‘Killing Eve’ Season 3, Episode 5 ‘Are You From Pinner?’ Recap: Villanelle Comes Home
BY Stephanie Larson
Published 2 years ago
In this week’s episode titled ‘Are You From Pinner,’ Killing Eve takes a break from The Twelve and MI6 to take on Villanelle’s (Jodie Comer) much-needed backstory. And oh wow was this one of the most delightful episodes of the show. Dare I say that Villanelle’s murderous ice-cold heart was melting minute by minute. As gloriously fun this was though, it honestly felt like Killing Eve was toying with us as a cat plays with its meal. It’s exciting but it’s also dangerous. You sort of hope Villanelle doesn’t kill the kid or her brother but then you also wonder who she’s going to kill because well, we can’t really have this show without a body dropping in an episode, can we?
More importantly though, by taking Villanelle back to her roots, Killing Eve took the opportunity to answer a question largely ignored question ever since the beginning of the show: Why is Villanelle the way she is? All we knew was she was pretty much dark before she even entered assassin school. But, why? Was she born that way or was she made that way? Let’s dive into this week’s episode of Killing Eve and maybe find out.
Welcome Home Oksana
If you think Villanelle and family in the same sentence are weird enough as it is, just take a look at Villanelle. The girl is totally and delightfully baffled. Her family is bonkers! There’s Pytor (Rob Feldman), her weird brother who’s sweet but has anger management issues. Then, there’s Bor’ka (Temi Blaev), her little step-brother who’s a massive Elton John fan. She’s actually taken quite a liking to the two and they might have become her only possible weaknesses aside from Eve and Konstantin.
There’s also her stepfather Grigoriy (Pedja Bjelac) and his older son Fyodor and his girlfriend Yula (both are conspiracy theory numbnuts and flat-earthers by the way). And of course, there’s Villanelle’s one and only mama Tatiana (Evgenia Dodina).
It’s the homecoming of homecomings! Villanelle goes through the usual motions of teary mothers and album reminiscing which, by the way, shows very cute baby photos of Villanelle (Konstantin is a grumpy old liar). Then, it’s past dinner and the family is playing “Who’s the Killer” which soon transforms into a hilarious yet adorable singalong. I swear, this Killing Eve episode possibly has one of the best performances of “Crocodile Rock” ever on television. It’s adorable, it’s hilarious, and it might even be a tad embarrassing, especially with how bad they were dancing in the end but, it’s family. Villanelle is bewildered! But, try as she might, she can’t help but singalong too.
What’s Mama Done To You
Villanelle’s curious about the whole new family. But, what’s she’s most curious about is her mother. Though the woman cried and hugged her as a mother should welcoming her long lost child, Villanelle was far from comfortable. The woman seemed sweet too, But, it seems she has a grudge with the woman. She even tells her brother to leave the place and leave their mother. When her brother gets defensive, Villanelle says “People here don’t know her.”
Continuing to wonder why everybody seems to worship her mother, Villanelle chats up her stepfather next. All she gets from him though is that her mother has a deep sadness in her. He even seems to sympathize with the fact that Tatiana left Villanelle in an orphanage. Soon enough, the topic of the conversation appears herself and invites Villanelle back inside. There, she presents Villanelle this stylish 80s jumpsuit that she tailored for her daughter. I guess fashion runs in the family.
On the other hand, though, getting to know Villanelle’s backstory in Russia is something altogether. Apparently, the orphanage her mother dropped her off told her family she burnt down the place killing herself and many others. Meanwhile, that same orphanage told Villanelle that her family died in a car crash. Now it’s easier to understand Villanelle’s disdain for her country, speaking Russian, and talking about her family all together. Add that to the seemingly twisted relationship with her mother and father and you’d somehow feel more sympathetic to her, ahem, violent and murderous tendencies.
