‘Clarice’: Paul Krendler’s Secret Reason for Treating Clarice Starling Like a Threat

There are many mysteries in Clarice that have yet to be uncovered. One thing is clear, Paul Krendler (Michael Cudlitz) doesn’t like Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds). Cudlitz hinted there’s more to their tense relationship.

‘Clarice’ starts with Clarice Starling getting a new team

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Season 1 shows Starling trying to move forward after finding “Buffalo Bill.” But she gets pulled back into hunting down killers because attorney general Ruth Martin (Jayne Atkinson) assigns her to a case of a possible serial killer in “The Silence is Over”. She also happens to be the mother of Buffalo Bill’s only victim who survived, Catherine Martin (Marnee Carpenter).

The attorney general is making a Violent Crimes Task Force (ViCAP) and puts Starling in the team. Paul Krendler leads the team, but Ruth warns this could be a problem for Starling.

“And no, he hasn’t forgotten how you showed him up when you were both chasing Bill,” she tells her. “But he’s a hell of an investigator and a good lawyer. I need you both to work together now.”

Starling wants to work in Behavioral Sciences. But Ruth refuses to grant her that.

Paul Krendler and Clarice Starling don’t get along

Rebecca Breeds as Clarice Starling and Michael Cudlitz as Paul Krendler stand in their uniforms on 'Clarice'
Rebecca Breeds as Clarice Starling and Michael Cudlitz as Paul Krendler on ‘Clarice’ | Brooke Palmer/CBS via Getty Images

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It didn’t take long for Krendler to tell Starling that he isn’t a fan of her. He calls her “Ruth Martin’s drop of honey for the cameras” immediately. That’s because she’s already known in the press. 

He also tells her that their case will be built on evidence and not feelings. But in their first case it’s apparent her experience in behavioral sciences will be helpful.

The team has grown closer since the first episode. That’s only natural given the dangerous cases they face. But Krendler still doesn’t like Starling. Now fans might have a hint there is more to come for them.

Paul Krendler’s reason for treating Clarice Starling like a threat

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Krendler doesn’t seem to be changing his tune on Starling. Michael Cudlitz revealed to TV Insider that fans will eventually find out the reason why he’s so hard on her.

“Their relationship starts massively adversarial, and we’re going to learn specifically why,” he said. “It’s not necessarily what everyone thinks on its surface.”

There have been hints that Krendler isn’t a fan of Starling’s methods. Krendler explained why the character can’t get on board with it.

“In some ways, he’s in complete awe of her,” he said. Sadly, he won’t show it. “He comes from a world of facts, of policing — not this mumbo-jumbo. In his mind, it stands to tear down everything he believes in,” Cudlitz explained.

It looks like fans have more to learn when it comes to Krendler and Starling. Time will tell what’s keeping them apart.