Clarice Season 1, Episode 1 recap: Is another killer like Buffalo Bill at large?

Clarice Season 1, Episode 1, “The Silence is Over,” takes place one year after the horrifying rampage of Buffalo Bill. A sequel series to The Silence of the Lambs starring Jodie Foster, Rebecca Breeds takes on the role of heroine Clarice Starling and does an admirable job putting her own spin on the iconic character.

Caution: The following article contains spoilers for Clarice Season 1, Episode 1.

The bodies of two women are discovered in a drainage ditch. The women differ in age and race with no immediate links between them, yet their bodies sport identical wounds, including bite marks, stab wounds and a fatal headshot.

U.S. Attorney General Ruth Martin (Jayne Atkinson), mother of Catherine Martin (the woman Clarice rescued from Buffalo Bill in the 1991 film), has created the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) to prevent another Bill from ever happening again.

Headed by FBI investigator and attorney Paul Krendler (Michael Cudlitz), Martin and Krendler immediately jump to the assumption that these latest murder victims are the work of another serial killer. They seem to care more about inflaming the public than they do getting to the truth. That’s where Clarice comes in.

Believing a “monster” is roaming the DMV area yet again, Ruth summons Clarice to D.C. Still haunted by everything that happened with Buffalo Bill and Hannibal Lecter, Clarice has been keeping her head down with a tech job in the Behavioral Sciences Unit throughout the past year.

Technically, she’s still not cleared to go back into the field. Her therapist believes she’s still experiencing severe PTSD and trauma, and he’s not wrong. Clarice keeps in continuous contact with the families of Buffalo Bill’s victims. She doesn’t talk to Catherine Martin (Marnee Carpenter), despite Catherine being the only other survivor apart from Clarice.

Catherine finally gets through to Clarice with a phone call and tries to tell her that she’s the only one who can ever understand her trauma and nightmares. Catherine isn’t doing well in the aftermath of her kidnapping. She’s also taken possession of Buffalo Bill’s dog, Precious.

Nonetheless, when Washington calls, Clarice has to go. Her therapist doesn’t have the authority to undermine the attorney general’s demand. Even though Clarice has only succeeded in apprehending one serial killer, she has amassed a reputation for catching the most hideous of criminals. That’s why Ruth wants her involved in this investigation and to become part of ViCAP. Clarice is hesitant to accept the job, but she doesn’t really have a choice.

Clarice Season 1

Clarice Season 1, Episode 1 — “The Silence Is Over”– Pictured Rebecca Breeds as Clarice Starling — Photo: Brooke Palmer — ©2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Clarice Season 1, Episode 1 recap: Were these murders the act of another serial killer?

Despite what Krendler and the attorney general think, Clarice isn’t immediately convinced that these murders are the work of another serial killer. Their wounds are too strategic. They don’t look like the acts of a “foaming at the mouth” killer but rather someone who wants it to appear like a madman did this. Following the trail of clues alongside the only FBI agent who genuinely respects Clarice, Agent Thomas Esquivel (Lucca De Oliveira). The pair link the two victims by their children, who both suffer from congenital disabilities.

A third body is found, and, like the other two, her daughter was born with a disability. Clarice and Esquivel discover that all three women are whistleblowers in a case against a big pharmaceutical company after participating in a clinical trial that ended with devastating side effects. A contract killer was hired to take them out one by one. Clarice and Esquivel catch up to him just as he reaches his final victim, a female reporter who spoke to the previous victims. He tries to stage her death to look like suicide so the FBI won’t link her to the other murders.

Luckily, Clarice and Equisvel arrive in time to save her and apprehend the killer. But the suspect alludes to something much bigger going on than what initially appears. Regardless of what they’ve unraveled, Krendler reminds Clarice that she doesn’t have hard evidence for her theory yet. He wants her to tell the press that they’ve apprehended the “serial killer.”

Clarice ultimately decides against lying to the public and tells the press the truth — at least most of it. She also promises that she’ll be sticking around Washington until they legitimately close the book on this case.

What did you think about the Clarice Season 1 premiere? Will you continue to watch the show? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

New episodes of Clarice Season 1 air Thursday nights at 10/9c on CBS.