Skip to main content

Season 3 of Killing Eve had its pitfalls, but it also had some really good moments too. One of the highlights was how it dove into Villanelle’s past and why she is the way she is now. In doing so, it also changes Villanelle’s current mindset, something audiences will probably continue to see in Season 4. 

Villanelle going back to Russia also didn’t just illuminate her past, but it also showed just who Eve is obsessed with, and why. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Killing Eve Season 3]. 

Jodie Comer as Villanelle when she visits her family in Russia in 'Killing Eve,' Season 3
Jodie Comer as Villanelle when she visits her family in Russia in ‘Killing Eve,’ Season 3 | Des Willie/BBC America/Sid Gentle

‘Killing Eve’: How Oksana’s Family Shows Villanelle’s Vulnerable Side

Villanelle finally meets her family again in Season 3 and it’s a turning point for her

Villanelle really struggled this past season of Killing Eve. After wanting a new outlook at her job and finally “moving on” from her “ex” Eve Polastri, she got a fresh start. She, of course, finds out Eve isn’t actually dead and it becomes obvious that she’s just running from things; she’s not really “over” anything. 

With this in mind, she desperately wants to find her family, who Konstantin revealed were actually alive. And as she heads to Russia, fans see a new side to Villanelle. She’s afraid of being vulnerable, but she actually takes to her family and their town pretty well. 

Despite the fact that her mother tries to gaslight Villanelle, it becomes apparent that her mom is still the woman who dropped her at an orphanage because she felt a “darkness” in her daughter. In the end, she has to kill her mother, but instead of the typical Villanelle act setting her free, it changes the assassin. 

She goes to Russia with the idea of letting go of Oksana, and actually, it’s Villanelle whom she cuts the ties with, this person she’s created,” Comer said in an interview with W Magazine on May 10. “It becomes very apparent to her that she cannot get away from herself.”

Villanelle is who she created to withstand her training as an assassin after The Twelve broke her out of prison. She has this “candy-coated exterior,” Comer explained, someone who’s an “ideal” woman that she “created herself to be.” 

However, being so close to a loving family, only to have it stripped away from her (again), ruins that coping mechanism she created years ago. 

Russia brings out the person Eve sees in Villanelle

While she visits Russia, that vulnerability comes out and audiences see a side of Oksana/Villanelle that she really only shared with Eve before. And only briefly here and there. Comer explained that this is who Eve is attracted to and obsessed with getting to know. 

“It’s almost like this is the Villanelle that Eve sees, deep down,” Comer said. “A question I often get is, ‘What is it about Villanelle that Eve likes?’ It’s something I’ve never really been able to put my finger on, but there were a couple of moments in this season toward the end between Eve and Villanelle, and I think there was an acceptance.”

Comer said that Villanelle would notice that more if she just “wise[ned] up and open[ed] her eyes” but the burden of being an assassin for The Twelve keeps her distracted. 

Villanelle’s broken journey started because of rejection, but Eve accepts her

At the heart of her strife with her mother is rejection. Villanelle’s mom didn’t want her or felt threatened by her, so she got rid of her. And now, even as an adult, Villanelle’s mother doesn’t want her in the house. She also doesn’t admit her fault in all of this. 

Villanelle has also never been open enough with anyone else to receive acceptance. Even with Konstantin, one of those closest to Villanelle, only cares for himself, another form of rejection. 

“I think she’s had this huge sense of longing and wanting to belong, and where else are you going to find that other than your actual family?” Comer explained. “Yet she goes there and it’s still inaccessible. She still can’t get a grasp on it. Not only that, but her mother didn’t want her. 

But Eve does accept her. Episode 5 showed the side to Villanelle that Eve sees and acknowledges. Eve also sees the rest of Villanelle, and all the bad she’s done, and she still accepts her. 

Villanelle changes after her trip to Russia, as stated above. She shows more remorse about her kills, and the playful wall she put up between her and Eve before is nearly gone when they meet up again. And Villanelle is near tears when she tells Eve she’s killed a lot of people. Eve, of course, knew this, but it’s the fact that she still doesn’t give any sign of judgement that’s meaningful for Villanelle.

On the bridge in the finale, too, Eve doesn’t condemn Villanelle as a monster. She equates everyone’s monsters, even adding her own in there. Season 4 is going to be quite interesting because VillanEve’s dynamic has shifted for good after Russia.

RELATED: ‘Change Is Possible’ on ‘Killing Eve,’ But Does That Include Villanelle?