Stories about female obsession are usually predicated on that obsession running one way. Just look at Single White Female or The Neon Demon. The core notion is that there’s some paragon of femininity that other women would kill to become. In the spy genre, this usually plays out in reverse: female spies and assassins are either disposable dalliances, or Mata Haris, destined to relent for the sake of the hero, and as a result of that weakness, meet their dooms.
The new series Killing Eve offers up something entirely new (and overdue): female obsession that runs both ways.
Unlike its genre predecessors, Killing Eve features a pair of women who are obsessed with each other in equal measure. Poking her nose around a recent spate of murders, Eve (Sandra Oh), a paper-pushing, MI5 security officer, finds Villanelle (Jodie Comer), a professional assassin. Eve's instantly taken with her; she’s already a serial killer obsessive, and Villanelle’s glamorous lifestyle represents a complete opposite to her dull duties as a government desk jockey. When Villanelle discovers that she’s been sniffed out, she starts to develop her own obsession, delving deeper and deeper into Eve’s life as their paths start to run perilously close together. In any other show, we’d be clear on which one of them is the villain and which one is the hero, but series creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Amazon's Fleabag) doesn't settle for the simplistic dichotomy. These are two women with a distinct relationship.