Killing Villanelle

I’ve been binge watching, and raving over, the BBC series ‘Killing Eve,’ of late. So as I spill the rest of my life all over WordPress I thought I would share the love with my blogging friends. It stars Sandra Oh (from Grey’s Anatomy) as Eve Polastri, a MI6 operative tasked with tracking down a Russian female assassin known only by her codename, Villanelle. It’s a darkly comedic thriller, now into its second season.

Eve and Villanelle are both brilliant in their respective fields and embark on a cat and mouse chase which takes them across Europe. As Eve becomes increasingly obsessed with catching her prey, Villanelle, played by English actress Jodie Comer, wreaks havoc across the Continent, leaving a swathe of bodies in her wake. She manages to narrowly avoid her pursuers at every twist and turn.

The show is stylish, outrageous and bizarre in equal measures. But the real star is Comer who masters numerous languages and accents with consummate evil as the chameleon like assassin. On the surface, her character is utterly detestable. She is an total psychopath, a deeply damaged individuals with no qualms over killing. She is utterly ruthless, displaying no conscience whatsoever.

The genius of the writing and her performance, however, is that we end up loving her. Comer plays Villanelle with incredible grace and charm, one moment an ice cold killer, the next displaying a child like fascination with her surroundings. She is completely out of control and both her handlers and the Security Forces are repeatedly outwitted. The series is such fun that we don’t want her to be caught.

Oh is also brilliant as Eve, struggling to maintain a semblance of a private life while being drawn deeper and deeper into the murky world of spies and contract killers. A strong supporting cast and the backdrops of London, Paris, Amsterdam and Moscow round off a memorable show. I’m restricting myself to an episode a night at present as I don’t want it to end. Life post Eve is a depressing prospect.

I’m a terrible judge of character which, down the years, I have come to rue at my leisure. Fionnuala, on the other hand, is astute when it comes to weighing up new acquaintances. ‘I really like her/him,’ I’ll gush over an individual only to be met by her steely gaze. ‘No, I’m not so sure,’ she will reply. ‘There’s something about them I can’t warm to.’ Nine times out of ten, she’s spot on. Oh alright then, ten times.

So, if we were to meet Villanelle tomorrow I’d be declaring her my new best friend while the alarm bells would be sounding for my wise wife. Before you’d know it I’d be found floating in a suitcase on the River Lagan with my throat slit. Fionnuala would tut, shake her head and frown. ‘I told you to give her a wide berth but you never listen to me, do you? And look where it got you now.’

I’m getting better at this people judging lark, but it’s still one of the many chinks in my armour. The old me craves to be liked so threw caution to the wind when it came to new friendships. I always thought I knew best and stumbled from one catastrophe to the next. I’ve learnt the hard way, had my fingers burnt and my knuckles rapped so many times. I err on the side of caution now, the coin has flipped and I’m much more wary and suspicious.

I don’t have anywhere near as many friends. I’ve bolstered my naturally shy disposition with a distrust of new people. My defences are permanently raised and it takes a lot for me to lower them for anyone. It’s not an ideal life default setting but a necessary one in order to maintain the status quo of calm I’ve worked so hard for. So the Villanelle’s of this world can try their damnedest, I’m not falling for their charms.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

15 thoughts on “Killing Villanelle

  1. What a tremendously complex balancing act is this life of character judging and trying to decide who (or what) is going to enrich our lives and who is going to leave us floating down the river in a suitcase. Sorry to plagiarize but I really love that paragraph. I probably won’t take up the series, but I do enjoy your review and application to life.

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  2. Ah, also those who take Christianity seriously want to give others the benefit of the doubt (judge not, etc. etc.) I’ve only seen two episodes (way too exciting for me!) but what you say is that the series makes the monstrous loveable. Hate the sin, but love the sinner. See the loveable, rather than just the monstrous, even in the person who has a few empathy chips missing. Realise that even those who commit monstrous acts are multi-dimensional. We all hanker after a good redemption story.

    But like your Fionnuala, I too, rather saw through other’s motivations, much to my more devout mother’s and sister’s chagrin, especially when my estimation proved correct. But I do try and give the benefit of the doubt. Still. Conditioning is hard to over-ride.

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  3. It’s a disturbingly masterful show. I completely agree with your assessment–though I occasionally suffer a twinge of misgiving about how much I like both main characters. (In their different ways, they’re both entirely off the rails.)

    As a recovering codependent, I also understand what you’re saying about giving people the benefit of the doubt even when they don’t deserve it, and frequently getting the raw end of the deal as a consequence. But I agree with soujourningsmith that there’s nothing like a good redemption story, and so I guess I keep hoping, even though I have perhaps grown a slightly thicker skin and a better sense about when it’s okay to start to be vulnerable with someone which, it turns out, is rarely if ever right off the bat.

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  4. I was just emailing my Dad about this – that it’s been very hard for both of us to develop a sense of who is trustworthy, and who to steer clear of. I have my indicators now – a dislike of animals is a big one, shows a lack of empathy. Someone who doesn’t read more than one style – lack of flexibility. Someone who is patronizing? Adios, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
    Mrs Black is a genius – we all need someone like her in our lives. It’s pretty darned awesome when we can do that for ourselves.
    Now, I must see if I can find this series….

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  5. I’ll have to check that show out, sounds interesting. My husband is a much better judge of character then I. He’s more mistrustful of others and their intentions while I go running after anyone who even smiles in my direction. I am glad you have your lovely wife and I am very glad to have my husband. We need people who will ground us and protect us ❤

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