Though the season's first two episodes re-ignited the cat and mouse chase at the heart of Killing Eve, the new hunt begins in earnest with Konstantin's return.
Konstantin: She's a parasite, Eve. She gets into your brain, she eats you up to make space for herself. Like the book with the hungry worm and all that food, pickles, tomatoes...
Villanelle is back on the job. The episode opens, after explaining away the timely return of Konstantin, with her murdering some poor high-ranking hedge funder man before being sent to her room. Her killing (a tie through the elevator door) was neither boring nor discreet, which were her orders. Her new handler, Raymond, lets her know that her employers are displeased, and she's no longer Queen on Murder Hill in the company. As Eve discovered last week, there's a new girl in town, and that makes Villanelle "sloppy seconds" at best. But it turns out she doesn't work for the organization Villanelle is repping, yet. (One would assume this is the only reason Villanelle is still employed by them.) The Twelve are working on tracking her down though, in hopes of beating MI-6 to the punch.
However, as Raymond says, The Ghost has got everyone's attention, including Eve's. Villanelle plays it off like she doesn't care, but the moment Raymond leaves, her displeasure is obvious. Not to worry, though, it's payday and Villanelle is going shopping. Also, she's got a new target: Removing Eve's husband Niko from the picture. At least Raymond is keeping Eve and Niko safe for the moment from Villanelle's plans. On back to school night, Raymond takes to stalking Eve on her way over to Niko's school, mostly keep Villanelle at bay. It only works as long as he's around though.
Once at Niko's school, Eve discovers that her husband's cluelessly made a friend in Gemma, who very openly and obviously has a crush on him. She tries to get Niko to see what's going on, and how dangerous a situation this could be. Niko, being the kind of guy he is, merely sees it as a new weapon to use in getting his wife's attention. Unfortunately, Villanelle meets Gemma too and immediately sees an opening, even as they both commiserate over how each of them has a person they long for, utterly unaware of their existence and in another relationship. That is, until Eve sees an apple in Niko's classroom, and knows. Did Villanelle put it there? Was it just an apple? But Eve knows she's HERE. She pulls the fire alarm on the way out the building in a panic but fails to catch Villanelle coming out.
Niko, thinking it a false alarm, gets mad at Eve. To him, this is a moment where Niko is the center of attention, and his wife is supposed to be there supporting him and his career, and once again, she's gone and made it all about her and her job. Clearly, she should just go home. But Villanelle was there. And in the crowd, she slips a lipstick into Eve's purse: "Love In An Elevator."
Back at MI-6, Eve has already figured out the tie strangulation is Villanelle, because it doesn't match how nice and neat the Ghost is. "Two killers, two different companies." It's good to know she's keeping up, even without lipstick clues to confirm her suspicions. Unfortunately, trying to get any information about why these killings happened is going to be difficult. Even the Peele people aren't playing ball. But after the school incident, Eve does have two things: Lipstick and Konstantin. If she can get the address of where his family is being kept in witness protection (something he dearly would like, and cannot get out of Carolyn for love or money), she will have the leverage to get him to help find Villanelle, and maybe this time, take her down.
But Konstantin isn't as trustworthy as Eve would believe. While she and MI-6 are heading into her room in Twelve's hotel hideout, he's sitting down with Villanelle at the other end of the hallway, trying to convince her to run away with him. They'll go freelance. (Truer words were never spoken when Villanelle protests "There's not enough money in freelance.") But he really does know how to get through to her when he points out it's a hell of an ugly carpet to die on in that hotel.
Carolyn is incensed when she finds out what happened, especially when she realized it was Kenny who helped Eve go behind her back. She's lost Konstantin, who was her virtual prisoner, and Eve has failed to catch Villanelle again. As Carolyn brings down the hammer, Eve is told to let Villanelle go. Her job is to find the Ghost, wrap up the Peele case, and go home.
But hey, at least Eve will always have the tube of lipstick? Is anyone surprised when it turns out is a deadlier weapon than one might have thought? Let the cat and mouse game continue.