Rebecca Breeds Teases Starling ‘Goes Rogue’ in the ‘Clarice’ Finale

Rebecca Breeds Clarice Season 1 Finale
Brooke Palmer/CBS

FBI Agent Clarice Starling (the outstanding Rebecca Breeds), who voluntarily turned in her badge and gun last week after an outburst of anger, has won us over with her bravery, grit, and willingness to confront her painful past. In the suspenseful closer on Thursday, June 24, she calls on all her courage when she’s held captive and battles to free herself and a group of trafficked women from an abandoned animal testing facility.

“She doesn’t have a badge. She doesn’t have a gun. She’s completely vulnerable,” says Breeds (above). “We get to see that survival spirit, that never-say-die, this determination to not let the bad guys win.”

The women have been locked up at the behest of the twisted, misogynistic owner of Alastor Pharmaceuticals, Nils Hagen (Peter McRobbie). One of his company’s drugs causes birth defects, and he ordered the murders of several women to conceal that fact — something Clarice and her colleagues in the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program uncovered during a season-long investigation. (At press time, negotiations were ongoing for a second season on the streamer Paramount+.) Naturally, the ViCAP team that’s become Clarice’s family, including boss Paul Krendler (Michael Cudlitz), and her bestie, agent Ardelia Mapp (Devyn A. Tyler), are frantically attempting to locate her.

They recently uncovered disturbing intel about Hagen’s once estranged son, nice guy Tyson Conway (Douglas Smith). Frustratingly, they weren’t able to pass it on to Clarice, who’d grown close to Tyson while trying to get him to inform on his dad. Will this lack of information handicap her as she fights for her life?

Hardly. Starling has matched wits with icy Hagen before (Breeds calls their interactions “intellectual gymnastics”), but on Thursday, they’re not in his office and there’s no polite pretense. And she has a surprising advantage: Recently assembling all the pieces of a traumatic childhood memory about her cop father has made her more powerful and trusting of her instincts.

Devyn Tyler Clarice Season 1 Finale Ardelia Mapp

Brooke Palmer/CBS

“That newfound strength takes her in a direction with Nils that is pretty shocking,” Breeds teases. “It’s a major moment. Clarice goes rogue. She gets pushed to the limit and explodes. And my goodness, I felt so good!”

Clarice, Season 1 Finale, Thursday, June 24, 10/9c, CBS