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Killing Eve 3.8.2
Photo: Laura Radford/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle


‘Killing Eve’ season 3 episode 8 recap: ‘Are You Leading or Am I?’

Eve and Villanelle have a less awkward and more compassionate reunion while Konstantin’s double dealings catch up to him.


Killing Eve so Far

Konstantin and Villanelle make their move to leave The Twelve but face complications in their plan. Eve is hot on their heels and arrives in time to see the assassin departing by train, but not before sharing a tender, speechless moment from afar. Meanwhile, Carolyn’s investigation of The Twelve is getting too close and they kill her assistant to send a message.

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Changing Sides

Back in season 1, Carolyn had approached an imprisoned Villanelle and offered her a job in MI6. At the time, the contract killer passed but she is now in London seeing if the offer still stands. Since her promotion to Keeper, Villanelle is turned off by Helene’s unwanted affection and is looking for a new challenge. Carolyn asks her who in the organization killed her assistant, Mo, and more importantly, her son but receives no responses. The intelligence agent sees no use for Villanelle because she has no answers and has lost her taste for killing.

Later, Eve meets up with Villanelle in the same dance hall where she made her first kill for The Twelve. The scene of all the happy couples dancing together makes Villanelle reflect on her life and if she never turned to a life as an assassin. Both agree that there would be a lot less heartache in their lives. For the next song, it is encouraged that everyone participates so the pair reluctantly hit the dance floor. They continue to discuss their relationship and a possible future until The Twelve’s hired hand, Rhian, shows up. Villanelle sends Eve off with a handwritten note so she can meet with her new guest.

Rhian and Villanelle take the subway to meet with their boss. While waiting for the train, Villanelle can’t help but tease her companion about her wardrobe. While Rhian prefers to dress for comfort so she can perform her job easier, she is trained to be devastating in both her look and her skills. The ribbing continues until Rhian pins her colleague against the wall and threatens her. Villanelle apologizes for what she’s about to do and commences to kick the goon’s ass but restrains herself while choking her. Rhian pleads for her life but Villanelle knocks The Twelve underling off the platform into the incoming train. She recaptures her killer instinct and struts away from the scene.

Killing Eve 3.8.1
Photo: Laura Radford/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle

Don’t Let the Door Hit You…

Gerald reads off a letter she wrote to her mother to effectively communicate all the things the younger Martens has done wrong and asks for forgiveness. During Carolyn’s turn, she has a blank piece of paper and tells her daughter that she’s outstayed her welcome. Gerald still thinks her mom is reeling from all the stress including her romantic involvement with Konstantin and the deaths of Mo and Kenny. Stone-faced, Carolyn tells her child that she is no longer welcome and must leave by the end of the day.

Konstantin’s Secret Stash

After last week’s events, Konstantin is ready to leave the hospital with or without being properly discharged. But he pays one last visit to Dasha before heading out. The two Russians bicker over their handling of Villanelle arguing that one was too hard on her while the other was too soft. They do share the blame for how she turned out though. While wishing her son was there so she doesn’t have to die alone, Dasha begins to flatline.

Eve follows Villanelle’s note to a betting shop and meets with a shady individual that keeps safe deposit boxes for the underworld. She finds a package but before she can open it, Konstantin appears and asks for it. At first, he lies saying it’s a set of Russian leader Matryoshka dolls for his daughter but comes clean when Eve threatens to destroy it. The dolls contain a barcode that leads to his secret stash of money, a passport, and emergency toiletries. In the middle of his explanation he has another cardiac episode.

Killing Eve 3.8.3
Photo Credit: Laura Radford/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle

Office Space

The Bitter Pill crew invite Carolyn to their office because they have a breakthrough in her son’s case. Bear had set up a secret camera to catch the person stealing his candy. After recently checking the footage, they see Konstantin visited Kenny on the day of his death. Carolyn is shocked to think her associate murdered her son.

