Netflix’s Mindhunter Delivers In Every Single Way
Mindhunter doesn’t give the viewer a break, and that’s something new.
*This review contains very few spoilers, you can watch the official trailer below.*
Mindhunter is different. It’s different than any other show I’ve ever seen and certainly one of the greatest series Netflix has ever put out.
The 10-episode first season, which released on Oct. 13, is morbid, unfiltered, tied to real history and most importantly sticks to the idea of the show: FBI agents trying to get in the minds of serial killers.
Most people have a fascination with serial killers and this show delivers insight unlike any show ever has.
There are so many shows out there that immediately drag you in, but then stray from the main storyline. Whether it be love or a ‘filler episode’ that seems like a waste of time, a good majority of shows have that aspect. Mindhunter doesn’t, I’d say at least 95% of the show is nothing but FBI work, investigation and always linked to the monster murderers. The only show or movie that really comes close to relating is ‘Silence of the Lambs’ in my opinion.
I wouldn’t say the show is refreshing, seeing as how most of the cases presented in the show are about real life murderers, rape and truly disgusting acts, but in the sense of sticking to one thing and portraying that storyline to perfection, yes, season one was exactly that.
From the interviews, storytelling, camera work, language and anything else you can think of, this show truly delivers the idea that these acts really happened; and they did. You feel as if they’re happening in real time.
Holden Ford, played by Jonathan Groff, is the young FBI agent that follows his instinct and arguably gets far too deeply involved. His partner Bill Tench, played by Holt McCallany, is the older more experienced, Army veteran agent and the two feed perfectly off of each other. These are the two main characters and their chemistry on the screen is unbelievable to say the least.
Ford and Tench are assigned to travel to these middle of nowhere towns all across the country doing ‘road school’ teaching local cops FBI tactics. While in these small towns terrible disasters happen and they are dragged into the mess.
While both Ford and Tench are fantastic characters in the show and portray every aspect of what you picture in your mind as a late 1970’s FBI agent is, it is the killers — again, based on and named after real life murderers — that truly drag you in and never let go.
The first we meet is Ed Kemper, better known as the ‘co-ed killer’, played by Cameron Britton (pictured above). This is where this show truly begins (and ends), in a cell with this extremely large man that has slaughtered his grandparents, mother and eight more people before turning himself in in 1973.
The stories Kemper tells, and in his voice, you can immediately tell this man is entirely insane yet extremely detailed and methodical. He is the man that opens up this behavioral science research study which is the entire basis of the show.
Ford and Tench meet up with Jerry Brudos as well, or the ‘lust killer’, as well as the well-known monster Richard Speck who tortured and murdered eight nurses in a Chicago hospital in 1966. These two characters are the definition of crazy; they’re real life monsters that you can’t imagine exist.
Then, we get to Darrell Gene Devier, who at first seems to be your regular tree cutting worker in rural Georgia. Then we find out his story of raping and murdering a 12-year-old girl and take a deep dive in the real life interviewing tactics used when this man was found guilty.
Through all of these events and extremely morbid stories, Tench, Ford and Boston College professor Dr. Wendy Carr are compiling all of this into their behavioral science study for the FBI, piecing together everything they can making sense of what the hell these men have done.
The trio even tries to classify each killer, with Tench eventually coming up with the term ‘serial killer’. That term was coined by Robert R. Kessler in the 1970’s and he is the man Tench’s character represents.
In between all of this we get introduced to these small towns across the United States, are introduced to these everyday yet crazy people living in society and travel the minds of both the FBI and these messed up everyday people.
The show places us into these situations and horrid stories told by the killers, truly allowing us to know what these people were about during their murders, yet there is one character they leave us hanging on edge about.
Throughout the show we maybe get a total of five minutes of what begin as random scenes of this man with a mustache. Yes, we know something’s off, but unless you do your research you wouldn’t know who this character is. Dennis Rader is better known as the ‘BTK killer,’ or the ‘bind, torture, kill’ murderer that worked as an ADT security person. This is surely where the second season will pick up, which has already been greenlit, but it’s worth noting Rader carried on his murders until 1991 and wasn’t caught until 2005.
It will be interesting to see how quickly the show fast forwards and what new agents and killers we may be introduced to. On top of Ford’s list is interviewing Charles Manson, so we’ll see what happens there.
Anyone could talk or write for days about this show, but the overwhelming verdict is that it is a must watch for anyone remotely interested in true crime or the minds of some of the worst killers in history.
You will not be disappointed and you’ll likely binge watch the entire show in two days, but you’ll realize soon in that you’re in the middle of an actual experience rather than some show that constantly jumps all over the place.