Liam Hoofe reviews Killing Eve’s season 4 premiere…
When Eve and Villanelle stood back to back and walked away from one another at the end of the show’s third season, most fans let out a sigh. What had once been one of the sharpest and most addictive shows on television has slowly lost its way over the course of its third season. The absence of Phoebe Waller-Bridge as a writer following the end of the first season had seen a decline in quality that really hit home in the third season’s finale.
The arrival of the fourth season has produced a mixed reaction from fans. Some feel as though the show was best left as it was, while others wanted to see it wrapped up with a chance to redeem itself. Based on the opening episode of the fourth season though, it really doesn’t look as though it is going to be able to recapture former glories.
The opening episode, Just Dunk Me, spends the majority of its runtime catching up with the show’s main cast of characters. Eve is now working with a private security firm, while Villanelle has found god and is spending her days in a church.
Villanelle spends the episode resisting the urge to give in to her sins, as she tries to lure Eve in to watch her get christened, while Eve spends most of the time sleeping with a new hunky colleague. All of this is, of course, disrupted by the looming presence of the mysterious Twelve, which looks set to bring the two leads back together for one last run.
The problem with this, however, is that the writing for the Twelve, a shadowy organisation that we should all be scared of, feels tired and cliche. Villanelle was a compelling and unhinged antagonist in the first season, and her unpredictability made the show a must-see. The show has now just moved into knives in the dark and mysterious notes territory, leaving the spark it once had as a distant memory.
The episode also introduces us to some new characters. Yusuf, the aforementioned hunky colleague is played with Robert Gilbert, and Anjana Vasan’s Pam look to be two who will stick around. The latter of these attacks Eve midway through the episode and her motives still remain unclear, while the former will probably end up the same way as Eve’s love interests – with a bullet between his eyes.
Now, there’s no denying that spending time with the two central characters is fun. Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh are both magnificent in their respective roles and their chemistry keeps the show going. But it’s clear that the central cat and mouse theme that really drew fans in and get them hooked has long gone. The ongoing Twelve storyline feels fairly uninspired and the characters feel so far from where they originally started that their final destination doesn’t feel important anymore.
Eve and Villanelle are a dynamic duo who are always fun to spend time with but if the Season Four opener is anything to by then we are not likely to get much excitement out of the pair in the coming weeks. The show has gone from being a thrilling tale of cat and mouse to a tired story about two exes who won’t let each other, or the audience, move on.