Killing Eve — Breaking Down the Act Structure of S1E1 — ‘Nice Face’

Nadia Carmon
5 min readFeb 7, 2020

I’m currently on my third rewatch of the BBC America series Killing Eve, and I have to say, the awkward humor meets primetime gore hasn’t worn off on me yet. It’s such a clever mashup of serious and silly that’s hard to achieve for many writers (See: A Discussion on Bathos, via The Closer Look).

As a writer myself, I wanted to try my hand at breaking down the act structure in the first episode of season one, ‘Nice Face’.

My ultimate goal is to compare and contrast the arc of the entire series thus far with the plot lines of each episode to see what we can learn about storytelling from them...

What is Act Structure?

It’s a narrative tool that is used to create well-paced stories that focus on establishing and resolving tension in a film.

Lindsay Ellis sums it up quite nicely in How Three-Act Screenplays Work (And Why It Matters).

Act 1 — Establishes Main Tension



Nadia Carmon

Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition 2nd Rounder ◌ Script Analyst at Coverfly ◌ Freelance Writer ◌ Black Magic Woman