelle, shoots him. With a silencer.  Villanelle doesn't put up with incompetence.

 

Edited by Zorral
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now it’s 2022 for Season 4.  No longer can UK citz move w/o trouble to any country in the EU. If there is any move from prepostority in the upcoming, BREXIT better be taken into account.  I'm not making book on it myself, but would be happy if it were.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Among the many complaints that Killing Eve, season 3, wasn't very good, was the story that seemingly everyone wants, Eve And/With Villanelle, their mutual obsession and thwarting of their mutual desire, was split up.  Mostly we follow this season's events of Eve and Villanelle separately, as on a split screen.  I'm not everyone, so I particularly like this split screen effect, because just Eve and Villanelle is claustrophobic.  I liked following all the other figures the show gives us, as they interact with each other, as well as with Eve and Villanelle, and the variety of their obsessions and thwarted desires, particularly for family ties with mum and dad, and the endless variants of betrayal, treachery and intrigue.

“Are You From Pinner?” Episode #5, in which Villanelle visits her family for the first time since being expelled to an orphanage, is sound tracked to Elton John, with whom the youngest family member is obsessed.  It mostly takes place in Villanelle’s Russian family, out of which she was expelled by Mom Tatiana at age 9 when she dumped Villanelle in the orphanage for being ‘dark’ – “Like you!” ripostes Villanelle. It includes the cray-cray conspiracy convictions held by the masses of the hinterlands, i.e. the ‘rural’ population of Russia (like the sacralized ‘rural’ population of the US), that we are being manipulated by lizard people, the government is trying to kill us, etc. – shared by a goodly portion of USians also lost to facts and reality. The episode hits its peak bonkers splendor in the Harvest Festival scenes in which great fun is found in the Dung Toss competition -- which Villanelle, of course, wins -- as she wins everything in which she competes, disturbing her mother. Such overt satire – that is at least as much a satire of contemporary Russia as of the contemporary UK and contemporary USA – quite different from the first two seasons.  For one thing, now BREXIT is in effect, no longer can UK citizens move w/o trouble to any country in the EU. Which means the production can’t travel either, w/o adding headache amounts of time and cost to the budget.  Also, a lot of this feels foreshadowing the current Russian invasion of Ukraine crisis.

So much reference to Russian manipulation and nefarious international dealing are in this season. Among those particularly striking are in Episode #7, where we glimpse a man who went out of his way to bump into Konstantin seconds before Konstantin collapses with a 'heart attack ' -- pricking people with poisons is an assassin go-to for those the Russian powers want eliminated, and they have done so in broad daylight even in London. Helene, another Russian Keeper Agent, says she loves Villanelle because she creates chaos, chaos in which dysfunction thrives and in which power can be overthrown and power seized -- see, o, well you know, not just Russia but so many others acting or trying to act on the world stage such as Our Most Famous Chaos Demon here in the USA. 

Starting with how the characters compel our eyeballs to look at them (with the assistance of Preposterous Clothes), this season had echoes of Orphan Black, such as how it uses music, as well as Villanelle taking on one identity after another. “Are You From Pinner?” Villanelle’s mother is even named, ‘Tatiana,’ recalling Tatiana Maslany.  Unlike the clones, though, Villanelle is always and only Villanelle, no matter how impeccably she acts, impersonates, and costumes. This is intentional, because these are personas for Eve for only so long as it is useful, entertaining, or she’s interested in wearing them, just as the clones intentionally were different individuals.

In the end, it’s just Villanelle and Eve, still unable to quit each other, though, as Villanelle observes in an earlier episode, “This isn’t good for both of us.”  Their people, their families, the agencies, and the governments are all revealed to be toxic and corrupt, disloyal and dishonest, only using them as they see fit until choosing to discard them.  This was brilliant satire on everything from family ties, international conspiracies, secret services, and work.  As Russian Keeper Agent Dasha says to Villanelle, ""Management is not easy. It's watching someone do job worse than you. That's why it sucks." Villanelle handles the younger competition that Helene brings in and kills her -- which so many, in other lines of work, wish they could do too, many times a day.

