“Meetings Have Biscuits” exposes the major flaw in Killing Eve season 3

Jodie Comer as Villanelle - Killing Eve _ Season 3, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Ludovic Robert/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle
Jodie Comer as Villanelle - Killing Eve _ Season 3, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Ludovic Robert/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle /

As Killing Eve season 3 continues, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the show is largely ignoring Eve’s perspective in the story — at its own peril.

As Killing Eve season 3 continues, the show runs square into a problem that it’s going to have to deal with sooner or later. And that’s that it doesn’t appear to know precisely what to do with Eve – or rather, how to explain to us, as viewers, what it’s trying to do with Eve.

“Meetings Have Biscuits” brings Eve and Villanelle face to face once more – for the first time since Villanelle left her for dead in Rome, and since Eve somehow recovered from that same gunshot wound. The initial confrontation is so out of the blue it almost feels as though it’s meant to be a dream sequence, until we realize that it is, in fact, very, very real.

Technically, Villanelle is in London on another top priority mission for the Twelve, sent to take out an accountant that might spill some of their financial secrets to Carolyn. But of course she fits in a detour to see Eve, because she’s Villanelle and she’s only just discovered her lady crush is alive.

It’s easy to understand why Villanelle would stalk Eve and send her teddy bears with a prerecorded message hidden inside. She’s a psychopath, and she’s obsessed. Heck, she still doesn’t entirely understand what drove Eve to turn down her offer to run away with her last season. Of course, if Eve’s still alive, Villanelle is still interested.

The real question, however, that Killing Eve should be asking is: Why on earth is Eve?

The woman almost died thanks to Villanelle. Several of her friends have died because of her. Her marriage fell apart because of her. She knows Villanelle dangerous, unstable and a threat. Yet, Eve can’t let her go. But, for some reason, Killing Eve seems deeply uninterested in exploring why.

Instead, it’s just sort of presented as a fact, an obsession that’s presented as inevitable as Villanelle’s is, even though ostensibly Eve should know better, and viewers deserve at least the barest wisp of a rationale for her behavior, beyond “sexual tension”, which seems to be what the show is going with at the moment.

Yes, this episode features – finally – an Eve and Villanelle kiss. But…why? What is the reason that Eve’s desire to make out with this woman who left her for dead is as strong as her desire to fight her?

Killing Eve has never really dug into the attraction between these two women in a concrete way.  Eve has been portrayed as wanting the freedom Villanelle possesses as much as she wants Villanelle herself, and the lines between sexual tension, jealousy and rage between them are often paper thin. In “Meetings Have Biscuits,” however, the subtext is finally made fully textual, but it’s somehow not as satisfying as it should be.

Why? Because we have almost no idea what Eve’s POV at this point in the story is. We know she’s devastated over Kenny’s death. She’s clearly still struggling with the physical aftereffects of the gunshot wound that nearly killed her.  She’s in hiding in a crappy apartment, drinking too much, alone. And she’s thinking about Villanelle all the time, apparently.

And…that’s kind of it. The why of these facts remains almost completely unexplored. We have no idea how Eve feels about everything that happened in Rome – including that time she murdered a guy to save Villanelle – and we don’t know whether or how her emotions toward the assassin have shifted in the months since that fateful trip. Heck, we’re not even 100% sure what her emotions toward Villanelle even are.

The problem is that it feels more than ever as though Killing Eve doesn’t have a ton of interest in telling us. Instead, Eve is increasingly treated as an afterthought within her own story. We watch her react to things – sometimes. But we see almost none of her perspective on how her life has ended up the disaster it currently is.

The thing is, Villanelle is such an intriguing character – and Jodie Comer’s performance is so compelling – that most of us will keep watching Killing Eve just to see what’s next for her. The show isn’t afraid of giving her complex and messy material, that stretches our understanding of who this character is, and what we see in her as viewers.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have the same level of interest in Eve – which makes it easier for us, as the folks watching the show, to tune her part of the story out. I have to confess, I’m not particularly interested in her new Bitter Pill crime-solving team, no matter how great Danny Sapani was on Harlots. 

Here’s hoping season 3 figures out a way to make Eve a little more central to the show that bears her name. Because otherwise, where can this season possibly go, besides further down the rabbit hole of all things Villanelle? Nature abhors a vacuum, as they say and Villanelle’s character will naturally expand to fill any and all available space. But this was supposed to be a show about two women, not just one.

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Killing Eve continues next Sunday on BBC America.