The second season of BBC America's Killing Eve ended with an explosive cliffhanger, in which assassin Villanelle shot MI-6 agent Eve after the latter rejected her offer to run away together following their messy, deadly mission to Rome. (Short version: The British agency used Villanelle to murder a target and lied to Eve about its actual intentions. Oh, and Eve hacked one of Villanelle's former handlers to death with an axe. Season 2 was awfully busy.)
Happily, we already know Season 3 will air in 2020 - thank goodness - so things aren't nearly as dire as they could be. (Even if Season 2's final episode would have probably worked as a particularly twisted series finale.) But we've still got plenty of questions to ponder to get us through the series' hiatus, about everything from whether certain characters will still be with us when the opening credits on Season 3 roll, to where Killing Eve's larger story is going.
The cliffhanger at the end of "You're Mine" is an almost perfect inversion of the events in the Season 1 finale. Last season, we saw Eve stab Villanelle in her Paris apartment following a moment of near-intimacy. This time, Villanelle shoots Eve after the two commit a murder together. (And Eve rejects both her offer to run away together and her declaration of love.)
Given that Villanelle survived her stab wound, it seems likely that Eve will also pull through her own attempted murder just fine. Parallels and all, you know. (Also, there's just no way that this show killed off one of its leads already.) The real question is what will happen afterward. Not only is Eve likely to be pretty angry about being shot, she's also going to have to deal with the fact that Villanelle is still the monster we always knew her to be. Plus, she killed a man. And her boss lied to her. That's a lot to take in. Will Eve want some revenge of her own?
The end of Killing Eve Season 2 shows us a Villanelle with truly no one in her corner. She shot Eve, the woman she upended much of her life and career for. She thinks Konstantin has betrayed her for the sake of his family. Professionally speaking, she's persona non grata with the mysterious Twelve. And she just killed a very powerful and connected man on the orders of MI-6. She doesn't have a lot of options here.
When last we see Villanelle, she's walking away from Eve's prostrate and presumably bleeding body. But where's she going? What's next for her? Is she headed to that Alaskan cabin she talked about? Does she want to stay off the grid for a while? It's certainly possible, given that she's on the outs with her former handler and just killed a Twelve operative. But mostly one gets the sense that Villanelle might need to lick her wounds for a while, following her realization that Eve wasn't exactly the person she thought she was. (Or wanted her to be.)
During the Season 2 finale, Eve discovered Hugo shot and bleeding to death from a gunshot wound in their hotel hallway. That wasn't the truly shocking thing, though. People get shot and/or die on Killing Eve all the time. No, the disturbing thing was Eve's reaction - and decision to leave a colleague, as well as a man she'd just slept with the night before, to possibly die alone while she chased after Villanelle. Again.
Admittedly, as a character, Hugo is pretty off-putting. He's inconsiderate and fairly misogynist for all that he works in an office staffed by multiple powerful woman. But, just because he's a disgusting person doesn't mean he deserves to be left to die alone in a dirty Italian hallway. But, by the time Eve returns to her hotel everything's been cleaned up - the blood, her files, Hugo's body. So there's every chance we'll see him again in Season 3.
Eve's husband Niko didn't actually appear in the Killing Eve Season 2 finale. Which is probably because most of it took place in Rome, and focused on the utter collapse of pretty much everything Eve worked toward this season. That said, at some point, the story is going to have to deal with Niko, the Polastris' marriage, and the destruction Villanelle left in her wake.
Niko and Eve are still married after all, no matter how much trouble their marriage is at the moment. And now he knows precisely what Villanelle is capable of, since she asphyxiated his colleague, Gemma, and left her body wrapped in plastic for him to find. How will Eve react to learning that she's basically responsible for her death, thanks to her insistence on leaving a murderer free? And how will Niko handle finding out that Eve killed a man on top of everything else?
Season 2 ends with a shot of Eve laying on the ground amidst some beautiful Roman columns. Bleeding to death. Alone. Now, since it does seem a bit odd that a show named Killing Eve would kill off its titular character in just the second season. Possible, of course. But, unlikely. However, if that's the case, the next thing to consider is this - who or what exactly is going to save Eve's life?
Will a stranger somehow stumble upon her? Or a tourist exploring out of the way Roman ruins? Or will Eve manage to save herself, just as Villanelle did back in Season 1? It's hard to imagine her staggering to an Italian hospital with a gunshot wound, but if Villanelle could get around Paris after being stabbed, anything's possible.
