'Nine Perfect Strangers': What Was up With Carmel's Eye?

The complete first season of Nine Perfect Strangers is now all available on Hulu. But even with episodes 1-8 available for consumption, some viewers still have lingering questions. The main question that a lot of viewers had seems to have to do with Carmel and her eye in *that* scene.

Carmel’s true identity on ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’

[Warning this article has spoilers for Nine Perfect Strangers]

At the end of episode 7 of Nine Perfect Strangers, Carmel is revealed as the person who shot Masha all those years ago. She says that she hadn’t actually intended on shooting Masha but the way that Masha dismissed her made her pull the trigger. Throughout the series, viewers were led to believe that it was a man who shot Masha, but in episode 8, Carmel reveals that she had just done her makeup to make her look manly, which is a call back to an earlier episode where Carmel said that she used to be a makeup artist on broadway.

Carmel’s eye

The most distinctive thing about the shooter was their one icy, blue eye. At the end of episode 7 when Masha first starts to realize that it could have been Carmel who shot her, Carmel’s eye turns blue. This confirmed to both Masha and the audience that Carmel was both the shooter and the one who had been sending her threatening texts.

“She’s the shooter and the stalker,” one person on Reddit wrote after the episode premiered. “Isn’t that the point of the ending of the episode when she shows her one blue eye? I knew Carmel was the Stalker when she pulled a CELL PHONE out of a vase.”

But previous to this scene, both of Carmel’s eyes were always brown. In the next episode, Carmel’s eye remains blue for the entire scene where Masha forgives her. Then, later, her eye turns back to brown. This is never explained directly in the series, however, if you look at the context of the scenes, you may find some answers.

Carmel greatly changed her appearance when she attacked Masha. She could have easily put in a colored contact to complete the look. Then, in the scene where her eye appears blue again, Masha is heavily drugged, which could have been causing her to hallucinate the reemergence of the blue eye.

Revealing Carmel as the killer on ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’

The creators of the show wanted to strike a balance between horror and thriller when adapting Nine Perfect Strangers for t.v., so revealing Carmel as the killer had to be handled with care.

“As far as navigating the thrillery aspects, there’s an element of the horror genre [or] the thriller genre hanging over the whole thing,” director Jonathan Levine told Entertainment Tonight. “Because to me, the very notion that you’re going to go to a mysterious place that’s going to completely change you for the rest of your life, the need for that is horrific. I feel it, but that’s a scary feeling. And then this idea that she’s dosing them without their knowledge, that’s also a scary, terrifying thing to experience.”

In order to avoid delving too deep into horror territory, they decided to make the Carmel reveal less serious.

“So, having that be germane to the material made it not feel whiplashy to go to these threats and to go to the Carmel reveal,” he continued. “That Carmel reveal is almost a campy moment, but I love it. I think it’s just delicious. And I think that having the umbrella of psychedelics to help us push with humor in one moment and push with a thriller in another moment and for them to also feel like they’re in the same piece was really helped by the idea that these guys were all tripping.”

All episodes of Nine Perfect Strangers are currently streaming on Hulu.

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