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In the week after “Game of Thrones” took a beating for giving one character an abrupt and perplexing villainous turn, “Killing Eve” takes another step in its season-long arc to lure MI6 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) to the dark side. This subtle and seductive journey has been a gradual descent into depravity that shows just how much work and psychology goes into breaking bad.
In Sunday’s episode, tech mogul Aaron Peel (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) has become intrigued by Villanelle (Jodie Comer) — who’s working undercover for MI6 as disaffected rich American “Billie” — and invites her to Rome with him as he attends a tech conference. With Villanelle in place and equipped with a tiny surveillance microphone, Eve and Hugo (Edward Bluemel) station themselves in a nearby hotel to eavesdrop and learn what weapon Aaron is selling and to whom.
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What once was Eve’s safe, albeit lurid fascination with a killer becomes something far more deadly when she loses control of herself. Carolyn’s (Fiona Shaw) pointed questions about increased attention-seeking and recklessness don’t just apply to Villanelle the psychopath, but to Eve as well. Although she doesn’t technically give into Villanelle’s charming exhortations, Eve crosses an increasingly blurry line when she sleeps with Hugo during the mission while Villanelle’s voice is in her ear.
This isn’t just a betrayal of Eve’s marriage to Niko (Owen McDonnell) — although that is troubling even if they’re estranged — but it’s a red flag because she does so without guilt for how she treats Hugo. As viewers had learned in the Psychopath 101 slideshow previously, psychopaths see others as “it” or objects, not people.
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Edward Bluemel, “Killing Eve”
The biggest red flag, however, is an understated but heart-wrenching scene that comes before the mission. Eve sets up a consultation with MI6’s psychopath expert Martin (Adeel Akhtar), but he...
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