There's so much going on in the Season 2 finale that it's easy to miss one particularly intriguing twist. During her face-off with Konstantin, in which her former handler tells Villanelle that he was aware of MI-6's plan to use her to kill Aaron Peel, he also reveals one more secret. Or, at least, he sort of does. He indicates that Villanelle isn't as alone as she thinks. That she does, in fact, still have a living family member. He doesn't say it outright, of course. But he certainly implies it.
Is it true? Who knows. That's clearly a story for season 3. But wouldn't it be interesting if Villanelle turned out to have a long-lost twin sister out there somewhere? And if she does - where is she? Who knows about her? And who kept the truth from Villanelle all this time?
We're two seasons in to Killing Eve now and, honestly, we basically know as much about Eve's mysterious MI-6 boss Carolyn Martens as we did when the series started. Despite her epic one-liners and snazzy sense of professional dress, she's still a character who remains largely closed off to us as viewers. She's shady as heck, but we have no idea why.
Over the course of the series thus far, we've learned that she has tons of secrets. We still don't know why she recruited Eve to her team in the first place. She lies to everyone regularly, including her own son. She's never really explained her strange connections to the Twelve or to Konstantin, nor did we get a real reason for her visit to Villanelle in Russian prisoner. Carolyn doesn't even bother to pretend to come up with an answer about how Konstantin is still alive.
In Season 2, she orchestrated a complicated long con that used Villanelle - and Eve's connection to her - to purposefully murder a MI-6 target she couldn't take out in a more...let's just say legal fashion. Who is Carolyn working for, really? Is she a member of the Twelve? Out for herself? Or part of something even bigger?
Killing Eve's Season 2 finale is full of shocking moments.Villanelle shoots Eve. Carolyn betrays everyone. Konstantin chooses the chance at a life with his family over Villanelle. But perhaps the most surprising is the one in which Eve murders a man to save Villanelle.
Now, Raymond was a terrible person. And he was trying to kill the assassin, even though she was perfectly capable of taking him out on her own. (A fact which Eve did not know.) But Villanelle ultimately wanted Eve to do the deed herself, in the hopes that a shared murder would bring the two women even closer.
That isn't precisely what happened. In fact, axe-murdering a guy seems to make Eve realize that she's not like Villanelle, and doesn't really want to be. (At least for the moment.) But even if that is true, for now, at least there's no guarantee it will always be so. After all, Eve knows how it feels to kill someone now. And she's always had an attraction to darkness - it's how she ended up in this whole Villanelle mess in the first place. Could she go further in Season 3?
The sexual tension between Eve and Villanelle is one of the hallmarks of Killing Eve, as a series. On some level, it's an interesting inversion of similar male-dominated cat-and-mouse series like Luther or Hannibal, in which the flirtation and/or hook-ups between the monster and the person hunting them becomes overtly textual. Eve and Villanelle are clearly attracted to one another, and the sexual tension between them adds a unique frisson to every scene they share. (And even a few they don't.)
But, where can this tension go, ultimately? Season 2 feels as though it got as close to a real Eve/Villanelle relationship as the show is likely capable of doing. The two women worked together, sort-of, even though neither of them really knew the real end-game of their team-up. And that let them have something like a real connection, or at least one that didn't involve either of them chasing the other around the globe. Now that they've both tried to kill the other - what's next?
Killing Eve is a series that's just two seasons old. Yet we've already seen both its leading ladies left for dead. (And at the hands of the other, no less!) It is already time to start wondering where, exactly the show can possibly go from here?
Since we know that - at least for the moment - there is no Killing Eve without Eve and Villanelle, we can all assume Eve will somehow turn up just fine in the Season 3 premiere. But then what? Does she seek revenge on her assassin rival turned crush turned colleague? Is Villanelle still angry that Eve turned down her offer to run away together? What on earth could possibly be next for them?
It's impossible for Killing Eve to keep raising the stakes season after season. After all, at the rate we're going, a double suicide doesn't seem too impossible in Season 3. At some point the show - as well as Eve herself - is going to have to pick a side, for real. Is Villanelle a monster beyond redemption? Can Eve live with herself if she brings her in? Or is their endgame really that cabin in Alaska and a life away from everyone else? Season 3 will need to make some difficult choices about the narrative trajectories of both these women. They - and we - can't keep running in circles forever, no matter how intriguing the dance between them is to watch.