At least Clarice was proven right.
Some of the truth came out on Clarice Season 1 Episode 3.
The question now is where ViCAP goes from there.
Despite Krendler trying his hardest to deliver a serial killer to please Attorney-General Martin, Clarice shot down that theory, in front of the press no less, on Clarice Season 1 Episode 1.
Like any agent fresh out of Quantico, Clarice isn’t particularly savvy, as either an investigator or a politician. And, in her role as the poster girl for ViCAP, she really needs to be both.
Also, she needs to heal, which is hard to do when she’s been thrust back into the sewer which first infected her.
But most importantly, Clarice is a stubborn fighter. She trusts and follows her instincts, even if many of those around her don’t and won’t.
The opening was just so Clarice.
Rather than celebrate the bust at the militia compound in Tennessee on Clarice Season 1 Episode 2, she went straight to interview the reporter she saved, who unfortunately was too psychologically shaken to be of much help to her.
Instead of working on her own mental health, Clarice then politely blew off her therapist to be part of the interrogation of Karl Wellig, the hitman in the River Murders.
So what if she keeps seeing moths and flashing back to her father’s murder? Those will pass if she keeps her mind otherwise occupied.
Krendler did the only thing he could to salvage his investigation by rescinding Clarice’s statement to the press. She may be right, but she shouldn’t have tipped the team’s hand like that.
But she didn’t take that as a rebuke. She understood why Krendler did what he did. Instead, she resolved to be a team player, doing whatever was asked of her, regardless of how menial.
That didn’t mean she wouldn’t use every opportunity to learn more about Wellig.
When taking his fingerprints and bite impressions, she discovered he had a strict moral code when it came to women. Krendler and Esquivel used that bit of analysis to attempt to get Wellig to confess by offending that code. But he knew they were lying.
Then she sent Esquivel back in to attempt to bond with his fellow sniper.
Unfortunately, after being ambushed by that House subcommittee, the A.G. was pressuring Krendler to turn Wellig into a serial killer, even though he didn’t fit the profile.
You really can’t blame Ruth for wanting to take monsters such as Buffalo Bill off the street, even if she has to manufacture them to keep ViCap operational for when a real one comes along.
After following her home, it became clear why she feels the way she does — because her daughter Catherine hasn’t bounced back at all.
She appeared to be training for the battle against her personal demon, but she remains too terrified to leave her room.
While it’s wonderful that she adopted Buffalo Bill’s dog Precious, the canine’s yapping can’t help but send Catherine back to the site of her captivity.
Little wonder that Ruth has been pressuring Clarice to take Catherine’s calls. While Clarice is still beset with hallucinations, at least she’s functional, unlike Catherine.
It helps that Clarice has Ardelia there to give her something resembling a normal social life.
The time together with Ardelia is the only time that Clarice doesn’t seem to be a humorless grind.
Ardelia is quickly becoming an unofficial member of ViCAP, which, considering the scut work that usually gets dumped on her, is probably something she welcomes.
Her discovering the dental training mold was a key development in the case, which enabled Clarice to better understand Wellig and his motivations.
That, along with an unintentional toss of a coffee mug, enabled Clarice to get Krendler’s attention long enough to request one more shot to interrogate Wellig.
She correctly sensed that he wanted to turn against his employers but required witness protection, not just a deal, to do so.
Clarice was making real headway until Wellig took that fatal slug of the poisoned root beer.
The signs were present if the team hadn’t been too distracted to notice.
The overly friendly local cop had the bag lunch specially marked for Wellig, which seemed a lot of effort to make for a suspect.
Then there was Wellig’s insistent lawyer, who, although he had declined counsel, ran when Tripathi pushed him about his credentials.
The poison used could be traced back to a pharmaceutical company, as could the three River Murders. Clarice may have proven her conspiracy theory, but now the team just lost their best lead.
Make that two leads, as the reporter disappeared as well.
Her teammates are starting to trust her, but it’s been slow, oh so slow.
So far, Clarice has been an intriguing blend of character development and single-episode and ongoing cases.
Didn’t you love how Clarice fired her therapist? She admitted she needed help, but she required someone smarter than him and smarter than her as well. I think she would respond better to a female shrink.
The key part is her deciding that she has a problem she can’t ignore any longer.
To follow Clarice’s development, watch Clarice online.
Is Clarice learning how to fit in better with the team?
Are they coming around on her?
How much of ViCAP’s problem are the A.G.’s own fears?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.
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