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Home ‘Killing Eve’ Season 2, Episode 4 ‘Desperate Times’ Recap: Butchering Heartache

‘Killing Eve’ Season 2, Episode 4 ‘Desperate Times’ Recap: Butchering Heartache

BY Stephanie Larson

Published 5 years ago

'Killing Eve' Season 2, Episode 4 'Desperate Times' Recap: Butchering Heartache

In this week’s episode of Killing Eve, Eve (Sandra Oh) freaking snapped! Gone is the cool and tight-leashed part of her obsession with Villanelle (Jodie Comer) to be replaced by feverish paranoia and something borderline crazy. It was an amazing performance by Oh, her character definitely drawing the surprise and terror of the audience as she snapped like a rubber band. With this, it seems like we’re getting to see where her sudden violent impulses are leading.

However, on this week’s Killing Eve episode, titled “Desperate Times,” Eve is lying low after her outburst. Her restraint is so palpable and so obvious. Luckily, she has the Ghost to turn her attention to. Villanelle, on the other hand, is playing her old tricks to try and get Eve’s attention. Sadly, Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) has figured out a way to intercept these two. One of the most interesting things that this episode has presented though is that Carolyn seems to be playing her own game. And strangely enough, the mention of the 12 has gone to zero. While Eve and Villanelle are playing cat and mouse, it’s like they’re forgetting all that is hanging above them.

Even the Mighty are Leashed

Starting this episode, we see Carolyn in quite a strange circumstance. For the first time, she’s answering to someone named Helen (Zoe Wanamaker). And this Helen actually suggests pulling the plug on operation Mandalay. As soon as Carolyn starts disagreeing, Helen goes ballistic. Carolyn remains unfazed, however, and manages to successfully calm the other woman assuring her that everything’s going according to plan.

Sandra Oh, Nina Sosanya, and Henry Lloyd-Hughes in Killing Eve Season 2 Episode 2

Nick Wall/BBC America

Meanwhile, Jess (Nina Sosanya) and Hugo (Edward Bluemel) arrive at the office to find Eve totally committed to Ghost. It turns out, Alistair Peel wasn’t the assassin’s only victim. The Ghost has been killing people close to the Peels. And they fear that Aaron Peel might be next

Later on, Jess and Eve get an appointment with Aaron (Henry Lloyd-Hughes). But, he doesn’t make it easy for them. He doesn’t even believe their claim that someone’s going around killing people close to him. When they start talking about the sales of the Peel company, Aaron clams up and calls over his lawyer to answer for him. He even leaves the ladies with a haughty arrogant comment about how their job is over now that the internet knows everything

In Amsterdam, Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) finds Villanelle a job. Though she complains about how boring it is, she takes it for the money. And she even makes a good time about Konstantin’s clothes and asks him to never go shopping alone again. Konstantin takes Villanelle to a gallery to kill time. Nothing comes to her interest until she finds a portrait of a man being butchered like a pig while hanging upside down.

Farmyard Animal Kink

Later on, Villanelle’s dressed in a fancy, eccentric pink ensemble writing on a postcard for Eve. A woman approaches her asking to take her picture for her Instagram. But, Villanelle declines, pointing out how pathetic it was. In her words, “Get a life.” Afterward, she meets up with Konstantin and confirms that her scout for her next target was successful. Her next target is a bit of an oddball though with a kink for farmyard animals.

Jodie Comer in Killing Eve Season 2 Episode 2

Parisa Taghizadeh/BBC America

On the other hand, just while Eve and Jess are resting up and raving about arrogant Aaron Peel, Kenny (Sean Delaney) reports that another body has been found: Aaron Peel’s secretary. Upon arriving at the crime scene, Eve notices some peculiarities. The Ghost doesn’t like blood. Instead, she sets up her victims to a clean and quiet death.

