Most critics (and probably a lot of viewers) have looked at Niko as a cheeky gender-flipped version of the wet blanket wife trope. He’s there to be a nag and an obstacle in what our protagonist really wants to do. And that would be fine, except now the show apparently wants us to accept that Eve would not only be so worked up about his leaving that she would notice, but also act out. I mean, I guess.
After realizing that only by imitating Villanelle does he excite his wife, Niko gathers up his self-respect and walks out. And in a turn surprising no one, he holes up with his very friendly coworker Gemma. That’s where Eve shows up to rifle through Gemma’s underwear drawer, break a jewelry box, and yell the episode’s title. And again, I understand intellectually that someone would be hurt by their spouse leaving, but I don’t feel it here emotionally. I don’t feel like they’ve really laid the groundwork for the scene at Gemma’s to pay off.
On that note, I feel the same way about the whole thing with Villanelle and Konstantin working with MI-6. It’s whiplash-inducing, at the very least, to go from “Villanelle’s one of the most dangerous people in the world” to “That’s V, she works for us now.” Although it does make for some funny scenes–Konstantin’s love of popcorn rivals mine–it doesn’t make much sense.
One of the bread-and-butter themes of this show is how obsessive Eve has become since she’s become aware of Villanelle and how treacherous that path can be. After all, Villanelle just killed Bill like, five minutes ago! Eve’s superior and coworkers have warned her repeatedly about getting too close, so to see them all on board with this week’s mission is a little startling.
And it’s not as if the mission seems all that important. Unless we’re being led astray, the weapon seems to be…exposing people’s secrets? I mean, it’s terrible, but the horse done left the barn on that account. Also, it doesn’t seem (at this point) to be something we have to throw so much time, energy, and work at. Aaron Peel did, after all, have several people murdered. But for some reason–plot reasons–we’re going after him for this vague thing.
And for even foggier plot reasons, we’re using Villanelle to do it. I guess it is tough finding a good spy, but this team works for one of the preeminent spy agencies in the world. Was there no go-getting intern they could send out? Let’s all suspend our disbelief and say, “I guess not.” So Villanelle is going in disguise as American “Billie,” so she can get close to Amber Peel (Shannon Tarbet) and then get info on Aaron.
To do so, she cozies up to Amber in a non-union Alcohol/Narcotics Anonymous meeting. And it’s actually a challenge for Villanelle. Her first attempt goes bust because the group sees through her hastily-constructed bullshit. But then she hits on something a little closer to the truth–her never-ending boredom with everything. It’s a moving moment, and outside of the vulnerable side of her we’ve seen this season, it may be the most honest we’ve ever seen her.
And bonus, it works. Amber is receptive to V’s overtures of friendship, although she meets some resistance with Marie, Amber’s chaperone. So Villanelle pushes her in front of a truck. It’s an ice cold reminder that she’s ice cold, but serves mostly to underline how weird it was to hire her in the first place.
But hey, she’s made it to the Peels’ for dinner.* Having not studied her background info on Billie, she’s at a loss, though, when Aaron tries to press her about her areas of study. So yet again, she reacts in the most Villanelle way possible–she belts him in the face. Then she walks out, has a weird interaction in a kebab shop–is Villanelle going to make someone a kebab?–and stalks two random young women. Her night at the Peels’ is played as a failure, but I have a feeling it’s going to work out fine. And that’ll be yet another thing that doesn’t make much sense.
7/10 – I’m trying to have faith that the writers know what they’re doing and that they have a plan, but the rocket-fast speed that’s brought us to these plot points, along with the plot points themselves, are making it hard to keep the faith. The Eve/Villanelle interactions still crackle with energy, but wildly uneven episodes like this don’t.
*A man obsessed with knowing everyone’s secrets allows some rando he’s never met into his home? I mean, I guess.