Killing Eve‘s Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw) isn’t just the unflappable head of Russia’s MI6 section and both friend/frustration to her on-off co-worker Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh); she’s also a frequent scene-stealer. As she and Eve collaborate and sometimes squabble in their pursuit of international assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer), Carolyn has a way of making us gasp with her deliciously dry one-liners and devastatingly blunt observations. As we approach the exciting season three finale, here’s a reminder of some of her most iconic moments.
1. When she reveals she has no time for breakfast
We’re often told that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but this just doesn’t wash with Carolyn. When she invites Eve to a restaurant for an early morning meal, she insists it definitely isn’t a breakfast meeting because “I can’t stand breakfast – it’s just constant eggs.”
We’d never dare contradict Carolyn, but we might suggest to her daughter Geraldine (Gemma Whelan) the idea of adding granola to the grocery list.
2. When she doesn’t want to dish out home truths on an empty stomach
She has no time for breakfast, but in the season three episode “End of Game,” we learn that Carolyn definitely does enjoy a pork pie. So when Gemma arrives home with a bag of vegetables for a meat-free dinner, Carolyn is already a little tetchy.
Still, when Gemma confronts the elephant in the room – why mother and daughter don’t get on better – she manages to put her hunger aside and give her daughter a frank assessment of the situation. After pouring herself a stiff gin-and-tonic, of course.
3. When she discloses her rather unique beauty secret
Kudos to Eve for asking what we’ve all been wondering – exactly how does Carolyn look so good at all times? The answer is not for the faint of heart, but if applying a “moisturizer made of pig’s placenta” can give you Carolyn’s flawless complexion, well, maybe it’s worth putting up with the smell…
— Killing Eve (@KillingEve) April 15, 2019
4. When she tells Eve a very random anecdote
At the start of season one, when Carolyn welcomes Eve to her secret MI6 office for the first time, she pauses at the door to deliver a deeply surreal recollection: she once saw a rat drinking from a can of coke there, using “both hands.”
In fairness to Carolyn, though, that really is extraordinary. According to actress Fiona Shaw, this line reveals, “everything you need to know about the interior of that woman’s mind.”
“The rat line was a favorite because, in it, there’s this sort of black hole – you get swallowed up into the person’s mind,” she said in a 2018 interview. “That line doesn’t go anywhere, it doesn’t come from anywhere, and yet it somehow carries huge energy about a random observation.”
5. When she takes a meeting in the bath
Look, if Carolyn Martens wants to hold a meeting in her bathroom, Carolyn Martens can hold a meeting in her bathroom. Still, we can’t help feeling a little sorry for her new recruit Mo (Raj Bajaj), who gets asked to hand her a pink fluffy towel when she’s done. As it turns out, though, it was one of the actor’s favorite scenes to shoot!
6. When she makes it clear she’s got her priorities in order
Carolyn doesn’t scream, Carolyn doesn’t shout, and Carolyn doesn’t really get angry – it makes her sleepy, apparently. But when Carolyn wants someone to amend their behavior toward her, she definitely lets them know. In the season two episode “The Hungry Caterpillar,” she gives Eve a cool, calm, and very effective telling off.
“Never, ever go behind my back again, ever,” she warns. “You are by no means the only person I work with, but you take up a disproportionate amount of my time and my time is very valuable to me.”
Well said, Carolyn – and who could disagree?
7. When she manages to look on the bright side
In the season one episode “I Don’t Want to Be Free,” Carolyn has to break the bad news to Eve that their informant, Nadia (Olivia Ross), has been killed in prison. It’s a tragedy, but this isn’t Carolyn’s first time at the rodeo, so she manages to cushion the blow with some rather more optimistic intel.
8. When she managed to make a hangover kind of glamorous
We’re definitely trying Carolyn’s glass-on-the-forehead trick next time we’ve had one too many glasses of Chardonnay.
9. When she delivers a killer parting shot
In Killing Eve’s latest episode, “Beautiful Monster,” Eve musters the courage to stand up to Carolyn, questioning her motives and the way she goes about her job. Carolyn isn’t taking any of it, though, and quickly withdraws the omelette she’d been saving for Eve – brutal. She then delivers a classic Carolyn line that seems to mock her co-worker’s idealistic attitude: “Heroes only get the girl in Hollywood.”
Savage, Carolyn, savage.
— Killing Eve (@KillingEve) May 22, 2020
Which are your favorite Carolyn moments?
Click here to watch the latest episodes of Killing Eve on amc.com or stream on the AMC app for mobile and devices. Check out the on-air schedule here for more encore viewings and upcoming episodes of Killing Eve on AMC.
Get a behind the scenes look at Carolyn’s world with the show’s cast and creators. Featuring interviews with Kim Bodnia, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw and more, plus the creative team who bring the series to life, fans of the series can get an insider’s look at how Carolyn’s journey this season has come together. Watch a sneak peek of Sunday’s all-new episode here.
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