Warning: this article contains major spoilers for Killing Eve season 2.
Above all, Killing Eve is a story of psychopaths. It’s about one psychopath who knows she’s a psychopath, and another discovering she might be one.
Villanelle revels in her murderous nihilism, while Eve’s slow descent into the very same, and the way she tries to pull herself away from it, forms the central tension of the show. To that end, what an incredible second season finale.
From this point onwards, spoilers simply cannot be avoided. I’m serious. Look away now! I warned you!
So we left Killing Eve with a mirror image of its first season finale. When Villanelle decided Eve had to die, it was quite a classic TV cliffhanger – are they dead? Can they survive a gunshot, a knife wound, a steep fall? But the way it flips the script – to have Villanelle unhesitant about *ahem* killing Eve where Eve was so freaked out about stabbing Villanelle a season ago – is wonderful. It’s not just a shifted power dynamic: it’s a wedge driven through their relationship, such as it is.
How the third season will play out is anyone’s guess. As the wider world starts to close in on Villanelle and Eve, and they become more and more individual in a world that doesn’t seem to think alliances mean anything anymore, their temporarily severed tie (I assume they will reconcile eventually) makes them all the lonelier. Where can they go? Eve, if she survived, can’t possibly return to MI6; Villanelle has lost her handler and the one person on the other side who could vouch for her, albeit by her own hand.
My one hope for the next season, or at least some subsequent season, is that something big shifts in the world around Villanelle and Eve, rather than just in their relationship. It’s fascinating the way the show has closed the walls in until they only have each other to trust (again, this is why the final scene of the season 2 finale is excellent), but something’s got to give. Who, for example, lords over Carolyn outside of the briefly-glimpsed MI6 official played by Zoe Wanamaker? Exactly why are there such explicit ties between people like Konstantin and Carolyn? How do Eve and Villanelle beat it together?
Trust our luck, of course, that the Americans will get to know the answers to these questions before we Brits do. BBC America broadcast season 2 several weeks before the UK got its chance to watch. I have little doubt, however, that it will be worth the wait, especially as show creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge apparently wishes to cast herself in a bit part that will involve her being a victim of Villanelle’s.
Considering that the show’s writers have had their finest hours when devising new ways of showing Villanelle dispatching her targets, I’d imagine there will be something particularly special in store for Waller-Bridge. With any luck, the same will be true of the show at large.
Season three of Killing Eve will be available to stream on the BBC IPlayer from the 8th of April 2020.