Killing Eve: Surprise, Carolyn has her own bizarre boss


Eve’s boss Carolyn has long been one of the more confusing (read: shady) elements of Killing Eve. Now it turns out she has a strange boss, too? Who are these people?

One of the most consistent narrative questions about Killing Eve is if and/or why Eve Polastri’s boss, Carolyn Martens, is actually shady as heck. It’s been a season and a half now and we barely know anything more about her than we did when we started.

She has a son. (Whom she lied about.) She’s got a romantic history with fellow shady individual Konstantin. (Which she also lied about). She’s running secretive MI-6 assassin tracking ops (which no one seems to know about) and paid a visit to an imprisoned Villanelle last season (that she never explained). Oh, and she somehow managed to help the aforementioned Konsantin fake his own death. (An act which she also never explained.)

Who is this woman?

The series’ most recent episode further muddied the waters surrounding Carolyn by introducing her equally bizarre boss, Helen. Now, you might be forgiven for not even realizing that Carolyn even had a boss, as she pretty much always does whatever she wants, whether it’s on or off the books, vaguely illegal or just ill advised.

Said boss, Helen, a cranky older woman played by the always amazing Zoe Wanamaker, is kind of fun in her own right, simply because she’s so different from Carolyn. Sure, she’s equally vague and shady — her repeated references to things like “the plan” and “Operation Mandalay” don’t exactly inspire confidence in her trustworthiness. But she’s also the kind of weirdo that’s at least entertaining, with her crazy socks and Pringles obsession that sees her digging a half-finished tube out of the trash.

(Sidebar: How awesome is Killing Eve for so succinctly flipping the gender dynamics of this office? Of course Helen has a male receptionist… and anger problems, the same way male bosses throughout history do.)

We don’t trust Helen at all – and we probably shouldn’t, since it’s clear she’s also not being 100 percent straightforward – but she’s also the kind of fun you don’t mind seeing again at some point.

Fiona Shaw as Carolyn Martens – Killing Eve _ Season 2, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Parisa Taghizadeh/BBCAmerica

More broadly, however, the introduction of Helen is interesting because it gives us the chance to see Carolyn in a whole new light. It shows us that this unflappable boss lady is, in fact, capable of being flustered. (Who knew??) And it proves that her anger last week at Eve’s decision to trade information with Konstantin was truly legitimate.

It turns out that, at the end of the day, and for whatever reason, Carolyn does actually have to answer to someone. And that someone kind of scares her. Why? What is the “plan” she and Helen are working on? And how does everything from last season – Villanelle, the Twelve – tie in here, if it even does at all?

Is Carolyn a double agent, busy playing both sides? Or is there something suspect going on at MI-6 itself? What do they want with Villanelle? Or Eve, for that matter?

It feels like it’s past time for us to find out.

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Killing Eve continues Sunday at 8pm ET on BBC America.