‘Elsbeth’: Carra Patterson Breaks Down Kaya’s Divided Loyalties After Learning Her Friend’s Secret

“She’s very torn,” the actress says of her police officer character, who has to decide who she trusts after Episode 6

Carra Patterson as Kaya Blanke and Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni in "Elsbeth
Carra Patterson as Kaya Blanke and Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni in "Elsbeth" (CREDIT: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS)

Note: This story contains spoilers from “Elsbeth” Episode 6.

On Thursday night’s episode of “Elsbeth,” NYPD officer Kaya Blanke (Carra Patterson) finally learned the real reason why Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston) was assigned to Captain Wagner (Wendell Pierce)’s office: to investigate his alleged corruption.

Wagner was beginning to suspect that the perky defense attorney, who has been tailing his staff as an “outside observer,” was actually there to look into him. He took Kaya aside and asked her to keep an eye on Elsbeth since the two women often investigate cases as a team.

Patterson spoke to TheWrap about why Kaya is “very torn” about where to place her allegiance after seeing Elsbeth meet with Agent Celentano (Danny McCarthy).

TheWrap: This is a pivotal episode for Kaya as she has to figure out who to trust.

Carra Patterson: In this investigation, I think there’s some things that are suspicious that point to Wagner and Elsbeth, and I think Kaya is very torn.

What I love about this episode is that final scene when Kaya confronts Elsbeth, like, ‘What’s going on?” Kaya wants to be on the side of what’s right. And she’s very loyal. And I think she’s following her gut. I think by the end, she sees that Elsbeth’s heart is in the right place.

I think it’s kind of scary because Wagner is someone that Kaya has looked up to and admired. She’s known him longer than Elsbeth. But there’s just some questionable things that are undeniable with Wagner. And Kaya has to confront that now.

She decides in that moment to trust Elsbeth.

Right. Otherwise, she would not not have confronted her. I think she’s really unsure of what the right move is here. But I think she makes the right choice. By the end of this episode they are friends and I think that’s what wins in the end. That’s why she chooses to have that conversation, because she has started to trust and respect Elsbeth.

Teaming up with Elsbeth might not have seemed like a great career move at first, but it’s helped Kaya be a better detective herself.

Kaya is learning so much from her friendship. And being forced to observe Elsbeth has opened her up to so much more than she would have had she not been assigned this job. I think that Elsbeth might be quirky, and her clothes might be out there. But what Kaya learned from Elsbeth is that there is no detail that’s too small.

And Kaya has learned not to be distracted by people underestimating her.

So, going forward, they are more of a team?

Oh, yes. I think that they really only have each other. This episode really shows that they can only trust each other. They’re not quite sure where it’s going to lead, but they’re going to have each other’s backs. They continue to grow closer throughout the season.

What was Kaya’s relationship like with Wagner before this?

I think she really wanted to impress him. And she wanted him to notice her, which is why she’s surprised when he tells her to follow Elsbeth. She really thinks not going to help her. But it ends up being the key to her creating more of a bond with Wagner.

So now Kaya is kind of a double agent.

Yeah, exactly. She’s in a really tough spot.

What else has Kaya gotten from her friendship with Elsbeth?

I think she is learning to trust her own instincts more by seeing this other woman speak up for herself and prove everybody wrong. I think she is gaining more confidence to do the same, and to trust her own voice and her own instincts.

What do you think would have happened if another officer had been assigned to follow Elsbeth?

I don’t know if any other cop would have been as patient as Kaya. I think that’s one of the Kaya superpowers. She’s not very vocal, but she notices things. And she’s patient, because she wants the truth to win in the end. If Elsbeth is onto something, as quirky as she might be, Kaya’s going to give her a little more space than another cop.

The show has had such great guest stars. Are your actor friends telling you they want to be on the show too?

This is my first time shooting a series regular role in New York, and I’ve gotten so many texts from all of my actor friends who are auditioning for different roles. My husband, Ruffin Prentiss, auditioned to play a detective and he booked it! In the Retta episode, he plays the detective that discovers the body in Long Island. So we have a couple of moments together where we’re going over evidence.

I didn’t put in a good word or anything, it just happened. And another friend of mine, Ayana Workman is in an upcoming episode, so that’s cool.

Elsbeth” airs Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+.


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