Living The Country Life
Later on, Villanelle’s living it up in the county festival. She’s happy, she’s playing games, and she’s even winning a dung throwing competition. And she just loves it. The entire time, she’s beaming. Even her brother’s proud “That’s my sister!” declarations wouldn’t throw her off. At the end of the day though, it’s still her mother that sets her off.
Not one for dancing, Villanelle goes ahead and sits by her little stepbrother Bor’ka. Suddenly, the little boy starts hitting himself. Sincerely horrified, Villanelle stops him. See, the kid just wanted to earn money at the festival so he could go to an Elton John concert. So, he joins one of the competitions. But, he loses. That’s not the worst part. His mother comes over and silently calls him ‘stupid.’ Hearing this confession, I think Villanelle realizes that her mother’s facade isn’t as perfect as she thought it was. She must’ve also realized that her mother is repeating the whole cycle again with a new child.
I Am My Mother’s Daughter
Later that night, Villanelle pranks her mother painting on tomato goo on her eyes. When the older lady doesn’t react, Villanelle pouts saying “Oh come on, that used to make you laugh…ok it made dad laugh.” That moment made me think of Konstantin and Villanelle’s endless prank wars with him. And I think that is perhaps the most paternal aspect of their strange relationship that Villanelle seemed to be missing with her parents.
It was also a little strange to see Villanelle crave a little bit of maternal attention. It’s kind of sad when she asked her mother to wipe off the goo only to be told that she’s not a child anymore. It’s even sadder when Villanelle replies, “But, I want to feel like one.” But, do you know the worst part of it all? When her mother tells her to leave. Once again, her mother is kicking her out. This conversation all boils down to answer our main question: why is Villanelle the way she is?
It’s pretty clear Tatiana doesn’t love her daughter. She claims Villanelle took everything away from her. She claims Villanelle has always had this darkness. And even her father was afraid she’d do something to them. But, see, that’s not even what upsets Villanelle the most. She doesn’t mind that her mother left her at an orphanage and didn’t come back for her. “What I mind is that you won’t admit what you are,” Villanelle croaks in the midst of her anger. “That I am my mother’s daughter.”
That statement right there is pretty damning. Although it doesn’t give a clear answer to our question, it insinuates that Tatiana isn’t as innocent as she portrays herself as. Even in the “Who’s the killer” game, she drew the killer card. It’s a long shot, I know, but it might’ve just clued us in that she was the original killer in all this. And she might’ve even murdered Villanelle’s father. Sadly, we wouldn’t be able to know.
Bye Bye, Mama
“Get out of my house” were the last words that ever came out of Tatiana’s mouth as Villanelle finally decided to kill her. The surprising thing is, while we’ve probably known all this while that the old hag was going to die, Villanelle didn’t. Her expression as the realization dawned on her says it all. Although she didn’t trust this new version of her mother, she wasn’t planning on it at all. It might’ve even been her first kill-free trip on Killing Eve. It’s incredibly sentimental. Perhaps she was unconsciously giving her mother a chance to show her she’s changed. The bottom line is, it’s incredibly very unVillanelle.
In addition to that, she also left Bor’ka and her brother alive with a buttload of cash for Elton John’s concert. Villanelle does have a history of being kinder towards kids (remember her little trip with Konstantin’s daughter?). But, there was this expectation that she’d suddenly thwart our expectations by killing the boy along with her brother. Could this mean that she’s actually getting a tinsy tiny bit soft? Or could she be actually changing?
On the train ride back home, she was wearing her mother’s gift, the blue jumpsuit. There’s a brief moment right there when her eyes well up and she starts shaking. In all three seasons of Killing Eve, Villanelle has never been shaken by her kills. Even when she shot Eve and left her for dead, all she had was a deadset expression of anger and satisfaction in her eyes. And Eve was the closest thing to someone she holds dear at that time. I’m not sure what to make of this all. But, it seems like our favorite psychopath’s humanity is actually developing. Now, I don’t know if that’s for the better or the worse.
Killing Eve continues next Sunday, May 17th with “End of Game” at 9/8c on BBCA.