'Killing Eve' Season 3, Episode 5 Recap: "Are You From Pinner?"
This week's Killing Eve takes a complete break from the action to send Villanelle home to Mother Russia. It is not a glamorous place. When Villanelle reaches the house, a little boy, Bor'ka (Temi Blaev), curiously ventures into the kitchen to greet this tall blonde stranger. But he seems to care, as another woman walks in and out, paying her no mind. That's Bor'ka's brother's girlfriend, Yula (Natallia Bulynia), he explains. Upon seeing Villanelle, the brother, Fyodor (Dimitrij Schaad), asks if Dad AirBnB'd his room again. But Dad, Grigoriy (Pedja Bjelac), says no and tells Villanelle she must have the wrong house.
Villanelle: "I think I need to kill you."
Then Pytor (Rob Feldman) walks in. He recognizes Villanelle, er, excuse me, Oksana, his sister from their mother's first marriage. Villanelle responds he looks just like Grandma. Now an accepted presence, Villanelle heads to Bor'ka's room, which is a shrine to Elton John. But when mom, Tatiana (Evgenia Dodina) pulls up, Villanelle openly panics, like a bird in a cage that can't get out in time. But despite her terror, the woman who walks in sobs, and wraps "her baby" in her arms.
The orphanage claimed Oksana died in a fire; she'd burned the place down and died inside. (Villanelle counters the fire was only one floor, maybe two at most.) Villanelle was also told her family was dead, from a car crash. The reunion brings out the family photos, though there are no pictures of Oksana's late father to be found. (It's not clear if he died before or after she was put in an orphanage.) Mama Tatiana used to like to dress up and made her daughter costumes as a child. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Bor'ka also has the dress-up gene, with Elton John costumes. After dinner, the family plays "Killer" around the dining room table. (Interestingly, Villanelle is not the murderer; her mama is. Apple doesn't fall far?) Tatiana then makes a speech welcoming her baby home before a family singalong to, what else, Elton John.*
*I do hope Elton John approved the use of "Crocodile Rock" for this episode. The clip is too long for permission-less fair use, so someone did. I also hope he appreciates this scene of the family — including Villanelle — rocking out.
The next morning, Villanelle finds Pytor in the barn. He does woodworking, though he mostly beats up his "anger management" fixture, a sofa. He's impressed by his sister's success, Bor'ka has dutifully repeated her story of being a pilot and all the cities she's visited. Villanelle is a little weirded out that Pytor beats up a sofa rather than people, especially since Fyodor bullies him so openly about his preference to sleep in the barn instead of the house. She recommends beating up people. Far more satisfying.
With that bonding moment over, they head to the local restaurant, run by Nadege (Virginia Rogin). They have a traditional Russian meal while the place preps for tomorrow's annual Harvest Festival. As Pytor talks up the celebrations, Villanelle talks up getting out of Russia. Pytor insists he must stay, for their mother. The village thinks her a saint! But Villanelle quietly refutes that, before Nadege comes over to let Pytor know how unimpressed she is that Bor'ka is challenging her supremacy in baking at tomorrow's event.
Back at home, Fyodor and Yula watch a special on the moon landing, as Fyodor spouts conspiracy theories. He's full of them, including one of a secret organization controlling every intelligence agency in the world. Villanelle's eyes go wide as she attempts to laugh him off. Back in the kitchen, Pytor and Bor'ka struggle to bake as Villanelle talks to Grigoriy, and what lies her mother has told. Grigoriy responds that, according to Tatiana, Oksana was a difficult child, but putting her only daughter in an orphanage broke her heart. Tatiana breaks up their conversation to give Villanelle something: Her favorite denim rhinestone jumpsuit from the 1980s. Villanelle's suspicions seem unfounded.
At the Harvest Festival, Yula shows up with a pregnant glamour posse of dancers to sneer at her newly discovered sister-in-law. She shows herself handy with a gun at the cow shooting table as old Russian ladies compete in a milk-bucket carrying race. Villanelle wins at 3-card monte one too many times and gets told to beat it, so she goes and wins the dung throwing contest. Fyodor hits on young moms by the bouncy castles. Grigoriy plays giant chess. And Nadege once again takes home the prize for her baking, dashing Bor'ka hopes of winning the prize money to see Elton John.
Afterward, Villanelle finds Bor'ka beating himself up for losing, literally. Villanelle tries to argue Elton John isn't going anywhere, but that's not what triggered him. Tatiana came over after the results and told him he was stupid to enter. Later that night, Villanelle is chopping veggies in the kitchen when mom comes downstairs. Tatiana tells Villanelle she's wasting the family's food, and she wants Oksana gone by tomorrow morning. What follows is a complicated conversation. Tatiana says she believed her daughter was evil. But she admits she was also jealous Oksana became the apple of her father's eye, replacing Tatiana. Did mom put her daughter in an orphanage because Oksana frightened her? Or did she do it out of jealousy?
Just before midnight, Bor'ka's alarm goes off, waking him. There's a note: "If you like surprises, go to the barn." He runs outside, not noticing his mother's dead body in the kitchen or the pools of gasoline on the floor. In the barn, there's an envelope of cash to see Elton. Pytor wakes up, asking what Bor'ka is holding. And then, the house behind them explodes, killing everyone else, as Villanelle walks away.
On the train back to Barcelona, she rocks out to Elton John while wearing her mother's jumpsuit. Trips home are always hard.