We hit the halfway mark of Killing Eve season three with last week’s episode, and now we’re heading into the final four. Just tonight, episode five — “Are You From Pinner” — aired, where we see killer-for-hire Villanelle reunite with her family for the first time since her childhood.
Typically, she does her own thing and doesn’t need much attention from anyone (except for Eve). These days, she seems to be uncharacteristically lonely, recognizing happiness in others and questioning how it works.
Let’s see if she gets her answer:
Villanelle has made her return to Russia. Mother Russia to be exact. She walks up to a house, in an isolated area, kind of off on its own. Surprisingly, the door is wide open. She just walks right in and admires the family photos on the wall. But, there are no signs of her existence. Finally, a little boy enters the room and discovers her, just saying, “Who are you?”
Reaction: Villanelle has made herself at home quite seamlessly.
People start filling the kitchen, and all echo the same question, “Who are you?” She’s told that she has the wrong house, with Villanelle responding, “Does Pyorta live here?” Unfortunately for them, this is the right house. When Pyorta enters the room, he instantly recognizes her. He offers up an answer, “That’s my sister.”
Reaction: Aw, it’s actually kind of sweet. Pyorta looks pleasantly surprised to see her.
It appears Pyorta was led to believe she had died. And he is so happy it’s not true. But, when the little boy, her half-brother, says mum is pulling up to the house, she goes into full panic-mode. She begins pacing, trying to make her escape. But, she can’t, her mum enters the room and the two lock eyes. Her mother starts crying, saying, “Oh, God! My baby is alive.”
Reaction: We say… faker.
Her mother, Bertha, embraces her and cries all over her. Villanelle sort of cringes, but lets her act it out. The two sit down to chat, and Bertha says the orphanage said Oksana, Villanelle’s real name, had died in a fire. A fire that Villanelle had set. Villanelle shrugs it off, saying, “It was just one floor. Maybe two at most.”
Reaction: Villanelle was a killer from an early age.
Villanelle asks why her mother left her at an orphanage, instead of her brother, who “cried a lot.” Bertha planned to come get her after a month’s time, but then there was the fire. They go over a photo album and Villanelle gets the answer to the really important question she had asked Konstantin back in London, “Do you think I was a beautiful baby?” Yes, yes she was.
Reaction: We never find out why she was abandoned in the first place.
Her mother gives a little speech, welcoming Oksana home. Villanelle, being her bold self, says, “I’ve never actually lived her,” but goes along with it. And, now what are they to do? Dance! The entire family — mom, step-dad, half-brother, step-brother, step-brother’s girlfriend, and brother — jump up and dance to Elton John‘s “Crocodile Rock.”
Reaction: Villanelle seems a little freaked out. But then she goes along with it.
Villanelle and Pyorta have a heart-to-heart. While off on their own, away from the rest of the family, she says to him, “You always wanted to be a firefighter.” He’s touched that she remembers. And proud of her for being a pilot, which he was told, and traveling the world. He tells her that he missed her. She pauses, processes it and moves on.
Reaction: She has a good poker face, but it’s clear his words mean something to her.
The conversation turns to their father, who has passed away. Pyorta doesn’t remember him, with Villanelle reminding him that he was “funny, strong, taught me how to fight. He was much better…” Much better than her mother, that is, because “she was mean.” Pyorta reminds Villanelle that she herself was mean.
Reaction: We believe both of them.
Now Pyorta asks the hard question, “Why did you come here, Oksana?” She brushes the question off. Even so, he gets up, walks over to her and puts his head on her shoulder and just hugs her. He announces to the room, “Look, it’s me and sister having lunch!” The few folks in the room are less than impressed.
Reaction: He is SO proud of her.
Back at the house, Villanelle gets to know her step-brother and his girlfriend. And then plays with the little one for a bit. She goes outside for a catch-up with Bertha’s husband. It turns out, he’s been married three times. She asks a leading question: which one of his wives did he like the most? Of course he has to say his current wife. Villanelle doesn’t believe him.
Reaction: It seems like she’s sizing them all up.
The family goes to the harvest festival where Villanelle is finally feeling and acting herself. She gets a good rhythm in the cups betting game, picking which cup is hiding the ball. She excels in dung throwing. She’s a little rude to her step-brother’s girlfriend, which helps her blow off some steam. She is so pleased with herself. And, she’s having fun.
Reaction: It’s nice to see her trying to fit in.
But, when having a moment with her little brother that evening, she learns that her mother hasn’t changed. He had entered a pretzel eating contest and lost. His mother went and sat by him. From afar, it seemed she was consoling him. But later that night, he tells Villanelle that she was whispering in his ear how stupid he is.
Reaction: Villanelle is not cool with this. Not at all.
Back at the house, Villanelle is in the kitchen cutting tomatoes. When she turns around to face her mother, she looks to have blood dripping from her eyes. It’s just a little prank and is actually tomato paste. Her mother is not amused. Villanelle asks her mother to clean it off, to show her a little kindness. She obliges but then Bertha tells her to leave the house.
Reaction: Villanelle is giving her mother a chance to redeem herself. But, she has turned her back on her.
Villanelle tells her “no.” No, she’s not leaving. And then she challenges her, saying, “What are you going to do? Take me to the orphanage? It’s easier to carry a trusting little girl out of this house than it will be to carry me. Especially after the last two days.” Bertha claps back, “Don’t pretend you were an angel.” Villanelle is prepared, “Don’t pretend you were a mother.”
Reaction: Villanelle has faced her fears. Now we know why she wanted to see her mother.
Her mother is terrible. She hisses at Villanelle, “Do not bring your darkness into this house.” She doesn’t stop there, continuing, “You were never a happy person. You were bad from the beginning. You didn’t cry as a baby. You ruined me. You took everything from me. You took him. You could control him. He would do everything for you. Because you had a darkness.”
Reaction: It sounds like her mother was jealous of her own child.
And how does one respond to that? Villanelle lectures her, saying, “I didn’t mind that you took me there. I didn’t mind that you never came back for me. What I mind… is that you won’t admit who you are.” She bends to her knees, to be at eye level with her mother, and through deep, broken breaths, concedes, “I think. I think I need to kill you… mama.”
Reaction: Villanelle gave her a chance. She didn’t take it.
Villanelle goes to the stove to turn the gas on. And then pours lighter fluid on the ground and leaves a lit Zippo lighter on the table. She closes the door to her step-brother’s room, with him and his girlfriend asleep inside. She leaves a note for her little brother. And when his alarm clock goes off, he sees it, which reads, “Go to the barn.”
Reaction: Her mind works in fascinating ways, like with who she decides to save. We knew she felt a connection with her little brother.
The little boy goes to the barn, to find Pyorta safely asleep. As he runs out of the house, we see Bertha knocked out on the floor. At the barn, there’s an envelope with cash in it and a note that reads, “Go see Elton.” As in, Elton John, the little boy’s idol. His face lights up, right as the house goes up in flames behind him. Pyorta wakes up right about this time.
Reaction: What if he’d slept through the alarm? Don’t think about, don’t think about it.
That’s it for now, we’ll see you here next week for episode six.
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