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Killing Eve - Don't Get Attached - Review: A Few Steps Forward and More Steps Back


Warning: This review may contain spoilers.

Just when Killing Eve appears to start getting its act together this season by starting to connect the threads in "Don't Get Attached," the show undoes the progress it has made with confusing and questionable steps backward. This final season of the show is going to be remembered for such uneven writing and inconsistencies.

The episode shows the origins of the Twelve, at first offering a hopeful glimpse at how the show’s meandering storylines might come together. Through great flashbacks, we learn that the Twelve was created out of a socialist youth protest group in the '70s. The revelations in the flashback are numerous and at times surprising. A young Carolyn (beautifully portrayed by Imogen Daines), working undercover in the group, meets and falls for the charismatic Konstantin (Louis Bodnia Andersen), who is working undercover for the Russians. Their complicated relationship soon involves assassinations and a murder they commit together. Special kudos to the Killing Eve casting department for putting Andersen in the part of his father's (Kim Bodnia) character's younger self. Their resemblance in appearance and mannerisms is striking.
A chance encounter in present-day Cuba in the previous episode where Carolyn sees a man that she and Konstantin thought they had successfully murdered long ago has her revisiting her past. Here is where the threads begin to intertwine when the man is revealed to be the mysterious Lars (Ingvar Sigurdsson), Helene (Camille Cottin)'s ex-husband, and a leading member of the Twelve. Eve (Sandra Oh) begins to uncover not only Lar's identity but Carolyn's connection to him.
Villanelle (Jodie Comer) gets back in form by creatively dispatching the abusive husbands of the Cuban safe house housekeeper and her friends. Villanelle next decides to kill Helene to free herself to move on and seeks help from the one person who can help locate her target. Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) and Villanelle’s latest reunion reminds viewers why the story of him training Pam (Anjana Vasan) isn't working. As Villanelle expresses her obvious disdain for her mentor's new charge, the two banter as they did when first paired together. The energy and the obvious chemistry between not only Comer and Bodnia but between Villanelle and Konstantin are clearly evident. These two have always had a unique connection and it seems a shame to have not had them interact more this season.
However, where the show takes big steps backward is its confused portrayal of Eve. The show hasn’t really known who or what it wants Eve to be for a while, but apparently, this season intends to demonstrate that Eve has learned little and gained little during the show’s run. Oh hasn’t been given much to work with this season, and Eve’s miscalculations in this episode are more out of character than entertaining. Would Eve truly resort to kidnapping a child to get Helene's attention and expect no repercussions? And her reactions to Helene threatening and then attacking Villanelle are almost over-the-top when the two have spent little time in proximity this season. The real tragedy is that Killing Eve has killed Eve. In season one and season two, Villanelle represented the mysterious, but Eve was the mystery. Questions of what she would do and who she would discover herself to be punctuated every episode, making it impossible to be sure who was the cat and who was the mouse. In the final season, the show has made her a mouse who thinks for no reason at all that she’s a cat. It’s not even clear if the show realizes what it’s turned Eve into, which doesn’t bode well for her character arc.
Shooting Villanelle with an arrow can’t even be considered a cliffhanger. Any dramatic impact from Eve witnessing the event is suffocated by the scene coming at the expense of Eve’s intelligence, as Helene punishes Eve for a silly power move. Obviously, this close to the end of the series, neither lead heroine is going to die. What’s more likely is the comedic or dramatic exit planned for the characters will fall flat, thanks to storytelling that has shortchanged Villanelle and Eve, Comer and Oh, every chance it gets.
What are your thoughts on Killing Eve episode 5 "Don't Get Attached"? Share them in the comments below.