***Minor Spoilers for Killing Eve through Season 2, Episode 2 follow. Spoilers***
A couple of years ago, we were lucky enough to be properly introduced to the creative force of nature that is Phoebe Waller-Bridge through the incredible television adaptation of her one-woman show, Fleabag. Though she doesn’t act in her second series, it’s not difficult to feel her mark all over Killing Eve, especially in its pervasive dark humor. Luckily for us, this BBC America show simply nailed casting its two female leads; both Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer are so perfectly suited for their equally insane roles that it’s impossible to imagine one without the other. Throughout Season 1, their pairing as MI-5 investigator Eve Polastri and psychotic assassin Villanelle (aka Oksana Astankova) borders on the obsessive — mutually — with Eve proving nearly as unpredictable and unhinged as her quarry, and each woman oddly attracted to the other in more than one way. Killing Eve takes the usual cat and mouse shenanigans next level and beyond, to the point where we’ve no idea what any character will do next. Oh and, it’s not just the leading ladies driving this mad chase that continuously flips hunter and prey; the supporting players are just as intriguing and equally excellent casting coups. To wit, Fiona Shaw stars as Eve’s off and on-again boss, Carolyn Martens, head of Russian Intelligence at MI-6, while Kim Bodnia plays Villanelle’s unpredicable handler, Konstantin Vasiliev.
***Season 1 Finale Spoiler Follows***
By the end of Killing Eve‘s first round, Eve has managed to track down Villanelle in her Paris apartment (only fair play after the killer made it into Eve’s house) and just when it seems as if their mutual admiration might turn into something more, Eve stabs Villanelle, then seemingly immediately regrets her action. While Eve’s frantically searching for first aid supplies, Villanelle manages to escape and …
“30 seconds later”, we’re off again in Season 2.
If the first pair of episodes — “Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body” and “Nice and Neat” — is any indication, Killing Eve‘s second outing will leave us just as breathless as its first. Alternately tracking the women through their separate and similarly hilarious parallel after-ventures, we’re thrown into both Villanelle and Eve’s immersive tales.
Having escaped the apartment just before a slew of cleaners (killers) looking for Villanelle arrive and “clear” the building, a scattered Eve rushes into the railway TSA line before realizing she’s packing weapons. After covering with a bad oyster story, she gets through in time for a glorious bar encounter that leaves her (and us) laughing like a loon.
Meanwhile, a seriously injured Villanelle takes her usual insanely dramatic measures to get a quick free ride to the hospital, After her initial treatment, she realizes she’s got to get out before any comrades find her. Turning to her young, freshly mutilated (in a car accident that killed the rest of his family) roommate for help …
“Do your parents have any money? Are they coming today?”
“They died in the accident.”
“That’s not helpful to me, Gabrielle.”
… Villanelle offers her own bizarre brand of recompense and heads back into her comically dangerous world.
Even as Eve tries to convince husband Niko she’s left the job and her obsession behind, Carolyn Martens sucks her sharpest mind back into the fold and a meaty adjacent mystery, but the boss lady’s hiding a secret or twelve of her own. Villanelle hops out of the fire into a hot vat so crazy we’re still screaming with relief when she finally makes her move … and promptly falls right into the waiting arms of her new handler (I’ll leave you to wonder whether that’s a good or bad thing).
Each armed with various sugar-support systems, the utterly insane happenings that follow are only more proof of both Comer and Oh’s brilliance — without question, we accept the reality of their individual plights and hindrances, laughing ’till the tears roll down in between being afraid for their lives, and completely immersed in each of their convoluted organizational goings-on, and more than a few surprises that leave Eve and Villanelle both open-mouthed more than once (speaking of, I eagerly watched both new episodes twice, they’re that engaging).
With multi-awards-nominated Comer and Oh (who won a(Golden Globe and SAG for her role) and whip-smart dialogue, these globe-hopping women are the lead characters we’ve been dreaming of, and with their supporting cast (Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Owen McDonnell, Nina Sosanya, Sean Delaney, Edward Bluemel), thanks to Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the inspiration of Luke Jennings’s Codename Villanelle, Killing Eve is one of the best shows on television.
Killing Eve season two premieres Sunday, April 7 at 8pm/7c on BBC AMERICA and AMC.