The consequences of the Buffalo Bill fiasco are about to be revealed.
Clarice, CBS ‘ Thesilenceofthelambs suite series, premiered Thursday, taking stock of the life of FBI agent Clarice Starling one year after the events of Oscar-winning film Jonathan Demme. While her life has been one hellish cocktail of part of the media circus mixed with part of PTSD, Starling (this time represented by The originals’ Rebecca races) seems for mostly keeping herself in check… but she’s about to be thrown into another horrible rabbit hole.
“I thought it was done. Buffalo Bill took seven wives. He scratched six … six. I kept one. The last. Catherine.
We start like flies on the wall of Clarice’s commissioned therapy session, where she and a doc discuss how media attention has affected her life and work. The psychiatrist inquires about his relationship with Catherine Martin, and mentions how his last “therapist” was criminally insane and ate his patients (this series is legally required to say the H word). As he tries to dig into Clarice’s relationship with the former madman of Anthony Hopkins, his defense changes. He suggests that she not be in rotation until she can recover from her PTSD, but before she can refute, their session is interrupted. Ruth Martin, the Attorney General of the United States, requests the presence of Starling on an urgent matter.
Martin tells Starling that two dead women floated down a river, each with multiple stab wounds. The GA thinks he’s a serial killer. She wants Starling on the case, so no family has to suffer like hers did when Catherine was abducted. Clarice’s reputation for hunting monsters precedes her, so Martin makes Starling a special agent of the task force. Martin warns that Paul Krendler, the team leader, may still have a stick in his keister about Starling showing it on the Bill case. Martin also asks Clarice to return her daughter’s calls; the damaged girl thinks that Starling is the only one who can help her.
Clarice arrives on the scene and Krendler doesn’t want anything to do with her. He calls it Martin’s “honey drop” for the press. He seeks to close the case cleanly and quickly, making it clear that Clarice is supposed to say and do exactly as he tells her (and confirming that he is a chauvinistic jerk). The bodies in question have strange bite marks that Clarice notes shallow and spread out. “There’s no privacy here, no frenzy,” she told the team. She doesn’t believe the murderer is a real serial killer. “It’s too controlled, too sane.” Krendler doesn’t want to hear it. He quickly throws her in front of the press like a lamb to be slaughtered, pressuring her to confirm the serial killer story.
Clarice and agent Tomas Esquivel question one of the victim’s husbands. Angela Byrd’s distraught husband isn’t much help, but they find out that her oldest son has autism. They track down the next of kin of the other victim, a drug addict who tells them that his mother took custody of her child, who ended up in “this place of learning, the place for weird kids who have to. be fed with a tube ”. It turns out that both victims have ties to children with special needs. When they report their findings to Krendler, he assigns Clarice to a desk.
Meanwhile, Clarice sends back a message which turns out to be from Catherine. The young woman is beyond distress, telling Clarice that she will never feel safe. She asks Clarice if she can sleep, “… or do moths wake you up?” Catherine wonders how Clarice can be out there in the world, to which Clarice replies that they are different people. Catherine responds, saying they are exactly the same, and cryptically warns her against trusting her mother Ruth.
A new victim is found and Esquivel learns that the woman has a daughter with severe facial deformities. Officers then discover that Angela Boyd was in a clinical trial for migraine headaches, and that many of the participating women ‘s children were “screwed up in different ways.” Clarice finds a stack of papers Angela hid with a number for a reporter named Rebecca who was writing an article about the trial. Angela had contacted the other women, and they were all ready to whistle.
Clarice and Esquivel go to the journalist’s home and find an unmarked vehicle outside, which immediately puts them in defense. The murderer is already inside the house! Esquivel finds the journalist near death in the tub, his wrists cut off, but he is immediately ambushed from behind by the killer. He tries to stab the assailant with a piece of broken mirror, but the guy takes off. Clarice follows the victim, who suffocates her and throws her on a table. A fight ensues, which ends with three bullets in the guy’s chest.
“You have no idea what it is,” the guy mutters, but he won’t speak until he makes a deal. As the journalist is transported in an ambulance, Clarice confirms that the women in the trial all intended to speak. When Clarice tells Krendler that the killer was hired to kill whistleblowers, he asks her if she can prove it. She can’t… yet. He wants her to tell the press that they caught the serial killer. He says they will investigate the angle of the plot without her, but tells him to come out and tell the lies he fed her.
Clarice then told the press the truth: that women died because they were trying to tell a story. “They weren’t random victims of a serial killer,” she confirms, and “I’ll be there until we close the book.”
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