Killing Eve Season 3 First Reviews: Jodie Comer Shines In a Stylish, Brutal Season That Lacks Some Edge

The third season of BBC America's hit thriller is showing signs of wear, but stars Comer and Sandra Oh are as good as ever and some fresh new directions should keep the show's fans hooked.

by | April 8, 2020 | Comments

Killing Eve

(Photo by Paola Kudacki/BBC America)

When Killing Eve first premiered, the urgent feeling that the show’s protagonist, British Intelligence investigator Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), would be killed by the Season 1 finale, was ever-present. But what started as an engaging cat-and-mouse procedural between Eve and unhinged assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) soon evolved into the most unexpected love story to hit the small screen in years. And with Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge at the helm, it’s no surprise that the show became a bonafide hit.

If Season 1 was the awkward dating phase of their relationship, then the show’s second installment could easily be viewed as the honeymoon. The BBC America show found Eve and Villanelle teaming up in an opposite-sides-of-the-law, Silence of the Lambs-style partnership. Their teamwork succeeded at bringing down Aaron Peel (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), a tech-savvy enemy who was working to pawn off a mysterious (and obviously dangerous) weapon, while inching Eve even closer to the dark side.

Eve and her team worked at capturing Peel with Villanelle going deep undercover to woo the man. And while it all came to a head with Polastri’s psycho partner slitting his throat, the Season 2 finale didn’t end well for either of them. In a cliffhanger that sort of mirrored the closing of the first season where Eve stabbed Villanelle in the gut, the tables were shockingly turned, as Villanelle took out a gun and shot Polastri. As she lay bleeding out on the ground, many were left to wonder if the BBC America series was following through on the title’s promise and actually killed Eve.

As Killing Eve is set to return with new episodes on Sunday, April 12 at 9pm ET/PT to BBC America, that cliffhanger weighs heavily. It’s not a spoiler to confirm Eve Polastri is still very much alive in Season 3, but the big question for fans is: How is the show’s health as it moves into its third set of episodes? Does the story still deliver the witty edge and violent drama that connected with audiences in the first place? Are Oh and Comer, who’ve both earned much-deserved accolades for their work, still turning in masterful performances? And does season 3 – overseen by new showrunner Suzanne Heathcote, following on from Phoebe Waller-Bridge (season 1) and Emerald Fennell (season 2) – leave us wanting a fourth helping of Eve and Villanelle?

Here’s what critics are saying about Season 3 of Killing Eve.


“It can’t be stressed enough that Killing Eve Season 3 does not pull its punches, emotionally or when it comes to violence. In the five episodes sent to critics, there are truly grisly kills, horrific acts of cruelty, and some really shocking deaths. Killing Eve Season 3 manages to heighten the stakes once more. No one is safe, and you get the sense that the show is trying to expand itself beyond Eve and Villanelle’s relationship.” — Meghan O’Keefe, Decider

“One of the most refreshing shifts from last season is the music… this season goes back to the beginning with a variety of dreamy foreign language tunes, with an emphasis on chic French electro-pop. On the rare occasion when the musical palette shifts greatly, it represents something greater and is well worth it. Often the lyrics line up astonishingly well with what’s happening on screen, alternately broadcasting Eve or Villanelle’s inner creep for all of us to hear. The music toys with us now that we have the audacity to think we know Killing Eve’s beats. More than ever before, it feels like Killing Eve is in direct conversation with its audience, daring us to declare our hunches, hope for our fanfics, and try to outsmart all three women, if not the show itself.” — Delia Harrington, Den Of Geek


Killing Eve

(Photo by Des Willie/BBCA)

“Heathcote shifts the focus more to Villanelle in Season 3, digging into her past and rounding out the character’s origin story. Comer once again delivers a virtuoso performance that combines unhinged mania with wounded vulnerability and desire. The character has such a sense of whimsy and romanticism that you can occasionally forget that she’s a stone cold serial killer. — Brandon Katz, Observer

“As Villanelle desires to move into management the audience meets the o.g. Villanelle played by Harriet Walter and to say they have a hate-love relationship is an understatement. If you win an Emmy for Eve it affords you a bottle episode (five) which after the events at the end of four kills the series’ momentum. Obviously, Villanelle had a horrible mother and this was not a storyline I believe needed a full episode to explore.” — Amanda Spears, Awards Watch


