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Clarice - Silence Is Purgatory - Review



It's taken all season for Catherine Martin to leave her residence, but Catherine is finally tempted by an unexpected phone call from her former fiance` on this season one penultimate episode of Clarice.

In fact a good chunk of the episode's themes dance around Silence of the Lambs Buffalo Bill. In one of the earlier episodes, I commented on how I wasn't really sure about the changes from the book (Buffalo Bill was trying to transform into a glorified version of his deceased mother), as this version of events has decided to keep his mother alive. I worried about the portrayal and how it might affect the trans community, as the motives behind his transformation would either have to be different or potentially deluded, but this episode begins to address and hopefully remedy such a concern.

Paul Krendlers team continue on in secret with the River Murders case. Clarice and Esquivel are tasked to go back over everything, while Clarke gets some information about who signs checks and works for Hudlin from his CI, who then later turns up dead!



Clarke's lead however takes Clarice to a trans women named Julia Lawson and her sick partner Erin. It takes a while for Lawson to come forward. She firsts talks to her partner acknowledging that she took this job for their security, before she is ready to help Clarice--but the conversation she has with her, is rather compelling. We learned that the headlines that came after the Buffalo Bill case hurt the in-universe trans community, making it all out that they were all like Buffalo Bill. Clarice tries to defend herself, telling Julia she didn't write those articles. Julia rebuttals that Clarice had a voice to set the record straight and she did't use it. Julia hands Clarice the files and reminds her that silence is purgatory--telling Clarice she can't stay silent and she has to expose the truth about these women.




As for Catherine Martin, she does get Bae to take her to the restaurant to meet her ex, and everything seems to be going ok, until Ned is about to tell her that he is going to marry someone else. Catherine's instincts do her credit and she cuts him off, before he has time to explain himself. But more over, because she feels so mislead, she demoralizes him and emasculates him. Ned leaves and she is left in the restaurant on the verge of a breakdown, but just before anything else can happen, her mother arrives to take her back home. But by the end of the episode she seems more confident and calls Clarice, almost as a warning, while she continues to obsess over Buffalo Bill's mother--perhaps now being much closer to going out and finding her!

And while we don't know for certain if Ned is trans, given the way Catherine devours him, the scene does a few interesting things. It juxtaposes again the way Clarice and Catherine have processed their trauma. Clarice is on path of remediation by promising Lawson she will get it right this time. Catherine on the other hand is clearly a bit bitter--and while what Ned did was wrong, his characteristics didn't necessarily need to be on the menu for Catherine to call him out. However "Ned" happens to rhyme with Ted and Ted Levine (last seen in Big Sky) played Buffalo Bill in the Silence of the Lamb's films and Ned does have some visual characteristics of both Buffalo Bills. Lawson and Ned come off diametrically opposing in similar fashion to Clarice and Catherine, but more over Ned seems to be acting as a kind of trigger for Catherine's own potential demise, depending on what the actual situation is going to be, once she gets to James Gumb's mother...

Other parts of the episode also lead Clarice back to Tyson Conway. As it turns out his father is the head of Alaster Pharmaceuticals!! But T only got to know his father shortly after his mother died and the relationship is kind of a new thing. Clarice, thinking about her own relationships, doesn't really want to pressure or use Tyson, but he ends up being the strongest connection they have. So when she goes back to take a second run at him, she choices a different method than the one Clarke tried to instill in her, she tells him a bit of the truth about what she is doing and whom she thinks his dad is. While the scene doesn't really confirm that Tyson agrees, it seems likely he is the bait and will help Clarice in the season finale!

Paul Krendler continues his gig with Joe Hudlin, but ends up drinking to keep his cover, but there is a conversation he has with Clarke, where Krendler's integrity could be at stake, as Clarke wonders if he really did it for his cover or is it because he really wanted to? As for Adelia Mapp and Haynes, they have compiled enough evidence against the FBI to take to a former FBI agent-turned-lawyer named George Costello. George agrees that the discrimination evidence is astounding and makes a good case, but he also tells them, that if they really want this to work, they have undermined Agent Starling and her rise in the bureau. Mapp eventually warns Clarice on her plan and Clarice does her best to understand. (Part of me wonders though if Costello is in cahoots with Herman and this is about taking Krendler down?)




As for Adelia Mapp and Haynes, they have compiled enough evidence against the FBI to take to a former FBI agent-turned-lawyer named George Costello. George agrees that the discrimination evidence is astounding and makes a good case, but he also tells them, that if they really want this to work, they have undermined Agent Starling and her rise in the bureau. Mapp eventually warns Clarice on her plan and Clarice does her best to understand. (Part of me wonders though if Costello is in cahoots with Herman and this is about taking Krendler down?)

There wasn't a lot of things pointing to Hannibal himself this week, but rather other elements that kind of point to the flavor of the Hannibal film/novel. Whether it was Catherine Martin's character assassination of Ned or the way Tyson is now set up as bait in a similar way as to how Clarice was used as bait by Mason Verger to try and catch Hannibal, or even the way Mapp's case against the bureau might start to peg Starling in a new light and screw up her promise to Julia Lawson, all these things thematically feel like they are hitting on that story and that both scares and excites me for how things might play out in finale!

While the front half of the episode was a little bit too fast of pace, going back to earlier episodes that sometimes felt a little systematic and there was less of a Gothic atmosphere, the back half breathed an intriguing set up full of characters all in rather compromising positions, not letting the audience feel too safe before heading into the season finale! (And, If silence is purgatory, then what is it when everyone decides to cry out at the same time? I'm not sure if it always equates justice, as much as more chaos...)

So what did you think? Any season one finale predictions? Do you think the River murders case will be resolved? Do you think there will be cliffhangers (I do!)?? Sound off in the comments below!




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