Season 1 Episode 4
You Can’t Rule Me
Clarice finds herself in the middle of old rivalries as well as missing some vital clues close to home in this episode.
With the death of their suspect in the last episode, the VICAP team is under the microscope since the death happened at their offices. With the team assigned to desk duty, Clarice’s best friend and roommate Ardelia is brought in to help with an investigation that might lead to the end of the team and Krendler’s career. At the same time, Clarice manages to get her team on board with her conspiracy theory and they sneak out to pursue it as each one of them is put in the hot seat by the man leading the investigation who has a personal history and animosity with Krendler.
Right off the bat, the episode establishes the tropes of the team “going rogue” including the having one of them stay behind for misdirection purposes. It’s not anything new under the sun, but it works for the most part. What it really does is re-establish one of the things I took issue with in the first episode as Clarice’s colleagues, who have yet to establish that they can be trusted, continue to tell her that she needs to trust them, especially Krendler. This issue is brought up again by Tripathi (Kal Penn) right before we get a scene showcasing why Krendler should not be trusted. There is an inconsistency in a lot of these characters and that becomes clearer the closer they are in proximity because Clarice is pushed to the background where she silently observes. Something that gets annoying quickly.
SA Anthony Herman is brought in to investigate the death of the suspect and he is exactly what the episode needs him to be. He is a possible way out for Clarice, an arch rival for Krendler and an impediment to Ardelia. His animosity towards Krendler is interesting, but not exactly compelling.
The one piece of drama that was the most interesting in the episode is the one that was given short shrift and that was the conflict between Clarice and Ardelia. As Clarice doggedly pursues her investigation into the deaths of the three victims from the first episode, she attempts to use Ardelia to move the investigation into the direction she wants it and that causes conflict because Ardelia is investigating the case as well and Clarice’s constant intrusions jeopardize the integrity of it. Their interpersonal conflict was well done and filled with tension, emotion, truth and great acting. Unfortunately, there was not enough of it.
The episode ends with Clarice in danger because of reasons that were already discussed with her and not even five episodes into the season, the main character is subject to another trope. There is something interesting and entertaining to be found in this series and with these characters, but the show is running out of time to bring those things out.