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Killing Eve - The Hungry Caterpillar - Review - Choices



While Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) are rightfully the focus of Killing Eve, another factor in what makes the show so special are the superbly written cast of characters surrounding them. The latest episode brings that point home so clearly with the return of one of my favorites from last season, Konstantin (Kim Bodnia). It is his surprise return, remember Villanelle shot him at the end of last season and everyone thought he was dead, that spurs others to make difficult choices in The Hungry Caterpillar.

Eve is stunned to find him alive and well and sitting happily ensconced at Carolyn's (Fiona Shaw) while MI6 has placed his family into witness protection. He has made himself quite and home and wastes no time telling Eve to give up looking for Villanelle. He compares the assassin to the main character in the children's favorite The Hungry Caterpillar, as something that eats itself up from the inside to make room for her. Bodnia is a master at exuding a cuddly charm while also remaining a menacing presence. His scenes with Carolyn as her houseguest, nemesis and even former lover are fabulous filled with innuendo-filled banter between the two. He tries his best to get her to reveal where his family is, asking her how far she would go to protect her son. Ultimately, he pushes her into making the choice that despite how charming his plea, she must remain firm and refuses to divulge the information.

Meanwhile, Villanelle has employed yet another of her creative killing techniques in London, death by elevator strangulation, for her new handler, Raymond (Adrian Scarborough. The new handler is keeping the flamboyant assassin on a tight lease, setting her up in and ordering her to stay put in her new, less than posh surroundings. But, being the character everyone knows and love, Villanelle does everything but stay put. She orders extravagant clothing and sticks Raymond with the bill, pampers herself with a self-done facial and most importantly does what she does best, she stalks Eve. For Villanelle, jealousy is a great motivator. She's not concerned about the competition when Raymond tells her of the new assassin, even after learning the new killer in town doesn't work for The 12 but are interested in her. No, Villanelle's jealousy comes into play when he reveals that Eve is heading the investigation looking for the ghost, which to her means Eve is no longer focusing on her. She wants Eve all to herself.

She takes those steps to regain Eve's attention by showing up at an event at Eve's husband's school and reaching out to the young teacher who clearly has the hots for Niko (Owen McDonnell). She uses to time too to get close to Eve. She's thwarted in her first attempt by Raymond. But it's unclear later if she managed to interrupt a romantic interlude between Eve and Niko by simply placing an apple for the teacher on his desk. She does get close enough to her prey to slip something into Eve's bag. If Killing Eve has a weak spot, I would dare say it would be in Eve's relationship with her husband. He seems to be the weakest of the supporting characters and their marriage has been odd from the get-go. One wonders how the two of them even got together to begin with, although while Eve is obsessed with her work, she does seem to want and need Niko's approval.

When Eve finds a strange tube of lipstick in her bag named for the location of Villanelle's latest kill her obsession with the assassin kicks into high gear. She knows Villanelle is still in London, and she knows just the person to go to in order to find out where she's hiding, Konstantin. But, before she can go to him, she must have bargaining power, and her determination to get that has her making a choice that sacrifices her relationship with Kenny (Sean Delaney). Her actions to literally blackmail him and order him to find the location of Konstantin's family in witness protection causes irreparable harm to their connection.

Armed with the information, Eve goes and makes a deal with the devil, Konstantin. She has the information and will give it to him after he tells her where Villanelle is. Konstantin tells her but before Eve and an MI6 strike force can get to the hotel, he beats her to it. The reunion between Villanelle and Konstantin was one of the masterful highlights of the episode. Villanelle returns to the hotel only to be told there is a new guest, one she assumes is there to kill her. In the elevator, on her way up to her room she arms herself for battle becoming the dangerous warrior ready to fight for her life. Yet, when she gets off the elevator and a door at the end of the hall opens to reveal Konstantin, she becomes almost child-like, delighted to see her long-lost father figure. She runs down the hall and happily into his arms. Villanelle and Konstantin are reunited.

Theirs is perhaps the second most important and complex relationship. It is the epitome of the love/hate dynamic. Bodnia and Comer play off one another beautifully. In their banter, while she blatantly lies saying everything is great with Raymond, he tells her Raymond is a cleaner, he's the one they usually send to dispose of someone who has outlived their usefulness. He offers her a choice, go into the free-lance assassin business with him. Before she can respond, Eve and the strike team arrive, bursting into Villanelle's room as Villanelle watches from the keyhole. Then in a masterful stroke of lighting, staging, and editing, the two come together with just a flimsy hotel door between them. Eve has been drawn to the door as the rest of the team is examining her original room. By the time Eve can rally the team to the new door, Villanelle has made her choice and she and Konstantin escape, their new deadly partnership has been formed.

New teams are now in play, Villanelle back with someone she trusts, as much as she can trust anyone. While Eve suffers the consequences of Carolyn's anger and realizes she and Kenny will never be the same. She also learns a harsh lesson when she cuts her lip on a razor blade Villanelle has hidden in the lipstick Eve feels compelled to try. That message is that love hurts, and the pursuit of love is painful. Each new episode of Killing Eve twists and turns but at the center there always remains the same mission, Villanelle runs, and Eve must chase her regardless of the consequences.

What role do you think the new assassin Eve has been ordered to find will play in the outcome of this season? What did you think of The Hungry Caterpillar? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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