Afterwards, Villanelle also visits Bitter Pill looking for Eve. Audrey, Jimmy, and Bear are shocked to find the killer in their office and Bear wonders out loud what she does with the penises she removes from her victims. Konstantin then calls and asks her to convince Eve to hand over the dolls. Villanelle insists Eve keep possession of them so Konstantin doesn’t leave without her. She goes to meet with them but tells Bear that she pickles the good ones and he doesn’t want to know what she does with the bad ones to answer his previous inquiry.

A Tense Showdown

At gunpoint, Paul calls Konstantin and tells him to meet at his house because the MI6 supervisor knows who stole the money from the Geneva account. When Eve, Villanelle, and her handler arrive, we see Carolyn is the one with the gun.

She forces Konstantin to go over the events the day Kenny died. He was there to warn her son he was getting too close to The Twelve and to recruit him for the secret organization. Kenny couldn’t process everything and kept stepping back until he accidentally fell off the roof.

Carolyn places the gun on Konstantin’s head ready to pull the trigger. He desperately pleads with her saying he still loves her and even yells for Villanelle’s help. At the last second, Paul is shot in the forehead and Carolyn allows Konstantin to leave. He asks his protégé if she is coming but Villanelle declines because he is not family.

I Wish I Knew How to Quit You

Eve wonders what’s next with their investigation. Carolyn concedes that it is a hopeless battle to defeat The Twelve and that Eve should quit the espionage life cold turkey if she can’t accept that. Villanelle agrees with Carolyn’s assessment. Frustrated, Eve takes off running outside.

Villanelle chases after her and the two bond over playing a hand in Dasha’s death. Only the two of them would find that romantic. Villanelle doesn’t want to kill anymore or be associated with The Twelve. She asks her cohort if she still wants a regular life with a husband and home. Eve replies when she thinks about the future, she only sees Villanelle over and over again.

Both acknowledge how they don’t hide the monsters inside them and Villanelle may be a bad influence. Eve wants help to make it all stop and Villanelle has an idea. They turn their backs to each other and just walk away never looking back. As they go their separate ways, neither can help themself and they both turn back around.

Killing Eve 3.8.4
Photo: Laura Radford/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle

The Verdict

One of the main draws for Killing Eve is the interactions and chemistry between the titular character and Villanelle and their ever-evolving relationship. Unfortunately, we haven’t received too much together time with them this season other than their awkward kiss and the near miss at the train station.

In “Are You Leading or Am I?” we receive two excellent and flawless scenes with the two leads. At first, they share an endearing and sincere conversation about their past and a possible future together with the backdrop of multiple happy couples dancing. When it’s their turn to hit the floor, Villanelle allows herself to be lost for a moment smelling her partners hair, closing her eyes and moving cheek to cheek. This was the first time I thought they could actually be a couple.

Then the tender minutes in the end helped solidify their relationship. After all the hardships they’ve endured ever since they both entered each other’s lives, they have a chance to start anew without all the drama. It seems they can walk away but that final wide shot of them turning around is priceless. If I didn’t already know there was a season four, I would have thought it to be the perfect way to conclude the series.

The finale does leave unanswered questions including who really killed Kenny and what of The Twelve and Konstantin. Nor does it provide much payoff to Gerald’s introduction to the story earlier. But this season is all about the growth of Villanelle from a deranged psychopathic killer to a person with some form of empathic normalcy.

Confronting her mom’s wickedness and overcoming her death help bring her to a place where she can have a regular relationship. This helps set the stage for the two episode defining scenes with Eve that are so outstanding, that they make up for any other problems with “Are You Leading or Am I”.

'Killing Eve' season 3 episode 8 recap: 'Are You Leading or Am I?'
Killing Eve S 3 E 8: 'Are You Leading or Am I?'
The two episode defining moments between Eve and Villanelle make up for any shortcomings of the finale.
Reader Rating0 Votes
A great way to conclude Villanelle's season long evolution and growth.
Excellent and flawless scenes between the show's two leads.
Leaves some unanswered questions but at least there will be another season to resolve them.

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