Killing Eve: Can Niko and Eve’s marriage be saved?


Following the events of Killing Eve season 1, Eve and Niko’s relationship seems more strained than ever. What does the future hold for the Polastris now?

One of the ongoing narratives of Killing Eve is how Eve Polastri’s obsession with tracking down the assassin Villanelle is impacting her life well beyond her professional duties and obligations. Eve clearly loves the chase more than she probably should, is impressed by her opponent’s mercurial intelligence, and is likely a bit jealous of the freedom she possesses.

And her growing obsession comes with a rather high personal price tag. During the series’ first season, Eve receives mysterious packages, her home is broken into, and her best friend and partner is murdered in front of her. She even crosses the line into violence herself, stabbing Villanelle during what initially appears to be an almost intimate moment.

Furthermore, since she can’t really be honest with her husband about her dangerous and potentially life threatening work activities, Eve is required to lie to Niko. A lot. Eventually, those lies expand to encompass not just what she’s doing at the office, but how she’s really feeling about those actions.

Plus, even when she is with him, she’s kind of not. Not really. She’s constantly thinking about Villanelle, whether that means how to track her down (season 1) or wondering whether she’s nearby (season 2). Since her return from Paris, it does feel as though Eve is really trying to fix the problems we saw in her marriage at the end of last season. She’s making her husband meals, going to his work events, and basically trying to be the perfect wife.

She’s just not doing a super great job of it.

In fact, in “The Hungry Caterpillar,” we even see Eve’s constant assumption that Villanelle is everywhere encroach into her husband’s life as well. Sure, she didn’t really want to attend Niko’s dull work event. It’s also likely that she may even feel threatened by the presence of Gemma, who feels like exactly sort of woman a disaffected husband would turn to for bit of an emotional — and maybe physical — pick-me-up.

But on some level, Niko may be right. Even though Eve is clearly trying to be there for her husband, she also simply can’t help but make his event all about her and her issues. That she’s ultimately right in the end — Villanelle really was there — is almost an afterthought, because even if she hadn’t been, Eve would have behaved the same way. And that, Killing Eve, is careful to remind us, is actually a bad thing, despite how many viewers want to see the two leads together without one’s drippy husband in the way.

Eve is changing into a completely different kind of person, and her choices are actively breaking apart things she’s worked hard to achieve: her marriage, her job, and so on. Even though it’s clear she still loves her husband, what’s not clear is whether or not their marriage can — or even should — survive this transformation.

Of course, the Polastris themselves aren’t the only problems in their relationship. Villanelle is too. She’s busy working to get Niko out of the picture on multiple fronts, calling the school where he works to complain that he’s inappropriate and pushing that clearly smitten coworker to (more obviously) throw herself at him. Villanelle’s goal here is clear: Get Niko out of the way so that Eve can belong to her. But the thing is, Eve’s doing a lot of the work for her on that front, whether she means to or not.

Are the Polastris truly headed for the separation that felt so inevitable last year?

We’ll have to wait and see.

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Killing Eve airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on BBC America.