Okay LISTEN UP murder babies. This is the Killing Eve 407 recap, and it contains *significant spoilers* for Killing Eve season four, episode seven aka “Making Dead Things Look Nice.wp_postsThis episode has not yet aired on television and will not air on television until this Sunday, April 10th right before the last episode ever (confusingly, I think it’s being packaged as a two-part series finale) HOWEVER, 407 is literally already available on the AMC+ streaming app, and I know a lot of superfans who have been watching on the app have been bummed out that these recaps have been following the TV schedule and therefore have been a week behind (I’m sorry! To be fair, Vulture and other outlets did it this way, too!), so I am doing double-recap duty this week. Ultimately, this also makes the most sense because it means I can focus on the actual series finale next weekend and we can get all of our theories, hopes, dreams, and wishes out ahead of that final episode. So please definitely take to the comments here with those finale hopes, dreams, and wishes! I want to hear them! But if you are waiting to watch the episode on television next weekend and do not wish to be spoiled, just skip this recap and come back later! You can still contribute thoughts n feelings to the comments section for episode 406, and then we can all convene together next week for the real finale. Okay, that’s my spiel! Past recaps here; Villanelle/Eve personality quiz here!
That’s what Eve wants to know.
She has completed her mission, albeit in the sloppiest way possible, not really cutting off the head of the monster like she wanted but just a head of the monster, one that will surely sprout back.
“Now you have to find a new ordinary,wp_postsYusuf tells her. “The old one’s not gonna fit.wp_postsBut at the same time, he has just handed her Hélène’s phone, freshly unlocked. Does he really think Eve is going to stop obsessing over The Twelve? Does he not know he’s leaving the door open by handing her this phone? (Let’s be real, even without the phone, Eve probably would have found a way back down the rabbit hole. She has never fully emerged from it.)
Yusuf convinces Eve that what she needs is some fun. Specifically, what she needs is karaoke. I am grateful for Yusuf, because thanks to him, we get to see Sandra Oh sing, which is always a delight!!!!! The two head to a private room karaoke joint to blow off some steam in a very KKU-approved fashion. Eve taps out early during “Got To Be Real,wp_postsand Yusuf says that means he gets to pick a solo for her (my kind of people are the kind of people who have a Karaoke Code, so once again, I do like Yusuf).
He puts on “Chandelierwp_postsby Sia.
Eve correctly points out it’s a very difficult song to sing! She stumbles a bit through the first verse, but by the first chorus, she has found her groove, and wow just like pour buckets of awards on Sandra Oh’s head? The singing, yes, but also the ACTING that is happening in this karaoke sequence!!! I worship at her altar.
In between “one two three, one two three drinks,wp_postsEve starts seeing things. More accurately, she starts seeing people. There, crowded together in the little karaoke room booth, are people from her past, some of them dead, some of them just gone. Niko, Bill, Keiko, Elena (Kenny isn’t there, which I have to chock up to the actor not being available, because I have bent over backwards trying to figure out a narrative/character-based explanation and can’t come up with one). They sing along with her, happy and drunk and there. But it’s just in her head. It’s just Yusuf there with her, and he doesn’t know past Eve. That’s why she likes him.
I don’t interpret this as Eve feeling guilty for the people she has lost or even as Eve longing for her past, for a simpler time. I interpret it as Eve feeling guilty for not wanting that life anymore. Her old friends, her ex husband, they’re here not to celebrate with her but almost to taunt her, condemn her. This is the fun, free, happy life she could have, and yet she doesn’t want it. After all this time, Eve still struggles to know who she is.
At the beginning of the episode, we see Eve walking with shopping bags draped on her arms. It’s a perception trick. The bags are not her own. She catches up with another woman, who hands her more bags. Eve is working personal security detail. She will certainly never be happy living life like that, following someone else, always a few paces behind.
After she stumbles out of the karaoke bar and into the alleyway, Yusuf follows. He tells her she has to find the parts of her life she can bear and live from there. He speaks from personal experience, saying that of the seven men who made it back from his last tour, only three are still alive.
“What if I can’t move on?wp_postsEve asks.
“You can, you can,wp_postsYusuf says.
“What if I don’t want to?”
There it is. Eve doesn’t know what comes next, because she knows she’s supposed to move on, to do something different, and she doesn’t want to. She wants to stay on the path she has been on, a path of simultaneous self-discovery and self-destruction.
It sounds like a good time for therapy, so that’s exactly where she goes. Poor Martin, forever at the mercy of emotionally needy killers! He stacks creamer packets while Eve talks, an apparent grounding strategy.
