The third season of Killing Eve is reaching for its end game with the penultimate episode “Beautiful Monster.”
Despite being injured in her last mission Villanelle gets assigned another assassination by Hélène (Camille Cottin). In London, Carolyn looks for evidence that her boss is a member of The Twelve, and Eve discovers a potential way to find Villanelle. Konstantin’s plans to escape gets complicated when his teenage daughter gets incarcerated in a Russian psychiatric unit.
“Beautiful Monster” had a terrific opening where a Villanelle meets Hélène when she assigns her the mission. Hélène flirts and intimates Villanelle during their meeting: the French woman even seductively touches Villanelle’s wound. This scene showed more of Villanelle’s vulnerability where she reveals she has doubts, but when quizzed further, she deflects with a joke. What Villanelle says to Hélène was typical for the assassin, but it was framed in a sad manner. She uses humor as a defense mechanism.
Villanelle’s doubts were explored further when she goes on her assassination mission with Dasha. Dasha states to Villanelle that the assassin has lost it and was unable to kill. Villanelle nearly blew her last mission, broke down in front of Dasha, and told her handler she wanted to leave. If Eve regained her mojo in the previous episode, Villanelle has lost her. Villanelle and Dasha had some funny exchanges when they were in Scotland. Dasha was bitter towards Villanelle, and Villanelle did her usual combination of jokes and deliberately alternating a plan.
Eve, Bear, and Jamie made for a great comedic trio in this episode. There had some funny moments before this episode, yet “Beautiful Monster” takes it to the next level. It starts with Eve searching in a dumpster, and Bear makes some oblivious comments. The trio was a great team when they were looking at a lead to find Villanelle. This combination of witty dialogue and espionage activities, as displayed here, was one of the main reasons why people loved Killing Eve in the first place.
Carolyn also shows her wit again in her first scene of the episode. She decimates Mo and Eve during their breakfast meetings. Carolyn basically called them stupid in her own biting way.
Konstantin suffers a lot of stress in this episode. He’s feeling the heat from many different directions. He has to keep doing his duties for The Twelve or else raise suspicion and try to maintain his relationship with Geraldine so he can pump her for information. His early interactions with Irina were the most interesting in the episode because he has to confront the fact she’s similar to Villanelle. Irina is intelligent, and a master of languages, but has no empathy. During Konstantin’s visit, Irina was nonchalant despite being surrounded by teenagers with personality problems. Konstantin was normally able to get her out of trouble, but not this time.
“Beautiful Monster” was one of the best episodes of the season so far. It was a great package of humor, character development, and espionage and sets up, hopefully, a great finale.