Killing Eve’s “Are You from Pinner?” was a character defining episode for Villanelle and one of the best episodes of the season so far. Why? Because we got to peel back the layers of who Villanelle was and how she transformed into the woman that she is today. We got to see her home, where she came from, and who raised her. Most importantly, we got to see that Villanelle was a child abandoned and thrown away just because she was different. That’s bound to set any child down a path of destruction, partly of the self and that of the world around her.
But before we dive into all of that, let’s go back to the beginning of this episode. When it all started, Villanelle’s brother was over the moon to see her. Sure, he remembered her being a little mean but they were kids and that was his sister. No matter what he’s going to love her, to the moon and back. And then there was Villanelle’s mom. She put on such a good show, acting like the grieving mother who lost her baby to a fire she had no part in. You felt for Villanelle’s mom and hoped that our main protagonist would give her mom a try.
So we kept watching; waiting for the other shoe to drop. It didn’t drop when they played games together as a family. It didn’t drop when Villanelle connected with her young half brother. (I think that was her Elton John loving half brother, right?) And it didn’t drop when they had a festival and Villanelle totally dominated. All of these were moments/montages of a happy family reconnecting. And through it all, Villanelle still held back, as if she were waiting for that shoe to drop as well.
And it did, in the most surprising and heartbreaking way.
Villanelle’s mom was the monster of this story. She was the one who abandoned her child due to petty jealousy. She didn’t want Villanelle. In fact, she was tired of her own daughter and wanted her out of her life, asap. But she couldn’t act like the monster in front of her new family and the new community she found herself in. It would ruin her reputation, the way people thought of her, and she couldn’t risk that until the dead of the night when she told her daughter to go because this was not her home.
You can see it all click into place in Villanelle’s mind when her mother showed her true colors. She had come home to destroy this monster from her life and from her mind. And I’m not saying I’m condoning murder, but Villanelle’s mom had to die for Villanelle to move forward in her life. To long Villanelle has held onto these notions of why she got abandoned or where she came from. Sometimes the stories she would tell herself were fairytales and other times they were ones of drama and pain.
Villanelle didn’t know the truth of her past til she was facing it in Mother Russia. So she took care of the problem. She ended her mother’s life and pulled a Kylo Ren, letting go of it all as a means of moving forward. But there’s a part of her, that she buried deep deep deep inside of herself that still hurts at the words her mom spouted at her. That’s why she fought so hard to keep it together on that train ride. She was in pain and her famous composure was fighting against the angst she felt inside. And honestly, Jodie Comer deserves an award for it all. She deserved all the awards already because of season 1 & 2. But this final moment in “Are You from Pinner?” they were character defining and impressive displays of Jodie’s range.
Where does Villanelle go from here on out? Well, I have no freaking idea. Part of me is self assured and happy that Villanelle put this all behind her. Now she can move onto bigger and grander things. But the other half of me remembers the final scene of this episode and sees trouble on the way. She’s not the same Villanelle anymore and what she does in the upcoming episodes will define her as a woman and as a human in general. So, bring it on BBC. Give me complicated, give me refreshing, and give me the same kind of crazy storytelling that’s kept me on the edge of my seat from day one.
On a side note, a very special one at that, I really loved that Villanelle spared her brothers. She didn’t have to set an alarm so her half brother would wake up and go to the barn. She didn’t have to leave that note. She didn’t have to leave that money. Yet she did. And it speaks to the kind of person that she is now; one that remembers her past and is kind to those that treated her with love, affection, and all the family feels. That’s why she didn’t kill her brother that was sleeping in the barn too. He had dreams that she at one point would’ve killed for and she wouldn’t let her mother destroy her brothers. So Villanelle did something.
Villanelle changed her brother’s lives for the better, and that small bit of mercy from what we’ve seen as a ruthless killer, it means something. It means change is afoot. And I’m more than ready for it!
Killing Eve airs Sundays at 9/8c on BBC America.