Killing Eve

(Photo by Laura Radford/BBCA)

“Comer is great, so it doesn’t hurt to have more of her. But Oh is great as well, and it feels wrong to have her sidelined so much. Surely there must be a way to give the two leads equal time to share the spotlight. Comer’s role is the flashier one – she gets to have all the fun, killing her way across the landscape. Oh’s work is more subtle, more reserved, and that perhaps contributes to her reduced role. Oh is doing a lot of internal work here – Eve is broken now. Perhaps broken beyond repair.” — Chris Evangelista, SlashFilm

“It may not be as balanced as it was in that first magical outing, and some of the plot points may feel a little recycled, but Killing Eve ultimately remains a devilish delight.” — Allison Keene, Paste Magazine


Killing Eve works best when the original gang are together and the story heads in one direction. The last series had too many plot strands and took an age to get going. At first, new showrunner Suzanne Heathcote (Fear the Walking Dead) looks as though she has fallen into the same trap, only to confound such assumptions in truly shocking fashion.” — Alison Rowat, Herald Scotland

“It’s smart for Heathcote not to attempt to return to the status quo, but there isn’t the same sense of urgency to the story as there was in the first season when Eve was tracking Villanelle, or even in the second season when the two of them were tracking a new assassin.” — Josh Bell, CBR


(Photo by Des Willie/BBCA)

“Most notably absent from the season’s first half are ‘Killing Eve’’s odd injections of fun. That leaves the two leads to invent the series’ trademark weirdness with their endless array of expressions and gif-ready reactions, which they can do, but the lack of creative dialogue and minor flourishes emphasizes Season 3’s familiarity and repetitiveness.” — Ben Travers, IndieWire

“To quote the great Michael Keaton in Multiplicity, you know sometimes you make a copy of a copy, it’s not quite as sharp as, well, the original? That’s what Killing Eve now feels like: a copy of its former self. The edges are now duller, the lines less distinct. If there was ever a show that would have benefited from being a limited series, it is Killing Eve.” — Kaitlin Thomas, TV Guide

“Once fresh and thrilling, Killing Eve has grown stale and predictable. It’s 2020, and phones still click and whoop when texts are sent. The humour is weary. I groaned when Carolyn told Kenny he was working for a website and he corrected her by saying he was working for an ‘online publication’. Comer remains watchable, but she could film herself opening her post and it would be better than a lot of what’s on TV.” — Ed Cumming, Independent (UK)


“It’s juicy and entertaining and shocking and stylish as always. But the Honeymoon phase is over. We know these two can’t make it together in the long run and so does the show itself.” — Brandon Katz, The Observer

Killing Eve season 3 premieres Sunday, April 12, at 9pm ET/PT on BBC America.  

Adjusted Score: 83.133%
Critics Consensus: If Killing Eve's third season doesn't cut quite as deep, it's still a fiendishly delightful showcase for Jodi Comer and Sandra Oh's killer chemistry.
Synopsis: Starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, Killing Eve centers on two women: Eve (Oh) is a bored, whip-smart, pay-grade MI5... [More]

