One of ‘Killing Eve’s Best Episodes Doesn’t Include Sandra Oh at All

The Massive Image

  • Killing Eve
    delves into the complicated relationship between MI6 agent Eve and murderer Villanelle, with each drawn to one another obsessively.
  • Season 3 crucially explores Villanelle’s backstory, revealing her vulnerabilities and a newfound sense of hope earlier than crushing it.
  • The episode “Are You From Pinner?” showcases Villanelle’s humanity and complexity, offering a second of catharsis for viewers.

When Killing Eve burst onto screens in 2018, the present’s core dynamics centered on MI6 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and assassin-for-hire Villanelle’s (Jodie Comer) game of cat and mouse. Regardless of its polarizing finale, Killing Eve‘s rewatchability is maintained by the brilliance of its two leads. Eve and Villanelle are two sides of the identical coin, decided and drawn to one another — obsessively so. Eve’s life and profession drive the present’s plot, whereas the character of Villanelle, along with her Paris Trend Week sense of favor and aptitude for the dramatic, lends the espionage thriller a refreshing sense of surrealism.

Because the present slowly broke away from it’s cat-and-mouse mildew, with Eve and Villanelle even teaming up toward the end of Season 2, viewers had been launched to a extra nuanced examination of Villanelle (born Oksana Astankova). This culminated in Season 3’s fifth episode “Are You From Pinner?” which sees Villanelle return dwelling to Mom Russia and reunite along with her household a long time after being left at an orphanage. Up till this level, Villanelle and her backstory gave the impression to be purposely stored backstage to keep up the air of secrecy surrounding her motivations. Whereas some antagonists have their origins defined to the character’s detriment, “Are You From Pinner?” succeeds in including one other layer of depth to Villanelle’s story with the introduction of her personal final antagonist: Villanelle’s mom.

Killing Eve

Launch Date
April 8, 2018

Major Style


‘Killing Eve’ Season 3 Begins with Villanelle in Disaster

On account of Konstantin’s (Kim Bodia) revelation in the Season 2 finale — that Villanelle’s household will not be, in truth, useless however very a lot alive and residing in Russia — Villanelle spends a lot of the early episodes of Season 3 in a tailspin. She exists within the throes of an obvious midlife disaster (what’s the common lifespan of a Russian murderer anyway?) and struggles to know her place on the planet. Villanelle calls for a promotion from The Twelve, to be elevated to the place of handler à la Konstantin, however finds that she hates administration. She efficiently carries out successful on an Andalusian musician however finds herself intrigued by the sufferer’s child and begins to marvel about her personal infancy.

The data that Villanelle’s household continues to be alive is high of thoughts, and “Are You From Pinner?” begins when Villanelle arrives in Russia and travels to her household’s new dwelling. Viewers are launched to Bor’ka, the Elton John-obsessed half brother Villanelle by no means knew she had, adopted by Grigoriy (Pedja Bjelac) and Fyodor, Villanelle’s step-father and step-brother, and Yula, Fyodor’s girlfriend. Even in Russia, in her household dwelling, Villanelle refuses to talk Russian, and the household calls for to know who she is. It’s Pyotr, Villanelle’s brother, who clears up the confusion when he walks into the kitchen and occurs upon his long-lost older sister.

It is clear the household believed Villanelle was useless, and as they argue over her motives for locating them, Villanelle’s mom arrives dwelling. This spurs a intestine response in Villanelle, one by no means seen earlier than. She begins to hyperventilate and searches frantically for an exit, however the household blocks her from leaving. Killing Eve has usually delighted in showcasing the mercurial Villanelle’s number of feelings, however by no means has it proven the murderer experiencing a full-on panic assault. The girl about to stroll via the entrance door is the solely particular person on the planet who might elicit the sort of response from Villanelle. When Tatiana (Evgenia Dodina) does enter the house and sees her daughter for the primary time in a long time, nevertheless, her response clearly surprises Villanelle. After a tense second, Tatiana drops the groceries she’s carrying (there’s that familial dramatic aptitude) and begins to weep, taking Villanelle in her arms.

“Are You From Pinner?” Offers Us One other Aspect of Villanelle

Tatiana’s response is the first of a number of interactions along with her mom in “Are You From Pinner?” that confuse Villanelle. The household performs a full of life spherical of Mafia, a card recreation whereby gamers try to determine who amongst them is “murdering” the others, and whereas Villanelle is initially accused, it’s Tatiana who finally ends up being the assassin. After the sport, Tatiana toasts Villanelle’s return. Tatiana welcomes her dwelling regardless of her by no means having lived there, and Villanelle, in what might be essentially the most correct summation of her character, replies “Okay, nicely, I am going to associate with it for the sake of the second.” The household then bursts right into a collective sing-a-long of Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock,” full with dancing, air guitar, and feather boas, and Villanelle alone watches haplessly earlier than lastly becoming a member of in.