“Do you know I used to be married?wp_postsEve begins. “I used to play bridge. I used to sing karaoke. I just watched a woman bleed to death and killed a man. I wanted to. I wanted to kill him. So I did. I wanted Villanelle gone, and now she’s gone. And unbelievably, I survived. For what?”
Martin says she has to find small joys in life, a glass of wine, a crossword, anything. His advice echoes Yusuf’s, but here there’s a little more light. Yusuf said she merely had to find the things that would make life bearable. Martin says she has to find small joys. Eve wants a concrete reason for it all, for everything she has gotten herself into, for life itself. “The reason why we’re here is to know ourselves,wp_postsMartin says. Eve has never been so good at that.
All episode, Eve is looking for answers to what now?
“Whatever you do next, you can choose,wp_postsYusuf tells Eve.
“Whatever you’re going to do Eve, don’t do it alone,wp_postsKonstantin tells Eve.
“The most important thing you can do right now is to go to the people that love you. Who understand you. Who know your soul,wp_postsMartin tells Eve.
All signs point to Villanelle.
Far away on a remote island in Scotland, Villanelle wakes up in a haystack in a barn with a goat. This season really has been stepped in religious and spiritual imagery and symbolism, and I find it fascinating. Especially because there’s a mix of mythologies at play. Here, Villanelle’s barnyard slumber evokes the Bible. But we’ve also had touches of Roman mythology, particular through the invocation of Cupid and Psyche a couple episodes back. It’s like we’re getting a super queer, super weird retelling of some of these tales, which in their original versions are just as violent and blood-soaked as the story unfolding here.
Gunn comes home with a kill — not an animal, but a man she has hunted, a man she claims has been trespassing on her property, fishing on her shores. She drags him into the barn and tells Villanelle matter-of-factly that she is going to filet him, and she does just that, spilling out his organs, butchering him in revenge.
Villanelle is delighted by this. It’s so nice to be seen, you know? When Gunn says she’s going on a hunt, Villanelle joins her. They track wild boars. When Gunn lifts her crossbow, Villanelle asks if it’s what she shot her with, and Gunn shhs her. It’s all very playful and funny. I said to my girlfriend: It’s like they’re the butch/femme sides of the same coin. I stand by it.
“The woman cradling you in Margate,wp_postsGunn says while hacking up an animal, cutting out its rot. “Who was she?wp_postsVillanelle says nobody, and Gunn repeats nobody in a way that acknowledges she knows Villanelle’s lying and that the woman was absolutely a somebody. “You gotta cut the rot out before it kills you,wp_postsshe says.
Eve, after all, isn’t the only one wondering what now. Villanelle made a choice. She made a choice to leave Eve. She came here to this island as a literal escape. Simply put: She’s rebounding.
She asks Gunn about her life here and about why she had her kill Hélène instead of just doing it herself. Gunn says her entire village in France was wiped out by a poisoned water source, that she went to Paris and eventually was found by Hélène, who offered her this island in exchange for her working for The Twelve. Gunn got what she wanted, just like Villanelle used to get what she wanted from The Twelve. Gunn got her animals and her trees and her land, and Villanelle got her fancy clothes and money and lavish Parisian lifestyle. But Gunn says she had the same realization Villanelle had a while ago: Hélène was just using her. “Such a bitch,wp_postsVillanelle says. “Big bitch,wp_postsGunn adds. They bond over their shared hatred of Hot Hélène and then they bond over the idea of three gallons of sodium cyanide mass poisoning an entire village. Again, it’s so nice to be seen!
When they kiss, it’s rough, like they’re unsure whether they’re attacking each other or making out. It’s not a surprising dynamic. It’s nice to be seen by a fellow psychopath, but they’re almost too energetically similar, vibrating on the same fraught frequency.
Meanwhile, in Salzburg, Carolyn follows up on a lead from the date book she stole off of dead Lars/Johan. An old man in beige offers her an aperitif. “It’s an incredible feeling. Being inches away from the thing you’ve been looking for. Remarkable.wp_postsHe’s talking about birding, but really he’s talking about this entire goddamn show.
