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Killing Eve - I Hope You Like Missionary! - Review - Mirror Mirror

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Disclaimer: due to unexpected circumstances, your usual Killing Eve reviewer, Donna, won't be able to review this episode, so I'm covering for her just for this week. Worry not though, she will be back with her fantastic recaps in no time!

In last week's episode, the Ghost deemed Villanelle "the demon with no face", which was fittingly chilling as it instilled how her reputation precedes her even in the hired killers world. But isn't Villanelle actually the demon with many faces? And I don't just mean through her myriad of diguises, although of course it works on that level too (remember the pig costume), but in the way she acts and presents herself to other people.
Killer. Psychopath. Seductress. Childlike ingenue. And finally... Angel of truth?
This episode picks up mere moments (minutes? Hours? Niko seems quite thoroughly drenched, so either he walked home from Oxford or he really needed a deep leave-in rain treatment for dry skin.) after the last one ended. Not for nothing did the N in the title card bleed this time.

After the ill-fated (and completely fabricated) spelling bee -which reminded me of Tonks luring the Dursleys to a "best lawn" competition while the Order retrieved Harry, so it's only fitting Fiona Shaw would get her revenge here- Niko finally turns up, having finally learned (some of) the truth about what happened in Paris. This had been said time and again, but Eve and Niko's marriage has never seemed that solid or, to be completely honest, believable. So when Villanelle tornadoed her way into it during season 1, I was genuinely surprised to see it had survived in season 2. Admittedly, Eve wasn't going to throw away everything for something even she doesn't completely understand, but she and Niko never seem on the same page. She can't really reveal what she's doing at work since it's top secret, and her conflicted feelings for Villanelle push her to keep her mouth shut. So how does this work, exactly? She's in love with Niko for his incredible and timely ability to order Indian food? His mustache?

When Niko pushes her against the wall, confronting her with what Villanelle said, does she not realize the only times she seems into him are when it's spurred on by Villanelle? In the last episode, she only dragged him to bed after the deadly flower arrangement finds its way to her doorstep. The only question here, really, is how it took him so long to leave. Eve is no longer the woman he's known and he won't (or can't) follow her where she's headed, and it doesn't seem like she wants him there.

What do you want from me, Eve? Do you want me to love you or do you want me to frighten you?

I don't know.

As it turns out, Niko doesn't move out very far, but straight into an awaiting Gemma's arms. Quite literally in fact, that woman is constantly touching him. Eve, on the pretext of bringing his stuff by, floats around in Gemma's house (or her grandmother's, more accurately), grazing this and that, scoffing at the decoration and ripping the plastic ballerina from her jewellery box in a very Villanelle-esque gesture. What started and was confirmed in the previous episode with Eve almost pushing the man who was rude to her on the platform seems confirmed: she's more like Villanelle than she ever thought. Except while Villanelle is calculated and doesn't make mistakes, Eve is acting on her emotions, which comparatively, seems even more dangerous.

"Because you will never understand how much harder it is to be nice and normal and decent than it is to be like you."

"Like us, you mean."

Jess's advice falls flat, "a BJ and a compliment" are not going to make Niko come back. It makes one wonder what kind of home life MI6 agents have though. Eve's marriage is unravelling, Kenny and Hugo both seem unattached and Carolyn has boyfriends everywhere (more power to her, honestly. I can't, however, support her stance on breakfast food. Scrambled eggs are delightful. What else doesn't she like? Avocado toast? Kittens??) so Jess is the only one with what appears to be more traditional life goals. Although juggling being a mother with that kind of line of work seems, well... daunting, to say the least.

Because this is the brand new plan to infiltrate Aaron Peele's plan: since nothing seems to affect him, Eve wants Villanelle to assist. She will play the role of an idle influencer from NYC with a troubled past who ends up in Aaron's sister Amber's addiction meeting. After watching a season of the MI6 team tracking Villanelle, it's oddly off-putting to see her join them not once, but TWICE in a row. And while I (and most viewers I assume) enjoy their interactions, the role-switching doesn't really compute. As Eve becomes more like Villanelle, Villanelle is no longer the menace but a useful tool. She never lets Eve (or the viewers) forget that she's a killer, but it seems mostly threat-free. That said, when push comes to shove (literally, that security woman never saw the truck coming), Villanelle does what it takes while Eve still teeters on the brink of the subway platform staying human. In most crime shows (or really any show involving a suspect in custody, and Killing Eve used this device while Eve was actually interrogating the Ghost) there are these double-sided mirrors enabling the agents to look in on the interrogation, while the suspect/interrogator can't see them (but know they're there). At this point, if Eve were to look in that mirror, would she still see herself or would it be Villanelle's face staring back?

At the AA meeting however, Villanelle first makes the mistake of bullshitting her way through it, which infuriates Eve, since Villanelle is basically impersonating her, and puts off the other members of the meeting since they catch on to her immediately. The second time, however, her explanation seems a lot more genuine.

I'm just trying to find ways of making myself feel something.
More and more and more but it doesn't make any difference.
No matter what I do, I don't feel anything, I I hurt myself, it doesn't hurt.
I buy what I want, I don't want it.
I do what I like, I don't like it.
I'm just so bored.

Does Villanelle kill in increasingly exotic ways in order to finally make herself feel something?

In any case, her little meltdown succeeds and she finds herself at Aaron Peele's own dinner table. Last week's Forest of Dean shots were gorgeous, and this eery, minimalist, poolside house is equally enthralling, and reminiscent of its owner's coldness. While Eve and Konstantin fuss over helping Villanelle to retrieve information about Peele's operations, Villanelle severes the connection and uses her own techniques. I never got the feeling Villanelle enjoyed operating with a leash, so it's no surprise she'd want to do this her own way. A trained agent, she is not. And after she storms out of the house, I wonder if she succeeded in earning Peele's respect after he tried to bully her into admitting her degrees were degrees in name only. My guess is yes.

The episode closes on Villanelle enquiring about what kebab meat truly is made of, and you can almost picture her planning Aaron's demise. Let's just say if he ends up skewered and eaten by unsuspecting passers-by, I won't be surprised. It's anyone's guess as to why she follows (and scares, before joining them while they don't realize she's the real danger here) two women who were at the fast-food place with her though.

So, what did you all think of this episode? Is Eve crossing over to the dark side, or will she pull away in time? Are MI6 right to use Villanelle's skills and forget she only follows one agenda: her own? Do eggs irk you as much as they do Carolyn (if we're really going to battle here, I'm going to need the coffee empire to relinquish its hold on breakfast. TEA ALL THE WAY). There are only two episodes left in this season, so one way or another everything will come to a head and I can't wait to see how it unfolds.

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