Killing Eve: Season 2

Picking up moments after the first series’ bloody finale, Killing Eve dives into familiarly, hilariously perverse territory throughout its second series

Film Review by Carmen Paddock | 18 Jul 2019
  • Killing Eve (image: BBC Pictures)
Film title: Killing Eve Series 2
Director: Created by: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Starring: Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Sean Delaney, Darren Boyd, Owen McDonnell, David Haig
Release date: Out now

Picking up moments after the first series’ bloody finale, Killing Eve dives into familiarly, hilariously perverse territory throughout its second series. While Villanelle (Jodie Comer) deals with her stab wound and Eve (Sandra Oh) deals with having stabbed her, a new killer is on the loose and Eve’s MI5 boss Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw) continues her shadier dealings – which is just the beginning of everyone’s problems. The show’s eight hours waste no time dwelling on revelations or twists; each land solidly but is then allowed to propel the plot across new – and sometimes unexpected – territory.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s absence from the writer’s room is felt (this series is not quite as funny as its first) but the characters she created retain the idiosyncratic, subversive, decidedly feminine worldview that made the first season such a hit. Oh, Comer and Shaw remain on top form; Comer dazzles with a virtuosic command of accents and physicality. They clearly have fun exploring the controlled façade that each character presents to the others to hide the mess beneath, with varying levels of success and commitment. When the wordplay and uneasy alliances end, the violence begins; the show does not hold back.

The season makes no secret of Eve and Villanelle’s chemistry – last season’s ‘will they won’t they’ is out, and this season does not tiptoe around the pair’s mutual emotional, intellectual, and sexual fascination and attraction. Whatever the actresses’ and creative teams’ takes are on this relationship, its overtness is a breath of fresh air in the face of many shows’ wilful ambiguity or default heteronormativity. This illustrates the strongest aspect of Killing Eve in its second season: it is unwilling to reiterate or re-establish motive, instead twisting and growing to a dizzying finale. Let’s hope UK fans get the third series at the same time as American viewers.

Currently streaming on BBC iPlayer