Anglo Files: A Case Study on What Makes Killing Eve’s Eve Polastri Tick

(Photo: BBC America 
We’re at the halfway mark of the fourth and final season of Killing Eve. We’ve seen Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) come a long way, from MI5 desk jockey to under-the-radar MI6 field agent, landing in private security.
We’d like to get in on the spy game ourselves and have created our own set of files, investigating KE’s main characters, starting off with the one and only Eve. You can look for more to come on her counterpart Villanelle, the gregarious Konstantin, and the woman who is the glue of this agenda-driven group, Carolyn.
Let’s get to it and do some digging on where Eve started and her intriguing progression:
1. Eve is on the verge.
In season one, we meet Eve Polastri. She comes across as unsatisfied with where she is in life, even though she works for MI5, aka British intelligence. When she’s called into work on a Saturday, it’s clear something is amiss. There's a serial killer on the loose and Eve’s instincts kick in. She believes the murderer is a woman. This gets the attention of MI6 agent Carolyn Martens. In the season opener we hear Eve say of Carolyn, “She said Eeeeve.” We learn something very early on: she likes validation.
Eve’s suspicions aren’t just correct, they double as a lead. While on the precipice of possibly unraveling an international crime syndicate, Eve is unexpectedly fired from her position. Okay, maybe not-so-unexpected, as she enlisted her husband’s teenage friend as a translator to help interview a victim. Which, she was advised to stay out of, therefore going against orders. Oh, Eve, we love you so. You are your own woman with your own mind and you follow your instincts. 
Eve now finds herself in between jobs, but she isn’t hugely upset. It seems she's been wanting out, but she’s not out for long. Carolyn recruits her to be on her team, which is technically part of MI6, but under the radar to the point that no one knows about their operation. That could help or hinder her depending on how you look at it. Either way, Eve makes it work.
Her planning works so well, she tracks the aforementioned serial killer, Villanelle, to her flat in Paris.
2. Eve is a changed woman.
When we regroup with Eve for season two, the story picks up 30 seconds from where it left off. Eve had seduced Villanelle into thinking things were romantic. But, rather than leaning in for a kiss, she leaned in with a dagger, stabbing her foe-turned-friend-turned-foe in the gut. Eve was composed, but her anger was uncontainable, because Villanelle had killed her friend Bill. The attack was out of pure spite, to send Eve a message, “SORRY BABY X.”
Eve gets her head on straight and gets out of Paris, making her return to London. She is beyond rattled, but she keeps it together. Eve decidedly doesn’t let anyone know what transpired with Villanelle, nor let anyone around her see her crack. But, holding it in, takes a toll on her. When getting a call from a telemarketer, she is beyond relieved, practically pleading with the person on the other end of the phone, “Yes, tell me about your windows… tell me everything about them.” It’s clear she doesn’t want to be alone, especially alone with her thoughts. There is a lot happening and a lot to process. She's no longer listless, to say the least.
Eve goes through the motions but is able to shake off these feelings of uneasiness. When she meets with Carolyn, who had dismissed her, she learns she's unfired because “circumstances have changed.” She not only gets her footing, she gets her stride, confronting Carolyn, asking her straightforwardly, “Are you a member of The Twelve?” Carolyn, like a true boss ignores the question, switching the topic back to Eve, “What really happened in Paris? Why was Nadia’s note particularly addressed to you? AND, why are you and Villanelle so interested in each other?” She’s asking all the right questions but is not getting the answers. These two seem to have suspicions and underlying trust issues, but they need to be able to rely on each other.
Eve meets her new team, made up of Kenny, Jess, and Hugo. The search for Villanelle continues.  
3. Eve works to rebuild.
By season three, Eve has had enough. She is now a murderer herself, having killed a man in order to save Villanelle, her on-again, off-again friend. At that point they were friends but by this point they're no longer friends, as Eve feels duped by Villanelle. We see Eve back in the UK, working in the kitchen of a Korean restaurant. We can’t even say she’s hiding in plain sight. She is flat-out hiding. We don’t blame her, as she needs a break. A break from all of it. A break from life.
