‘Air of calmness’ promised for ‘Killing Eve’ new season

NEW YORK (AP) — When we last saw the TV character Eve Polastri, she was crumpled on the stony ground of some ancient Roman ruins. She had been shot.

So the natural question as Season 3 of sharp-edged spy thriller Killing Eve starts is: Is Eve dead? The answer from the creators of the hit series is a resounding, “Are you kidding?”

“Nah,” said the show’s executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle with a hearty laugh.

Fans have approached actress Jodie Comer, whose character shot Eve at the end of Season 2. “I’m like, ‘C’mon, guys! C’mon!’ I love that people are so involved,” she said.

Eve may not be dead, but she is keeping a low profile when Season 3 kicks off on BBC America and AMC. Comer, who won an Emmy Award for playing the assassin Villanelle, said the action picks up six months after the shooting in Rome.

Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri in a scene from ‘Killing Eve’. PHOTO: AP

Eve, played by Golden Globe-winner Sandra Oh, is trying to live a normal life, working at a restaurant, somewhat protected by the fact that Villanelle thinks she is dead. “That is very short lived,” Comer said. “There is a visitor from her past who she is definitely not expecting or ready for. That takes her on a different course again.” Any guesses on who that visitor might be?

Season 2’s shocking ending was a mirror of the way Season 1 ended, which had Eve plunge a knife into Villanelle’s belly.

Since then, Eve’s life has alarmingly unraveled even more — not just her marriage and job with a secret British intelligence unit but also her ethics. Season 2 saw Eve murder someone with an axe.

Season 3 promises to be less hectic. “There’s much more an air of calmness, strangely, than in previous seasons where they’re chasing each other, they’re shooting each other in the back,” Comer said.

“They’ve arrived at a very different place, and I think that’s due to what these women experienced in the season apart from each other. They both go through life-altering events, which unify them in a strange sort of way.”

Gentle said both Eve and Villanelle look inward this time. The assassin thought she was an orphan, but that may not be the case, and new characters make “her question who she is and how whole she is as a human being,” Gentle said. “And Eve, at the same time, is questioning everything she’s known, too.”

The cat-and-mouse will continue, of course. The relationship between Eve and Villanelle is complex, with elements mutual respect, envy and loathing.

Comer said she and Oh are constantly renegotiating their onscreen relationship. “That’s what’s so great about it: You can’t put your finger on it,” she said. “It’s constantly shifting and it’s constantly changing.”

The lead writer and executive producer for the third season is Suzanne Heathcote and season 4’s main writer is Laura Neal, who was in the writer’s room for Season 3. Gentle is proud of the fact that the show has been women-led, beginning with Season 1’s showrunner Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

“It’s an arena where women can come and write their best, most entertaining, most provocative work but at the same time can have a slightly different voice each time,” Gentle said. “What has been exciting is to find newer, female voices.”