Afterward, on the annual Harvest Pageant, Tatiana proudly cheers on Villanelle for taking first place in a dung-throwing competitors and dances along with her household on the competition live performance. When Bor’ka loses a piroshki contest, Tatiana seemingly comforts her son when she sits down and whispers a couple of phrases to him after the loss. For all intents and functions, Tatiana is lastly the mom Villanelle all the time wanted.

“Are You From Pinner?” showcases a very completely different facet of Villanelle, one that’s rather more susceptible than beforehand seen. In distinction to her often strong sense of confidence, Villanelle is cautious, unsure, and infrequently confused. Villanelle interrogates her household over the course of the episode, making an attempt to make sense of the Tatiana the household sees in comparison with her personal asynchronous expertise with Tatiana. In a dialog with Pyotr, her brother defends Tatiana, saying “She’s not a nasty lady. Individuals right here say she’s a saint.” With out hesitation, Villanelle responds, “Individuals right here do not know her.”


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‘Killing Eve’ Offers Villanelle a Sense of Hope Earlier than Snatching it Away

Villanelle (Jodie Comer) plays a carnival game at the Harvest Festival;
Picture through BBC Channel 4

On the identical time, viewers see Villanelle in a position to expertise pleasure and have enjoyable with out homicide or subterfuge. When talking to Bor’ka on the Harvest Pageant, Villanelle says, “Pyotr was proper. That is enjoyable,” and it’s a genuinely joyful second. As she begins to let her guard down considerably, viewers start to see glimmers of Oksana, the woman Villanelle might have been. The brutality of Villanelle’s life has hardened her to the world, a lot in order that she violently refuses to permit folks to name her Oksana, however it is a privilege she affords her household. Villanelle is starting to melt.

It is a dialog with Bor’ka on the finish of the Harvest Pageant that lastly, sadly, validates Villanelle’s suspicions and destroys the final stays of Oksana. Bor’ka hits himself and complains that he embarrassed his household by dropping the piroshki contest. When Villanelle disagrees, Bor’ka states, “I did. Mother mentioned I did … After I misplaced, she got here as much as me and mentioned I used to be silly, and embarrassed her and …” earlier than hitting himself once more. Actuality all of a sudden catches up with Villanelle and, as she watches her mom dance with the remainder of her household, Villanelle’s beforehand hopeful face settles again into the masks viewers acknowledge. Gone is Oksana, as soon as once more changed with the murderous facet of Villanelle: stoic, guarded, and coldly calculating.

The place “Are You From Pinner?” shines brightest is throughout its climax, a dialog later that night between Villanelle and Tatiana. Earlier than Villanelle can confront her mom, in what seems to be a preemptive strike, Tatiana abruptly tells Villanelle that she should go away the subsequent day. She doesn’t need her there any longer, expressly telling Villanelle that she will not be part of the household: “You’ll not deliver your darkness into this home.” Villanelle is just too near uncovering Tatiana’s darkness, to exposing her to her new household. Simply as within the recreation of Mafia performed earlier, Tatiana is ready to deny her personal darkness by centering Villanelle because the troubled one, the woman whose darkness would possibly devour the household, the actual assassin.

“Are You From Pinner?” Showcases Villanelle’s Humanity in ‘Killing Eve’

The argument reaches a fever pitch when Villanelle accuses Tatiana of being unable to just accept who she really is. That is Villanelle in her most uncooked type, determined for her mom to repent on the eleventh hour, to acknowledge the shared nature of their darkness. “I’m my mom’s daughter,” Villanelle proclaims, to which Tatiana replies, “Get out of my home.” After a second of silence, Villanelle appears to be like up at her mom and delivers Killing Eve‘s most heartbreaking line: “Oh, I feel I must kill you, Mama.”

Although Killing Eve has shown most of Villanelle’s murders in wonderful, grotesque element, Tatiana’s loss of life occurs off-screen. Villanelle’s most intimate homicide is saved for her eyes alone. With Bor’ka and Pyotr safely exterior, Villanelle makes use of the gasoline range to blow the home to items, with Grigoriy, Fyodor, and Yula nonetheless inside. Notably missing the same old stoicism she exhibits after her kills, Villanelle lets out a scream of frustration when leaving the property. “Are You From Pinner?” ends with Villanelle on a practice leaving Russia, sporting an outdated jumpsuit of Tatiana’s, tears in her eyes.

In a break from Killing Eve‘s typical format, “Are You From Pinner?” succeeds in specializing in one character, pulling again the curtain, and revealing Villanelle with out the masks she presents to the world. Regardless of (or perhaps due to) her most antagonist qualities, viewers have been drawn to Villanelle and the thriller of her character since the first episode of Killing Eve.“Are You From Pinner?” offers a second of catharsis, an acknowledgment of the achingly human facet of Villanelle. The episode showcases the complexity of the present’s most compelling character (and the brilliance of Jodie Comer’s efficiency) and thrives even with out its titular character.

Killing Eve is offered to stream on Netflix within the U.S.


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