I am looking forward to how the fourth season will play out, since now it’s 2022, in a world that has been re-landscaped by BREXIT, the pandemic, Russia and the rise of authoritarianism everywhere.

“If I killed everyone who betrayed me there wouldn’t be anyone left.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
4 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

Heard AMC is receiving death threats for the finale.  LOL

Spolier review:  ‘Killing Eve’ Ends With a Total Betrayal of What Once Made It Great

As one viewer on reddit said, an ending worst than Dexter is quite the achievement!

 

I'm glad I got to read that, thanks. It means I will never feel any sense of regret for not continuing with this show. It really is a sad, pale imitation of what made the first season so good. That first season was fresh, had energy, and felt like it had a unique voice. It quickly descended into a tedious run of the mill spy thriller that barely stood out, at which point I wasn't sure why I was watching it. So I stopped.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Heartofice said:

I'm glad I got to read that, thanks. It means I will never feel any sense of regret for not continuing with this show.

I'm more inclined to watch the last two seasons now. It seems they've really achieved something. 

More likely I'll just read about them on wikipedia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

Heard AMC is receiving death threats for the finale.  LOL

Spolier review:  ‘Killing Eve’ Ends With a Total Betrayal of What Once Made It Great

As one viewer on reddit said, an ending worst than Dexter is quite the achievement!

 

This is pretty amusing to read. I really liked the first season. It was a little ridiculous, but fun and had some cleverness to it.

The second season was one of the most staggering drops in quality I've ever encountered in a show. I kind of regret not having done a series of timed mathematics exercises before watching season 2, and then doing another series of exercises for real evidence that the magnitude of stupidity in nearly every plot point of that season was so great that simply by viewing it I had become demonstrably dumber myself.

I couldn't continue after that, but I've heard about how the show continued its downward descent.

Nice to see that it maintained course to very end.

Edited by IFR
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/12/2022 at 1:42 PM, IFR said:

The second season was one of the most staggering drops in quality I've ever encountered in a show.

That's what happens with fan service.  They wanted more, while the showrunner couldn't run more, and this is what we got.

However in season 2 one did get sucked in, effortlessly.  I really enjoyed season 3 for Reasons, not sure the showrunners even created those Reasons, but they were they and it was a lot of fun.

But this last season, o dear. There were moments, but not many, and almost all of them were Fiona Shaw's -- but nothing, you know, coherent.  This last season, from doing Villanelle as Jesus to whatever else they got up to, was completely bonkers, in the worst way.  They seem not even to have cared even a teeny bit, note the location card on the screen, announcing "Bothy," and then below, "Google it."  That's what fan service accomplishes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the finale. It doesn’t rise to the mythic heights the writers twice attempt*; first with Gunn, like the Cyclops in Ulysses, blindly roaring and groping around her private island complete with goats and sheep in the background, as Eve and Villanelle escape, and at the very end as Eve, suspended between life and death, weightlessly reaches fingers to animate the dying Villanelle, but, as in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting of God reaching to Adam at the Creation, she fails. What happens now? We’re not going to find out because They Say They are spinning off a backstory prequel of Carolyn.  I loved Carolyn’s character and Fiona Shaw playing her, but, “No.”

Sidebar – the “Cuba” the writers stuck Villanelle into this season was below pathetically ignorant of the place and people.

* Mayhap there were other like vignettes in the finale, because I confess to not paying much attention.  What was the attempt here? That women /lesbians / whatever fail at the mythic? They can't Make Mythic, only Be Mythic? Villanelle floats, submerged in water, eyes wide, head haloed in lights penetrating from above, arms spread as though in blessing -- like Christ, whom she imitated (poorly!) at the beginning of the season. Let's face it, unless a viewer can see Villanelle only as a sacrificial victim of the 12, chosen in childhood, we can't get to that intended (perhaps?) mythic level of vision.

Edited by Zorral
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...