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‘Killing Eve’ Review: A Trip to Russia Leaves Sandra Oh Twiddling Her Thumbs in a Frustrating Episode

While Villanelle is in the cooler, Carolyn’s bones come alive.

Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve"

BBC America

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Killing Eve” Episode 6, “Take Me to the Hole.”]

Sunday’s “Killing Eve” lacked that intense and dark chemistry between MI5 officer Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and the assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) that was seen in last week’s episode. Both of them head to Russia with the same target: to reach the imprisoned Nadia (Olivia Ross), who had survived getting run over — twice! — by Villanelle. But while our killer intends to do what she does best and make the murder stick this time, Eve is unaware of her whereabouts and instead hopes to obtain information from Nadia about Villanelle.

Accompanying Eve on this trip is her boss Carolyn (Fiona Shaw), who like Bill in Germany, appears to have contacts and deep, sexy history in Russia. “God, my bones come alive in this country,” she says upon arrival. It’s the first sign of Carolyn’s party girl side, not that Eve is happy to learn about it as the episode wears on.

Fiona Shaw, "Killing Eve"

Even though Carolyn is clearly having fun in her old stomping/romping grounds, Eve is on edge. Now that she and Villanelle have had an extended interaction (that dinner is still the most unnerving first date ever), it’s frustrating to have to deal with them apart again, and it appears that Eve feels similarly vexed. She also doesn’t get to do much this episode except watch Carolyn flirt.

Unraveling Eve

Eve’s marriage to Niko (Owen McDonnell) continues to crumble, especially after he realizes that yet another of her MI5 colleagues has died a horrible death. Eve lacks patience with his protectiveness because she has a job to do.

Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve"

Dramatic much? Niko’s response is not pretty: “Do you want me to hold onto your cape a little bit so you can go down on yourself a bit more? You’re not saving the world, honeybunch! You’re getting off on sniffing out a psycho.”

He’s not entirely wrong. Eve had long since crossed the line into obsession, and a careless comment that Villanelle “is keeping me up at night” reveals just how all-consuming thoughts of her have become. That Eve feels like it’s her personal mission to find the killer doesn’t sound like it’s just a vendetta for Bill’s (David Haig) murder.

One other note about the sad state of Eve’s marriage: Niko, beyond his excellent mustache, also has the best nurturing skills that are conveyed through food. When Eve was mourning Bill, Niko made stew. It was also his shepherd’s pie that Villanelle ate during that home invasion dinner. And after Eve slaps and shoves Niko, he’s cool-headed enough to say, “It’s OK. Let’s get a curry… We’ll go home and apologize with tea.” Eve may not like her husband, but he is speaking our language. Warm bellies, warm hearts.

Opposing Eve: Villanelle

The ships passing in the night metaphor plays itself out as both Eve and Villanelle, whose real name is Oksana, unknowingly walk by each other at the prison. That’s fine because Villanelle is a little busy, what with hunting down Nadia, getting to see the doctor, and then being thrown in the solitary confinement known as The Hole, only to be betrayed. That was supposed to be her way of escaping prison again, according to her handler Konstantin (Kim Bodnia), but the doctor he told her to see pretended not to know him.

This is the least happy we’ve ever seen Villanelle. Earlier in the car before reentering prison, she appears actually uncertain and nervous.

Jodie Comer, "Killing Eve"

This is also the least glamorous that she’s ever been. The prison is clearly not up to her standards for posh furnishings or stylish attire. Here, she is back to being Oksana and that clearly isn’t acceptable.

Jodie Comer, "Killing Eve"

Opposing Eve: Konstantin

Speaking of Konstantin, it’s not clear whose side he’s on now. Besides possibly betraying Villanelle, it turns out he’s also an associate of Carolyn’s Russian counterpart Vladimir (Laurentiu Possa) and slept with Carolyn back in the day.

The only thing we do know is that he’s still not on Eve’s side. As Eve and Carolyn speak to Nadia in prison, she’s about to reveal the name of the man who helped Oksana escape when Konstantin interrupts her on a trumped-up pretext. He doesn’t want his connection to our fair assassin known.

Killing Everyone Except Eve

After taking out two guards, Villanelle sets her sights on Nadia again and hides cunningly in her cell.

Jodie Comer, "Killing Eve"

Poor Nadia. After surviving the excruciating pain of getting run over by a car, her faithless ex-lover is back to kill her again. Although we don’t see Nadia’s body, we’re pretty sure Villanelle finished the job this time.

Quoting “Eve”

Eve: ”What could The 12 want?”
Carolyn: ”Well, it’s certainly building up to something. I can feel it in my buttocks.”

Konstantin: “You’re in [prison] because you stole some hats.”
Villanelle: “Wow. I am dangerous.”
Konstantin: “They were controversial hats.”

Eve: “So you slept with them both! God, I’m…I’m sorry I don’t like your boyfriends.”
Carolyn: “I’m sorry you don’t like your husband.”

Nadia: ”She’s going to help me and she wants to help you too. She was asking about you.”
Villanelle: ”Who? Was it an Asian woman with amazing hair?’

Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve"

Grade: B-

”Killing Eve” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on BBC America.

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