Then old flame Vlad shows up, ready to drag her back to Russia. “You’ve left a wake of betrayal behind you, Carolyn,wp_postshe says. It’s true. Carolyn really has no real allegiances left intact. She has only herself. She muses on what she knows to Vlad: The Twelve operated in cells, and those cells were kept separate from each other to defend against attack. But every once in a while, the leadership meets. A symbol of a barn swallow penned in Lars/Johan’s date book seems to be the key to those big meetings, and it’s what brought her here, to this cafe, whose ornate decor is full of barn swallows. But Carolyn thinks she may have gotten it wrong. Something Vlad says tips her off, and then she convinces him to let her go and to instead bring back to Russia the man in beige who offered her a drink, saying she’s pretty sure he’s an assassin sent to kill her. Vlad agrees. Carolyn’s only got herself, but she still has a way of getting what she wants from others — especially from men, who are so easily charmed by her.
After therapy, Eve attempts to dismantle her conspiracy board. She lingers on a photo of Villanelle. Then Hélène’s phone lights up with a message: a picture of the barn swallow. She goes to Konstantin, who tells her The Twelve has gone digital. The image is a message signaling a meeting. Eve tells him Hélène is very dead, and something clicks for Konstantin. He sees a way out.
Earlier in the episode, Konstantin gets a call from his daughter Irina, who laments to him that he should have cared more about her and less about “shithead,wp_postsher affectionate pet name for Villanelle. “Maybe if I work for The Twelve, you’ll finally pay attention to me,wp_postsshe taunts. I’ve always loved lil murderous rascal Irina. These are, of course, devastating words for a father to hear. She’s right; he did spend more time with Villanelle than with her. But he did so because of the hold The Twelve has on his life, of the way it subsumes people and gives them the illusion of freedom. The Twelve is, honestly, a perfect example of the chokehold of capitalism. It’s the ultimate Evil Employer, manipulating its workers by giving them what they want at a very, very steep price.
Konstantin couldn’t save Villanelle; he couldn’t save Irina; maybe he can save his new daughter-figure, Pam. He takes her out for hot chocolate after the call with Irina, tells her to have some fun, take the day off. He’s doing the things he should have done with Irina long ago. Pam does take the day off and spends it at the carnival with Darren, who has been promoted to pig slicing at the roast pork stand. Pam helps him slice the flesh the right way; she’s good at this stuff.
What Konstantin doesn’t know is that Pam has received a digital postcard of her own. He visits her at the pork stand, hoping to tell her Hélène is dead and that they can alter the course of their lives now, break free of The Twelve. Pam didn’t like killing Fernanda last episode, and Konstantin knows she’ll just have to keep doing horrible things if she stays. They both will. She tells him she’ll see him later, and she seems nervous. When she returns to the hotel room, Konstantin is dancing to electronica and drinking vodka. He’s celebrating. He has packed bags for both of them, so they can get out for good. But that postcard on Pam’s phone. Apparently, it was a kill order from Hélène. And Konstantin’s the target. Pam thanks him for helping her begin a new life and then slices him with a pizza cutter.
Kills always feel so specific, so personal on this show, and the fact that she does it with the pizza cutter evokes the particular dynamic she had with Konstantin — familial and innocent despite the circumstances defining it. Just a dad and a daughter about to have pizza, upended by this twist of the knife, a twist deepened by Konstantin telling her through gaspy breaths while he bleeds out that she didn’t even need to do it, that Hélène is dead and the job doesn’t matter. So often on this show, people have bad timing. A distraught Pam holds him as he tells her his dying wish: that she find Carolyn, give her a note from his coat pocket, and tell her he always loved her. It makes sense that this show is ending with a lot of Big Deaths. And it’s doing so in a way that’s emotionally honest and grounded on a character-level.
Pam makes a dead thing look nice — her specialty! — and does Konstantin up like he’s ready for an open casket funeral. It’s the least she can do, and it’s oddly sweet and tender.
On the island, Gunn is working out. Villanelle wakes up to find her rowboat smashed to bits. “Needed firewood,wp_postsGunn says. A dubious explanation given they’re surrounded by trees. “Where are my things?wp_postsVillanelle asks. “In my cabin. You sleep with me now. This is your new home Villanelle.wp_postsIt seems even mass murderers are not exempt from the dyke phenomenon of U-Hauling!!!!!!!! Assassins, they’re just like us.
Indeed, Gunn has pivoted sharply from being ready to fight Villanelle to being ready to wife her. Gunn is a woman who very much so knows what she wants. She wants consistency and simplicity. She has carved out a nice life for herself in the woods. Villanelle sits at Gunn’s kitchen table and looks up at a taxidermied buck head. She does not belong here. Villanelle is always good at chameleoning into new environments, quite literally donning the right costume to fit her surroundings. She looks like she belongs in this island domestic life with Gunn, but it’s so far from what she really wants. When Gunn smells her head and then again, planting a kiss on Villanelle’s scalp while handing her coffee, Villanelle’s discomfort is palpable and hilarious. Gunn doesn’t see her at all, it turns out. This is so far from anything she would ever want.
