When it was originally on: 2018-present
Original Network: BBC America
Where you can stream it now: Hulu
Had I seen it before: I’ve seen all of Season 1, but not Season 2.
What IMDb says: After a series of events, the lives of a security operative and an assassin become inextricably linked.
Why I picked it: As I mentioned in my Fleabag pilot review, any show by Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a List contender simply by virtue of being a Phoebe Waller-Bridge show. In addition to her involvement, I also like including a nice variety of new shows on the block who have gotten tons of attention in addition to long-standing staples. Killing Eve is the former. It was a big contender at the Emmys, including Jodie Comer winning the Best Lead Actress category and Sandra Oh nabbing one of the other nominations.
I could see Killing Eve being the kind of premise that fizzles out after a season or two, the kind of thing where we look back later and think “maybe it should’ve just been a miniseries.” But I also have the utmost faith in Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Revisiting this pilot, I’m intrigued to see what seeds are here that can spawn years and years worth of television rather than just one season.
What I liked: Waller-Bridge is brilliant at weaving jokes into more dramatic narratives without it messing up the tone of the show. It’s a tough line to walk, but somehow the humor in Killing Eve just makes this world of spies and serial assassins feel more real. I’m not just seeing Eve and Villanelle defined by their conflicts with each other, but also their mundane interactions with the other people in their lives. And because those interactions are riddled with Waller-Bridge wit, I’m still entertained by them.
I also love how Killing Eve ends with the gruesome murder of a key witness and those charged with protecting her. Sometimes pilots try too hard to save these big moments for later, and that ultimately works to the show’s detriment. Seeing this graphic murder scene helps show that Killing Eve is the kind of show where anything can happen, and not a show where I spend too much time waiting for things to happen. Not to mention this gives our story stakes since now we’ve seen the terrible consequences of what can happen if Eve and M15 are sloppy with their investigation.
Overall, this pilot does a great job of establishing who everyone is, what can happen if either Villanelle or Eve fails at their given mission, and yet it isn’t so invested in this table setting that it forgets to be entertaining. It does a great job of showing what we can expect from future episodes, and making its concept fresh and fun enough that I actually want to see them.
What I didn’t like: While I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s anything bad or not working about the pilot, I’m definitely am still left wondering how long the show can last before it runs out of steam. Eventually, either Eve needs to catch Villanelle or Villanelle needs to kill Eve. I’d hate to see this turn into a sort of How I Met Your Mother scenario where we’re on Season 5 and still wondering when the show is ever going to reach the logical conclusion that’s right there in the title. I could probably watch this spy vs. spy game for more than 2-3 seasons before I get. But I’m also open to being proven wrong.
Do I want to watch Ep. 2: Yes! I forgot how much fun the show could be despite how much murder is involved.