Killing Eve is a dark comedy-drama spy thriller television show. Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) is a bored low-level MI5 security employee, a job that doesn’t fulfill her desire of being a spy; Villanelle (Jodie Comer), is a dangerous, capricious psychopathic assassin who kills people as an entertaining habit since a young age.
The beginning line
Eve starts to connect the dots to lead a long line of murders to Villanelle using her spy techniques and instincts. The search starts from the murder of a Russia politician, after which Eve then bets that the unsub was probably a woman based on the circumstances of the murder and the crime scene. Eve, with her obsession on investigating female assassins, couldn’t hold herself from starting her own search. Later on, Eve is assigned a task to catch Villanelle. As the chase progresses, the two develop a mutual obsession.
Villanelle does unexpected acts that jeopardize others with little to no visible remorse. Clearly, she lacks empathy. This is everyone’s popular perception of psychopaths on the most basic level, but there’s actually more than that to it. Villanelle is not just remorseless and casually cruel, but also brilliant, alluring, charming, and sometimes, genuinely thoughtful. She uses a combination of these traits as a mask to manipulate others, and finally, getting what they ought.
“You should never call a psychopath a psychopath. It upsets them.”
Villanelle pouts her lip in an imitation of feeling upset about being called a psychopath as a way of provoking Eve.
Who are psychopaths?
Most people think they know what psychopath is: someone who has no feelings and tortured animals for fun when they were little. Well, there’s a bit of psychopath in all of us. If you’ve ever shown a lack of guilt or remorse, or not felt empathy with someone, or you’ve charmed someone to get what you want (remember that job interview?) then you’ve displayed a psychopathic trait. Psychopaths comprise about 1% of the general population and can be productive members of society.
Female psychopaths are diverse
Female psychopaths are somewhat different. Although male and female psychopaths are similar in many ways, some studies have found differences. For example, female psychopaths appear to be more prone to anxiety, emotional problems and promiscuity than male psychopaths.
It takes a bright eye to spot a female psychopath. When you get to first know them, you’re captivated by their magnetism. They’re on a mission to collect as much information they can about you and test your benefit to them, see whether you’re a helpful weapon to them or not. On the surface she’s friendly and inviting, but within, she’s vindictive, ruthless and cunning.
When female psychopaths commit in any relationship, whether it’s romantic or platonic, they already know what they want out of the relationship, and they’ll get what they want at the end. After that, they’ll ghost the person with no closure or explanation, and of course, still play the victim. They have a To-Do list when it comes to getting hands on what they want. It’s all about control, most of their actions are driven by the need of control.
Close your eyes for a second, imagine you’re in a remote dark forest and it’s freezing cold, then you discern a heavy breathing behind you. Is the thing behind you a big shadowy figure, a monster, a dog, someone from the opposite sex, or just nothing? Most people turn to find their fear, whether it’s monsters or what have you. For psychopaths it’s either a dog or nothing, because they can’t control dogs and they crave the need to control their fear I might say. Or they simply might see nothing, since they fear nothing, and you can’t control nothing.
They love running the puppet show
Female sociopaths enjoy being the center of attention because it gives them power from which they can derive endless amounts of narcissistic supply. Sociopaths enjoy this because it gives them a power trip, the ability to control others at a whim and play everyone like puppets.
When it comes to feelings it’s almost impenetrable. Female psychopaths do feel emotions but not the commonly known emotions. Although they show a specific lack in emotions, such as anxiety, fear and sadness, they can feel other emotions, such as happiness, joy, surprise and disgust. So, while they may struggle to recognize fearful or sad faces and are less responsive to threats and punishments, they can identify happy faces and they do respond positively when getting rewarded. Imagine you’re in your car and you’re playing the radio, making the voice louder, or lower, this is how psychopaths feel emotions. They feel them way turned down. Negative emotions are background noise. They can’t tune into a higher frequency because their brains just don’t process enough information for those feelings to ever be loud enough to be felt or to influence behavior.
Back to Killing Eve
In season three episode 7 Helena refers to villanelle as a “beautiful monster.” She also says,
““Monstrous people like you often feel like they have to fly solo, like they have to keep things bottled up inside them. Thoughts, feelings… secrets. And that can affect their ability to be truly monstrous”
When psychopaths start feeling certain emotions it does affect their ability to act the way they often do. It’s only a matter of time until they go back to what they know best.