September 30, 2022

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Killing Eve “Nice Face”

Series One, Episode One.

Alright, I’ve heard nothing but good things about both Killing Eve and actress Jodie Comer.  Comer I’ve seen in a movie or two, and I did like what I saw.  That said, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this first episode.  I saw the showrunner and writer for this episode was Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and about all I knew about her was she was the driving force behind the comedy series Fleabag.

Was Killing Eve a comedy?

Arguably, it could come across as one at first glance, even if it’s a dark one.  The opening scene shows Comer’s Villanelle, a cold-blooded assassin from the looks of things, eating ice cream and exchanging smiles with a young girl.  When she finishes, the guy behind the counter is clearly unnerved about her for some reason and Villanelle spills the ice cream into the little girl’s lap.  Why do this?  On the one hand, it shows the character’s cruelty.  On the other, it is kinda humorous in a mean sort of way.

Meanwhile, just about everything involving Sandra Oh’s Eve Polastri feels like some sort of domestic comedy for much of the episode.  Eve is a member of MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency.  She’s called to work on a Saturday to look into the protection of the sole witness to an assassination of a Russian politician.  Said witness is the dead man’s Polish girlfriend who fled to London, badly injured.  Eve alone seems to think the killer is a woman, and her methods are mostly just good instincts.  Since her husband Niko is also Polish, she knows a little of the language and even suspects the resident translator is maybe not up-to-date on her Polish slang.  Niko has a contract bridge club where a teenage boy named Dom does know the slang, and says the witness is basically saying the killer was “flat-chested”.

It’s little moments like this or just Eve’s interaction with just about everybody that suggested a more humorous interpretation.

Heck, I even found some potential humor of a dark sort with Villanelle’s next mission to assassinate an Italian mob boss in his home given Eve has to trick a small grandson into hiding in a bathroom before she stabs the old man through the eye with a poisoned hairpin.  You know, until the boy finds the body later.

That said, the ending certainly didn’t make me feel like laughing.  Sent to take out the witness, Villanelle actually encounters Eve in a lavatory in a British hospital.  Eve is there with Dom and the protection people from MI5 to get a better translation of what the witness has to say, and basically being in the bathroom is the only thing that kept Eve alive because when she gets back, everyone–Dom, the agents, the witness–is either dead or dying.

That…that took a bit of a turn.  I had no doubt Villanelle was good at her job.  She hid inside a suitcase at one point to avoid detection.  I didn’t expect her to murder four or five people in a few minutes off-camera.

Oh, and her encounter with Eve ended by giving Eve some tips on how to wear her hair.

This sort of failure is enough to get Eve fired by MI5.  It’s also enough to get her hired by MI6 (basically the British CIA) for the express purposes of finding Villanelle.  And her new boss seems to be one Carolyn Martens, played by the always welcome Fiona Shaw.

Anyhoo, this show is already not what I was expecting, so I hope it keeps doing things I don’t expect.  The humor worked, the drama worked, and the characters are intriguing.  That’s good for a start.

%d bloggers like this: