“Are You From Pinner” sees a more personal and vulnerable side of Villanelle as she returns home to Russia.
Villanelle goes back Mother Russia to find her family using the information Konstantin gave her. She returns to reunite with mother and brother and meets her half-brother for the first time. It comes as a shock to them because they thought Villanelle was dead. Villanelle bonds better with some family members than others.
Throughout Killing Eve’s run Villanelle has shown herself to be a vicious killer with no emotion, remorse, or filter. And this was why fans love the character and Jodie Comer was able to make her oddly charming. “Are You From Pinner” took Villanelle out of her comfort zone.
Physically Villanelle was used to living in luxury. She lived in expensive pads in Paris and Barcelona and wears fancy clothes, so going to a poor town in rural Russia was a massive change. Her family lived in a rundown house and the town had few amenities. Yet Villanelle did enjoy the rustic pursuits of the harvest festival.
The other element that took Villanelle was emotional. In the episode she bonds with her younger, Elton John obsessed half-brother Bor’ka (Temi Blaev.) Whilst her full brother, Pyotr (Rob Feldman) was excited to have his sister back. Villanelle was awkward around the family like when her mother (Evgenia Dodina) hugged her long-lost daughter. During the family celebration of Villanelle’s return Villanelle doesn’t drink the vodka they gave her and she was perplexed when they started to sing “Crocodile Rock.”
The aim of “Are You From Pinner” was to explore what turned Villanelle into the psychopath we know and love. During the episode, the family looks at photos of Villanelle as a child where she liked to dress up and put make-up under her eyes as a part of a demented game. Villanelle’s mother states that she feared her. But it was more than just nature: Villanelle’s mother was shown to be a cruel woman and abusive towards Bor’ka. The boy self-harmed to handle the stress. The best scene in the episode was when Villanelle finally confronts her mother about her upbringing and her mother saying some harsh truths.
The other aim of the episode was to show Villanelle had some compassion. She got close to Bor’ka and tried to get him to stop hitting himself. However, this does go against Villanelle’s characterization because well, she’s a psychopath. She has pretended to be kind and caring so victims would let their guard down. One of Villanelle’s most infamous kills was in the episode “Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body” where she befriended a teenage boy she was sharing a hospital ward and broke his neck so she could escape. It does lead to the question of why would she care more for her family members?
One of the most notable features of “Are You From Pinner” was it only focused on Villanelle. There was no action involving MI6 or Konstantin. Because of this the story in “Are You From Pinner” felt like division to the main story. It leads to the question what was the point of the episode? The other issue with the episode was it felt stretched. That’s remarkable because it was only 40 minutes long. It was directionless as it forced scenes to fill the runtime.
“Are You From Pinner” was terrifically acted episode. Comer is the kind of actress who can make the phone book compelling and Blaev shows he is a talent to watch out for. But the episode will be seen as one of the most divisive episodes in the series due to its characterization.