The first two episodes of season 2 of Killing Eve have not been kind to Villanelle), who’s been looking uncharacteristically worse for wear; still, in the frumpy British town of Basildon, a little under an hour outside of central London, Villanelle really stands out. That’s true even after she’s shed the eyesore of an ensemble from the season premiere: a tight pair of printed pajamas, paired with a ridiculously incongruous leather briefcase and a pair of Crocs that literally make her toes curl.
Her new, equally unfortunate ensemble comes courtesy of an abandoned basket at a laundromat, which Villanelle helps herself to after completing her pitiful “laundry load,” consisting solely of a pair of purple-and-pink lace underwear. To be fair, if she had a bandeau and a pair of jorts on-hand, her stolen shawl-like striped cardigan could plausibly fit in with some of the more bohemian looks at Coachella. Worn with a baggy, pale yellow souvenir tee from Paris that reads “amour toujours,” which she doesn’t even bother tucking in to her denim A-line skirt, though, it doesn’t even pass at a perfectly dreary British supermarket.
Unfortunately for Villanelle, it puts something of a damper on her usual methods of wooing unsuspecting strangers. (Even she can’t help but look with horror at her own face in a makeup aisle mirror.) Finally, though, a middle-aged man she hesitantly approaches with a shopping cart (and a British accent) takes the bait.
It only takes one step through the doorway of his home, however, for it to become apparent that her would-be savior is not the innocent, extremely lonely, and shabby version of Colin Firth he appears. Julian does live with his mother, but he also lives with an extensive, meticulously maintained collection of dolls with names like Annabelle, all of which are perfectly primped and outfitted in bonnets and frills. It’s pretty creepy.
Meanwhile, typically no-frills Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) is in bed with her husband, googling “Paris news woman stabbed murder” until frantically clicking a Google-serviced ad as cover when he suddenly wakes up. He’s rather flustered by the fact that she’s online shopping, but makes an off-hand remark that the “little blue dress” with spaghetti straps on Eve’s screen is “sexy.” (She promptly clicks “add to cart.”)
At any rate, it’s certainly sexier than Eve’s usual parka, which she pairs with conservative stockings, to join Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) in their ongoing investigation into Villanelle. Practical as it is, even Eve can’t help but expressing her jealousy of Carolyn’s admittedly rather ordinary style, bursting out a flustered “How do you always look so good?!” after taking in her once-again boss’s appearance. (According to Carolyn, it’s moisturizer made with pig placenta, not her gray, Eileen Fisher-esque knit blazer and trousers.)
Back in Basildon, Villanelle’s transformation into one of her caretaker’s beloved dolls is underway; she’s blending right in with her surroundings, thanks to a pale blue nightgown complete with embroidered flowers. (And, as revealed during a scene when she’s attempting to use a pad to tend to her wound, a pair of floral-print granny panties.)
Though she certainly looks less precious than before, Villanelle’s still outfitted in her nightie when she finally breaks free from the dollhouse—the only difference in her ensemble from that of Julian’s identically dressed mother being a large red blood stain. Even more conspicuous is the fact that she’s barefoot, though at least for Villanelle, that means she can finally brry her Crocs in the past.