Showrunners 023: Killing Eve S3 E4

When the 3rd season is over, we’ll have a summary episode where we talk about the 6 core questions and release our foolscap.

Reminder: Please watch the TV-Series Killing Eve Season 3 Episode 4 before you listen to the following episode. We not only give away spoilers, but we talk about the global story and it’s just more valuable for you if you know what we are talking about because we reference a lot.


Initial Observations

Mel – Confusing, because I wondered why they’ve changed the way they tell an episode, especially in midseason? Probably only to keep the tension between Eve seeing Niko and in between until we found out why we thought something was off.

Parul – I’m not sure about the new format. But I am happy about the addition of the red-haired woman. Good episode but slower and doesn’t match the allure of Season 1.

Randy – The ending was just bad writing, but it could have been great.


Recap: What happened in the previous episodes: 

  • Carolyn follows a lead to a possible accountant for the 12
  • Villanelle and Eve meet for the first time this season
  • Eve starts analyzing again and thinks Villanelle will kill Carolyn
  • The accountant is killed instead of Carolyn and Eve loses her last clue
  • Villanelle gets a new perfume
  • Villanelle asks Konstantin about her family


5 commandments for Eve

  1. Inciting Incident: Niko, who we thought had abandoned her, has messaged her.
  2. Progressive Complications TP: In the office, Eve discovers the connection between the chalk murders in 1974 (Russian sports rivalry) and the Catalan murder. She knows that this killer could lead them to the Twelve.
  3. Crisis: Should Eve keep investigating the Twelve OR make the choice to pursue Nico and take care of her relationship and amend her past failures.
  4. Climax: Eve goes to Poland to find Niko
  5. Resolution: Niko is killed in front of her eyes (and unknown to her the Twelve are plotting for an accelerated enmity between her and Eve)


5 commandments for Villanelle: 

  1. Inciting Incident: Dasha tells Villanelle she’s up for promotion but she has to play by the rules!
  2. Turning Point: Konstantin hands her proof about her family and wants her to do a job off-the-records for him, and he will provide her with the location of her family.
  3. Crisis: Should Villanelle refuse Konstantin’s offer to show the Twelve that she can play by the rules and listen when she’s told not to travel OR does she risk her promotion to find out more about her past?
  4. Climax: Villanelle does the job for Konstantin and kills Charles Kruger’s wife in Lyon.
  5. Resolution: Villanelle is back in Russia (and unknown to her, her ‘relationship’ with Eve has been destroyed)


Thoughts about the Global Story

Randy: I enjoyed how most of this episode played out.  We see similarities to the past seasons – Villanelle gives a cake while in the first season it was new clothes.  I like that Carolyn is waking up and back to her spy self, understanding that Konstantin is working her daughter.  We have playful Villanelle on the cable car.  And I love that Irina is back.

My biggest problem is at the end of this episode they are not staying true to Eve’s character.  She sees Niko get stabbed, but she does nothing – she doesn’t try to stop the bleeding, she doesn’t chase down the villain who obviously just stabbed Niko.  She drops to the ground, defeated.  For me, this ruined the whole episode.

The hook here for this episode is that Villanelle is back in Russia, and that didn’t go very well for her last time.  And the anticipation of possibly, finally, getting to know the Twelve.

Mel: Niko’s death is certainly the most crucial part for everything that will follow. This will set Eve on a hunt for his murder. She will suspect it was Villanelle but might realize after her initial rage that the message ‘Still got it’ doesn’t sound like Villanelle at all – and it wouldn’t make sense either that she had killed him. 

So I guess Dasha’s plan will fail because that incident might bring Villanelle and Eve back together again – in an unexpected way. Maybe Eve will even seek her help. And Villanelle still cares about Eve – we know that. 

Parul: Come on Twelve, you’ve given us the red-haired woman, that’s a great addition but we need more. The Global Story is a Thriller and we need to have a greater emphasis on investigative work. That has fallen by the wayside in this episode. I continue to love Villanelle’s character but I am confused about what we are after. Who is the master villain and what do they want?


Obligatory Scenes & Conventions for a Thriller

Randy: Still no Speech in praise of the villain.

I am curious how the hero at the mercy of the villain will play out – who will be the hero?

Since Niko is dead, what will Eve’s all is lost moment be?  I’m afraid the writers may have written themselves in a hole.  This is too early, we aren’t even halfway through the series yet, it will be difficult to top that after the death of Kenny and Niko, and keep the audience hooked.  I can’t see higher stakes.

Parul: We don’t have a speech in praise of the villain but we do have the all-knowing eye of the 12. The red-haired woman knows all about Eve. Everyone seems to know about Eve and Villanelle but this doesn’t seem to put Eve in danger (for some reason this would be a problem, as the red-haired lady explains to Dasha)


Morality Genre

Mel: In this episode, Eve is a mess – once again. She sleeps in the office and hopes no one would notice her smell, her hair, or her clothes. She doesn’t dare to go back home.

Then Eve receives assistance from an unexpected source. That’s a convention of the Morality Genre. Jamie acts like a mentor. He is not only taking her in, but he also opens her eyes by telling her that she’s not the only self-loathing arsehole in the room. Other people have done bad things too.

This talk leads to Eve finally choosing her own life and Niko over the ongoing investigation. She knows she can make a change through her own choices, and she chooses Niko.

If this is morally right is still in question.

She does put her own as well as Niko’s need ahead of a group who will continue to suffer as long as the 12 are out there. But perhaps, this is her doing the first right thing on her own path or redemption. She wants to make things right, and Niko certainly belongs to it.

BUT 

Niko was her reason for living. Nothing left to live for. 

And losing him throws her directly into her All Is Lost Moment because he was the only good that she had left in this world. She is in shock, literally, she can’t even go there and be there with him as he dies. She just breaks down, helplessly.

And she needs to realize, every path, every decision she has ever made, led to this moment. It’s her fault – on some level.


What can we expect in the next episodes?

Parul: They’re building us up for another Eve-Villanelle Clash. But aside from that, I don’t know. There is a storyline about the missing six million dollars.

Randy: Obviously, Dasha hopes that Eve thinks it’s Villanelle that killed Niko.  I hope the writers are better than using that trope to fool the hero.  Eve’s gift is finding the truth, we’ll see.

Mel: Eve is at the beginning of her All Is Lost Moment. The question is: Will she discover her inner moral code and do what’s right to stop the 12 with whom everything began, or does she choose the immoral path? The immoral path would be giving up and staying a self-loathing arsehole as well as not keeping it professional between her and Villanelle once they both discover they’ve been played.


What were your favorite scenes?

Randy: I liked the anticipation of Dasha’s plan at the end, but I think the writers dorked it up.  And I like the scaring the hiccups away scene – classic Villanelle.

Mel: I liked Villanelle’s awkward dance after being told she gets a promotion.

Parul: The introduction of the red-haired lady who when mentioning Eve talks about her turtleneck. She’s cut from the same cloth as Eve. Hot, snobby, and deadly.

Valerie Francis wrote a great article about the importance of great villains in stories called Stories Need Great Villains on www.storygrid.com.

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The Story Grid

Story Grid Book

If you want to learn more about writing a story using the Story Grid methodology, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.

These articles contain information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. They also give details on obligatory scenes and conventions for specific genres, such as the thriller, love story, war story, crime story, and more.

For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.

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