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S03.E02: Management Sucks

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Eve Polastri strikes up an unlikely alliance with Kenny's colleagues at The Bitter Pill. Villanelle finds that management isn't all it's cracked up to be."


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Original air date: 4/19/20

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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On 4/14/2020 at 5:48 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Sneak peek: management sucks

 

Loved this dress!

Eve continues to annoy me

Villianelle continues to delight me

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I thought this episode was lackluster compared to the season opener. Eve and Carolyn's stuff was generally strong--Carolyn crying in the car was the best scene of the episode and Fiona Shaw rocked this episode in general--and I appreciate Eve's ability to hold a big-ass grudge and make kind of a scene. And this episode did a decent job of getting Eve back in the game, but needed more of her, I thought. But Villanelle having to be a "manager" was not nearly as funny as it ought to have been (though I enjoyed her bus stop conversation with the guy, and if the writing can tighten up I would totally watch a webseries of her supervising a series of hapless baby assassins), and I'm ready for Konstantin to do something that's not, like, just hang around. His reunion with Villanelle felt anticlimactic to me. IDK, there was some good character material here but the writing for Villanelle felt really off, which I am HOPING is intentional on the writers' part to show how much Rome affected her but I am not entirely convinced that it's the case, and the plot pretty much was just treading water.

Other thoughts:

-So Audrey (Kenny's co-worker he was apparently dating) totally killed him, right? Because the show has made too much of an issue of her now for her not to figure into the plot later somehow. And unfortunately killing Kenny seems the most obvious way to make her relevant.

-Not digging the Bitter Pill guys. I'm sure they will get roped into Eve's investigation at some point, but right now they just feel like poor--and annoying--Kenny replacements.

-Konstantin played Carolyn's daughter (who feels like a bit of a retcon) perfectly. Carolyn better watch out for that. Not sure the daughter is necessary, though I like the actress.

-Maybe it was just my ears, but I had a much harder time than usual making out what people were saying tonight. Did anyone else think something about the audio was a little off?

-LOVED V's outfits in this episode. Barcelona agrees with her!

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I have no recollection of Rome. Dang I have to go hunt that down?

Was there ever a pattern established to the targets V. is given?  Generally they seem to be well to do — can’t imagine what that expansive yard next to the ocean in the Cote d’Azur would cost so the guy had to have been ridiculously rich.

OK, Eve gives up her grudge vs. Carolyn because she needs to get into Kenny’s phone?  Because working with those magazine guys at their offices where Kenny was killed might not be the best idea.

V. obviously is going to go to London now so Dasha isn’t long for this world.  Guess that marriage didn’t last.  V. is either going to try to love her or kill her.

What do they say to each other after hey tried to kill each other?

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I was quite bored through most of it, to be honest. The writing is the issue because the cast is trying their hardest with what they're given. The only time it found a rythym was when Villanelle and her protege were on assignment. A lot of the dialogue had a feeling of having been written by someone trying very hard to write a witty Killing Eve line; such as Carolyn's bit to her daughter about, "why don't you go do that thing were you close your eyes and breathe?" This season feels more like imitation to me, so far. Last season has been rightly criticized but overall I enjoyed it more (I'm aware I'm saying this after only two episodes of the new season but last season I didn't play on my phone during any episodes and I kept picking up mine during this one, so).

Carolyn's daughter describing herself as an empath was hilarious tho and exactly the kind of daughter Carolyn's parenting would produce.

Loved Villanelle's apartment.

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Agree this episode was draggy...I kept checking to see how much longer. I am inclined to like Kenny’s former editor and his gruff pairing with Eve, let’s hope that works, chemistry-wise. I like the theory above that Kenny’s female co worker killed him, only because it’s more interesting than her dopey crying in the bathroom. Maybe that bathroom scene with her and Eve then was an echo of Eve and V’s very first interaction in the hospital bathroom in S1.

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Am I crazy in thinking that Kenny's colleague was giving me some Idris Elba energy?  For that reason, I'm interested to see where this goes.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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LOVED Villanelle's new place. It's really gorgeous so I hope she stays there for a while because I want to keep looking at it. Her interactions with Felix were hilarious.

It amused me that Konstantin was not at all surprised to see that Eve was alive and well in London.

I'm glad that Eve and Carolyn both know that Kenny wouldn't kill himself. Let's see how long it takes them to figure it all out.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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I'm usually not a fan of killing people, but the young man Villanelle was supervising really needed to go the way he did.     He was so incompetent.    

