Clarice: Childhood Trauma, PTSD, Militia, Prostitution and Stringed Green Beans…. All in One Hour



As the title might suggest, episode 2 of CBS network’s Clarice was a lot to process. When your brain has had as many birthdays as mine a 10pm time spot can be a bit of a challenge, especially when you have already had your PJ’s on for 6hours. That being said it was a solid, well written and executed episode. The writers and cast do a phenomenal job of wrapping up all of the above mentioned content nicely at the end without seeming rushed or simple.

The writers ability to wrap things up was great but my ability to process all that I saw in the past hour was a little bit more complex. When I first thought about the article that would follow this episode I had zero idea if I was coming or going. What angle would I take? How would I approach this part or that part? What did I feel was most important? This is where the brilliance of the writing comes in.

If you take a step back and really think on it THIS IS WHAT AGENT CLARICE STARLING IS STRUGGLING WITH EVERY DAY! She is still very much suffering from PTSD which is shown through snippets of Buffalo Bill (I mean it has only been a year for her. It’s been 30 years for me and I am still traumatized). This particular episode took her back to Appalachia which only served to dredge up memories of loosing her Father. Everyone on her team was telling her they didn’t trust her. To top it off – Krendler had put in a request to transfer her off of the VICAP team- I mean this was literally like the worst Monday ever.

Yet, in true Agent Starling fashion she uses all of those negatives and saves the day, much to the surprise (and delight) of her team. Clarice is slowly showing her naysayers that Behavioral Science does have it’s place in the VICAP team and that is her biggest flex right now. What I am waiting for the series to show (again we are only on episode 2 but 30 years invested at this point) is some type of failure on Clarice’s part.

She can’t win every battle and I feel it would be a disservice to show her do just that. I am confident in this group of writers and feel they will come up with a way for her to fail gracefully. I am also confident that we will get more from Kal Penn who has yet to give us anything real substantial. It’s coming! I can feel it!
As for the Militia, Prostitution and Stringed Green Beans……watch the episode and find out.

Clarice airs on CBS Thursday 10/9c

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