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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Killing Eve: Highly Recommended

Highly recommended.  Not killing Eve - she's a great lead character - but the series, Killing Eve, which I just finished binge-watching the first season of on BBC America.

Killing Eve actually has two very memorable characters, rarely seen on television in terms of their mix of quirky intelligence, self-aware sarcastic humor, and utter devotion to their respective causes.  One is Eve, an MI5 officer who gets enthralled (by a combination of volunteering and recruitment) into an MI6 Russia assignment involving a SPECTRE-like group, the spearhead of which is Villanelle aka Oksana, a deft, gifted, peerless assassin who is all but impossible to beat.  The narrative arc continually surprises us with the way the two become obsessed with one another - obsessed not devoid of its positive elements all along the infatuation/love continuum - as Eve tries to stop and capture Villanelle and she tries to kill Eve.   To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, and just to reveal one of many brilliant exchanges, when Villanelle surprises Eve who asks if Villanelle is there to kill her, the assassin replies that all she wants to do is have dinner with Eve.

It doesn't hurt that these two already iconic characters are played by Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy) as Eve and Jodie Comer (The White Princess) as Villanelle, who are mutually perfect in their performances.  Indeed, so much so, that most of the other characters pale in comparison, even though theY'RE well acted and plotted.

As has been pointed out by more than one critic, most of these other characters are men, and the transcendence of Eve and Villanelle in Killing Eve could be interpreted as a paean to women and an attack on the male member (literally) in the world of spying, and, by extension, our world as a whole. Whatever interpretation you care to give it, Killing Eve is one high octane drama, as delightful as is thrilling, with surprises coming almost by the minute as the narrative unfolds.

After I caught my breath after the ending, I was glad to see there'll be a second season.  But I wouldn't bet on who will be doing what ....

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