Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 4 here.
There’s a now-classic scene in Michael Mann’s definitive 1995 crime drama Heat that has its two main players, a wily and brilliant criminal and a determined oddball cop, facing off in quite tremendous style. Not over a hail of bullets, though (that comes later). Instead, the tense stand-off occurs in a humble roadside diner. In reality, it’s more of a sit-off.
Robert De Niro’s master thief and Al Pacino’s LAPD detective are arch enemies, growing increasingly obsessed with each other. Their personalities differ, but they’ve plenty in common. Their reciprocated fascination with the other stems from equal parts admiration and resentment. It’s this recognition of the other as a worthy foe that’s not to be underestimated that leads the two sworn adversaries to sit across from one another and discuss the terms of their rivalrous relationship over a cup of coffee.
Episode 5 of the BBC’s absurdly good Killing Eve, ‘I Have a Thing About Bathrooms’, has its very own Heat-style diner scene. And it’s arguably the most tense, heart-stopping and thrilling five minutes of the series to date. Which is no mean feat.
Jodie Comer’s master assassin and Sandra Oh’s oddball MI6 agent are also, as we know, arch enemies, obsessed with each other. As they sit down opposite each other for the first time, it all feels very Heat. Except their electrifying sit-off happens over microwaved shepherd’s pie, not coffee. You could cut the tension with the knife Villanelle (or should we say ‘Oksana’?) ends the scene pressing into Eve’s windpipe.
How did we get here? Well, we ended last week’s drama with a cliffhanger. Would Eve floor it and drive away from her bullet-dispensing Russian foe? Or attempt a dangerous and mostly senseless eye-to-eye? It was to be the foolish latter option, with Eve risking everyone’s life to get a closer glimpse of the focus of her obsession. Villanelle eventually disappeared into the woods, leaving the carload of spooks to fight another day. And a reheated minced beef-centred face-off to come…
it’s arguably the most tense, heart-stopping and thrilling five minutes of the series to date
Despite Eve and Elena’s impressive extraction of the mole – the snivelling, brown sauce-loving Frank – Villanelle stills gets to the double agent. Not only does she snuff him out, she also metaphorically emasculates him by leaving him wearing the dress she’d bought, and later stole back from, Eve.
Don’t worry, we won’t mention the rather grisly literal emasculation of Frank. Some of you, we appreciate, may be eating as you read this.
The dress was pinched during our lovable hitwoman’s enforced earlier dinner date at Eve’s. The sit-down bisects the episode with a deliciously seat-edging eleven minutes of real-time nerve jangling. If there’s been a more subtly thrilling scene on television so far in 2018, we’re yet to gawp slack-jawed at it.
Niko’s return home brings a close to the ad-hoc meeting. The shepherd’s pie was demolished, but Eve’s throat remained intact. A chirpy Villanelle happily trotting off to put the knife to better use on Frank’s particulars.
To end this week, a few revelations. Our assassin’s employers? Not merely the Russian government or an alphabetised intelligence service of theirs, but a shadowy group known only as ‘The Twelve’ (how very Frederick Forsyth, eh?). We also learn that Nadia didn’t die under those wheels last week and is, we’re told, in a Russian jail, capable of spilling The Twelve’s secrets. Next week, we’re teased, sees ‘Oksana’ rather daringly infiltrating the prison as an inmate to shut her up on a permanent basis.
So if this week had shades of Heat, perhaps next week might feel a little more Shawshank Redemption. Let’s just hope Villanelle manages to get hold of a poster of Rita Hayworth in order to help her break back out.
We’re sure she’ll have some sort of plan to escape. Only we can’t quite see this incredible series ending with our brilliant baddie languishing over bowls of cold borscht in some grimy Russian nick, can you?
Did you tune in for Killing Eve episode 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!