She goes to visit her now estranged husband Niko in the hospital, where he’s recovering from an attack on his life. He's not having it and wants nothing to do with her. She switches gears, trying to nurture the relationships she does have and goes to visit Kenny at his new job. While Eve is in the office, Kenny is on the roof and… shockingly, we see him in the background plummeting to the ground. She runs to his aid, but it’s too late. With blood dripping from his ear, Kenny is gone.
One can only take a break for so long. Eve’s break is over. This isn’t revenge, this is accountability. She needs answers. And now she has one mission, which is to find out who killed Kenny. Eve goes to his former place of work to tries to collect information from his colleagues. She then shares with them what she knows about The Twelve, because Kenny was also conducting his own investigation into the clandestine group. Eve kept quiet for a while, but now she’s ready to talk.
While Eve’s time is otherwise invested, she hasn’t forgotten about Villanelle, nor vice versa.
4. Eve is seeing red.
We’re now in season four and a lot of situations have been resolved. Eve learned who took Kenny out. She and Villanelle had a few mini reunions, but they ultimately decided to go their separate ways. They realized they’re not good for each other. At the end of season three Eve had one single tear running down her cheek with Villanelle putting on a brave face, saying, “Now we walk, and we never look back. Don’t turn. Just walk.”
But, it didn’t last all that long. In the season opener, we learn Villanelle has found God. She’s about to be baptized and she’s invited Eve to attend. But Eve's a no-show. Eve is busy looking for Konstantin, tracking him to a small town in Russia. She shoots him in the hand, saying, “That was for Kenny,” and then demands answers, as she’s looking for HélèneVillanelle’s French assassin boss. Eve is no longer with MI6 and is working on behalf of a private security firm. Eve is done with Villanelle but seems to go from one fixation to the next. Now she's turned her attention to Hélène, who is a member of The Twelve.
Carolyn has been dismissed from MI6, but even so, like Eve, she still has her sights on The Twelve. She turns to Eve for help as her resources are compromised. Eve scoffs at the idea, but in actuality, she is more than inclined to accept a file from Carolyn that has intel on the secret organization's members. Eve continues at her day job and now has a hobby, fooling around with her co-worker. While busy, she reserves time for her side hustle, investigating The Twelve. She goes to a morgue to ask a practitioner about a slain Twelve member. She later follows the woman, which takes her to Hélène. Eve simply says to herself, “Found you.”
Villanelle makes a visit to Eve, but she isn’t interested. When Eve is done, she’s done.
5. Eve is on a mission.
As we make our way through the final season, we find ourselves missing Eve already, as we are very attached to her. But, it’s not over yet. Eve makes her way to Paris to confront Hélène. Her plan is to knock on her front door, relying on the element of surprise. But, Hélène is expecting her. Eve is delivered some surprising news: Hélène has turned on The Twelve. Eve has found someone else to play cat-and-mouse with.
Eve makes her way back to London and Villanelle is waiting for her in her hotel room. Eve doesn’t even question it and goes along as if it’s typical. Perhaps by now she knows she can always expect the unexpected when it comes to Villanelle. Villanelle is very caring towards Eve, asking thoughtful questions, but Eve is still not feeling it. Villanelle asks if she can stay with Eve because “things are bad,” and that is a… hard no. Eve’s exact words are, “Can you be gone when I get back?” Wow, she has some serious will power.
Eve goes back into work mode and has a theory, which she shares with Yusof, her hook-up buddy/colleague. She explains to him, that she believes Hélène is “clueless” about who heads The Twelve and is torturing each member to get to the next. Eve could sit back and let Hélène deplete The Twelve one-by-one, but Eve wouldn't feel satisfied. She is a finisher. 
She has one more get together with Villanelle. But, this time she brings friends, the authorities. It's transformative. 
Do you feel like you know Eve a bit better now? We have four more episodes to go!