Killing Eve season 3 review: “End of Game” pulls its punches

Jodie Comer as Villanelle - Killing Eve _ Season 3, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Des Willie/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle
Jodie Comer as Villanelle - Killing Eve _ Season 3, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Des Willie/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle /

As Killing Eve season 3 returns to its main narrative, “End of Game” dials down the stakes by choosing to undo one of its biggest twists.

There’s plenty to like in the latest episode of Killing Eve. “End of Game” continues season 3’s great work of deconstructing Villanelle’s character, poking at both what makes her tick and her desires for the future. It puts Konstantin in a difficult position, and somehow makes his rebellious daughter Irina more interesting than some of the series’ main characters who by all rights should have more compelling stories. (Looking at you, Carolyn.)

But it also proves that this show has absolutely no idea what to do with Eve, and it further muddies the narrative waters of her character by undoing one of season 3’s most surprising twists.

In the first moments of this episode, we discover that somehow, Eve’s husband Nico managed to miraculously survive being brutally stabbed through the neck by a pitchfork. The sheer medical impossibility of this is dwarfed only by the idea that Dasha wouldn’t have made sure that he was dead before running off from the scene of the crime, but I digress.

Because the fact is, at this point Nico is a more compelling part of the story dead than alive. Are there some viewers out there who are invested in this character for his own sake? Does anyone really care about his relationship with Eve at this point?

Furthermore, the fact that Eve instantly assumes that Villanelle was not responsible for his death is wild. Her level of obsession with this woman is….something else at this point, yet Killing Eve is very uninterested in looking too closely at why. Is the bus sequence a few episodes ago meant to just show us that Eve is so in love and/or lust with Villanelle that she’s convinced she truly knows her? Or does Eve simply need to believe the best about her, no matter the circumstances?

Eve’s impromptu search for Dasha feels equally as contrived. She makes some pretty big leaps in logic here as well, which only work out because the story needs them to. And the show still refuses to really interrogate the reasons behind why Eve is behaving this way. Does she think she can somehow save Villanelle? That she’s been trapped and unwillingly molded by people like Dacha and the Twelve, rather than made her own choices?

Basically, what I’m saying is this: At some point, Killing Eve season 3 is really going to have to give us some sort of look into Eve’s POV and what she wants. Which means the show needs to decide what that is. (And if I’m honest, I’m genuinely afraid that it doesn’t know.)

Villanelle left Eve for dead at the end of season 2. But we’ve seen almost nothing of Eve’s response to that. She’s skittish and jumpy, but that’s…kind of it. She’s still infatuated with Eve enough to chase her, to keep the teddy bear she sends her, and to kiss her when given the opportunity. All of that’s great, and are narrative choices that would be easy to get behind, if only Killing Eve would tell me why Eve made them.

Then there’s the Nico problem. Is she…trying to get back together with him? Does she still love him? Or does she just feel responsible for ruining – and almost ending – his life? I have no idea. The idea that Nico was dead at least offered the chance that his murder would motivate Eve to figure out both what she’s doing with her life and how much she’s really willing to let Vlllanelle get away with in the name of sexual attraction.

But, thanks to the un-twist of “End of Game,” we’re left at what is essentially status quo ante for her character, all while Villanelle is on a very clear arc without her. It’s beyond frustrating, and with just two episodes remaining in the season, it’s not apparent if this is a problem Killing Eve will be able to fix.

dark. Next. Killing Eve season 3 review: "Are You From Pinner?"

How do you feel about this season of Killing Eve? Do Eve’s motivations and behavior work for you? Do you feel let down by the Nico twist? Let’s discuss.