IT has been as fashionable as Villanelle’s McQueen gown and Lacroix earrings to say that the second season of Killing Eve has not been as good as the first. 

The run of eight episodes ended on Saturday (or earlier if you binge watched on iPlayer). 

With a third series already commissioned, are the makers of the most stylish, bold, bad-ass feminist comedy drama in years in danger of killing the goose that lays the golden awards? 

Short answer: no, and certainly not on the evidence of the finale, which saw a return to the savagely bleak humour of the past. 

All roads had led to Rome, where Villanelle (Jodie Comer) was holed up with uber creepy tech billionaire Aaron Peel (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) as he assembled buyers for his data cache. 

Eve (Sandra Oh) was on hand to help Villanelle in her mission to get the customers’ names on tape for MI6. On no account, Villanelle was told, was she to harm Peel. 

But that’s the thing about serial killing psychopaths: they tend not to be the most reliable of employees. As Eve fell ever further in love, or lust, with Villanelle, both women’s lives appeared to be spinning out of control. 

This season has had its problems, most of them caused by forgetting what made the first series a hit. 

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The slow burn sexual sizzle between Eve and Villanelle took forever to reignite, largely because the two did not meet till half way through the run. Too much time was wasted on dreary secondary characters, such as Eve’s husband, Niko, and the couple’s marital woes. 

Added to this was a desperate shortage of ab fab clothes to drool over. Villanelle spent the first two episodes in PJs and a nightie, for God’s sake, while Eve appeared in a succession of parkas that should have been burned at the nearest stake. Worse still, Villanelle, as Konstantin teased, seemed to be growing softer.

The queen bitch was in danger of losing her crown. 

The disjointedness may have been due to the changing roster of writers and directors, but there was a single showrunner, in this case Emerald Fennell, taking over from Phoebe Waller-Bridge. 

It could have been that expectations were so high that some disappointment was inevitable. 

Whatever, those who stuck with the show were amply rewarded as relationships flourished and the actors and writers drilled down into the characters. 

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Villanelle got to return to what she does best: being Hannibal Lecter in haute couture. Eve got to fret. Spy boss Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) was mistress of all she surveyed. Konstantin twinkled, and Carolyn’s son Kenny still had trouble finding a pair of long trousers to wear. What was it with that boy and shorts? 

Oh was dependably good, and Comer came into her own in this run, but with a mixture of great lines (“My time is valuable to me. I have hobbies”), and sheer charisma it was Shaw who shone brightest. 

The mystery at the heart of Killing Eve is why she is so attracted to, and repelled by, Villanelle. 

The finale tested that theory to its limit, with gruesome but intriguing results.
It did not bode well for season three that the ending was a straight lift from the first series, but we’ll see.

Killing Eve remains far and away one of the smartest, funniest, British dramas on television. 

Where else are you going to see a Britain where middle aged women run the show and men exist in their shadows as infinitely lesser mortals? 

Eve, Villanelle, and now Carolyn, are TV goddesses walking among us: long may they sashay.