Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) isn’t just Killing Eve‘s title character – she’s also the award-winning spy thriller’s beating heart. When we meet her in Season 1, she’s a frustrated, desk-bound security operative, but Eve doesn’t take long to find her feet as a field agent who can keep up with – and at times, even outsmart – slippery international assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer). Though she becomes ensconced in a mutually dependent and very toxic relationship with her psychopathic adversary, she somehow manages to stay warm, relatable, and funny as hell.
Here are 11 moments from the first three seasons that had us shouting “YASSS EVE POLASTRI!!!” at the screen.
1. When she’s totally down to try Carolyn’s unusual beauty tip
Eve knows to expect the unexpected with Carolyn (Fiona Shaw), the formidable head of the Russia Section at MI6, and a woman who’s pretty much impossible to read. But she can’t have anticipated that the secret to her flawless complexion would be, um, a moisturizer made of pig’s placenta. Still, when Carolyn warns her the cream “costs a fortune” and “smells like arse,” Eve barely flinches and gives the iconic response: “I don’t mind smelling like arse.”
2. When she has a bittersweet realization about how the world works
After rudely demanding her room key from a hotel receptionist in the Season 1 Finale – and having her request swiftly granted – Eve sighs defeatedly: “God, it makes me rage how efficient things are when you’re a dick to people.”
Eve, we hear you, and it’s become one of her most quotable lines.
"God it makes me rage how efficient things are when you're a dick to people." #KillingEve
— Killing Eve (@KillingEve) November 8, 2018
3. When Bill teases Eve for (maybe) having a crush on Villanelle, and Eve throws it right back at him
Eve and Bill (David Haig) have worked together for more than a decade, so even though he’s only just revealed to her that he’s bisexual and in an open relationship, the pair can definitely still share a joke.
When Bill asks Eve if she’s never been interested in women, “not even ones with delicate features” and “sort of cat-like eyes that are completely inaccessible,” Eve knows he means Villanelle and totally sees the funny side. “That is horribly unprofessional,” she deadpans. “Do you wanna hear about her tits?”
4. When she aims a zinger at Niko in front of his possible new girlfriend
After learning that her husband Niko (Owen McDonnell) is crashing with Gemma (Emma Pierson), a flirtatious teaching colleague, Eve can’t resist swinging by to find out exactly what’s going on. It’s impossible not to giggle at her pithy parting shot to the woman she suspects of sleeping with her husband: “I hope you like the missionary position.” Eve’s sarcastic thumbs-up gesture is the cherry on the icing.
5. When she’s craving a burger at the most inappropriate moment
After Carolyn takes Eve to the morgue to examine a dead body, Eve is so disgusted that she throws up on the spot. Still, when Carolyn’s coroner friend Julia (Barbara Flynn) offers Eve whisky or water to steady her nerves, Eve can’t help requesting something more substantial – namely, a burger.
6. When she gets very real with Hugo
Sharing a cigarette with Hugo by the bins – something she knows she shouldn’t be doing, since she hasn’t smoked since university – Eve is feeling wry, playful, and gently rebellious. But when Hugo asks a smart question about her relationship with Villanelle – “do you like watching her, or do you like being watched?” – she gives him a dead-straight answer: “Both.” It’s a simple exchange, but a very revealing one.
7. When Villanelle makes a very forward masturbation admission, and Eve just takes it in stride
In the Season 1 Finale, “God I’m Tired,” Eve pours her heart out to Villanelle, telling her: “I think about you all the time… I think about what you eat before you go to work, and what shampoo you have, and what happened in your family. I think about your eyes and your mouth, and what you feel when you kill someone, I think about what you have for breakfast. I just want to know everything.”
Villanelle has to take things a step further, telling Eve: “I think about you, too. I mean, I masturbate about you a lot.” Eve’s matter-of-fact response, “I wasn’t expecting that,” is exactly how we’d respond to Villanelle’s unexpected compliment.
8. When she unleashes a tirade that impresses even Carolyn
During her breakfast meeting with Carolyn at the Purple Penguin, Eve, still reeling from being fired from MI5, tells her superior exactly what she thinks. Let’s savor her epic rant in full…
“I believe there is a female assassin operating internationally and she’s targeted a number of influential people. She doesn’t have a signature, but she certainly has style and I don’t know who or what is behind her, but I don’t think she’s slowing down and that just interested me, I guess. But also apparently makes me a fantasist and a crackpot and completely on my own.
“And, you know, frankly, I don’t give a shit anymore. She is outsmarting the smartest of us, and for that, she deserves to do or kill whoever the hell she wants. I mean, if she’s not killing me, then, frankly, it’s not my job to care anymore.”
Well said, Eve!
9. When she accepts Hugo’s sustained flirtation, but very clearly on her own terms
Hugo (Edward Bluemel) flirts with Eve persistently after joining her MI6 team in Season 2, but she manages to ignore him until the penultimate Season 2 episode, “Wide Awake.” Cocky Oxford grad Hugo is used to sweet-talking his way to whatever he wants, so Eve’s two-word command as she comes on to him– “don’t talk” – says a lot. Sure, she finds Hugo attractive, but she’s cleverly reminding him that she’s kind of seen through his charm offensive — and is more interested in using him to satisfy her own desires related to her ongoing obsession with Villanelle.
10. When she just can’t help putting Jamie and Bear’s lives in danger
After Kenny’s death at the start of Season 3, Eve forms a rapport with a couple of his co-workers at Bitter Pill, an online investigative magazine. Before sharing her intel about The Twelve, a shadowy organization that uses assassins to commit murders, she warns Jamie (Danny Sapani) and Bear (Turlough Convery) that “once I tell you about them, your lives are in danger.” Before they even have a chance to react, she blurts it all out anyways – classic Polastri.
11. And finally, every time she becomes exasperated with Villanelle
Yes, Villanelle is fearless, hilarious, and completely ingenious, which is why Eve’s so obsessed with her, but sometimes she’s also… a little bit extra. This fan-made supercut really shows off Sandra Oh’s range of priceless facial expressions.
Which are your favorite Eve Polastri moments?
Click here to watch the latest episodes of Killing Eve on amc.com and 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 Season 3 with the latest “Closer Look” video, this time Konstantin’s world with the 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 Konstantin’s journey this season has come together. Watch a sneak peek of Sunday’s all-new episode here.
Read a Q&A with Owen McDonnell, who plays Niko Polastri, here. The actor chats with amc.com about Niko’s journey this season, his fractured relationship with Eve, and his thoughts about that scene in Episode 4. Take a look at more Q&As with cast and creators such as Gemma Whelan, Dame Harriet Walter, Sean Delaney, Suzanne Heathcote and more here.
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