‘Killing Eve': Sandra Oh Breaks Down Villanelle’s ‘Psychological Gift’ to Eve

“When Phoebe came up with the idea that the gift to Eve is a dress… I just thought, it’s so complicated, and so fantastic,” former “Grey’s Anatomy” star tells The Wrap

(Spoiler Warning: Do not read if you haven’t watched “Killing Eve” Episode 5!)

After four weeks of consistent audience growth and positive critic reception, Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer have stepped it up a notch in the fifth episode of BBC America’s “Killing Eve.”

Oh, who plays the titular MI5 officer Eve, told TheWrap in a recent interview that Episode 5 is a climactic moment in the series.

“The scene in the kitchen is, for me, the scene of the series,” Oh said, adding that that scene was the “chemistry read” scene between her and Comer, and also the first time they met. When shooting the first four episodes, Oh said, it was helpful to know their two characters “were building towards this one scene.”

“I love this episode so much because it encapsulates what the entire show is about,” Oh continued. “[It’s] very much from a feminine point of view and perspective.”

Showrunner Phoebe Waller-Bridge told TheWrap in an interview ahead of Sunday’s episode that this was part of the story that differed from Luke Jennings’ “Codename Villanelle” novella series, from which the drama is based.

I wanted to subvert the climax a little bit,” Waller-Bridge said. “The idea that the two women could sit and have a shepherd’s pie and just have a little bit of a chat as the kind of opposite experience that you normally have, which is this huge reveal when they see each other.”

“When Phoebe came up with the idea that the gift to Eve is a dress, is phenomenal clothes, I just thought, it’s so complicated, and so fantastic, and so irresistible, and so awful, that I just thought, of course,” Oh said. “I think it’s an amazing, very psychological gift and a psychological move.”

Villanelle “really wins because Eve can’t resist the gift. And she puts it on. It’s also complicated greatly because I feel like Villanelle is offering this [to] Eve because it’s how she sees Eve,” the actress continued. 

Oh explained that in giving Eve “this beautiful sexy dress with fantastic shoes,” she was communicating to Eve “this is how I see you.”

And this is not how Eve sees herself,” Oh said. “Eve would never buy herself this dress.”

“Villanelle gives herself the beautiful fashion and treats all the time, and Eve never does. So I love that Villanelle presents this gift to her.”

When Eve “actually embodies it, puts it on… she puts on how Villanelle sees her.”

“Killing Eve” airs on BBC America Sundays at 8/7c.