BBC America's Killing Eve is one of the buzziest series on television at the moment. The cat-and-mouse thriller sets two strong, complicated women against one another and basically turns every trope of procedural television on its head. Its first season was one of the hottest shows of 2018 and its second has been consistently pushing the envelope of what we, as viewers, expect.
One of the main reasons for Killing Eve's success is actress Jodie Comer's sly, ferocious performance as Villanelle. The female assassin is the dark, charismatic heart of the show - violent, ruthless, but always entertaining to watch. Her elaborate kills, gorgeous fashion and smart dialogue are highlights of virtually any episode. Here are ten of our favorite Villanelle quotes.
10 “You should never tell a psychopath they are a psychopath. It upsets them.”
Killing Eve is the story of a female assassin who loves her job. Like, loves it. The only thing that gives Villanelle anything vaguely resembling joy is killing people, which is why she takes such care in the set-up and completion of each of her assignments. (The girl does love flair.)
Yet, Villanelle is also extremely aware that she isn’t normal. She knows that she’s a psychopath, and actually seems to take a significant amount of pride in that fact. Of course, she also uses it as an excuse to do and act however she likes, and often as a threat against others. (When she utters this line, for example, she’s already broken into Eve’s home and held her at knifepoint.)
9 "I had quite a heavy period last week, but other than that I think I'm okay."
Villanelle is an assassin who embraces being a woman as a key part of her identity. She loves designer clothes, plush fabrics, and posh lodgings. She kills people with traditionally feminine tools, such as hairpins and perfume. And, perhaps most importantly, she understands the power that her gender gives her in the world in which she works. One of the first kills we see her perform involves Villanelle counting on a man to mistake her for a prostitute.
In this particular scene, Villanelle is being reprimanded for a mistake – for not following instructions on her last mission. She’s wearing one of the most incredibly feminine and child-like outfits we see her in over the entire course of the show – a huge diaphanous pink tulle nightmare. She talks openly about her menstrual cycle. She understands perfectly how the fact that she is a woman affects the men around her – whether she’s working with or gunning for them – and uses it all to her advantage.
8 “Letting yourself into my apartment and drinking from a tiny cup doesn't make you intimidating, by the way. It's just rude.”
In Killing Eve’s first season, Villanelle’s relationship with Konstantin is one of our only windows into her personality that didn’t involve murder. Their slightly offbeat father-daughter relationship is strangely charming. And, for the most part, it seems genuine.
That, of course, changes toward the end of Season 1. Konstantin betrays her trust. Villanelle kidnaps his daughter and shoots her handler dead. (Or so we all thought at the time.) The two reconnect in Season 2 once Villanelle discovers her handler is still alive. But it’s not long before one betrays the other again.
7 "I just want to have dinner with you, okay!"
Killing Eve isn’t the first series to introduce the idea of a cat-and-mouse story in which the cat and the mouse are a little more interested in one another than they should be. (Looking at you, Luther.)
Here, Villanelle breaks into Eve’s home, but not – as many of us may have assumed – to kill or even threaten her. Rather, she wants to….hang out? It’s not clear whether this dinner is a date or a friendly chat, and the combination of fear and messy sexual tension between Eve and Villanelle keeps those lines firmly blurred throughout their first face to face encounter.
6 "I think about you, too."
"I mean, I m********* about you a lot."
Villanelle and Eve finally confess their feelings to one another in the Season 1 finale, after a fashion. Granted, neither makes a swoony declaration of love or anything. But they both do admit that they can’t stop thinking about one another. And admit that their infatuation with one another has kind of taken over their lives. In virtually every way.
While Villanelle admits her sexual attraction up front (see above), Eve seems more confused about what she feels. Clearly, there’s something going on, but she decides to stab the object of her obsession, rather than look at those feelings too closely. Villanelle, for her part, would absolutely take their relationship to the next level right then and there, in the wreckage of her apartment. But she seems more in touch with her feelings – and honest about them – than Eve is.
5 “Take me to the hole!”
Villanelle’s dedication to her work means she’s willing to do pretty much anything to succeed. Whether that means taking a punch, faking an illness, or getting arrested, she’s up for it, if it means getting closer to the target she’s chasing.
In season 1, Villanelle is forced to enter a Russian prison in order to get to a target. This is a big deal for her a couple of reasons, not the least of which being that she herself has something of a dark history in Russia. But she throws herself into the job with something very close to glee, orchestrating a complicated plan to get herself thrown in solitary confinement so she can complete her task. Her triumphant declaration of the above line is honestly hilarious, even though it probably shouldn’t be.
4 "Sometimes when you love someone you do crazy things."
After Eve stabbed Villanelle in the Season 1 finale, no one had any idea what was going to happen. Would the assassin survive? See Eve as a threat? Seek revenge for what she did to her? None of the above, actually.
Instead, Villanelle seems to find the whole stabbing thing kind of romantic. She definitely seems to see it as confirmation of Eve’s affection for her, and reacts accordingly. She’s not angry with her and doesn’t even seem terribly shocked. Instead, she sees it all as some kind of weird courtship ritual. Which, in a way, makes sense. It seems 100% possible that Villanelle sees stabbing someone as a kind of flirting.
3 “You should really ask before you touch a person.”
Part of the reason Villanelle is so much fun to watch is that she’s everything we all wish we could be. Well, not the serial murderer bits, but still. Villanelle is smart, opinionated and brash. She never lacks for a quip, comeback or perfect one-liner whenever she needs one. And she doesn’t take crap from anyone. She’s a monster, sure, but it’s often difficult not to admire her attitude.
Sure, one of Villanelle’s sassy retorts is almost always immediately followed by a brutal murder. But she’s the queen of comebacks we all wish we had in the moment, and even though we know we shouldn’t root for her, we kind of can’t help it. That’s part of what makes her character so appealing. And so dangerous at the same time.
2 "No matter what I do, I don’t feel anything."
"I hurt myself, it doesn’t hurt; I buy what I want, I don’t’ want it; I do what I like, I don’t like it. I’m just…so bored."
One of the most impressive scenes of Killing Eve season 2 is Villanelle’s undercover trip to an AA meeting. In theory, she means to get closer to her designated target’s sister. (With the blessing of MI-6.) But in order to do so, she has to give up a piece of herself along the way. The AA group is too savvy to accept the story of self-destruction and pity she made up. So “Billie” must share something that feels real. That seems to come directly from the life of Villanelle. We haven’t seen the character this vulnerable in the past. And she seems even more broken than we thought.
Whether Villanelle offers up this piece of herself because it’s true or because it’s what she thinks Eve wants to hear isn’t clear. Maybe it’s a little bit of both. But this scene elevates the character well beyond a campy caricature. And gives her heretofore unseen layers. It’s fascinating – and strangely moving – to watch.
1 "They look like bacon!"
Villanelle likes the finer things in life. Posh clothes, swank lodgings, and all that. One would think she would also be a person that’s into art, but, not so much. On a trip to an art museum with Konstantin, Villanelle’s largely bored. Until she discovers a 17th-century painting by artist Jan de Baen. The Corpses of the DeWitt Brothers depicts the flayed bodies of two men assassinated by their political opponents, a scene which naturally fascinates Villanelle.
Her succinct summation of their bodies is typical Villanelle. Yet she can’t stop thinking about the image. Ultimately, she not only sends a postcard of the artwork to Eve, she recreates it in one of her most elaborate kills to date. (It involves a pink schoolgirl costume complete with pig mask and a death tableau that looks an awful lot like the painting.)