REVIEW: Killing Eve, S1 Ep7 – I Don’t Want to Be Free

Killing Eve, S1 Ep7 – I Don’t Want to Be Free

The penultimate episode of Killing Eve delivers kills and thrills while giving us a glimpse into Villanelle’s past and driving home the cold, hard, truth that no one is who she seems on this show.

As if Villanelle was ever going to stay locked up for long. She escaped from the prison where Konstantin tried to trap her in last week. But since this is Villanelle we’re talking about, there was bound to be bloodshed. First, she was put in a cell with a seemingly catatonic woman who turned out to be a ruthless murderer the moment her companion falls asleep. But even she was no match for the master assassin who commits one of the grislier acts on the show by biting the other woman’s next.

Killing Eve, S1 Ep7 – I Don’t Want to Be FreeAs Villanelle is transferred to another unit, her employers bust her out, but not without killing a bunch of guards along the way. She watches the carnage with gleeful fascination and she encourages her fellow inmate to enjoy her newfound freedom. But the girl is too anxious to be thrown back into the real world and, in another darkly comic moment of Killing Eve, the girl says “I don’t want to be free. I’d rather die…” and then gets shot in the head.

Villanelle meets her new handler, Anton, who loses no time in being arrogant and patronizing to her. She quickly shoots him in the head and then goes off in search of Konstantin.

Meanwhile, Eve continues her investigation with the help of Kenny, who flies straight from London to provide IT support and to show her the bunch of filthy love letters his mother had hidden away. While it’s clear at this point that Carolyn Martens has much to hide, I wouldn’t trust her son just yet. He might seem friendly and innocent, but there’s something suspicious about how easily he would betray his own mother. And Killing Eve has made it clear that practically no one can be trusted at this point.

Killing Eve, S1 Ep7 – I Don’t Want to Be FreeEve tracks down the Anna who has played such a pivotal part of Villanelle (real name: Oksana)’s life and whose husband Oksana castrated and murdered. Anna turns out to be a teacher of foreign languages with the same thick, curly, black hair that Eve has. So if we were ever in doubt about Oksana’s fascination with Eve, this clinches it. And to drive home the point, Anna even warns Eve that the latter is Oksana’s type. (Eve later tries to call her husband, no doubt to warn him of the potential danger to his life and manhood.)

Eve learns more about the troubled girl who would become a master assassin. As expected, especially for those of us who have been watching the show, Oksana was a charming, intelligent girl, with a facility for languages. Anna decides to give her a chance and so they grow closer. Oksana adapts Anna’s love for French culture and fashion and then later lavishes the teacher with designer clothes and perfume (just like Eve). After a throwaway remark by Anna about her husband, Oksana takes it literally and performs her dastardly deeds.

Killing Eve, S1 Ep7 – I Don’t Want to Be FreeDespite her outward show of grief over her husband’s death, Anna still seems to be hiding something about the true nature of her relationship with Oksana. She seems keen to see her now that she knows the girl is alive. And there’s something suspicious about her keeping all of Oksana’s letters and gifts.

In the most powerful part of the episode, Villanelle confronts Konstantin in his own home, having supposedly stashed his wife and daughter somewhere. She says that The Twelve want him dead and he asks to be allowed to choose the manner of his passing. He pretends to take some deadly pills while giving an emotional speech to Villanelle about how proud he was of her, how much he loved her, and how great she was destined to be. He said everything so sincerely that he seemed to elicit some genuine emotion from his captor. He took advantage of this rare moment of vulnerability to hit her with his glass of whiskey and then to run off and escape on a motorboat, like a stereotypical Bond villain.

The big twist comes when Eve and Kenny find CCTV footage of Villanelle at the prison. And who meets with her? Carolyn Martens.

With one episode left for Killing Eve, I don’t know how this elaborate mystery will be explained but it’s been a bloody and compelling ride so far so I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.