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Killing Eve: Fiona Shaw’s Best Moments in the Series, Ranked

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Killing Eve is a hit British TV series that follows the life of MI6 spy Eve Polastri, who comes face to face with assassin Villanelle. The two become obsessed with one another and their relationship eventually turns sexual. Killing Eve has been subject to a great deal of praise and a number of accolades, including the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series, as well as gaining both Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer nods and wins for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. If there’s one thing Killing Eve has become known for, besides the exceptional writing and pacing of the show, it’s the phenomenal cast.

Alongside the leads is famed actress Fiona Shaw, who plays Carolyn Martens, head of the Russian division at MI6 — arguably one of the best characters on the show. Her serious deadpan and posh sensibilities make her scripted lines all the more enjoyable. Now that the series has concluded, it’s only appropriate to reflect on what has happened. As such, these are Fiona Shaw’s best moments in Killing Eve

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, ranked.

This rather random line early on in the series comes from nowhere and goes nowhere when she simply says “I once saw a rat drink from a can of coke there. Both hands. Extraordinary.” Shaw stated in an interview with The Ringer that this scene in particular reveals “everything you need to know about the interior of that woman’s mind.” Indeed, it demonstrates how Carolyn is an eccentric character whose train of thought seems to constantly be changing direction, with the miraculous ability to maintain her focus on her job as an MI6 agent while still keeping her cool.

Related: Here’s How Killing Eve Subverts the TV Police Procedural

As yet another deadpan introduction to Shaw’s character is an often-overlooked scene, but one of her best nonetheless. At a restaurant for breakfast, Carolyn orders a gin and tonic from the waiter. Despite the waiter telling her that the bar is closed in the morning, Carolyn proceeds to order two gin and tonics with conviction. This scene displays Carolyn’s propensity for getting what she needs and bending or even breaking the rules to get it. This is a valuable trait for her as head of Russian Section MI6. She gets straight to the point and has no need to beat around the bush with no room for negotiation.

When speaking with Eve, Eve moves the conversation toward Carolyn. After asking Carolyn what her secret is to how good she looks — considering it would appear that she never gets sleep, but still manages to look presentable — Carolyn says that she has her moisturizer to thank for her appearance: a moisturizer made out of pig placenta. Carolyn admits that it is exceedingly expensive and smells like “ass,” but it is “very effective”. It’s moments like these that humanize Carolyn for the audience and break up her deadpan affect and relatively consistent sarcasm. Knowing that Carolyn uses cosmetics with unsavory products in them makes her a woman, just like any other.

Here is where Shaw displays Carolyn’s no-nonsense policy even further. In the third season of Killing Eve, Carolyn and Eve sit down for a breakfast to discuss work. Eve breaks the news to Carolyn that Villanelle has been promoted and that they should focus on trying to get to their target through Villanelle. Carolyn admits that she once offered Villanelle the opportunity to work with them, but she refused. Carolyn then proceeds to tell Eve that she doesn’t want their investigation to be derailed by Eve’s “undiagnosed, and frankly a little trying, Messiah Complex”. Eve tries to throw this back in Carolyn’s face, but she tells Eve that “heroes only get the girl in Hollywood.”

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