‘Killing Eve’ Serves Up a Platter of Pasta, Pleasure & Pain in Episode 7 (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Episode 7 of Killing Eve Season 2, “Wide Awake.”]
There is a lot of role reversal going on in this week’s episode of Killing Eve. If you think back to earlier this season, it was Villanelle (Jodie Comer) boxed up in hotel room purgatory, her heart beating with jealousy while Eve (Sandra Oh) was preoccupied with a new investigation and a shiny new female assassin. Now the Russian killer is the one playing secret spy, schmoozing with the enemy, and having all the fun, while all Eve can do is watch and wait.
Eve has always been drawn to Villanelle because she represents a part of her that longs for danger and excitement. In many ways, the MI6 agent wished she could live her life like the fabulous international assassin, even if the thought of murdering someone turns her stomach. It’s ironic then that it’s now Villanelle living Eve’s life – or at the very least doing her job, something for which Eve only has herself to blame, having suggested bringing Villanelle into the Peel investigation in the first place.
Villanelle – undercover as recovering alcoholic “Billie” – is treated to a special pasta dish by the sinister Aaron Peel (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), who was seemingly won over after being smashed in the face with a philosophy book last episode. The tech-billionaire is fascinated by the aloof, pink-haired New Yorker, perhaps recognizing their mutual psychopathic tendencies and her impressive ability to remain a “void” in a world where he knows everything about everyone. “You’re a shadow,” he tells her. “Me too.”
Aaron and Villanelle are very different kind of psychopaths, though. The software expert is an egomaniacal control freak lacking in social graces (he demands “Billie” to change her clothes or spit out what she’s eating because it’s not what he likes). He’s a blank face, rarely expressing emotion, other than mild disgust. Villanelle is also arrogant and socially awkward, but she’s also impulsive and expressive, and at times, highly emotional. While Aaron wants to watch the world from a distance, Villanelle wants to get up close and personal, “talk to them, touch them, sleep with them.”
Villanelle’s particular brand of psychopathy has burrowed its way deep into Eve’s psyche, to the point where the two women might as well be in a relationship. The pair bicker in bed like an old married couple at the start of the episode. Eve shows flashes of jealousy when Villanelle has a threesome with two random strangers (that’s why she followed those takeaway girls last week) and when she gets close with Aaron. And when she worries the undercover killer may be in danger, she sends a flurry of concerned voicemails like an overprotective spouse.
Despite knowing she’s an unpredictable, homicidal psychopath, Eve has somehow convinced herself that Villanelle can be contained. Perhaps believing that she can be the one to save her… or at least keep her safe, which is what she seems so worried about throughout the episode. Eve promises Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) that she can keep the hasty hitwoman on a leash while on mission in Rome and assures her that everything is on the up and up (something which Carolyn probably can’t promise in return – more on that in the additional notes).
It’s not until Eve visits psychopath expert Martin (Adeel Akhtar) where she finally confesses to her Villanelle obsession. When asked how much of the day she spends thinking about the enigmatic assassin, Eve answers, “Most of it.” But while she admits that this accounts for the breakdown of her marriage and her erratic behavior as of late, she tells Martin that her obsession doesn’t make her feel frightened or unsafe. “I feel wide awake,” she states as if everything has suddenly come into focus.
The problem is, Eve is not awake, she’s become blind to Villanelle’s true nature. While in Rome, crammed into a cheap hotel room with Hugo (Edward Bluemel), Eve literally has Villanelle’s voice in her head (via the earpiece used to spy on Aaron). She’s under Villanelle’s spell, like a devil on her shoulder, encouraging her to let loose. “You should let yourself go once in a while,” whispers the manipulative murderer. And while Villanelle breathes heavily down the microphone, Eve climbs on top of a sleeping Hugo, indulging in a pseudo-threesome with her cocky colleague and the omnipotent assassin in her ear.
But back home in London, the real horror of Villanelle emerges, as a half-concussed Niko (Owen McDonnell) comes to in his storage unit and finds his lovestruck work-friend Gemma (Emma Pierson) suffocated to death. Earlier in the episode, Villanelle paid the pair a surprise visit where she threatened Niko at knifepoint for his Shepherd’s pie recipe (Killing Eve once again hilariously mixing the macabre and the mundane) and then demanded to know whether he still loved Eve. His answer in the positive spelled bad news for the innocent Gemma.
It’s a heinous act of violence which reminds us that for all of Villanelle’s charm and humor, beneath the surface is a cruel, heartless killer. It’s so easy to be suckered in by her, just like Eve is – we all want to root for her or befriend her and share pasta and laugh at Instagram influencers together. But you can’t sustain a healthy relationship with someone capable of such abhorrent behavior, someone who admittedly doesn’t feel anything and can’t even determine the line between truth and lie.
With just one episode remaining, Eve is about to get a real wake up call when she finds out what’s happened to Gemma, and she will have a huge choice to make. Does she go all-in with her Villanelle obsession and side with the irresistible psychopath? Or does she fight her head on and take her down?
-Carolyn and Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) clearly know more than they’re letting on with this whole Peel investigation mission. Kenny (Sean Delaney) even tries to warn Eve not to go to Rome… but is cut off before he can tell her why. Perhaps there is a plan in place to kill Villanelle once the intel is gathered?
-Villanelle wolfing down that pasta was a sight to behold, but apparently Jodie Comer almost choked to death while filming that scene. “I was shoveling [the pasta] in, and then it just shot down my throat and then I was full-on choking. They must have it on camera — a medic came in and managed to get it out, but my life definitely flashed before me…” she told EW.
-Aaron’s secret weapon appears to be unlimited access to classified data about…. well, anyone.
-You can now add Blondie’s “One Way or Another” to Villanelle’s karaoke playlist.
Killing Eve, Sundays, 8/7c, BBC America and AMC