Not a surprise that Konstantin is still, and always was an employee of the Twelve.    Carolyn should know better than to trust Konstantin.   

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3 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

I'm usually not a fan of killing people, but the young man Villanelle was supervising really needed to go the way he did.     He was so incompetent.    

Not a surprise that Konstantin is still, and always was an employee of the Twelve.    Carolyn should know better than to trust Konstantin.   

I kind of felt like killing Felix was just a redo of V killing her hospital roommate last season, the one who'd been disfigured in the car crash. I think the writers think of those moments as 'echoes' but to me they always seem like when SNL does a sketch and it hits and then they just sort of redo it over and over by tweaking the details enough for it to be 'different.'

And I have to wonder if we can trust that it's the twelve that K is working for - on the one hand he's clearly working for someone but he doesn't seem to have much say in it given the way he complained about the arrangements in the backseat of that car. But the only evidence we have it's the Twelve is him telling V, right? He could have been lying - if he wasn't, it seemed like a sort of lazy throwaway line to keep the Twelve (and him) in the think of things.

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What's the deal with Carolyn and Constantin?

In season 1 she was so thirsty for him, giggling like a giddy school girl in his presence.

They barely acknowledged each other at the memorial for Kenny and now he's spying on her?

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18 hours ago, stealinghome said:

I enjoyed her bus stop conversation with the guy, and if the writing can tighten up I would totally watch a webseries of her supervising a series of hapless baby assassins

I would be so in for this.

I thought it was hysterical when Konstantin got all huffy and slammed the car door after being told not to, so the driver/handler shouts 1* as her review of her "passenger."

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19 hours ago, stealinghome said:

-Maybe it was just my ears, but I had a much harder time than usual making out what people were saying tonight. Did anyone else think something about the audio was a little off?

I'm about 13 minutes in and I've already had to rewind twice. I feel like the background noise is much louder than the dialogue. Add in the various accents and I have to really strain to catch a lot of it.

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I found it difficult to clearly hear the dialogue during Dasha and Villanelle's scenes.

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Bringing @ElectricBoogaloo's quote over from the quote thread:

Quote

Villanelle: Anybody can fight. It takes a special person to kill.
Felix: I've killed loads of times.
Villanelle: Bull shit.
Felix: There was this kid that bullied me in school.
Villanelle: Textbook.
Felix: His sister.
Villanelle: Basic.
Felix: His father.
Villanelle: I'm falling asleep here.
Felix: His cousin, best friend, uncle, dance teacher, and grandma. They were in the same car.

I *think* it was during this story that Jodie Comer did this amazing facial expression where her blank face turned into a smile first in her eyes then in her mouth.  It was so subtle and incredible.

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9 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Am I crazy that Kenny's colleague was giving me some Idris Elba energy?  For that reason, I'm interested to see where this goes.

Oh, I got that also - and yeah!

21 hours ago, stealinghome said:

and if the writing can tighten up I would totally watch a webseries of her supervising a series of hapless baby assassins)

I would totally watch that. the best scenes by far were with them.

The acting is beyond awesome - Comer is amazing. I sure hope the tighten up the writing.

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I liked it. I’m always happy to see Danny Sapani and Gemma Whelan. 

The parallel of Caroline and V’s single tears was ... something, I guess. (I love the character, but I don’t believe in a V who is cured of being a psychopath by her love for Eve, so ...) 

I like V and Dascha together. 

I still don’t understand Eve’s purpose in the show. She’s like the female character in a show or romance novel that every man wants to be with (think Sookie Stackhouse) but instead she’s the (asset of really questionable value?) that every agency or (investigative newspaper?) wants to run. It’s like her obsession with V is supposed to be some kind of super power. Except that when she’s with V she doesn’t seem to actually like her. 

 

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3 hours ago, ams1001 said:
22 hours ago, stealinghome said:

-Maybe it was just my ears, but I had a much harder time than usual making out what people were saying tonight. Did anyone else think something about the audio was a little off?

I'm about 13 minutes in and I've already had to rewind twice. I feel like the background noise is much louder than the dialogue. Add in the various accents and I have to really strain to catch a lot of it.

I almost always end up turning on the closed captions. The sound mix for the show is a mess.

Villanelle's clown costume and makeup was fantastic.

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I also had trouble hearing some of the dialogue. Thought it was just my hearing.

The show also did one of my pet peeves. I don’t have a giant TV and I’m not right on top of it. Shows shouldn’t show a text on a phone not in close-up and assume everybody can read what’s on the phone screen (which is sometimes integral to the plot).

