Elisabeth Moss and Yumna Marwan Take Us Inside The Veil’s Episode 5 Imogen/Adilah Throwdown

You know that moment in a road trip where you’re ready to scream at your travel partner for the crime of merely existing? Add in a looming terror threat and some unsettling personal revelations, and Imogen and Adilah hit that point hard in this week’s The Veil.

Episode 5 of the Hulu drama (now streaming) ends with a doozy of a confrontation between Elisabeth Moss’ Imogen and Yumna Marwan’s Adilah, which unfolds in the parking lot of a closed gas station. Imogen desperately needs Adilah to share the name and location of a ship slated to cause mass casualties on America’s East Coast. In turn, Adilah refuses to engage, balking at Imogen’s pressure tactics (aka withholding information about Adilah’s young daughter until she turns over the attack plans).

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So: Tensions are running high as the roughly seven-minute scene gets underway.

That scene was, like, a long-time coming because we both wanted to vent at each other,” Marwan tells TVLine. “Because we had been working so much, and this was like a day where [our characters] were just going to both be like, ‘You know what? This is what I don’t like about you.’” She laughs. “So it was like acting relief, you know?”

During the exchange, Imogen — an MI6 agent normally very in control of her emotions — rails against Adilah for choosing to join a terrorist group and sacrificing life with her child in the process. “Who said you get to decide what is good and what is evil?” responds Adilah, who maintains that she did not feel she had much of a choice in the matter.

“It was a real coming-head-to-head moment, and we shot it over two nights in France, on the outskirts of Paris,” Moss recalls. “It was intense. I’m not gonna lie.”

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Marwan remembers running through the whole thing “quite a few times, because it has so many ups and downs,” she says. “For Adilah, I could play it in so many ways, because there’s so much rage in her in that moment. In that scene, both of them are really, for once, being their true and genuine self.”

Moss concurs: “There’s no artifice. They really do just speak the truth to each other in a brutal and unforgiving way.”

At one point in the scene, Imogen angrily demands to know whether Adilah thinks the terror attack of which she is part will actually change anything, or if going along with the deadly plot is just a way to protect herself and her daughter. Adilah counters that Imogen shouldn’t act so righteous, given that they have similar motivations, “because if killing thousands of people would bring your father back, or your mother, or your baby, then you might think about doing the exact same thing. And that scares you to death.”

Imogen is “speaking for a portion of the audience, and Adilah is speaking for a portion of the audience,” Moss says. “It’s interesting, because Adilah’s argument was almost more important to me than Imogen’s, because Adilah’s is much more complicated and nuanced.”

She adds that there was a lot of discussion about how “neither of them is right and neither of them is wrong, which is just so true of most arguments: that there’s just so much gray area, and they’re both right — and both wrong — at the same time.

“They make valid points from their own perspective,” she says, “and neither of them wins the argument.”

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