Clarice Review

Clarice Review

This week, Stan is releasing the hotly anticipated series, Clarice.

A year after the events of The Silence Of The Lambs, we meet Clarice Startling (Rebecca Breeds) at her mandated therapy sessions in the wake of catching serial killer, Buffalo Bill. She is called back into the field for the first time in a year, plucked out of the basement of the Behavioral Sciences Unit by Ruth Martin (Jayne Atkinson), the US Senator who’s daughter, Catherine (Marnee Carpenter), Clarice saved from Buffalo Bill. Ruth has a proposal for Clarice to join the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program to help solve the case of three new serial killings.

It’s here where we are introduced to Paul Krendler (Michael Cudlitz), the leader of the task force, who doesn’t trust her and seems more inclined to wrap things up quickly. Also on her team former Army Sniper Thomás Esquivel (Lucca de Oliveira), library brain Shaan Tripathi (Kal Penn), and human lie detector Murray Clarke (Nick Sandow).

Clarice is not allowed to mention Hannibal Lector by name, which allows writers Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet the chance to explore the character of Clarice Sterling after their encounter and finding her place. If the first three episodes are an indication, Clarice will have a mix of season-long arcs and standalone cases. It’s an interesting choice as the pilot sets things up, but the momentum is lost in the following episode as the story takes a back seat.

Casting Rebecca Breeds was a masterstroke as she is compelling in the role, none more so than when she’s conveying the trauma she’s faced while also dealing with working in a male-dominated world. Jane Atkinson is also perfectly cast. And while Devyn Tyler, as Clarice’s friend Ardelia, isn’t given much to do in the pilot, hopefully she will be given the chance to shine going forward.

Clarice is a dark and compelling drama that has the potential to be a hit. With a strong cast and a complex lead character, it just needs to find a better balance between procedural and season-long story arcs.

3.5 Stars

Clarice premieres on Stan on Friday, February 12, with new episodes weekly.