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31 minutes ago, SHD said:

I also had trouble hearing some of the dialogue. Thought it was just my hearing.

The show also did one of my pet peeves. I don’t have a giant TV and I’m not right on top of it. Shows shouldn’t show a text on a phone not in close-up and assume everybody can read what’s on the phone screen (which is sometimes integral to the plot).

Ugh, I hate that so much. I often miss them because I'm usually doing something else while I watch.

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44 minutes ago, SHD said:

I also had trouble hearing some of the dialogue. Thought it was just my hearing.

The show also did one of my pet peeves. I don’t have a giant TV and I’m not right on top of it. Shows shouldn’t show a text on a phone not in close-up and assume everybody can read what’s on the phone screen (which is sometimes integral to the plot).

Ha, I was doing some yoga mat stuff (lower back exercises) and I had to keep sitting up and squinting at the screen.

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1 hour ago, dubbel zout said:

I almost always end up turning on the closed captions. The sound mix for the show is a mess.

Villanelle's clown costume and makeup was fantastic.

 

46 minutes ago, SHD said:

Shows shouldn’t show a text on a phone not in close-up and assume everybody can read what’s on the phone screen (which is sometimes integral to the plot).

I really hate that also, I have a hard enough time seeing that on the big screen downstairs vs. the upstairs TV where I usually watch.

 

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You really don't want to be a gay man on this show. You come out, same episode you are dead. Doesn't even matter if main or side character.

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14 minutes ago, Prower said:

You really don't want to be a gay man on this show. You come out, same episode you are dead. Doesn't even matter if main or side character.

Men in general don’t survive long on this show unless they’re named Konstantin.

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7 minutes ago, kieyra said:

Men in general don’t survive long on this show unless they’re named Konstantin.

Straight Kenny at least survived two seasons and an episode. Gay Bill, under three episodes (and he died in the same episode he came out to Eve and the viewer)).

The out of the closet, into the fire just seems very obvious on this show. Probably not even because the writers hate gay people or anything, but rather to make the death more tragic.

Speaking of Kenny: Did he have a photo of himself on his lokscreen? who does that? was he secretly a raging narcicist?

Edited by Prower
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4 hours ago, Prower said:

Speaking of Kenny: Did he have a photo of himself on his lokscreen? who does that? was he secretly a raging narcicist?

Haha that was my main takeaway from this episode: WTF. Seriously, who has a picture of themself, alone, as their lock screen? ?? Surely there’s another way to signal to the viewer that it’s kenny’s phone.

 

agree with everyone who had trouble hearing the dialogue. Glad it wasn’t just me.

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8 hours ago, Prower said:

Straight Kenny at least survived two seasons and an episode. Gay Bill, under three episodes (and he died in the same episode he came out to Eve and the viewer)).

It took me a while to remember what you were talking about, since all I could remember was that he was married to a woman. (I was always annoyed by how quickly they killed off his character so I tend not to pay much attention when I rewatch the early episodes.) I've just read the script from that episode and it seems to be shooting more for bisexual ("Uh... I just fall in love with whoever I fall in love with"). I do understand this still falls under the umbrella of the tropes, though. 

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5 hours ago, Espy said:

Haha that was my main takeaway from this episode: WTF. Seriously, who has a picture of themself, alone, as their lock screen? ?? Surely there’s another way to signal to the viewer that it’s kenny’s phone.

I thought it was a picture of him and his girlfriend.

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7 minutes ago, DoubleUTeeEff said:

I thought it was a picture of him and his girlfriend.

I think it was him in shorts smiling at the camera.

Later on, at Kenny's work, they were showing Eve a bunch of pictures of Kenny with his girlfriend.

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On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2020 at 9:34 PM, stealinghome said:

-Maybe it was just my ears, but I had a much harder time than usual making out what people were saying tonight. Did anyone else think something about the audio was a little off?

YES!

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3 minutes ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

I think it was him in shorts smiling at the camera.

Later on, at Kenny's work, they were showing Eve a bunch of pictures of Kenny with his girlfriend.

Thanks. I got mixed up since I remember them showing us all those pictures with his girlfriend after they hacked into his phone. I guess they didn't want to reveal who his girlfriend was right away. It is weird to have a picture of just yourself. Plus, didn't the back of the phone say "It's not rocket science" so that signals that it's Kenny's phone.

