TCA 19: Killing Eve keeps viewers guessing

Killing Eve Panel

After collecting numerous accolades for its thrilling first season, Killing Eve will return with even more twists and turns as Eve and Villanelle continue their lethal obsession with one another. The second season picks up thirty seconds after the conclusion of the first season, with the confused MI6 operative searching for the elusive assassin.

Killing Eve made a profound impact on audiences with its first season, capturing their interest with its unique and fascinating story, compelling characters, and killer fashion sense. The show stars Sandra Oh (winning multiple awards for the role) and Jodie Comer in the leads and was created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag). Emerald Fennell (Call the Midwife) steps in as showrunner for the second season and along with Oh, Comer, Fiona Shaw, executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle, they spoke at the TCA’s about what’s coming next for the show.

Oh and Comer discussed the change in the dynamic between the two characters, particularly since Eve stabbed Villanelle during the season finale. Oh said that they’ve crossed a line and become more vulnerable and Comer added:

“I think what is most interesting about the — Eve’s stabbing Villanelle at the end of series 1 is Villanelle’s reaction to that, and just how she perceives that, you know, how emotionally she perceives that. And I think it both affects them and a changes them in a way neither of them are quite expecting, also, means that at the start of the series we Villanelle in a very different way. You know, she’s completely — she has no control of the situation, and yeah.”

2019 Killing Eve CastThe rest of the team also discussed what makes Killing Eve stand out in the saturated landscape of TV dramas. The show has connected with viewers in a powerful way, and Fiona Shaw (who plays Caroyln) has a theory about what makes Killing Eve so appealing:

“The first reason is, I think, that Sally Woodward Gentle was genius to put Phoebe and those books together. That was a sort of, a gold panning idea, where sudden she just created a nugget, that was a very good combination. But secondly, there’s something about Phoebe’s humor, and Emerald’s humor, that is about the instability of the time that we’re living in now. And, maybe you’re not in any instability in America but we certainly are in the UK… And you know, I think art is a think about releasing meaning. And when you ask about the relationship between these two, almost they don’t know, no more than any of us know, what we’re gonna be like tomorrow. So it makes everybody act differently, I certainly feel it, and I think the other two too. We don’t necessarily know the arc and all the usual rules that you would know in a series. We just hang on and act each scene, because like the characters, we have no idea how the world’s gonna change next, and I think this series absolutely nails that. That nobody has a clue what’s going to happen.”

The team also talked about the show’s uniquely dark sense of humor and how the show can have its moments of levity in between the carnage, according to Comer.

Killing Eve Sandra OhFennell said:

“I mean I think it shows how many of us are monsters, because the darker the humor gets, I think the more people get it, and appreciate it, and again, that’s sort of Phoebe’s genius and the genius of the performers, is knowing where that line is, ’cause so often, you find with a joke, people come in, and they want to play it as a gag, but I think in the world of Killing Eve it’s such a real world, and the macabre strange things that happen, happen to be funny. But there’s never a sense of like mugging, there’s never a sense that this is like a workplace comedy. I think the realness of it is what feels so appealing, certainly to me.”

Oh added:

“And the humor is the open door. I feel like it’s really the open door, it’s how people think that—if you’re fooling people into like going, I’m gonna just relax and have a good time, absolutely. I’m sure we all here want you to enjoy yourself and have a good time. And then hopefully all these other things, these undercurrents, what Fiona was saying will slip in as well. I think humor with comedy is just the door that is easier for people to pass through.”

Killing Eve VillanelleKilling Eve also stands out as a show that examines the female psyche very seriously, not just when it comes to the two leads but also characters like Carolyn, who have hidden layers and desires. The focus of the show is on the female characters and their stories while minor male characters are killed off in creatively gruesome ways.

Another aspect of the show that makes it so enjoyable is the different international locations, from Eve’s London to Villanelle’s apartment in Paris and the various settings where the assassin is sent on missions.

Sandra Oh said that, apart from the writing and acting, what adds to the show is the international feel, how exciting it is to shoot and be on different locations and how this gives the show such “a deep flavor.” She added:

“The setting itself tells it, and there’s a lot, like, you know, there’s a lot of locations that where we’re on that has such a wonderful scope to it.  It fills the story, and it fills the character, and it fills the dynamic in sometimes very, very heightened ways.”

They could not reveal too much about the places the show would go to this season (other than Rome) but viewers can be assured that Killing Eve will continue to be diverse and international in scope.

Don’t miss Killing Eve season two on April 7 on BBC America.

Check out the trailer below: