Killing Eve Preview: “Nice Face”

Photo Credit: BBC America

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

I’ve seen maybe four episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, so while I completely adore Sandra Oh, my affection predates that and falls toward her film work. That said, hopefully those Cristina Yang fans will be all in on Killing Eve, BBC America’s new cat-and-mouse drama series from Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge and based on the books by Luke Jennings. It premieres Sunday night, but the network is already so happy with the show’s eight-episode first season that a second season was ordered today.

Photo Credit: BBC America

Oh plays the titular Eve, which is a bit confusing since ostensibly she’s the pursuer in this scenario, but give it time (and with the renewal today I think that gives us some breathing room on her fate). Eve is an MI-5 analyst and desk jockey who’s bored at work, and happy, but still bored, at home with her sweet husband, Niko (Owen McDonnell), when an assassination case spearheaded by Russian bureau chief Caroline (Channel Zero‘s Fiona Shaw) comes into the office and piques her interest.

Photo Credit: BBC America

Desperate to be and do something more, she manipulates her co-worker Elena (Downward Dog‘s Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and boss, Bill (Penny Dreadful‘s David Haig) and overreaches with a witness to draw conclusions about the killer that nobody else does. As viewers, we learn those conclusions are spot on–the assassin is a woman.

Photo Credit: BBC America

A little less rock and roll than Atomic Blonde, Villanelle (The White Princess‘s Jodie Comer) is a playful, sadistic sociopath whose career as a hired killer is a means to an end for her expensive tastes. Her handler, Konstantin (Kim Bodnia), would much prefer if it she took her job more seriously, but she’s cavalier, and deadly, and so far, elusive to law enforcement, so she presses on.

Eve also presses on and is soon caught up in quite the murderous shit show until another opportunity presents itself, and then the games begin. I really, really liked the first episode, and I love Oh as a woman who’s perhaps settled on a range of fronts, and while not unhappy, she’s now unsettled.

Photo Credit: BBC America

She’s essentially in pursuit of a woman who, in some ways, is “living her best life,” if you’ll forgive the cheesy phrase, so it’ll be interesting to see whether and how Eve will sacrifice her sense of normalcy to give chase. Who will she be at the end of it? And what will her life be? Will it be enough? When we first meet her, she’s funny and a little goofy and unkempt, and the pilot upends her world. Her humor is still intact, but when she gets a surprising offer, you see the “be careful what you wish for” of it all register.

Photo Credit: BBC America

Comier is also very good as someone who’s perhaps equally bored, but she loves her pretty things and the travel and the whimsy, so she’s not packing it in anytime soon. She approaches her kills with a measured sense of observation and study. She watches, she waits, and she gauges behavior and personal interactions, because she has so few of her own, and then she does her job.

She’s a master at compartmentalizing her emotions, and she may just look forward to her jobs because she’s more than a little lonely most days. Eve would certainly present something new in her routine. I look forward to watching their entanglement.

Killing Eve premieres Sunday at 8 pm/7c (which, IYAM, is too early a timeslot, when it’s still daylight out). Here are a few sneak peeks. You can also watch the premiere now on BBC America’s website.

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