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I rewatched the episode today and have to say that it improves on rewatch, for sure. I would never have picked up on it, but someone online pointed out that Eve--she of the 1234 phone PIN back in Season 1--tried to unlock Kenny's phone with 0000 and then 6969. HILARIOUS. Oh Eve, never change.

For all those wondering why The Twelve is bothering with Villanelle again, I thought this episode laid out fairly clearly that they are playing V somehow. Konstantin straight-up tried to tell Villanelle she was being played and is in danger, and while I definitely think he's playing her as well--telling her that Eve is alive but Villanelle ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT GO TO LONDON OKAY, as if he doesn't know that telling Villanelle that means she's hopping the next flight to the UK, was so transparently manipulative--that doesn't mean his warning is insincere. As he said, can't it be both? And it kind of squares with The Twelve somehow being willing to promote Villanelle despite her being like the worst employee ever/Dasha's series of "prove it" missions/however Dasha apparently betrayed Villanelle in the past. I also think it's telling that he told Villanelle Eve was alive--which he clearly has known for a while--only after finding out that Eve is jumping back into the game to avenge Kenny. I do appreciate the contrast in their reaction to the news that the other is alive/killing again--Villanelle disbelieving, crying, and laughing was a great contrast to Eve's "dammit Carolyn, you are not pulling me back in again" stone face and then throwing up. Also, the camera work in Eve's first scene with Carolyn was exquisite--the door frame sitting between them at the start, the odd angles, and then the mirror image of Eve at the end all really worked.

I enjoy the actress and can totally buy that Carolyn would end up having a touchy-feely, super emotional daughter--who clearly ended up that way in response to Carolyn!--but Geraldine seems too naive for the daughter of a renowned MI-6 agent. I would think she would know better than to accept gifts from strangers--especially strangers who attend her mother's work parties!

This time, Carolyn's little chat with Audrey really got to me more than any other scene. That she wanted to know if Kenny was happy in his last few days is just, ugh, so sad.

Still loving Villanelle's dresses this episode. That one in the last scene, with the boots, was so cute. And the first flowy one was so pretty! I hope they let Jodie Comer keep at least a few pieces from the wardrobe, because pretty much everything they choose for her just works.

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41 minutes ago, stealinghome said:

I would think she would know better than to accept gifts from strangers--especially strangers who attend her mother's work parties!

It was her brother's memorial; I cut her some slack. At any rate, she seems to have taken a very different path from her mother and brother. Carolyn is the one who should have looked more closely at the magnet. She knows the daughter and Konstantin have connected.

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LONG time (like the days of TWOP long) lurker, first time poster. 

This episode worked for me so much more than last week's premiere I think because we got back to those core relationships - Carolyn and Eve, Carolyn and Konstantin, Villanelle and Konstantin. I'm still a bit iffy on the introduction of so many new characters but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

All of the actors are of course doing superb work but I really have to give props to Fiona Shaw and Sandra Oh as I think both have added layers to their characters this season. Kim Bodnia seems to have been sidelined a bit in favor of Harriet Walters - I get the impression that they don't really know what to do with Konstantin now that he isn't Villanelle's handler but I trust that he'll play a role in the larger narrative of the season. 

Echoing what others have said about the sound quality. The first 5 minutes or so of each episode are a bit murky to me (watching on BBC America) and I usually don't catch what is being said until my Monday Amazon Prime re-watch. 

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I am still sad that Kenny died, and while I get why they did it from a narrative perspective, that they had to bring Eve back into the game, but it still sucks that they had to kill one of my favorite characters to get Eve off her ass. 

The scenes with Carolyn were pretty strong, and I am glad that she and Eve are teaming up again seemingly, but this wasn't nearly as strong as the premier. I feel like Konstantin and Villanelle reuniting and Villanelle finding out that Eve was alive was all pretty underwhelming, and just felt like something that needed to happen to get the plot moving.

I did like Villanelle and her baby assassin, and Kostantin insisting that he isn't ordering vodka because he`s Russian (dont assume things!) he`s ordering vodka because it gets the job done fast. Oh, and Villanelles apartment looked amazing, and I hope she stays there longer just so I can look at it more.  

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Isn't the home that Villanelle is living in up for sale?  I thought the real estate agent (or was it Dasha) said it had been on the market for a long time and not moving, so I assumed V is squatting there (i.e. staying there without lease)

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On 4/19/2020 at 7:34 PM, stealinghome said:

-Maybe it was just my ears, but I had a much harder time than usual making out what people were saying tonight. Did anyone else think something about the audio was a little off?

