By Kat Rosenfield and Kat Rosenfield
May 24, 2020 at 10:01 PM EDT
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There's a moment early on in this week's Killing Eve where Elena pulls Villanelle into a savage embrace and says, "Do you know why I love you, Villanelle? Because you're an agent of chaos."

On its face, this moment makes very little sense: does Elena love Villanelle? Didn't they meet for the first time only a week ago? Is Elena, about whom we know virtually nothing, using affection to manipulate her employee — or is she just another woman who (like Eve) has a passionate and peculiar fixation on the wide-eyed assassin? 

On the other hand, it's a moment right at home with the general tone of "Beautiful Monster," which is possibly the most chaotic and disconnected episode of the season (or even the whole series.) Between her disappointing family reunion and her botched assassination in Romania, Villanelle doesn't know who she is or what she's doing anymore. And neither, apparently, do the series' writers.

Thus begins the second-to-last episode of season 3, as Villanelle is given her next assignment, which might also be her last chance. Another assassin, Rhian, is a silent presence in this meeting with Elena; she doesn't need to speak to make the message clear. Even Villanelle is replaceable. 

But geez, of course she is. Female psychopaths are a dime a dozen in the world of Killing Eve! Just look at Irina, who is diagnosed as manipulative, totally lacking in empathy, and "very disturbed" after she mowed down her mom's boyfriend in the last episode. She's also stuck in a juvenile detention facility for the foreseeable future, for no apparent reason except that the story needs her out of the way. (Konstantin doesn't seem worried about Irina's mental state and tries unsuccessfully to bribe the prison psychiatrist to release her — but why, then, would he allow her to be arrested in the first place?) Leaving his daughter in custody, Konstantin returns home to find that he's got a surprise visitor, again, and shrieks dramatically about how people have to stop waiting for him in the dark, again. (Will we get a three-peat of this moment in the season finale? One can only hope!) This time it's Geraldine, who puts on a very convincing show of being lonely, pathetic, and desperate for Konstantin's company, only to abruptly reveal that it's a trap: she just wanted to confirm that he'd been taking advantage of her. Konstantin shrugs his way through this conversation, telling Geraldine what we've known for ages: "I used you to spy on your mother."  

Meanwhile, Carolyn's investigation into her son's death is now focused on Paul, who she's convinced is secretly in league with the Twelve. Mo has his doubts — as would anyone, when Carolyn's suspicions rest mainly on Paul's purchase of an "undrinkable" chablis — but agrees to keep digging, and readers, let me just say now, I hope you weren't getting too attached to Mo. After a day or so of offscreen research, he leaves Carolyn a message: he's found the connection after all. He pays no attention to the brunette sitting on a park bench as he passes; he doesn't notice Rhian as she rises and follows him. Maybe he never saw her coming. Maybe it was over quickly. We'll never know, because just like his investigation, Mo's death happens offscreen. The last time we see him, he's literally dead in the water, submerged in the shallow creek that runs through the park. Rest in peace, Mo; may your heaven be full of omelets and bath bombs.

So, that was depressing. Let's talk about something fun, instead — like, say, Villanelle's take on golf attire! She and Dasha arrive in Aberdeen for Villanelle's next assignment, which is basically just an excuse to put Jodie Comer in a series of insane tartan-based outfits and let her show off her Scottish accent. The women snipe at each other; Dasha gloats about her impending return to Russia, where she'll be reunited with a son we had no idea existed (could he be someone we know?), and taunts Villanelle over her recent aversion to killing. But when they find their target, a slovenly fellow who embodies every negative American stereotype (fat, check; loud, check; lecherous, check), it looks like the women might tag-team this murder… right up until Villanelle swings her golf club into Dasha's head.

BBC America

Eve, who's been tracking Villanelle using the credit card she used to buy her birthday cake, arrives on the scene just as Villanelle escapes with Konstantin. Dasha is still alive, and for a moment, we think Eve might finish the job herself — the old lady sure picked the wrong time to make a snarky comment about Niko's mustache! — but she flees as sirens sound in the distance. And once again, she and Villanelle just miss each other: Konstantin has a heart attack and collapses, leaving Villanelle to go retrieve their escape money on her own, and Eve arrives just in time for them to lock eyes through the window as Villanelle's train rolls away.

And this is how it ends. In London, Carolyn receives the news of Mo's death with typical deadpan resignation — until Geraldine demands that she express herself, at which point she hulks out and smashes the whole room to bits. ("Is that the kind of thing you were after?" she asks, and frankly, it's a fair question!) In a hospital in Scotland, Konstantin is asked by a doctor if he's been under any stress lately and laughs so hard that he nearly gives himself a second heart attack, and in an adjacent bed, Dasha begins cackling too. And as Eve stands in the train station, her phone rings:

"We have to stop running into each other like that," Villanelle says. "It's not good for both of us."

Counterpoint: Isn't it, though? Isn't it great, actually? And with just one episode to go, we have to hope that Villanelle and Eve will meet again before this season is over. The drama demands it.

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