Despite being mysterious at first, Villanelle’s complex past came to light in Season 3 of Killing Eve. It went into why the assassin is how she is, and where her motivations lie. But Season 2 is where the audience started to see the restlessness in Villanelle. And that boredom is familiar to fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, specifically, those of Willow Rosenberg’s. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Killing Eve].
‘Killing Eve’ is all about Eve Polastri and the assassin she’s obsessed with
Villanelle is classified as a psychopathic assassin from the get-go. While the “psychopathic” part can be debated with what fans saw this past season, she’s still a cold-blooded killer. Especially in the beginning and through most of Season 2, Villanelle lives her life for herself, quite fabulously. Plus Eve Polasatri is obsessed with her. And vice versa; there’s a lot of mutual infatuation between the two.
In Season 3, Villanelle shows that she’s a broken person thanks to her mother. While not everyone becomes a killer after being dropped off at an orphanage (in fact, not many do), it still gave an insight into how Villanelle feels. She doesn’t like to be laughed at and feels that she can’t be vulnerable because it’s not taken seriously.
Villanelle’s boredom affects her more negatively than she lets on
While fans got that look at Villanelle’s psyche in Season 3, Season 2 shows Villanelle at her most vulnerable, physically. After being stabbed by Eve at the end of the first season, Villanelle goes on a road to recovery, but not revenge (yet). This is where apathy or “boredom” becomes a running theme for her.
This concept first comes up in Episode 4, when Konstantin takes her to an art museum in Amsterdam. She’s like a petulant child, yelling, “This is so boring!” But that motif comes back in a more serious way later, when she teams up with Eve midway through and dons the alias Billie.
Even though, at first, she’s lying her way through AA meetings to get close to her target, there’s a scene where she is honest to people other than Eve for probably the first time in the series.
“Most of the time, most days, I feel nothing. I don’t feel anything. It is so boring,” Villanelle tells the AA meeting. “I wake up and I think, again, really? I have to do this again? And what I really don’t understand is how come everyone else isn’t screaming with, with boredom, too, and I try to find ways to make myself feel something.”
It’s a moving scene, with Jodie Comer, of course, delivering a great moment. It highlights Villanelle’s desperation to feel something with Eve and through her kills. She’s moving through the motions, and despite being seemingly wealthy with many lovers here and there, Villanelle isn’t happy. She’s bored, and that boredom is a quiet motivator in her desire to kill for money, while feeling no remorse in doing so.
Willow’s infamous ‘Bored now’ is a reminder of what idle minds can get up to
Willow is such a stark contrast to Villanelle. Willow is timid, well-mannered, and pretty shy, She doesn’t like to rock the boat and is always stumbling over her words in an adorably dorky way. She’s Buffy’s best friend and she goes on to become a pretty powerful witch.
If you told Buffy fans at the beginning of the series that Willow would become one of the scariest Big Bads in the show, they wouldn’t believe it. It just doesn’t seem possible. But Season 3 introduced viewers’ first look at a dark Willow, when her vampire counterpart was brought in from a different dimension. She had an air of innocence, but it was only an act to hide her deviousness beneath. And whenever she was done toying with her enemy, she would passively say, “Bored now” before striking.
She becomes a massive threat at the end of Season 6, when her girlfriend Tara is shot by the misogynistic villain, Warren. This makes Willow take a turn and her hold on magic snaps. She turns very evil, which is a scary mix with her immense power. Warren’s death is probably one of the most gruesome in the series, and Willow just says, “Bored now,” before flaying him.
Willow was able to overcome her dark side; can Villanelle?
While Willow’s story is very different from Villanelle’s, their shared trait of boredom allows them to detach from emotions and remorse. It allows them to kill for their own personal gain. Willow isn’t really apathetic after Tara’s death, but she stuffs her grief down, leaving emptiness, which results in boredom. This, again, allows her to kill and wreak havoc.
Villanelle is a bit different, since she kills because it’s her job. But, again, her indifference or lack of attachment to anyone and anything, makes killing easier. She even gets a thrill out of it, sometimes making it a spectacle.
Willow was able to come back to herself when Xander used his “yellow crayon” story. He injected love and empathy back into her, breaking through that cold wall of nothingness she put up. She had a lot of work to do to recover, but she did in the end.
With Villanelle, fans already are seeing her emotions start to creep in. After she kills her mother, there’s a shift in her where remorse is visible. First with her mother then while she’s dancing with Eve. And again when she kicks Rhian onto the train tracks. She also doesn’t want to be an assassin any longer.
It looks like Villanelle is ready to overcome her “boredom” and maybe try a different route with her life. Only Season 4 can reveal what it’ll be.