Maybe, someday, Clarice will learn — if she lives that long.
Once more, the fledgling FBI agent got herself in deep trouble by following a hunch without any backup on Clarice Season 1 Episode 5.
Along the way, we learned more about Clarice’s backstory as she continually tripped through dark flashbacks.
It’s amazing that she actually got through Quantico and into the FBI after all the trauma she’s been through in her young life.
Even worse, though, she keeps adding new traumatic moments to her life story.
She started with serial killers Hannibal Lechter and Buffalo Bill. Little wonder she was content to crunch statistics somewhere in the basement of the FBI. That must have felt like a haven to her.
As she’s attempted to solve the River Murders on her first case with ViCAP, Clarice has dealt with a professional hitman and now a sadistic doctor in hiding. That was wrapped around matching wits with a misogynistic Southern militia leader (or would that phrase be redundant?).
But even when Clarice woke up with her legs paralyzed, her mind had soon shaken off its grogginess to put together the pieces of Marilyn’s situation.
Clarice would know better than I the psychological term for what was wrong with Marilyn Felker. Anyone willing to impersonate her twin sister and intubate her, making her a captive as well, is messed up in the head somehow.
And wasn’t Clarice quick to exploit that, even with all those hallucinogenic drugs on board? Every coherent moment she had, and they were indeed scattered, she was pumping Marilyn for intel about herself, trying to make sense of the contradictions that she had witnessed in Marilyn’s home.
It was the hallucinations in between that made it difficult for Clarice to gain much mental traction. Between the injections and being shocked with a defibrillator, it was difficult for her to keep her train of thought on its tracks.
The sad part was that Clarice wasn’t lying with her answers, and Marilyn wouldn’t give her any breather to expound upon them.
The big question that has yet to be answered is who Marilyn was talking to on the phone. It had to be someone at the pharmaceutical company running the drug trials, undoubtedly the same man who ordered the hits on the three participants and the reporter.
Clarice tried to drive a wedge between Marilyn and her boss by mentioning all the evidence scattered around Marilyn’s home to implicate her. She also cleverly lured Marilyn by first analyzing her sickly childhood and then weaponizing it against her.
The biggest problem was that Clarice was stuck on escaping, which proved tricky without the use of her legs. Marilyn easily thwarted her attack with the oxygen monitor, and her boss caught Clarice attempting to crawl away, which was going to be difficult with those winding staircases.
The presence of the boss brings up another question. Was he just there to tidy up loose ends, in this case, Clarice, Marilyn, and Luanne? Or was he about to torch the ancient building?
Clarice choosing flight over fight was logical since she was in no condition to fight. She wasn’t in much better shape to flee, but it was the better of two bad options.
A small piece of Clarice must have recognized that she’d stepped in it again, going out to investigate without backup against Krendler’s express orders. So she felt she had to create her own rescue.
Only one person did miss Clarice — Ardelia. Her friend and roommate didn’t like how they had left things between them on Clarice Season 1 Episode 4. Only Clarice didn’t return home so they could talk things out, nor did she answer Ardelia’s 911 page (now and then, we’re reminded that this is a period piece).
Ardelia assumed some esoteric research entranced Clarice at the office until Esquivel called looking for her. After that, Ardelia realized her friend was in trouble.
With Krendler dealing with a personal problem, we discovered how ViCAP worked without him. The answer was not so well since rookie Ardelia had to take over and drive mission planning.
The pairings were interesting to watch. Clarke, who has seen it all, and Esquivel, who is still finding his way, discovered little at Marilyn’s house other than determining she was being set up as the fall woman.
Ardelia and Tripathi worked well together. She used the old woman-needing-the-restroom ruse to snoop while he kept Marilyn busy. Ardelia was so close but got caught by Marilyn, and they were sent away.
Fortunately, the team found the evidence they needed to head back to the institution and save the hallucinating Clarice from herself once again.
It wasn’t hard to feel bad for Krendler for once. He and Mandy, both recovering alcoholics, still loved each other but were bad for each other.
He was delusional if he thinks that any judge would give an FBI agent who works long hours primary custody of his children in that day and age. Good luck with that.
To follow Clarice’s development, watch Clarice online.
Why must Clarice learn the hard way?
How many thanks does Clarice owe to Ardelia?
Who’s your other favorite ViCap team member?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.