When it comes to the combination of witty dialogue and appropriate musical choices, few shows come close to that unique style Killing Eve pulls off so well. After the cliffhanger ending at the end of the last season, it was always going to be inevitable that Killing Eve would return for a third season, especially given how popular the show has been over the years. While the series (and this subsequent opening episode) are not without its problems, there’s enough here to get invested in the plot that’s being built so far.
With both Villlanelle and Eve running parallel to one another for the entirety of the episode, the juxtaposed way these two find themselves thrust back into the thick of things is an interesting tool that’s utilized perfectly here, with a shocking twist to boot at the end.
After Villanelle shot Eve and left her for dead, we begin Killing Eve Season 3 back in Moscow 1974 with a young Dasha being berated by her coach after practicing gymnastics. In the locker room, she takes her anger out on a boy who gives her words of encouragement, leaving him a bloody mess on the ground.
Back in the present, Villanelle attends her wedding to Maria and offers up some dark humour, talking about her ex and how happy she is that she’s dead, This “she”, of course, refers to Eve. Unfortunately things quickly go south as Dasha arrives to spoil the party, with the two of them ending up fighting in the middle of the festivities.
Back at MI6 in London, Carolyn comes under fire as a new superior called Diane takes the reigns of the company, overseeing proceedings. Carolyn faces her wrath as she’s called into a meeting, with her boss going on a tirade and mentioning all the things that went wrong in the last operation, including Eve’s death. “Well Carolyn, what on earth do you have to say for yourself?”
As a wry smile looks to cross Carolyn’s lips, we cut across to Eve herself, very much alive but clearly in a bad way. Still suffering from her gunshot wound, she resides in New Maiden, England working with her family. However, she refuses to show her face at the front of shop and sticks with grueling work in the kitchen instead.
In Barcelona, Villanelle learns she’s been watched since Rome. Dasha offers her everything she wants but Villanelle is having none of it, seeing through this facade. Instead she ambitiously asks to be higher than Konstantin instead and be placed as a Keeper.
The next day Villanelle gives Dasha’s gymnastic girls some advice. When they leave, Dasha and Villanelle continue to bicker and verbally spar until she finally accepts the next job Dasha’s tasked her with. Posing as a delivery driver, Villanelle heads into a store in Girona and chokes out her target, symbolically dumping powder on her.
Konstantin comes under fire from his superiors, receiving a message with his take-out order reading “Time to go fishing”. Meanwhile Kenny distances himself from his new work colleagues and after receiving a message from Eve, heads over to her apartment to check up on his former colleague. It turns out Kenny is now an investigator too and he’s been digging deep into the archives surrounding The Twelve. She tells him to stop and starts weeping as painful memories of the past come flooding back.
As night turns to day, Kenny heads back to work and continues to research. Eve phones him and takes him up on the offer of drinks, needing some semblance of normality back in her life. When she hangs up however, someone approaches Kenny from behind. As we cut to Eve, who shows up at his work, she finds him gone. Picking up his phone, she looks out the window and looks in horror as Kenny’s twisted corpse lies face-down on the concrete. As she looks up, Eve realizes someone has thrown him off the roof.
With a shocking twist and lots to digest going forward, Killing Eve returns with a frenetically paced episode that catches us up on all of our characters while setting the scene for the season to come. The excellent humour returns this season in a big way too and whether it be the witty banter between Dasha and Villanelle or the slow-burn set-up of the Tangfastics thief, this series has always done a great job capturing that dry and clever humour Brits manage to nail so effectively.
If there’s one downside to this episode it comes from the numerous jumps all over the world which does offset the pacing a little. The episode needed another 5 or 10 minutes to really add some substance to some of the scenes, with the constant hops coming thick and fast – along with the flashback scenes early on. It all feels a little messy but thankfully the tone remains intact.
Of course, with a show like Killing Eve it was always going to be difficult to capture what made the show so appealing to begin with. Personally, I’ve always felt like the show has had problems from the very beginning – especially in the first season with the final few episodes. The second felt more urgent and tonally assured of itself and the third season gets off to a predictable but enjoyable start nonetheless. Quite what the rest of the season has in store for us though remains to be seen but it’s still early days yet and this opening episode is enough to keep you sticking around to see how this one pans out.