Nice Face

"Nice Face" is the first episode of the BBC America television show Killing Eve. It aired on 8 April 2018 in the United States and 15 September 2018 in the United Kingdom.

"Nice Face"
Killing Eve episode
Killing Eve Nice Face Bathroom Scene.jpg
Eve and Villanelle unknowingly meet for the first time; in the mirror, Villanelle's eyes are drawn to Eve's hair.
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 1
Directed byHarry Bradbeer
Written byPhoebe Waller-Bridge
Original air date8 April 2018 (2018-04-08)
Running time43 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
  • Billy Matthews as Dominik "Dom" Wolanski
  • Remo Girone as Cesare Greco
  • Nicoló Ambrosio as Davide
  • Sally Reeve as Nurse Watkins
  • Edyta Budnik as Kasia Molkovska
  • Ania Marson as Ethel Rubynovitch
  • Ken Nwosu as Max Sanford
  • Sonia Elliman as Madame Tattevin
  • Giulia Patrignani as Girl in Ice Cream Parlor
  • Paolo Roca Rey as Ice Cream Vendor
  • Paolo D Bovani as Leoluca
  • Nadia Mayer as Cesare Greco's Wife
  • Charlyne Francis as Reception Nurse
Episode chronology
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"I'll Deal with Him Later"
List of Killing Eve episodes

The episode introduces the main characters as well as the complex relationship of Eve Polastri and Villanelle through dialogue and a brief interaction. It follows both Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) following the assassination of a diplomat in Vienna — a crime that Villanelle committed and that Eve is tasked to solve.

SynopsisEdit

Villanelle is eating ice cream in a shop in Vienna. She notices a little girl staring at her, and exchanges smiles with her. She gets up to leave, and as she walks past the girl, she tips over her bowl of ice cream.

Eve Polastri works for a department of MI5 that provides diplomatic protection for visitors to the UK, under her boss Bill Pargrave (David Haig). She is called in to a meeting attended by her supervisor Frank Haleton (Darren Boyd), and Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw), head of the Russian desk at MI6. Carolyn explains that a Russian politician involved in sex trafficking was assassinated in Vienna. The sole witness is the politician's Polish girlfriend Kasia (Edyta Budnik), who fled to London, and Eve's department is assigned with protecting her. As the meeting draws to a close, Eve floats her theory that the assassin is a woman.

At her apartment in Paris, Villanelle is given her next job by her handler Konstantin (Kim Bodnia). She travels to Tuscany and infiltrates a villa where a Mafia boss is hosting a party. Using his grandson as a lure, she baits him into a room and kills him by stabbing him in the eye with a poisoned hairpin.

Eve is informed by Bill that CCTV footage from Vienna shows the assassin was male. Disregarding Bill's instructions, she conducts an unauthorised interview with Kasia. Unable to get much useful information out of her, Eve enlists help from Niko (Owen McDonnell), her English-Polish husband, and Dom (Billy Matthews), a teenage boy who plays at Niko's contract bridge club. Eve discovers from their translations that Kasia described the assassin as a woman. With the assistance of her colleague Elena (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), she learns that the descriptions of the woman do not match any known female assassins on record.

Back at her apartment, Villanelle is tasked by Konstantin to travel to London and kill Kasia. He cautions her to be discreet and stage it as suicide, as her hairpin was attracting attention from the press.

Eve goes to the hospital where the witness is housed, bringing Dom to pose as Kasia's cousin. Eve excuses herself to the bathroom, where she unknowingly encounters Villanelle disguised as a nurse. They have a brief interaction where Villanelle advises Eve to wear her hair down. Eve receives a call from Bill telling her that the CCTV footage was bogus. She returns to the hospital room to find the nurse and the two guarding police officers dead and Kasia dying, whom she tries in vain to save. Eve and Bill are both fired by Frank. Eve is approached at her home by Carolyn. Carolyn discloses that she has been tracking a female assassin working internationally over the past two years, and offers Eve a chance to work on the investigation.

At her apartment, Villanelle reads a postcard containing details of her next job, taking place in Bulgaria.

