Killing Eve is done playing nice. While the first few episodes were focused on the tantalising tension between Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer), "Desperate Times" takes us back to the haunting, bloody murder season 1 pretty much desensitised us to. Villanelle has officially gone freelance with Konstantin (Kim Bodnia), but has to find inventive ways to keep herself interested now that Eve is no longer on her case. Speaking of, Eve has thrown herself head-first into finding "the ghost" in an effort to distract herself from the Russian assassin who is still somehow managing to pull her life apart at the seams. Then, of course, there's Carolyn (Fiona Shaw), who's up to some kind of game of her own. She kicks off the episode by telling someone who appears to be the head of MI6 (but who I can only see as Madame Hooch from Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone) that Operation Manderlay is going just fine, thank you, and they don't need to pull the plug. Meanwhile, "the ghost" marches onward.
Here's what Eve and Villanelle got up to on season 2, episode 4 of Killing Eve.
Eve has discovered something suspicious about Alistair Peele — and no, it's not just, uh, everything about him. His godson died of a heart attack, the CEO of his company died ten months ago, his ex-girlfriend died six months ago...the people in his orbit are dropping like flies and they no longer seem like accidents. Eve and Jess (Nina Sosanya) decide to learn more about the company they're dealing with by setting up a meeting with Alistair's son Aaron (Henry Lloyd-Hughes).
Aaron is...not very chatty. When the women ask about the sale of the company, he summons a lawyer who refuses to answer any questions. As tensions rise, Aaron says that his company owns more information and data than the Pentagon and MI6 combined. The Secret Service are obsolete, he claims.
Perhaps that true, but they are onto something. After a mysterious clip of a cleaning woman entering another woman's home, we learn Allister Peele's secretary has been found dead. It appears to be a heart attack, but at this point Eve knows better. "The ghost" is still at it.
Eve's problems at work are mirrored at home, when she arrives to find Niko (Owen McDonnell) and their new security guard Jordan at the dinner table. Niko isn't thrilled to have a security guard show up unannounced, while Eve is growing frustrated with Niko's inability to understand the realities of her job. But all Niko's upset about, really, is losing the kind, nurturing Eve he fell in love with. This person is different, and he wants the old one back.
But the old Eve can't come to the phone right now — and she can't go to Amsterdam, either. Carolyn intercepted a postcard to Eve from Villanelle that revealed her whereabouts, but sends Jess instead to investigate a recent murder in the city.
Eve has her own murder to focus on. Kenny (Sean Delaney) receives the details of the secretary's murder, and informs the gang that she died via a nerve agent in her moustache bleach. The bleach also contained an inhalation aesthetic so the death would be painless — unusual for an assassin. As Eve has Kenny search their database for women in the medical profession against a list of cleaners in Peele's building, she and Hugo (Edward Bluemel) jet out for a quick dinner that almost ends in a kiss, but does end with Eve admitting she likes watching Villanelle, and being watched by her.
Their conversation is interrupted by a text from Kenny, who has found a match for "the ghost." The next day, Eve approaches the suspect as she's dropping her kids off at school, tricking her into thinking she has dropped a dollar before taking her to be interrogated. As Eve waits for her to arrive for questioning, she checks herself out in the mirror and finds herself primping — she has to look good for this new assassin, after all.
It's the start of Villanelle's new life as a freelance assassin, and she's bored. She's not enjoying the beautiful city streets of Amsterdam because they're far away from Eve, so Konstantin takes her to the museum for a little inspiration. It's there our young villain becomes enamoured with a brutal painting of a man hung upside down with his stomach cut open. She buys a postcard of the painting and sends it to Eve, along with a message imploring the agent not to forget about her.
While writing this postcard, she identifies her target: A middle-aged man, father, and husband. We learn it's his wife who wants him killed as Villanelle dons a tutu and a pig mask to lure him into a private room in the Red Light District. He thinks he's in for some light BDSM, but Villanelle has other plans — and they might sound familiar. She ties him up and opens the blinds of the room so everyone on the street can watch her hang him upside down and cut open his stomach...as his wife watches. The final scene looks exactly like her new favourite painting.
Once the deed is done, Villanelle assumes they can go back "home" aka London, but Konstantin says no. He's been urging her to forget about Eve, and a frustrated Villanelle heads back to the Red Light District to watch the police and medics busy themselves at the scene of her crime. As she's leaving the area, she follows a whim, buying drugs from a man on the street and entering a nightclub.
Things, of course, go south. While waiting in line for the restroom, she attacks a girl who cuts the line. She would have strangled her to death had Konstantin, who must have some kind of Villanelle beeper, not crashed into the bathroom and pulled her off. The next morning, she wakes up hungover in bed with Konstantin asleep on the floor. As soon as she looks at herself in the mirror, the tears start flowing.
Best Villanelle disguise: The sexy pig, duh.
Worst Eve lie: That her job isn't all about Villanelle.
Killing Eve airs on BBC America and will launch in the UK later this year