Good news for those looking for fresh TV fare while sheltering in place: the third season of Killing Eve, the Emmy Award-winning spy thriller series starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, is coming to TV two weeks early.
“We know how adored this series is and we know how keen people are for great content right now,” Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios, said in a statement. “This season of Killing Eve digs deep psychologically, and with actors like Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw the results are nothing short of astonishing. We literally couldn’t wait for fans to see it.”
(Some spoilers for first two seasons below.)
Based on Luke Jennings’ series of thriller novellas, Codename Villanelle, Killing Eve features a self-described psychopathic killer for hire named Villanelle (Comer), who is so good at her job that she frankly starts to be a bit reckless with her assassinations, much to the consternation of her handler, Konstantin (Kim Bodnia). Her string of corpses catches the attention of an MI5 officer named Eve Polastri (Oh), who is obsessed with female killers and correctly guesses there is a new player among their ranks. Eve’s insight earns her a spot on a top-secret MI6 team led by Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw).
It’s the strangely perverse attraction the two women feel toward each other that drives the dramatic tension in Killing Eve, leading to a sexually charged cat-and-mouse game where it’s not entirely clear who is the predator and who is the prey. Each sees a bit of herself in the other—and that naturally causes serious conflict between Eve and her long-suffering husband, Niko (Owen McDonnell). The first season ended with a bona fide cliffhanger: when the two women finally meet, they curl up on Villanelle’s bed for what the killer thinks will be a romantic interlude. Eve stabs her with a knife and flees, leaving Villanelle to bleed out (or so she thinks).
The second season opener found Villanelle in a Paris hospital as Eve unsuccessfully tries to find her, before being called back to London to rejoin her MI6 team to track a new female serial killer, nicknamed the Ghost. Eventually Villanelle and Eve join forces to find out what tech company heir Aaron Peel (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) has to do with the string of assassinations. And in the season finale, Villanelle takes her revenge, shooting Eve amid Roman ruins and leaving her for dead.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) served as showrunner for the first season, while Emerald Fennell took over the reins for S2, and Suzanne Heathcote will serve as showrunner for the third season. Based on the trailer, it looks like the stakes are being raised higher than ever for S3. Per the official premise:
“Season 3 continues to follow the lives of Villanelle, the assassin without a job, and Eve, the ex-MI6 operative hiding in plain sight. All seems fine until a shocking and personal death sets them on a collision course yet again. The journey back to each other will cost both of them friends, family, and allegiances, and perhaps a share of their souls.”
“I just had a really bad breakup,” we hear Villanelle say in a voiceover, as we see her dressed as a clown at a children’s birthday party—no doubt yet another assassination mission. “But when I think about my ex, I realize—I am so much happier now she’s dead.” Cut to a clown-faced Villanelle screaming in rage and terrifying a small child. Apart from the occasional outburst, Villanelle seems to be thriving, with luxurious new digs and plenty of work to keep her busy.
Then Konstantin shows up and tells Villanelle that Eve is still alive, while Carolyn tells Eve that Villanelle is back, setting off another spiral into their mutual obsession. The montage that follows gives little away in terms of plot, but all the elements that made the show such a fan favorite seem intact. Villanelle has clearly lost none of her kooky-chic fashion sense, while Eve continues to choose comfort and pragmatism over style. And who is that mysterious middle-aged woman going head-to-head with our favorite assassin?
Killing Eve returns April 12, 2020, on BBC America.
Listing image by YouTube/BBC America