ProductionEdit

For the assassination in Tuscany, Villanelle arrives to kill Cesare Greco and is caught out by what actress Jodie Comer calls a surprise party. Writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge said she liked the idea of Villanelle having to improvise, after only turning up with her hairpin needle, to secretly kill him whilst surrounded by people. She also said that Comer found a menacing "darkness and pleasure" in the murder scene "very easily". Executive producer Sally Woodward-Gentle said it was difficult to make the murder feel real, using camera angles and off-screen space to achieve this. The hypodermic needle at the end of the hairpin was also added to the image in post-production.[1]

Meeting of Eve and VillanelleEdit

Eve and Villanelle unknowingly meet in this episode, in a hospital bathroom. The moment has been well analysed by critics; Sonia Saraiya of Vanity Fair notes the use of the setting to allow the two women to first see the other through a mirror, saying that when they look up "each takes note of the other's reflection" (rather than their own) and adding that this reflects the tension between the characters throughout the series, which she describes as "two women shadowboxing with the parts of themselves they have, unwittingly, seen reflected in the other".[2] Caroline Framke of Vox writes further on the moment and how it "has a palpable charge of lust", establishing a purpose for the cat-and-mouse chase through the series beyond admiration for the other's skills, examining how first Villanelle is frozen at the sight of Eve but only for her beauty, and later how Eve recalls such a fleeting moment with precision despite not knowing the relevance of who she had bumped into.[3] It is also noted that Eve's nervous habit of playing with her hair is what led to her meeting with Villanelle in this bathroom, with Villanelle prompting her to wear her hair down, something Eve chooses to do and is otherwise seen doing only when trying to impress or when she lets her guard down, suggesting she immediately has trust in Villanelle.[4]

ReceptionEdit

The opening scene was highly praised, with Rebecca Nicholson of The Guardian saying that it "lays out the wickedly funny tone" of the show with Villanelle's interactions with the little girl; Sandra Oh mentions the humor in the juxtaposition of this scene with the introduction of Eve "bumbling along" in the next.[5] Lisa Weidenfeld of The A.V. Club similarly praises how the episode establishes the characters "in the first ten minutes".[6] Jo Berry of Digital Spy refers to the same two moments when she describes how "Waller-Bridge's skill at mixing drama with wry humour is on display throughout the first episode".[7] Comparatively, Inkoo Kang of Vulture refers to the slightly later moment of Eve asking Elena for her croissant as being when she "reveals her greatness".[8]

On Rotten Tomatoes the episode has a 100% rating from 5 reviews.[9]

AccoladesEdit

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Phoebe Waller-Bridge Nominated [10]
2019 American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Drama Series for Commercial Television Gary Dollner Won [11]
British Academy Television Craft Awards Director: Fiction Harry Bradbeer Nominated [12]
Editing: Fiction Gary Dollner Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ BBC America (10 April 2018). Killing Eve S01E01 Featurette 'A Closer Look'. YouTube. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  2. ^ Sonia Saraiya (27 July 2018). "Why the Fashion on Killing Eve Is Its Own Delicious Subplot". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  3. ^ Caroline Framke (29 April 2018). "Killing Eve's funny, frightening third episode shows why it's the best TV surprise of the year". Vox. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  4. ^ Hanh Nguyen (6 May 2018). "'Killing Eve': TV's Newest Assassin Subverts Storytelling Cliches, Which Makes Her Scary as Hell". IndieWire. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  5. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (15 September 2018). "'It's anarchic': the cast of Killing Eve on Phoebe Waller-Bridge's killer thriller". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  6. ^ Weidenfeld, Lisa (8 April 2018). "Killing Eve gets going with a bang, or rather, a meticulous hairpin murder". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  7. ^ Berry, Jo (15 September 2018). "Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer's double act makes Killing Eve unmissable TV". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  8. ^ Kang, Inkoo (9 April 2018). "Killing Eve Series-Premiere Recap: Cat Meets Mouse". Vulture. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Killing Eve S01 E01". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  10. ^ Hipes, Patrick (12 July 2018). "Emmy Nominations: 'Game Of Thrones, 'The Americans', 'Atlanta', Defending Champ 'Handmaid's Tale' Among Top Nominees". Deadline. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  11. ^ Tapley, Kristopher (1 February 2019). "'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'The Favourite,' 'Atlanta' Win ACE Editing Awards". Variety. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  12. ^ Clarke, Stewart (27 March 2019). "Killing Eve, A Very English Scandal Lead BAFTA Television Award Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on 11 April 2019.

External linksEdit