Before I get into this week's Killing Eve, let us give all the credit to the camera shots of that opening scene. One of Killing Eve's greatest strengths is the female gaze of its cat-and-mouse show. Everything in the bar sequence, from that shot of Sandra Oh's back with the braid to the mirrored ceiling work in the lift of her slipping the tracking device into Hélène's purse, is memorably striking, on par with the show's best moments. For that matter, no matter what you think of the Villanelle-Gets-Saved storyline, Jodie Comer's Jesus-In-GoGo-Boots is a great visual gag. That this week's plot doesn't exactly go anywhere fast is at least made up for in styling.
Carolyn: Don't try and outsmart me; you haven't got the neurons.
Speaking of Jesus, because this show won't let him lie, Villanelle is off with her church to a camping retreat. The Vicar knows something happened last week with her and May because May won't go anywhere near her, forcing Villanelle to confess her sins to the girl in hopes of making up. One would think admitting one is a serial killer to someone whose life they just attempted to take would not go well? But Nelle manages to charm her way back into May's heart and even manages to get some dirt on the Vicar as a reward: He killed May's mother, Mary. No, he's not a serial killer or even a domestic abuser. She died in a car crash while he was drunk behind the wheel.
As always, Villanelle is not slow or subtle in using this information in an attempt to overthrow him, taking the old postie-note-to-the-forehead Name Game and using it to call out his crime. (To be fair, he started it by putting "Hitler" on her forehead.) It's an ugly scene, much to Jesus' chagrin. (It's too bad she doesn't listen to her gogo-boot-wearing friend, they seem a good person.) But as one would expect, it all backfires. May is enraged that Nelle betrayed her confidence, and the rest of the group already knew and forgave him for his sins.
Barbara takes up the mantle of leader after the Vicar and May disappear, leading the congregation in tossing Nelle out of the group. So much for Christian goodness — Villanelle returns and slaughters both the Vicar and May after overhearing May's anguished confession that Nelle now seems to have been the devil. She also nearly kills Jesus, who seems really into being held down and asphyxiation. But when challenged to finish the job, Villanelle decides to let this god-among-men live. After all, she may not be all good and light, but she's not Satan.
Meanwhile, in Russia*, Carolyn is settling into her defector role, proving herself knowledgeable to Vlad about certain members of her former circle and declaring Hugo ripe for honey-trapping. (I see no lies here.) It's going to be a long road to getting her revenge on the Twelve, though. As Vlad notes, the Russian KGB isn't fond of rats, and that's all she is right now. And her information is only so useful. Hugo honey-traps perfectly; however, one of the other contacts she gives up hangs herself.
*Killing Eve Season 4 was filmed from June-Nov 2021, so obviously, the main story it was sidestepping at the time was the pandemic. No one imagined that there would be an entire war on over in Ukraine when the show arrived, upending the longrunning hand-in-gloves across Europe of Carolyn's MI-6 history. But also: Awkward.
As Nelle stays lost in Hemel Hampstead and Carolyn finds rats in her cupboards, Eve does all the traveling that was once reserved for them. She's flitting about London in a variety of stunning outfits, heading to Paris with her hot boy-toy, going out to restaurants I'd die to eat at, and looking to Martin for permission to do things her way in handling The Twelve. Her ideas will probably get her killed, but despite Yusuf's insistence Eve behave herself, she does not. Instead, she walks up to Hélène's front door with a bag of groceries, intent on playing "Asian delivery girl," which has worked so many times before.
It doesn't work this time. Hélène is waiting, having discovered the tracking device in her purse. (It was disguised as a tampon applicator, which Hélène claims she doesn't use. Some people like blood on their hands, I guess.) Eve pivots fast, declares herself to make them dinner, and sets about cooking shepherds pie. But a quick slice of her finger by Hélène's excellent chef's knife ends that party. The two wind up in the oddest torture scene, as Eve attempts to hold Hélène's hands to the fire — well, the stove's electric heating element, to be precise — to get information on the Twelve. (I suppose this is where we should be glad induction ranges are still too pricey to grace the average Parisian kitchen.)
Hélène doesn't seem fazed by any of this, certainly not Eve's threat to take down the Twelve, which she also claims to desire. She doesn't even blink when her kid, Chloe (Anastassia Melehes) comes out to see who maman is talking to and skillfully ropes Eve into reading the child a bedtime story. (Oh's French is impeccable as she reads aloud something that is very much not the Le Schtroumpf Sauvage the child is holding.), When Eve asks Hélène why she wants to take down the Twelve, Hélène promises to answer after dessert. Hélène then asks what her plan is, and Eve responds that she too will answer that question after dessert sometime. At least Eve walks out of the apartment alive, for now.