It’s all the time robust to show an iconic film right into a TV sequence — “Keep tuned for scenes from the subsequent episode of ‘The Godfather’,” mentioned nobody ever — however “Clarice” is off to a stable, if unspectacular, begin.
“The Silence of the Lambs” sequel, premiering 10 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 11) on CBS, stars Rebecca Breeds as FBI agent Clarice Starling — the position that, 30 years in the past, Jodie Foster stamped into film historical past reverse Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Hannibal Lecter (“I’m having an outdated buddy for dinner”). She’s acquired the identical West Virginia drawl as Foster’s Clarice (Breeds is Australian and hides the accent effectively).
It’s now 1993. Following on the occasions of the film, it’s been a 12 months since Clarice shot and killed “Buffalo Invoice” and saved his subsequent meant sufferer, Catherine Martin (Marnee Carpenter), from the hand (and knives) of the wicked serial killer in his creepy underground lair.
Catherine’s mom, Ruth Martin (Jayne Atkinson), is now the US Lawyer Basic, and summons Clarice — who’d returned to her forensic profiling — to Washington, D.C., after two girls are discovered lifeless within the Anacostia River, the obvious victims of a serial killer who viciously bit and stabbed them each, a number of occasions, earlier than taking pictures them within the head. There seems to be nothing linking the victims, however we all know higher.
Clarice, who quickly strikes in with FBI colleague Ardelia Mapp (Devyn A. Tyler), isn’t thrilled about her new task; she’s affected by PTSD post-Buffalo Invoice (Hannibal Lecter is referenced in passing, however not by identify), and has been ignoring telephone calls from troubled Catherine Martin, who needs to speak to Clarice about their shared trauma.
She’s additionally not so positive there’s a one other serial killer on the free, which doesn’t endear her to her new boss on the FBI, Paul Krendler (Michael Cudlitz). He thinks she was in the correct place on the proper time vis a vis Buffalo Invoice and continues to be too inexperienced, emotions shared by his crew members: navy sniper Tomas Esquivel (Lucca De Oliveira); Shaan Tripathi (sequence veteran Kal Penn, who co-starred with Breeds within the short-lived CBS sequence “We Are Males”); and cynical technical man Murray Clark (Nick Sandow).
The sequence opener doesn’t waste an excessive amount of time on exposition (all the time appreciated — it’s clunky and infrequently will get in the way in which) as Clarice works to show herself and nab the killer, assembly a lot resistance from her colleagues and the lawyer common again in Washington. Because the episode progresses, the third sufferer is discovered and Clarice begins to piece collectively a sample to the murders.
The sequence’ second episode will get a bit extra into Clarice’s again story as she’s known as to Tennessee with Krendler and crew to assist the ATF navigate an armed standoff with a charismatic chief (visitor star Tim Guinee) and his adjoining militia group. (Shades of the 1993 Waco/David Koresh siege, which occurred within the 1993 “Clarice” timeline and is talked about a number of occasions).
Nonetheless, there’s an extended option to go in to maintain Clarice fascinating and multi-dimensional whereas balancing her work together with her colleagues — who will, as these items go, develop into her second household. Cudlitz does a pleasant job each overtly undercutting and subtly supporting Clarice, and there’s a touch of one thing deeper between Clarice and Tomas, her solely true ally on the crew within the early going. Penn doesn’t have a complete lot to do but, and Sandow (“Orange is the New Black”) is all the time good. He’s acquired that world-weary look you’d anticipate from an FBI agent who’s seen all of it.
I wouldn’t name “Clarice” gripping, but it surely does seize your consideration and retains it there, with the promise of an fascinating Season 1 story arc and sufficient motion to retain your curiosity — together with flashbacks to Buffalo Invoice, which ought to assuage the film’s fan base.