It's a year after FBI Agent Clarice Starling rescued Catherine Martin from serial killer Buffalo Bill. Clarice is speaking with her therapist. She is still processing the events of that case. Clarice is yanked out of her uncomfortable session on the orders of Ruth Martin, Catherine's mother and the U.S. Attorney General. Ruth wants Clarice to join a violent crimes task force investigating a serial killer who has sliced up two women. She also asks Clarice to start returning Catherine's calls, which Clarice has been avoiding. She reports to her new boss, Paul Krendler. He isn't happy to have Clarice forced upon him. Clarice tells the team that she can't be definitive yet about what type of killer is involved. But Krendler wants a simple, clean assessment for the press and she gives that. Clarice is staying with her friend Ardelia. Clarice expresses her doubts to Ardelia. She and Esquivel go to re-question the victims' families. Both victims had children with special needs. A third body is found but Clarice is sidelined after a call from her therapist. Krendler wants Esquivel to get a read on Starling. Catherine tricks Clarice into calling her. Catherine asks if there's another killer out there like Buffalo Bill. Clarice finds out that Catherine is suffering from the same aftereffects as she is. The latest victim has a daughter with facial deformities. Angela Bird had been in a trial for a migraine drug and many participants ended up with special-needs children. Angela and the other victims were talking to a reporter. The killer is in the reporter's house. Esquivel finds the reporter wounded in her tub but the killer gets the drop on him. Clarice shoots and wounds him. He wants a deal. The reporter survives. Clarice tells the truth despite Krendler's order to do otherwise.