Villanelle, ever-impulsive and resolute, says she’s leaving. She says she’s done with The Twelve and that they have Gunn in a cage. “You just can’t see it,wp_postsshe says. But it might not even be that Gunn can’t see it but that she doesn’t care. She’s willing to pay the price for the life she wants. “If you threaten my way of life, Villanelle, I will rip you apart slowly,wp_postsshe says. And based on everything we’ve seen about Gunn so far, she extremely means it. She pivots sharply again, from wanting to wife Villanelle to wanting to kill her dead.
There’s an interesting contrast here between Gunn and Eve. Eve is searching for the meaning of life, for a reason behind all the things she has done. Gunn, on the other hand, is certain of the life she wants to live and is willing to do anything to preserve it. Gunn may be in a cage like Villanelle says, but she’s content. She feels she has purpose. Eve is never satisfied. She’s never sure. Gunn’s worldview is simple, and when something doesn’t fit, she literally kills it. Eve and Villanelle, on the other hand, both have built lives on ever-changing rules. It’s what makes their Whole Thing so hard to write or talk about. They’re both complicated, so their relationship is, too.
But Eve does make a choice in this episode. She technically follows the advice of Yusuf, of Martin, and of Konstantin. She chooses to move forward and not alone. She arrives on the island just as Villanelle has run away from Gunn, who is hunting her down with a machete in hand. When Gunn sees Eve, she likely recognizes her as the woman cradling Villanelle in Margate. It again feels like the hotel scene between Villanell/Eve/Hélène, Gunn running after Eve and attacking her out of a combination of jealousy, anger, and frustration. Villanelle won’t be what Gunn wants her to be. Eve won’t be what Villanelle wants her to be.
That’s where all these characters keep getting things wrong: They all think they can genuinely control the behaviors and emotions of others and of themselves. And when they realize they can’t, it makes them spiral. Eve wants other people to tell her what to do now, but she is the only person who can answer that. At the same time, she wants to believe her life exists in a vacuum and isn’t impacted by the other people in it. After all, she keeps believing all she has to do to fix her life is excise Villanelle from it. But it never works. Even when Villanelle isn’t physically with her, Eve can’t excise the impact she has had on her. She can’t excise her feelings. She finds Villanelle, because they have a job to finish, together. But it has never just been about the job.
It’s nice to be seen, and Villanelle and Eve spent so long watching each other that now they really do see each other. I know a lot of viewers have been frustrated by how much time Villanelle and Eve have spent apart this season, but I think they had to take that time apart to realize how much they want each other. I think we as viewers needed to feel the lack they feel. As much as I’d love for them to have spent this season taking down The Twelve buddy-comedy-style, it wouldn’t be true to their arc. This isn’t a simple love story. It’s an epic. One that’s full of absurdity, erotics, humor, tension, drama, all of it. This season has been this show at its most over-the-top. And I think that’s a very fucking fun way to go out.
Villanelle and Eve are not good for each other. Obviously. But Killing Eve is about them choosing each other anyway.
It’s dangerous to hinge your purpose, to hinge the meaning in your life on another person. But it’s tempting, too. Notice that Martin’s examples of small joys in life were not rooted in other people but in objects, in solitary experiences. He knows that codependency is Villanelle and Eve’s undoing. They’re as obsessed with needing each other as they are with being needed.
And neither one could answer what now on their own, so now they’ll try to answer it together.
SORRY BABY x
- Pam saying Konstantin looks like an angry Santa Claus…LOVE IT.
- So we’re being primed for a Pam spinoff, no? That’s what’s happening here? Does anyone have intel on this? I honestly would be pretty into it! I think the Killing Eve universe in general is fertile ground for a spinoff or two. And as hard as it would be to be in this world without Villanelle or Eve, the fact that this show is so queer in its DNA makes up for that! I have no doubt that any spinoff would be queer as fuck. And I welcome any and all Anjana Vasan-led projects.
- Not a big Carolyn episode, but Fiona Shaw stays incredible!!!!!!!
- I maintain that a Killing Eve musical episode always seemed to be in the realm of possibility! Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh both had a chance to sing this season, so I will simply mourn the musical episode we never got and cherish the memories we do have.
- I did enjoy this clapperboard illustration from last week’s absolutely-perfect-no-notes hotel scene.