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Killing Eve - A Rainbow in Beige Boots and It’s Agony and I’m Ravenous - Double Review: Too Little Too Late

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Warning: This double review may contain spoilers.

The final season of Killing Eve continues to be a major disappointment. Midway through the middle episode, something interesting finally happens, or to be more accurate, something interesting starts to happen. Episodes 3 "A Rainbow in Beige Boots" and 4 "It's Agony and I'm Ravenous" toy with the same stray threads the season has been flapping in the wind since the premiere. The problem dates back even farther than season three, though. Absolutely no one is dying to know more about who the members of the Twelve are, an appallingly boring mystery this series treats as its backbone. “It's Agony and I'm Ravenous" shows the briefest signs of life, but it’s a textbook case of being too little, too late, especially for the chances of this show to pull all these flailing threads together into a cohesive story and nail a satisfactory ending for the series.
To be frank, episode 3, "A Rainbow in Beige Boots," was like watching paint dry. No points can be awarded for the ironic episode title, as this show has been stuffing its rainbow of talent into dull stories for far too long. The entire episode was essentially a one-hour therapy session with character after character either whining to a stranger or listening to a stranger whine. Conversations between strangers can often reveal a wealth of character information or motivate a character to make an internal breakthrough. Viewers reap neither benefit here. Eve (Sandra Oh) spent most of the episode drinking with Helene (Camille Cottin)'s ex-lover Fernanda (Monica Lopera) to get information about Helene's ex-husband whom she suspects is a member of the Twelve. Even if there are viewers who want to know more about Helene and her exes, there are no dividends to be paid here. And no suggestion there will be in the back half of the season.
Helene listens to Pam (Anjana Vasan) vent about her abusive brother and blackmails Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) into turning Pam into an asset after Pam kills her brother. Despite a hearty amount of backstory, Pam is simply poorly written thus far in the series. The show presents her in shades of Villanelle, but with none of Villanelle’s inscrutable whimsy. There is nothing evident in the show’s handling of Pam that justifies devoting screentime to her character. Konstantin may have nine lives, with one to spare on babysitting Pam, but neither the viewer nor the show does.
Elsewhere, Villanelle (Jodie Comer) holds Eve's therapist Martin (Adeel Akhtar) hostage in his own home for the most bizarre therapy session on record. And for the umpteenth time this season, yet another character discusses with Villanelle why she's so obsessed with Eve. This primarily reminds the viewer that Villanelle’s obsession with Eve used to be interesting and that the show has gone out of its way to erode all the intrigue right off both this obsession and Eve herself. To quote Eve – "you know you can just book a therapist, you don't have to take one hostage"– which if looked at from a different perspective, might be good advice for the audience. Instead of being the show’s reluctant hostages for this lackluster final season, viewers might be better off looking for entertainment elsewhere.
The first flicker of life in Killing Eve this season comes midway through episode 4, "It's Agony and I'm Ravenous." (Just as episode 3’s title unintentionally described the show, episode 4 describes the show’s viewers who haven’t lost their appetite yet). This episode focuses on a group of odd pairings or couples. First, Konstantin begins training Pam as an assassin. The writing for Pam leaves no room for the actress to carve out an engaging character, and the storyline wastes Bodnia’s talents. Konstantin throws in the towel until Pam pushes back after he pushes her too far.
Eve and Helene parry back and forth about working together to locate Helene's ex-husband, Lars, a suspected leader of the Twelve. The writers try to make this partnership between the two women believable and intriguing by upping the eroticism between them. Instead, the scenes between Oh and Cottin will leave viewers longing for the crackling tension in the nearly forgotten early scenes between Oh and Comer as Eve and Villanelle. Maybe the show intends to draw attention to what’s missing. This would be an effective explanation if there were any good reason for the show to be keeping Eve and Villanelle apart again.
By far the most dynamic pairing in episode 4, Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) cross paths in Cuba. Villanelle, once again working for Helene, has been sent to Cuba to kill Carolyn. But as only Carolyn can, she convinces Villanelle to collaborate with her. In one brief afternoon, Carolyn injects more energy in Villanelle than any therapist can by reminding the assassin how good she is at her job. She inspires Villanelle to remain true to herself by continuing to do what she does best. Just the sort of twisted emotional breakthrough that Killing Eve used to flex regularly. When Villanelle takes Carolyn at her word and the two team up to torture the injured member of the Twelve for names of his colleagues, then and only then do we see Comer channel the Villanelle viewers know and love. Later when they use the information gleaned from him, Carolyn is shocked to encounter a past love she long thought dead. The chase is on.
Watching Comer and Shaw work together was worth the time spent on the whole episode. It's a genuine shame they've not been given more scenes together during the series. They are a joy to watch playing off one another. Comer brings her long-dormant Villanelle back to life and Shaw establishes she’s the MVP of this season of Killing Eve . The scene of Shaw's Carolyn indulging Villanelle's "Truth or Dare" with an all-in air guitar performance will be an iconic Killing Even memory. (The outtakes from that scene must be legendary and pure gold.)
Even with this eleventh-hour dynamic duo, Killing Eve looks to be ending its run as a mere shadow of its former self. Seeing that tiny bit of life in episode 4 was both heartening and sad. Heartening that the show still has those moments of uniqueness in it, but sad that those moments are too little and too late to make a difference.

What are your thoughts on episode 3 "A Rainbow in Beige Boots" and episode 4 "It's Agony and I'm Ravenous"? Share them in the comments below.

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