FASHION

Killing Eve Season 4 Episode 1 Fashion Recap: Saint Villanelle?!

Villanelle praying in the Killing Eve season 4 premiere
Courtesy of BBC America

The final season of Killing Eve begins with Villanelle (Jodie Comer) in full badass mode: suited up in head-to-toe leather as she speeds on a motorcycle. It takes beating up a security guard and pulling out a sizable gun, but she makes her way into what turns out to be the mayoral campaign headquarters of Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) in Russia. Except, wait… the badass in question is actually Eve (Sandra Oh)?! Konstantin is just as surprised as we are when she removes her motorcycle helmet. “What are you now? An assassin?” If we thought Villanelle would (literally) kill to see Eve in such an uncharacteristically edgy fit, not to mention casually wielding a gun, imagine what she’d do to see her respond to Konstantin’s cheek by shooting him in the hand.

The scene is just the first glimpse we get at an all-new Eve. Her mission to avenge the death of her late young coworker Kenny (Sean Delaney) has clearly changed her. With her late husband Niko (Owen McDonnell) out of the picture, she’s moved into a hotel room that also serves as her headquarters for taking down each and every member of the international crime group known as The Twelve that she can. The change extends to her wardrobe: Eve has taken to doing her laundry in the sink, excluding what appears to be her new go-to material: leather. She next surfaces in a black motorcycle jacket, exuding confidence as she threatens to throw out a hunk named Yusuf (Robert Gilbert)’s protein shake. When he passes along what’s apparently the latest of many invitations to the baptism of Villanelle—who has rebranded herself as Nelle Petrova—Eve shrugs it off. (Along with the fact that she just shot someone.) She moves onto more pressing matters: “Want to have sex?”

Courtesy of BBC America
Photo by Anika Molnar/BBCA

Now, Villanelle—er, Nelle—apparently, can sing. It would be beyond an understatement to say things have changed, because the chic assassin is suddenly center stage at a church service. Sure, she’s still wearing a fashionable statement look, but this one is of an entirely different sort: We’d expect for her capelet to be courtesy of The Row; it’s actually part of her bright red vestments, which she’s topped off with a Victorian ruff and gold crucifix. It isn’t long before she spreads her arms out in an imitation of the large crucifix behind her. The conversion is so unsettling, we wouldn’t be surprised if the devil were behind it. The fellow worshippers who are her new pals would disagree: They’ve taken to calling her “an angel” and “little miss perfect.” And who can blame them when she’s taken up a Bible-approved diet of fish and loaves and wearing tie-dye shirts that read “What Would Jesus Do?”

Photo by Anika Molnar/BBCA
Courtesy of BBC America

“So holy…” Villanelle whispers to herself as she stares into the mirror, having switched out of the tie-dye tee for her baptismal dress. (Crucifix still front and center, of course.) As she kneels down at the bathtub to pray, she’s so convinced that her new lord and savior will let her have “a new life” that when her host family’s cat Lucifer shows up, she tries to pretend that it doesn’t have it out for her—and, in the process, ends up making what’s somehow her first kill of the episode. Panicked, she bolts to May’s bedroom and begs her to stroke her hair. She’s so fully convinced that Villanelle is perfect that she’s positively mortified “Nelle” nearly caught her writing erotica.

Meanwhile, May’s vicar father is onto her. He doesn’t buy the fact that the footage of her burying his cat in the church’s graveyard was a selfless act to save him from seeing the “roadkill” she spotted on her way to distribute blankets to the homeless. He’s also extremely suspicious of her motivations to get baptized, which seem to wholly center around the guest who is undoubtedly Eve. We’d believe that she’s being her typical psychopathic self, but when he asks if she believes in god, Villanelle surprisingly comes close to foiling her plan: “I have faith… [that] I’m not as shitty inside as some people think I am. And that I can prove them wrong—but only if you baptize me.” When Eve is predictably a no-show, she gets even more daring, telling him to get on with it and plunging her own head into the holy water before he gives the go-ahead.

Photo by Anika Molnar/BBCA

Eve continues to play what we would have expected to be Villanelle’s role by disguising herself, dressing up as a dowdy elementary school teacher to obtain information on her latest lead on The Twelve at a funeral home. (She’s even wearing glasses on a chain around her neck.) She’s unsuccessful, but does get the chance to indulge her new ruthless self by pulling back the eyelids of a corpse. Suspecting the mortician named Pam (Anjana Yasam) isn’t as innocent as she seems, she later dons a keffiyeh and follows her, only for Pam to attack her—and drive away with another of Eve’s targets, Helène (Camille Cottin).

Courtesy of BBCA
Courtesy of BBC America

And then, at long last, Eve and Villanelle reunite. The latter is still outfitted in her baptism dress, whereas Eve is in full lounging mode in a hoodie. And while the season 4 trailer had led us to believe that Villanelle kneels to, uh, you know—it’s actually to pray for her fully skeptical crush. Clearly, Villanelle is only still outfitted in her religious attire because she fled the scene after Eve proved she’d converted for nothing, right? Nope. She returns to the church to come this close to drowning May in the holy water, only seconds after they kiss. To her shock, May considers the fact that she didn’t actually kill her besides the point.

Photo by Anika Molnar/BBCA

Outfitted in childish floral pajamas, Villanelle heads downstairs after a predictably awkward encounter with a terrified May to find herself in what looks to be one of her absolute worst disguises yet. It turns out this entirely cartoonish bearded version of herself is Jesus, which, well, tracks… But c’mon—would her savior really be dressed like a trick-or-treater?

Courtesy of BBC America