Slowly slowly catchy monkey
Photo: Laura Radford / BBC America
Lately I’ve been thinking about hunger. Not the kind rooted in physical need, but the emotional kind, which is more difficult to suppress. I’m talking about the kind of hunger that leaves you at 3 a.m. I’m talking about the kind of hunger that makes you break through the previously secure moral walls that you erected. I’m talking about the kind of hunger that comes close to loneliness, that leaves you torn by tears and decubitus on the ground. Therefore Killing Eve may be on time, considering that this is a show about women’s sometimes corrupt hunger.
Killing Eve is, no doubt, in a precarious position for season three. Some viewers felt that last season too closely echoed the dynamics of the first season, while lacking the precise narrative and ingenuity of its predecessor. (I was certainly still caught up in the second season, finding its twist dynamics compelling as a strange tale from the Bluebeard fairy tale.) The premiere of season three, “Slowly Slowly Catchy Monkey,” finds our duo complicated to very different places in their lives as they try to pass events from the finale, which left Eve bleeding in Rome with a shot from Villanelle’s hand.
Villanelle remains pushed to the point of being childish by her hungry, who conspired to place her in the middle of a marriage: hers. Dressed in black with a kilometer-long glow, Villanelle makes an intriguing bride to a bubbly Spanish woman who cannot see how quickly everything is about to collapse. “When I first met Maria, I thought … great shoes. But then I learned that there was much more to it, “said Villanelle in his toast to his new wife, to continue and to compliment other aspects of his wealth. But there is a figure that continues to enter Villanelle’s eyes, interrupting his “special day”: Dasha (Harriet Walter), his former manager and coach, whom we meet for the first time in an opening flashback of the episode in Moscow in 1974, implying the young gymnast of the time hesitating on a routine before killing her love in a particularly wild way, then to throw the chalk with which she powder her hands along her prostrate form . When Villanelle fully sees Dasha, she follows her first impulse, tackling her to the ground. The wedding party descends in an all-out brawl, which ends with a Villanelle with a bloody and edgy nose leaving not with her bride but with Dasha, heading towards sunset, Just Married scribbled on the vintage car and cans falling behind the bumper.
Dasha is here for a reason. She tries to bring Villanelle back into the fold as a prized murderer of the Twelve, with even more wealth and travels on the line. But Villanelle wants more for herself. She wants to climb the ladder and become a Guardian, even placing her above Konstantin in the criminal enterprise hierarchy. “The power is there to take,” advises Dasha Villanelle. She just needs to be slow and careful in taking it. Villanelle of course works with very little patience, especially when Dasha returns not with the keys of the kingdom but with a job to kill a nearby political agitator. “They will promote you. All the benefits, “says Dasha, but Villanelle has to prove she is ready.
With a brown pixie cut peeking out from under a hat, Villanelle pretends to be a delivery woman, quickly sliding the sign on the front door of a small establishment in Girona to closed. Villanelle stages the merchant she plans to kill, cooing about a grandfather with heart problems who is overflowing with kindness. Her eyes become glassy with tears even though she faces the trader. I almost believed it. The shopkeeper, unaware that fate is getting closer and closer, mentions saffron to help his grandfather’s heart. It is an act of kindness encountered with Villanelle moving the ladder hard so that the woman falls to the ground. But she is not dead. Villanelle is surprised by the hands of the trader around his throat. She finishes the trader by hammering a pot against his head again and again. She then positions it, speechless, on the ground, pouring what looks like paprika on the upper body of the trader, an echo of Dasha’s original killing of the first moments of the episode.
