Villanelle’s Jesus Vision sheds light on Season 4 issues
Killing Eve season 4 gets off to an ominous start as Villanelle manifests as Jesus, which symbolizes the general issues of the final season.
Warning: SPOILERS for Kill Eve Season 4, Episode 2 – “Don’t Get Eaten”
Villanelle (Jodie Comer) manifests a double vision of herself as Jesus Christ brings it out Kill Eve The problem with Season 4 is that the show pushes too far in directions to make the characters unlikable. Kill Eve has always been a sordid spectacle steeped in murder and centered on the fatal attraction between Villanelle and Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), but in its original season written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Kill Eve was sinister, inventive and intoxicating when it was at its best. The character of Jesus de Villanelle puts the fact that the Russian assassin, and Kill Eve himself, are broken creatures, front and center.
In the first episode of Kill Eve season 4, “Just Dunk Me”, Eve and Villanelle switched places. Eve is now the international assassin hunting the Twelve, and her main target is Hélène (Camille Cottin), whom Polastri confronts in Paris in episode 2, “Don’t Get Eaten”. Meanwhile, a directionless Villanelle has integrated herself into a Christian community in London as “Nelle Petrova” in a misguided attempt to prove she isn’t a terrible person. Best tolerated by Phil (Steve Oram), the vicar, Villanelle was obsessed with being baptized and inviting Eve over so she could see that Villanelle had changed for the better. But as sad as Villanelle’s attempts at change are, she can’t. When Eve didn’t show the christening, Villanelle nearly killed May (Zindzi Hudson), the vicar’s daughter who was romantically attracted to Nelle. Distraught that God wouldn’t speak to her, Villanelle manifested Jesus, who looks and sounds exactly like her, to be her spirit guide.
Obviously, Kill Eve has no qualms about offending Christian viewers, and Villanelle is supposed to be so far-fetched and narcissistic that she thinks of herself as Jesus, but the gimmick is in poor taste, regardless. Villanelle-as-Jesus is the disturbing spectacle of the Russian killer dressed in the robes and symbolism of Christ, including his halo. But Villanelle-as-Jesus is really Villanelle’s psyche telling herself (and the audience) what she wants to hear. It’s a valuable insight into Villanelle’s grotesque state of mind in Kill Eveis the Season 4 premiere, and it’s a handy device to give him someone to talk to, but the effect is unpleasant and poorly designed. It does the character and the show a disservice. The sight of Villanelle attacking Jesus herself, kissing her, beating her with a frying pan and stabbing her comes across as Kill Eve Season 4’s desperation to be edgy and mean, when it was so easy for the show to be both – and more entertaining – in Season 1.
The fact, of course, is that Villanelle is going from bad to worse, which has been her trajectory since. Kill Eve season 3, but his Jesus persona crossed a line that didn’t need to be crossed. The Russian hitman already had a point of no return in Kill Eve season 3 when Villanelle murdered her own mother and members of her family. This sin took its toll on Villanelle, who decided she no longer wanted to work for the Twelve as a slayer. There was a glimmer of hope at the end of Kill Eve season 3 that even though Villanelle is a psychopath, she might change for the better. In place, Kill Eve season 4 quickly established that Villanelle is crazier than ever. Worse yet, it looks like Villanelle-as-Jesus will keep coming back in Kill Eve season 4.
Obviously, Villanelle’s trajectory will send her back to Eve sooner rather than later, because Kill Eve established that Villanelle goes completely awry when she (and her script) doesn’t focus on Polastri and their twisted romance. After Kill Eve The bittersweet ending to Season 3, Eve’s Season 4 story about the hunt for the Twelve fares better than Villanelle’s. It certainly helps that Eve doesn’t have unnecessary, loaded footage of Jesus putting aside her Season 4 storyline. Unfortunately, Kill Eve Season 4 has already started behind the eight ball when it comes to hoping that Eve and Villanelle’s story ends satisfactorily in this final season.
Next: Killing Eve: Turning Eve Into Villanelle Makes Her Villaelle Season 4
Kill Eve Season 4 airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on BBC America.
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