Killing Eve episode 6 review: Take Me to the Hole


Killing Eve brings several separate threads together on a messy trip to Moscow that shakes up a lot of what we know about these characters.

After the incredibly intense confrontation between Eve and Villanelle last week, it feels strange to watch an episode of Killing Eve in which the two don’t interact at all. Instead, we’re back to literal ships passing in the night territory as the two women head to Russia to search down a single person, but for very different reasons.

Their mutual target: Nadia, Villanelle’s ex who somehow survived getting run over twice back in “Sorry Baby”.  Eve and Carolyn want to talk to her, believing she holds secrets to The Twelve. Villanelle wants to kill her since she knows about her murderous team mission to England. All, in all, it’s not a great time for Nadia. But it doesn’t look like it’s a particularly great time for Villanelle or Eve either.

Villanelle, forced to go undercover in the prison where she was once held, seems nervous and anxious. This isn’t a look we see on her often, and she wears it uneasily. (Interestingly enough, it’s also the most drab she’s ever been, fashion-wise. We hardly knew you, poor glamorous pink coat!) Though she genuinely seems to trust Konstantin to get her out as promised when her job is done. It probably shouldn’t feel as shocking as it does that Konstantin fails to deliver on that particular part of the deal. That he works with Russian intelligence also shouldn’t be surprising. Yet, when he appears out of nowhere at Vladimir’s dinner with Carolyn and Eve, it’s yet another gut punch.

We don’t know exactly why Villanelle is left in the titular hole. Is this a convenient way to sideline a troublesome operative? Is it time for Villanelle to learn a lesson about her reckless ways? Both? It’s hard to say, most particularly because Konstantin seems less trustworthy than ever here. His affection for his charge seems obvious. Yet, during Nadia’s interview with Eve and Carolyn, he’s willing to sacrifice information about her (re: Anna) to protect himself.

Even in a show as tightly plotted as Killing Eve, we need occasional exposition dumps. “Take Me to the Hole” largely serves that purpose, but the episode does it much less gracefully than “I Have a Thing About Bathrooms” managed. Part of the problem is that there’s no central confrontation to hang the rest of the episode around. There are mutual dramatics, as Villanelle murders her way to Nadia’s cell in prison, and Eve betrays her boss’ confidence to a Russian operative. But, in large part, it feels as though things happen to these women this week, rather than because of them.

Furthermore, as both Eve and Villanelle realize they can’t necessarily rely on the supposedly trusted institutions they work for, Killing Eve takes some story leaps that feel less grounded than anything that’s come before. Is this a narrative tool to make us, as viewers feel as destabilized as both women do? Or is it simply lazy writing meant to reach a designated endpoint? The impeccably high quality of the show to date suggests that Killing Eve deserves some leeway on this issue. (After all, it positively delights in subverting nearly every sort of expected spy trope.)

It’s certainly possible Carolyn’s messy, party girl attitude is a ruse to lull apparent frenemies Vladimir and Konstantin into underestimating her abilities. It’s equally possible that she just loves to let her hair down in Russia simply because she can’t do so in England. Either way, “Take Me to the Hole” certainly adds fuel to the idea that there’s more to Carolyn than we know.

Her behavior from the moment she and Eve arrive in Russia feels wildly out of character. (Though her dedication to that fantastic fur hat is definitely admirable.) While the show attempts to explain it all away by giving her a complicated professional and romantic background with both men, their scenes together feel unexpectedly awkward. Her behavior is super irresponsible for the head of a secret government agency group, just saying. She promises rewards she likely can’t give, offers up information to those she knows she probably shouldn’t trust, and still insists to Eve that they’re “good guys”. Who is this woman? If this is all a fake out, it’s a super deep cut.

Eve, for her part, is also making some epically poor choices this week. Informing Vladimir that Carolyn let him take the fall to protect Konstantin feels like a desperation move. As does enlisting computer whiz Kenny to track down information on Carolyn’s correspondence. She met him what, a month ago? In what world can she possibly think working with Kenny against his own mother is a good idea? (The show also doesn’t explain why Kenny’s so eager to dig up his mom’s past, either. It’s real weird.) We don’t learn the contents of the mysterious letters Kenny tracked down. But from Eve’s reaction, it looks pretty bad. How far is she willing to go with this?

Next: Can we really trust Carolyn on Killing Eve?

Her insistence to Nico that she’s the only person who can do this job, that Villanelle wants Eve to be the one to find her, is another sign that she’s slipping down a very dangerous path. (If the fact she’s physically attacking her husband isn’t enough of a warning sign.)

In fact, it seems pretty safe to assume that things will get worse before they get better. But, for whom?