I’ll be honest, although there is still a thrill to see Villanelle working, I find the splitting up of Eve and Villanelle’s script a little frustrating. The show is at its best when the characters are obsessively aware of the other, but the most important aspect of watching Villanelle in the premiere is that she believes Eve is dead. At her failed wedding ceremony, she mentions the devastating breakup: “When I think of my ex today, I realize that I am so much happier now that she is dead. “
But despite Villanelle’s comfort in Eve’s death, Eve is very much alive, although on closer inspection it’s not a life. Her small, circumscribed life fell into a routine that she goes through with a numb disposition: working in the kitchen of a Korean restaurant, chopping meats and delicately assembling dumplings; go to the grocery store to stock up on ramen, junk food and tons of wine, while grimacing at the remnants of pain from his gunshot wound; return to his cramped apartment to drink wine and watch TV and ignore the severity of his injuries. Sandra Oh brings grace to the raw nervous loneliness that Eve wears just below the surface of her numbness. Watching her go through this narrow existence, a sad frown engraved on her face, I couldn’t help but think of the provocative opening of The lonely city by Olivia Laing, “You can be alone anywhere, but there is a special flavor to the loneliness that comes from living in a city surrounded by millions of people. What we see in Eve is not only the loneliness, but her appeasement of hunger that brought her to Villanelle in the first place.
We understand why she does that. His hunger had repercussions. It killed people. It actually anchored her marriage, which Niko is not afraid to tell her. When she goes to visit him in what appears to be a mental health facility, he is gruff and cold at his sweetness when she advises him to sign the papers for their old house. At some point, he even becomes cruel, saying, “If we’re both honest, I deserve more than that. And more than you. Listen, I understand that Niko has never done anything wrong beyond causing a wrinkle in the love story that interests us all, but I find his character creaky at this point. Eve is sufficiently beaten by herself and by her situation. Niko’s treatment appears cruel not only on an interpersonal level, but also in the way the writers frame Eve in the first place. Can she take a break? Or will joy remain beyond its reach?
No one can go through life completely alone. So Eve is lucky that Kenny, always kind-hearted, responded to her strange text by tracking her down and entering her apartment unexpectedly. Okay, that might be a little scary. After frightening Eve of her sleep – okay, really scary – they have a conversation around drinks, which she wants to keep at the level of the surface possible, saying: “I prefer things …” “… Buried”, Kenny replies with understanding. We can, however, glean a little bit of information from this conversation. Eve survived because tourists fell on her in Rome. Kenny, who now works as a writer for The Bitter Pill, is still examining the Twelve and has noticed suspicious activity. But Eve doesn’t want to hear anything about MI6 closing the investigation or about account activity. She finished with Villanelle. She finished with all this. ” End of the story. “
But no matter how hard Eve tries, the darkness she tries to avoid finds a way to re-enter her life in a particularly heartbreaking way. Eve decides to take Kenny on his offer to spend time with some of his colleagues, despite his tenderly revealing rhetorical question for him, “Who says I want to be happy?” Kenny, alone in the office, hears low growls and strange noises right on the edge of his hearing. ” Hello? He asks in the seemingly empty rooms. When Eve goes to Bitter Pill’s office, she can’t find Kenny. Calling her phone, she finds it on a desk, unattended. ” Where are you? She asks as her body falls behind her, catapulting herself to the ground. Eve rushes down the stairs, where she finds Kenny dead on the asphalt. When Eve looks up, she sees no one. But there is an immediate feeling from the play of her jaw, the look in her eyes that she knows exactly what is looking at her.
Kenny was such a ray of light in a show where just about everyone crossed lines in order to meet their hungry. He was kind, empathetic and firm in his moral compass. It will be interesting to see how the show handles this void in the future.
• Konstantin seems to be stuck in London, supposedly picking up a double-decker bus magnet for his daughter while ignoring her rabid voice messages.
• Carolyn is in deep trouble with her work, now having a supervisor in the immediately annoying Paul (Steve Pemberton). There is a particularly thorny exchange between them that I found quite hilarious, in which Paul says: “If anyone knows how to get out of it, it’s Carolyn”, noting an odious divorce that occurred holidays. “She has done it enough times. Carolyn, annoyed but refusing to be baited, simply replied, “Divorce is easy. These are incredibly tough marriages. ”
• Best outfit of the week: Villanelle’s black wedding suit, definitely eye-catching but simple.