Glad y'all report the same thing, cuz I seriously thought my ears are getting old. I had it up really loud and still could not make out a lot of the dialogue. (Couldn't read any of those text messages either!) Half way through I was going to restart it with subtitles, but the episode was not compelling enough for me to do that. Glad to learn the Amazon Prime version has clearer sound @MicheleinPhilly

Only a few great moments, like V and Felix's busstop chat. 

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This episode did reinforce my dislike for clowns.     I've never liked them, and don't know why others think they're adorable.     Villanelle's clown was right out of my worst nightmare about clowns.

I loved Fiona Shaw, Sandra Oh, and Jodie Comer in this episode.     

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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To me, this episode felt like a rethread of season one.  Assassin kills someone close to Eve who we have grown to care for which draws her into Carolyn's sphere, Villanelle has a cool apartment, Villanelle goes to a party at a huge estate to kill the victim, Villanelle kills a young boy/man with whom she interacted, etc., etc.  It's like the writers want to recapture the magic of the first season.

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Vilanelle's clown outfit was simultaneously chic, terrifying, and hilarious. Jodie Comer has incredible face acting skills.

Gemma Whelan as Kenny's sister is brilliant. she's so happy and innocent and wide-eyed. She and Konstantin together was miraculous.

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On 4/21/2020 at 10:56 AM, Espy said:

Haha that was my main takeaway from this episode: WTF. Seriously, who has a picture of themself, alone, as their lock screen? ?? Surely there’s another way to signal to the viewer that it’s kenny’s phone.

It was actually the worst way to signal that to the viewer. For most of the episode I thought Eve had changed her lock screen to a photo of Kennys in order to remember him / pay respect. Never in a million years would I have thought that that was Kenny's phone.

A photo of the girlfriend who was crying in the washroom might have been a good hint.

Or maybe just "Kenny Stowton's phone" on it. You could have explained later that the work phones have that to avoid being accidentally swapped, since they are all the same model. Etc.

On 4/21/2020 at 2:35 PM, kieyra said:

I've just read the script from that episode and it seems to be shooting more for bisexual ("Uh... I just fall in love with whoever I fall in love with"). I do understand this still falls under the umbrella of the tropes, though. 

Yeah he says that but right after it's made pretty clear that he actually only fell in love with men and that his marriage to a woman was for practical reasons, not out of love. Also that they only extremely rarely had sex.

I guess you could call him bisexual, even if that wasn't the show's intention. I think he'd be a 5 on the kinsey scale.

But in the end, like you said already, it doesn't really matter. Gay, bisexual, same dif when it comes to this trope.

Edited by Prower

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On 4/22/2020 at 1:07 PM, roughing it said:

Isn't the home that Villanelle is living in up for sale?  I thought the real estate agent (or was it Dasha) said it had been on the market for a long time and not moving, so I assumed V is squatting there (i.e. staying there without lease)

Did you happen to watch Homeland the same night? There was a scene where an undercover "real estate agent" set up a meeting for Carrie in a big fancy empty house that one of her clients had up for sale. There was nothing like that on this show, though. Here's the exchange Dasha and Villanelle had about the place:

"You ask Dasha for the best? Dasha gets you the best. You're welcome. Everything you asked for. Good light, high ceilings... did you check the water pressure?"
"Excellent."
"That was hard to get."

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On 4/25/2020 at 12:28 AM, Cranberry said:

Did you happen to watch Homeland the same night? There was a scene where an undercover "real estate agent" set up a meeting for Carrie in a big fancy empty house that one of her clients had up for sale. There was nothing like that on this show, though.

Ha Ha, yep.  Got them confused 🤪

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Am I the one one expecting a twist involving Kenny's sister??  Do you really cast Gemma Whelan to play a boring, naive, sweet character??  

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I am so happy this show is back!  I do feel we're seeing more of Season 1 Eve, which I like.  V. is great, as she always is.  And I just love the location shots, the wardrobe, and of course, V.'s apartment!  I like Dasha, too.  She seems very similar in demeanor to Carolyn.  I'm wondering if they have crossed paths before.

It makes no sense, though, that it has been a few months since Rome and V had no idea Eve was still alive.  She would have figured out a way to be at that funeral.   Hell, she would have offed the mortician and been the one to embalm, dress and make up Eve for her funeral.  And then she would have continued to try and seduce Niko.  To make her not know Eve is alive is incredibly out of character. 

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