Pop Culturing: 'Killing Eve' Returns for a Satisfying Second Season

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Saturday April 6, 2019

Jodie Comer in "Killing Eve" Season 2.
Jodie Comer in "Killing Eve" Season 2.  (Source:Parisa Taghizadeh/BBCAmerica)

[Editor's note: "Killing Eve" Season 1 spoilers follow below.]

One of the biggest questions fans and admirers of "Killing Eve" have is whether or not the excellent spy-comedy-thriller series needs a second season. Centered on a cat-and-mouse game between Eve (the fabulous Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (the equally fabulous Jodie Comer), the first season of the highly popular show could have wrapped up with its eight episodes run but those behind "Killing Eve," which debuts its second season on BBC America Sunday, decided to bring it back for more. Though it ended with somewhat of a cliffhanger, many viewers wondered how long the tension between Eve and Villanelle could last.

Created for TV by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (the auteur behind the extremely popular British comedy series "Fleabag"), "Killing Eve" Season 1 had her DNA infused into the show. She wrote four episodes, including the first two (setting the series' tone) as well as the finale, and the show was punctuated with her odd sense of humor. Waller-Bridge is apparently taking a step back for Season 2, which is a shame as her voice is clearly missing from the two episodes provided for review. Nevertheless, with Emerald Fennell serving as showrunner (she wrote the first two episodes of Season 2), "Killing Eve" is still sharp, subversive and fully entertaining and it makes the case that it deserves to stick around.

Sandra Oh in "Killing Eve" Season 2. Photo credit: Aimee Spinks/BBCAmerica

Season 2 picks up literally seconds where Season 1 ended — the aftermath of the long-awaited showdown between Eve and Villanelle. The MI6 agent is freaking out after having just stabbed the sociopathic assassin in her Paris apartment, seemingly concluding an arduous and exhausting cross-country game of bloody tag between the two women who are drawn to each other's energy. The show could have come to a finish right there, with Eve closing her adventure with satisfying conclusion to an excellent season of television. But we live in this age of never-ending TV where shows are often resurrected, rebooted and reshaped for the small screen. "Killing Eve," being the culture juggernaut and ratings hit that it was, was definitely not going anywhere. At the start of Season 2 we find Eve, covered in blood, coming to her senses after the violent act. She manages to flee the scene, assuming Villanelle is dead, but of course, she later learns that Villanelle is still alive and on the loose.

Meanwhile, a wounded Villanelle is on her own personal mission of finding Eve, being the delicious and ruthless maniac we knew her as during Season 1. (A brutal moment in a hospital involving a child will instantly snap you out of Villanelle's hypnotic charm and have you remembering she's a coldblooded killer.) Villanelle is laser focused on getting to Eve and will do whatever she needs to do in order to get to her. It's interesting to watch Villanelle play from behind: she can't go back to Paris, is gravely hurt and eventually bumps up against an unexpected formidable opponent.

Besides Waller-Bridge's absence, there are a few more changes to the second season of "Killing Eve." Eve is rehired by her shady boss Carolyn (the excellent Fiona Shaw), who is looking into the murder of a powerful Internet businessman. Eve's assistant Elena (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) is no longer on the team, but Carolyn's boy genius son Kenny (Sean Delaney) is still around as are a few newcomers.

Jodie Comer in "Killing Eve" Season 2. Photo credit: Aimee Spinks/BBCAmerica

Over the two episodes, "Killing Eve" Season 2 positions itself for another thrilling ride while remaining every bit as snappy and funny. There's no telling how this journey will go, or what surprises will pop up along the way. At one point, it is suggested that there may be another female assassin involved in this story and an unexpected face shows up in the second episode. But the first two episodes don't explore some of the show's biggest mythology and questions, such as mysterious organization "The Twelve."

"Killing Eve" seems to be in good hands, proving to be a well-oiled machine with interesting writing that is brought to life thanks to its vibrant performers. Oh and Comer continue to be on their A-game and continue to deliver some of the most exciting performances on TV; completely captivating and electrifying each time they appear on screen. "Killing Eve" also remains a beautiful show, globe-hopping around Europe — a rare treat for American TV. There may be some tweak to Season 2 but "Killing Eve" sticks to a well-tested formula and it is every bit as enjoyable and watchable as Season 1.

Pop Culturing

This story is part of our special report titled Pop Culturing. Want to read more? Here's the full list.

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