The mediocre structure has shifted, presumably because we’re now halfway through and something substantial needs to happen. And thank god it has. But it’s like the writers' room suddenly disliked what they’d written and didn’t have enough time to change it, making their edits in this episode instead.
Key to these changes relates to Villanelle’s prison sentence, a situation that's resolved rather easily. Although the circumstances are miraculously untangled, they allow the assassin to resume her former sadistic identity (sorely missed).
Anjana Vasan and Kim Bodnia as Pam and Konstantin. Photo: BBC
There’s also Konstantin (Kim Bodnia), who has bizarrely abandoned his mayoral duties in Russia to train the aspiring assassin Pam (Anjana Vasan). Again, the writer Kayleigh Llewellyn reanimates previously successful dynamics instead of stumbling through kooky alternatives. Pam’s growing into a series favourite, her uphill journey from silent and solitary to strong and assertive is a joy to watch unfold. As this critic wrote last week, she's a great leaping-off point for a potential spin-off.
Similarly, The Twelve member Hélène (Camille Cottin) reveals the true power she wields in this internationally ridiculous game. More than that, her seductive and subtextual battles with Eve (Sandra Oh) are becoming compulsive, hilarious viewing. This season has been light on laughs considering Laura Neal (Sex Education) is the showrunner, but the humour really punches when it arrives.
Fiona Shaw as Carolyn. Photo: BBC
Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) was in danger of becoming less interesting, her connection to the Russians providing sparse entertainment or reward. She's had little to no connection with Eve, Villanelle or even MI6. But episode four rectifies that in a sun-kissed Havana, where she’s holding a ‘bilious’ male member of The Twelve under lock and key. The man in question is injured: having had his toes cut off and shoved up his nose. This leans into twisted comedy, of which this season has been bloodlessly deprived.
This is a strangely entertaining 40 minutes, improving upon mistakes and maybe opening doors to superior episodes in future weeks. Hopefully, it’s not a fluke. However, the plot directions raise a concern about the eventual fate of The Twelve: what if they’re not defeated by the time Killing Eve finishes for good? If they keep going, what’s been the point of watching thus far? Hélène indicates that the organisation can’t be stopped, so will the bad guys actually end up winning?
Killing Eve season 4 continues Mondays on BBC iPlayer and Saturdays at 9:15pm on BBC One.
|What||Killing Eve, season 4 episode 4, BBC review|
21 Mar 22 – 21 Mar 23, ON BBC iPLAYER
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