After last week’s dramatic episode, Killing Eve takes a breather and instead focuses exclusively on Villanelle as we learn more about her family set-up in a self-contained bottle episode. Thawing the cold heart of our calculated assassin and showing a lot more of her humanity, Killing Eve delivers a wonderful episode helped along by a masterful performance from Jodie Comer.
Episode 5 of Killing Eve begins with Villanelle heading off to meet her family deep in the heart of Mother Russia. She arrives at her dysfunctional house with one of the boys Pyotr recognizing her as his sister, whom he believed was dead. The happy family reunion continues on as the whole family gather together, looking over photos of Villanelle as a child, who of course goes by the name of Oksana.
After an evening of singing and games, Villanelle speaks to her brother and they discuss why she arrived. A lot of the episode is then taken up with learning more about her past and family set-up, melting the icy heart of Villanelle one shard at a time while keeping an air of tension rife at all times.
At the Harvest Festival Villanelle gets into the festivities and wins all the games, bagging herself first prize and a fan for her efforts. Back home she tries to make her Mother Tatiana laugh but she remains cold toward her offspring, telling Villanelle to leave in the morning as she’s not part of the family.
They come to blows over the darkness residing in them both and it’s here we finally see a more human side to Villanelle. Tatiana was the catalyst for Villanelle’s darkness spreading and as she hangs her head infront of her Mother while on her knees, Villanelle finally snaps and understands what she needs to do.
After saving her brother and the young boy her Mother has trapped in her deceitful web of abuse, Villanelle kills the rest of the family, blowing the house sky high while walking away.
With no way back and her bridges literally burned now, she heads back on the train with a newfound purpose. Another moment of weakness disappears as quickly as it arrives, paving way for a smile as the episode ends.
What’s particularly interesting with this episode, especially given Villanelle is the only character we focus on here, is the way the show revels in an uneasy veil of tension right the way through the drama. From Villanelle being told she has the look of a killer to the dialogue full of deliberately placed bouts of silence, there’s a tonal consistency that makes this such a delicious and well written episode.
Those expecting answers to last week’s cliffhanger however will almost certainly be left disappointed but Jodie Comer’s masterful performance and a lot more insight into Villanelle’s character should be enough to keep you sticking around as this season delivers one of its best episodes.
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