The tables turn on Killing Eve as Eve suddenly discovers she's the one with competition for Villanelle's attention and "Billie" dives deeper into the Peel world.
Carolyn: Let Villanelle know the safeword is "Gentlemen." ... Er, we're running out of good safe words.
Turns out what a bully wants is a smack across the nose with a book. After last week's showdown between Villanelle's "Billie" and Aaron Peel, this week begins with him asking her back for another round. Not that Villanelle has been lying around waiting. After her evening out, she picked up a couple of party girls who she brought home for sex, not that she can remember their names. Poor Eve is slightly discombobulated, both by the random women leaving Villanelle's apartment and the glimpses into her partner's psyche during the AA meetings. "You really don't feel things?" It's officially a going concern that perhaps Eve is the one in need of therapy.
Billie's dinner date with Aaron is terrifying as all get out. I don't care how many romance novels begin with the rich boyfriend renting out the whole restaurant for a private dinner. When Aaron does it, it's super creepy, especially when he excuses it as not liking eavesdroppers. In an empty restaurant, no one can hear you scream.
Once again, Villanelle knows what psychopaths like in their women. The dinner is spent with Aaron staring at his invitee with disquieting fascination, with a conversation which would lead most on Tinder to swipe left. However, Billie gets what she came for: An invite to go to Rome. The discussion over Billie liking money to own things "and look at them" suggests our murderess has Aaron's number, mirroring his desires back at him. It's hard to tell if she's winning, or if he's letting her win, but that's the twist, now isn't it. The game of cat and mouse from Season 1 has turned into two cats circling one another with their tails on the brink of puffery. Eve, on the other hand, is not handling this well at all. The first half of the season saw Villanelle worrying she had lost the attention of her would-be murderer. Now, with Aaron Peel in their sights, it's Eve always frantically calling, trying to get Villanelle to give her the time of day.
However, Villanelle is too busy having a little fun, not just with Aaron, who she's gaming to kill if necessary, but also at Niko's expense. She follows him and the far-too-into-helping-him Gemma to his storage space for a chat and a chance to see if he's really into Gemma as much as he's pretending to be. He's not, more's the pity for Gemma's chances at continuing to live. Hey, at least we now have a good recipe for shepherd's pie. Also, so much for Carolyn's strict orders about Villanelle killing anyone at this juncture. I do wonder how Eve is going to take this removal of her wannabe rival.
Speaking of Villanelle's orders not to kill anyone, the preparations for Rome are worrisome on many fronts. Eve's inability to stop contacting Villanelle is sure to be an issue, as is Carolyn's choice to send Hugo as Eve's bagman. (They'll sleep together by the end of the episode, let's not pretend otherwise.) Carolyn and Konstantin will also be there, somewhere, but not if things go sideways.
Moreover, as everyone keeps reminding her, Villanelle's job isn't to stop anything or even hurt anyone. It's just to get the names of the buyers (and the thing they are purchasing) on tape. The recording device is hidden away on the pack of birth control pills, the ones Billie supposedly won't be needing, as Aaron has promised not to touch her, and I, for one, believe him.
It all seems rather simple, but Kenny is still trying to sound the alarms from the depths. Despite Eve's firing him, he tries to stop her, insisting something about his new position has revealed she cannot go to Rome. Too bad Carolyn cuts him off before anyone can find out what. Martin also is ringing warning bells in hopes that Eve hears them when she seeks him out for that much-needed therapy session. In return, he tells her his recommendation to Carolyn was to take Eve off the case. Whatever happens now, it's almost assuredly ready to go off the rails.
The place Villanelle is staying in Rome may be a fantasy dream come true, but it's also a prison, one where she doesn't get that oh so carefully packed bag with the pills in it. Instead, she's handed a whole new handpicked wardrobe of Aaron's choosing. Again, I don't care what the romance books say, this, and the sight of Aaron watching Billie try on her new things via the dozens of cameras installed around the house is anything but sweeping a girl off her feet. Panopticons are not romantic ideals. With no word from her partner on the inside, Eve begins freaking out Villanelle hasn't put on the wire and is already ready to find a way to get her the backup, without even knowing about the pill problems.
Hugo, of course, assumes this is his boss obsessing. (Well, he's not wrong, she happens to be accidentally right as well.) In the end, Eve delivers the wire while Billie is out having a snack, but unfortunately, Aaron gets an inkling of her putting it on via his cameras. That doesn't stop him from letting Billie sit in on the negotiations, or to let her see him reveal to people the sheer amount of data he has about every living person on the planet. Watching him neatly fillet his Russian oil money buyer is worth the price of admission.
However, the quiet admiration in Villanelle's eyes when he's done suggests Hugo has already nailed this, even before Eve decides to nail him while listening to Villanelle in the kinkiest threesome James Bond never tried. Two psychopathic cats are the perfect match if they can survive one another.