Tag Cloud

blockbuster Pet Sematary franchise name the review true crime Apple TV Plus Trivia festival Comic Book Mary Poppins Returns Ellie Kemper child's play TV asian-american MTV Mystery Comics on TV Emmy Nominations TCA 2017 Family WGN golden globes concert Walt Disney Pictures ABC Family Red Carpet screen actors guild free movies fast and furious comic LGBTQ Sci-Fi natural history Trailer Epix Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Grammys laika video San Diego Comic-Con Hear Us Out Black History Month YouTube Red FXX witnail Amazon Studios 2019 Nat Geo MSNBC Toys TIFF spy thriller NBC Ghostbusters Action Hallmark 21st Century Fox dramedy Shondaland Best and Worst Premiere Dates television Food Network political drama IFC indiana jones TCA TLC what to watch Video Games toronto Rock CBS Chilling Adventures of Sabrina romantic comedy PlayStation Travel Channel Fantasy streaming Pop TV dogs Marathons quibi movies Netflix Lionsgate police drama Bravo AMC historical drama zombie sag awards best Marvel Comedy CMT harry potter Valentine's Day richard e. Grant Country Writers Guild of America Apple TV+ parents stop motion ghosts disaster The Purge Musicals Academy Awards films Rom-Com History Sony Pictures politics GIFs Pop die hard dc CBS All Access singing competition docudrama Spring TV TV Land Endgame zero dark thirty classics Infographic The Witch Star Trek First Reviews Masterpiece Pirates science fiction cancelled TV series travel Binge Guide comiccon BAFTA remakes canceled TV shows finale Biopics technology American Society of Cinematographers worst movies President mutant a nightmare on elm street 007 hist USA news TCA Awards Rocketman Avengers Disney Plus indie hollywood Paramount Network 2017 Hulu Disney+ Disney Plus Awards Tour Emmys unscripted Mudbound FX on Hulu Mary Tyler Moore christmas movies aliens thriller Quiz Nickelodeon 2020 VH1 Holidays spider-man DirecTV Extras elevated horror BBC One Martial Arts slashers Sneak Peek CW Seed book renewed TV shows festivals Anna Paquin nfl Cosplay BET First Look SundanceTV A&E Calendar The Arrangement Music HBO directors latino Baby Yoda Character Guide A24 blaxploitation Year in Review TV renewals Chernobyl Superheroe Certified Fresh award winner Christmas Interview mission: impossible TCA Winter 2020 DC streaming service Box Office Marvel Studios Acorn TV OneApp RT History dragons biography ITV 72 Emmy Awards worst independent cinemax Hallmark Christmas movies VOD reboot RT21 Netflix Christmas movies Tomatazos video on demand animated Captain marvel mockumentary breaking bad comics serial killer casting Animation Rocky Song of Ice and Fire scary movies spanish language talk show Set visit Vudu obituary dark Pixar Cartoon Network social media sitcom 2015 cartoon Teen Kids & Family transformers football Universal game show spain 4/20 Brie Larson doctor who anthology zombies Opinion justice league Nominations tv talk Super Bowl Sundance TV diversity Paramount strong female leads teaser SDCC criterion Heroines Women's History Month ratings rotten PaleyFest See It Skip It Arrowverse toy story stoner APB cancelled TV shows YouTube halloween children's TV LGBT canceled Podcast Crackle green book Disney Channel Columbia Pictures sequels crime thriller miniseries Spectrum Originals MCU vampires 45 24 frames TruTV Star Wars binge cops Photos Turner Classic Movies cancelled television Trophy Talk south america Holiday foreign composers rotten movies we love comedies Reality Competition versus chucky satire Fox News Mary poppins Marvel Television Television Academy boxoffice movie Esquire Syfy Elton John Britbox reviews werewolf IFC Films hispanic cars psycho Logo venice dceu jamie lee curtis documentaries stand-up comedy Amazon Prime DC Universe The Walking Dead documentary National Geographic Tumblr 2018 Funimation game of thrones sequel crime drama war Shudder 71st Emmy Awards facebook superhero Polls and Games Apple Superheroes Winners Countdown Fall TV nature Lifetime Christmas movies twilight PBS FX Peacock NYCC cancelled 2016 Lucasfilm Cannes discovery scorecard Turner Disney streaming service E3 Oscars 20th Century Fox TBS adaptation Tubi Tarantino YouTube Premium GLAAD BBC TNT supernatural VICE Reality revenge emmy awards universal monsters romance Sundance Creative Arts Emmys USA Network OWN YA Schedule Election Western adventure Horror Amazon Watching Series psychological thriller cats anime Amazon Prime Video DC Comics Adult Swim BBC America theme song Summer DGA BET Awards all-time robots series medical drama Crunchyroll X-Men E! Starz FOX crime Drama kids GoT crossover Television Critics Association Ovation Lifetime sports HBO Go spinoff cults TCM based on movie ABC Musical Thanksgiving Black Mirror El Rey Stephen King nbcuniversal HBO Max Classic Film critics Winter TV Film Festival CNN period drama Pride Month Disney Dark Horse Comics Showtime Freeform space ESPN SXSW Sundance Now Film New York Comic Con Mindy Kaling screenings Warner Bros. WarnerMedia batman Discovery Channel cooking Awards Spike joker Comedy Central The CW