Later in the day, Villanelle makes a move for Markus, her target. She dresses up in a pink maid dress and completes the look with a pink pig head. Then, she intercepts him in the red light district and beckons to him. They enter a room and Villanelle cuffs him and straps his feet together. Then, she opens the curtains to the window to the streets and pulls Markus up by his feet and lets him dangle upside down. Despite his increasing objections, Villanelle makes a show of it for the people. Before Villanelle drives her knife to his stomach, Markus glimpses his wife in the crowd. And just like that, he’s upside down butchered like a pig much like the portrait Villanelle saw in the gallery.


When Eve gets home, she arrives to find Niko (Owen McDonnell) cooking their new security guard dinner. And he isn’t pleased about it. He pulls her aside and explains that nothing about their unfolding set up is kind. And her trying to gaslight him to think that it is isn’t kind. At this, Eve has a mini explosion and snaps that maybe she isn’t kind. But, Niko insists that she is. To him, she’s the best person he knows and that’s why he loves her. This is what shuts Eve up.

Owen McDonnell in Killing Eve Season 2 Episode 2

Parisa Taghizadeh/BBC America

After the job is done, Villanelle nags Konstantin to go home, back to London. But, the old man repeats that Eve isn’t interested in her anymore. Even when Villanelle tries to push his buttons, he doesn’t bite. Meanwhile, Carolyn intercepts Villanelle’s postcard before it even got to Eve. Then, she suspiciously calls up someone. (Just how wide is the connection of this woman?) Afterward, she throws the case of Villanelle’s new kill to Jess instead of Eve. When Eve asks if it might be Villanelle, Carolyn asks her back about Ghost effectively tying her down.

It seems that Eve’s stay in the office paid off though. Because when the toxicology reports came back for Peel’s assistant, it shows that she died because of a certain drug. At the same time, however, the Ghost used an anesthetic on her. This leads Eve to her next clue which is the Ghost is in the medical field. Meanwhile, Villanelle books a room in front of her crime scene waiting for a glimpse of Eve. The disappointment is evident on her face though when Jess arrives instead.


A few hours later, the MI6 team is waiting for Kenny’s optimized search for the Ghost’s identity. But, since it’s taking so damn long, Hugo invites Eve to dinner. Surprisingly, the posh guy takes her to a little tacky diner that serves chicken and fries. And all through their conversation, he gives her these looks like he has the hots for her. (And it’s the fucking weirdest thing to see in Killing Eve I kid you not)

Edward Bluemel in Killing Eve Season 2 Episode 4

Parisa Taghizadeh/BBC America

After that, they spend a few minutes outside for a smoke. And Hugo grills Eve about how she feels about these assassins they’re tracking down. To her credit, Eve honestly admits that she feels excited about them. When Hugo gets specific about Villanelle, he asks what it is that she likes. Is it watching or being watched? Eve answers both. To make things WAY more awkward, Hugo actually leans in and the pair almost kiss. Hallelujah to Kenny for breaking them up with his call. He found the Ghost.

On the other hand, after that disappointing scene, Villanelle decides to get high. Then, she hits up a bar in town. While waiting in line for the bathroom, a girl cuts through. Villanelle admonishes her for her manners but, the girl only sticks up her finger in the air. At this, Villanelle bursts into the cubicle and bangs the girl around a couple of times before lifting her off her feet by her neck. Before she kills the girl, Konstantin barges in and takes Villanelle away.

One Victory

The next day, Eve visits a school. Just as one of the mothers sends her kids off, Eve bends down and picks up a bill of money before offering it to the woman. But, the woman insists it wasn’t hers. They have a little debate about who should take the money. And when the woman finally takes it, Eve plants her feet in front of her. As soon as their surroundings turn quiet, Eve reveals the sniper aimed at the Ghost’s head and tells her to quietly come along with her.

Later on, before they interrogate the Ghost, Carolyn watches Eve from the other side of the glass. It seems like she’s waiting for some confirmation or a revelation. As Eve stares back at her reflection, it seems that she’s found something in her self as well. As for Villanelle, it’s an unfolding of a different kind. As she stares at her reflection, she starts to sob perhaps for the first time for real. It’s like while one woman was slowly turning to a ruthless machine, the other has slowly been softening up.

Killing Eve continues Sunday, May 5th with “Smell Ya Later” at 8/7c on BBC America and AMC.

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