So I love Ilsa so much. She’s probably my all time favourite female character.
But we have to acknowledge that she wasn’t necessarily the best person in the world. As Ethan said she was “just doing [her] job”, but that job involved almost shooting Benji, shocking him with a defibrillator (which could have very easily done some serious damage), causing Ethan to crash his motorbike dangerously…
And then there’s this moment.
Do I believe she knew exactly what Lane had planned for Benji? I’m not sure. But look at the positioning of Ethan and Ilsa in each gif. When she first sees him, she is standing on the right of the screen, in between Ethan and Benji since they are surrounding her. When they are seated at the table? She is on the left of the screen, with Ethan now in between her and Benji.
Why cross to the other side of the table? Why not sit down in the seat that is closest to you? Unless you wanted to prevent Ethan from seeing something that was happening to Benji. Throughout the scene, we can very clearly see Benji standing behind Ethan; this is made obvious by the bright red jacket he is wearing.
So we know that Ilsa can see Benji behind Ethan, but Ethan most definitely cannot see him. Allowing Vinter and his men to ambush, sedate and drag Benji away without Ethan seeing them. We also see Ilsa react to this happening, by her face when the comms are disrupted.
She looks genuinely upset, implying that she might not have known exactly what was about to happen (since she surely witnessed the kidnapping from her vantage point). But at the same time, seconds before, she said to Ethan “I’ve saved your life twice, I won’t be able to do it again.” - so she knew that something was going to put Ethan at risk. Also, she was sent to ‘deliver a message’ as Ethan stated. She handed over the phone, which was then used to show Ethan footage of Benji being thrown into the van and also allowed Lane to call Ethan with the ransom demands.
So how much did she know? It’s unclear. But I feel like the set up of this scene was more than a coincidence and that while she did not necessarily want to be a part of the plot, she most certainly was. She was a good character in a bad situation she didn’t want to be in and that’s what makes her so multi-dimensional.