Let the obsession begin again. This week sees the release of season two of 2018’s breakout hit, the stylishly captivating Killing Eve. This British-based crime thriller sprang from nowhere. As most audiences were glued to other high-profile streamathons, Killing Eve detonated though many were slow to pick up on this tale of an infatuated cat and mouse. Developed for BBC America by actress and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), it stars Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) and Jodie Comer (Doctor Foster).
The accolades did follow respectively, with Killing Eve making various TV critics’ top 10 lists last year. It even earned Oh a Golden Globe award for Best Actress. With all this, the second season is highly anticipated and the speculation has begun as to whether it can still retain the same impact.
The premise of Killing Eve sees desk bound and bored MI5 agent Eve Polastri (Oh) seeking adventure and excitement. Polastri becomes fascinated and obsessed with the capture of assassin and femme fatale Villanelle (Comer). This prompts an assignment away from MI5 led by the fantastically devious Carolyn (Fiona Shaw). Eve’s sole purpose becomes the apprehension of Villanelle, causing her obsession to grow.
While on the surface Killing Eve may not offer anything new, it’s the bubbling chemistry between the two leads which draws audiences into their world. Throughout the first season, Eve and Villanelle’s morbid curiosity for each other mutated into an erotic frisson. Whether this sexual tension is real or simply a ploy to allude and overcome is yet to be determined. However what is visible is how this thriller is wrapped up with a darkly comic attitude.
The apprehension and excitement for series two is already ripe, reaching fever pitch. With original creator and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge stepping aside and hiring newcomer Emerald Fennell (Call the Midwife) to act as head writer, there was a fear the same brilliance might not be delivered with the follow-up. Luckily all these worries have been put to rest, assassinated with the skill of Villanelle.
The first episode of season two, the aptly titled “Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body?”, begins seconds after series one’s shocking finale. The suspense is there and breathing as to is the darkly comic humor provided by the entire cast. Jodie Comer is again electrifying as the sociopathic anti-hero Villanelle. She’s devilish but at times projects an immature innocent quality.
Season two finds Eve fleeing Paris, stricken with the notion she has become the cold-blooded murderer she was trying to stop. Returning to husband Niko (Owen McDonnell), still sporting the 70’s pornstache, he offers her the stability of her life before her time chasing globetrotting assassins.
Unbeknownst to the agent, Villanelle is very much alive. Injured, she makes her way to a hospital. Fearing for her safety, she escapes wearing superhero pajamas and crocs – a far cry from the stylish attire from series one. She’s determined to make her way to London and find Eve. As Carolyn enters Eve’s life again to continue where they left off, the agent realizes slowly that Villanelle may in fact be very much alive and on the move. “If she’s alive, you need to find her before she finds you,” Carolyn warns her.
Surprisingly Irish viewers are getting the second series ahead of our UK counterparts. To say season two’s premiere delivered is an understatement as one day after the first episode aired in the States there was the announcement of a season three. For the meantime however audiences can enjoy Eve Polastri and Villanelle circling each other as they, along with audiences, try to discover the very core of their relationship. Is it obsession? Love? Or simply a revenge-fueled hatred? Fans of the show will be tuning in to find out.