The show finds Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer orbiting one another again, playing up the show’s penchant for dark comedy and blood-thirst
One way to avoid that ignominious Peak TV pitfall known as the sophomore slump is to open your show’s second season with the title card “30 Seconds Later.” This, rather deftly, is how the smash-hit psychosexual thriller Killing Eve introduces its new batch of episodes, picking up right after our titular MI6 officer, played with high-strung moxie by the great Sandra Oh, has stabbed Villanelle, the ruthless Russian assassin brought to life with radiant theatricality by Jodie Comer. The opening single-shot sequence is a killer, the camera following Eve down, and then up, and then back down the spiral staircase in Villanelle’s Paris apartment building as she flees the scene of the crime. In less than two minutes there’s subterfuge, streaks of blood, paranoia, and a phone that rings ominously, overlaid by a breathy, synth-driven soundtrack. In other words: welcome back, Killing Eve!
The show, which won Sandra Oh a much-deserved Golden Globe earlier this year, returns with a few modifications: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who adapted the series from Luke Jennings’ Villanelle novels and wrote four of the first season’s eight episodes, has taken a step back and brought on author-actor Emerald Fennell as head-writer.
Thankfully, Killing Eve retains the snap-crackle-pop dialogue of season one, with women, adamant and scabrous, delivering the zingers, and men, generally horny, highfalutin and unknowing, withstanding them. More so than in season one, where Eve and Villanelle were often flanked by game but far-less-compelling supporting characters, the new episodes, two of which were made available for review, double down on what the show does best: cat-and-mouse style suspense, anchored by star-crossed main characters who feel for one another a fascinating mix of disgust, admiration, and sexual attraction.