Can we really trust Carolyn on Killing Eve?


As Killing Eve focuses on the cat-and-mouse game between its leads, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole lot we don’t know about Eve’s boss. Can we trust Carolyn?

The latest episode of Killing Eve was packed with dramatic moments. It featured not just one long-awaited meeting between Eve and Villanelle, but two. And these scenes were so intense — particularly that dinner date — it’s hard to remember anything else happened.

But “I Have a Thing About Bathrooms” had a lot more going on. We (finally) learned a few tidbits about Villanelle’s past. Eve dabbled further in the more uncomfortable parts of her female assassin obsession. (Her face when she tried on that dress Villanelle sent her!) And Frank met a predictably grisly end.

All of these things are so buzz-worthy in their own rights, it’s hard to remember that there’s a big piece of this show we’re not talking about much. And we probably should.

What do we really know about Eve’s boss?

On the surface, Carolyn Martens is pretty awesome. A badass, in-charge leader, she’s s whip-smart and super capable. According to her character bio on the BBC America Killing Eve site, she’s actually saved the world at least three times.

She’s one of the few people who seemed to recognize that female assassins weren’t just a thing, but that one was actively working right now. She’s great at dramatic entrances, tossing off dramatic one-liners and manipulating people when she has to. (See also: Her emotionally smart decision to comfort Frank as a way of getting information.)

Plus, Carolyn is the kind of the person who got Eve into this mess in the first place. She’s the one who sought her out when she was fired. She gave Eve control over the group investigating Villanelle. So it seems obvious that Carolyn respects her ability and skill.

She’s her boss, after all. We’re supposed to trust her.

Aren’t we?

Maybe. Maybe not. Ever since Villanelle’s oddly dark comment in “I Have a Thing About Bathrooms” that if Eve looks deep enough she’ll probably find the two of them work for the same people, the suspicion has lingered. What do we really know about Carolyn, anyway?

Well, she’s a liar, for starters. In the same episode, we also learned that Kenny isn’t just the resident computer whiz on Eve’s team. He’s also Carolyn’s son. Why keep this information a secret? Don’t we all pretty much have to assume he’s there to spy on Eve?

Carolyn’s also in a pretty great spot. It looks as though she’s figured out that there’s a weird connection between Eve and Villanelle. She also clearly knows Eve will run to her immediately with any information she learns. Could it actually be a coincidence that the hit came down on Frank’s life right after Eve told Carolyn about his mole status? Maybe. But part of the fun of this show is that you just never know.

The thing is, it’s easy to believe that Carolyn’s really a good person. That she just feels that familiar buzz every woman experiences when we find out that a female colleague is into the same things we are. The two genuinely share a lot of interests. And it certainly seems as though Carolyn understands the strain that their particular line of work can put on marriages. (She told her back in the series’ first episode!) But is her concern for Eve genuine? Or is this just manipulation wearing a girl power outfit?

The thing about Killing Eve is that it could go either way and still make a great story. So we’ll have to wait and see.

Next: Killing Eve episode 5 review: I Have a Thing About Bathrooms

Killing Eve airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on BBC America.