Mindhunters is a fantastic play on psychology, sociology, and sociopathic behavior (it even made me question if I was one).
Mindhunter follows Holden Ford (played by Jonathan Groff) and his partner and mentee Holt McCallany (played by Bill Tench). Mindhunter perfectly recreates the 1970’s, from the wallpaper on the walls to the distrustful hippy mentality towards law enforcement at the local university.
Holden is a young FBI hostage negotiator who gets sidelined by his superior (Unit Chief Shepard, played by Cotter Smith) to the task of teaching after he reveals his “odd” sympathetic feelings towards the criminal that took his life rather than celebrating his “win,” for saving all of the hostages.
He then meets Debbie Mitford (played by Hannah Gross) a sociology major from the local university. She makes him question himself and society standards that he didn’t realize were engraved in him. Debbie becomes our window into getting to know the true Holden. Debbie is where we start to discover an eager and socially ignorant Holden Ford, who is perceived by his peers and strangers as socially awkward, talkative and young minded.
Debbie and Holt play a big role in sparking Holden’s drive to dive deeper into “Behavioral Sciences”.
During “Road School”, Holt and Holden teach basic investigative principles to police departments. Holden becomes complacent and begins to realize with each city they visit there was nothing separating the FBI from the local police. FBI is aware of that fact but wants to keep it under wraps. Holden continues his “odd” behavior and threatens the status quo in the FBI.
Holden comes to the conclusion that the FBI cannot help the local police because they do not have enough information or knowledge on how “crazy” works.
That statement drives him to interview a prisoner by the name of Ed Kemper (fantastically played by Cameron Britton), a serial killer who got bored of evading capture and turned himself in after abducting and murdering several women including his mother and grandparents. Ed is especially important because this is where his journey begins and where it nearly ends in episode 10. Ed is classified as an “Organized” serial killer, preplanning, testing, and going further and further each time until he perfected his art.
We discover a pattern during his serial killer interviews that it always links back to their relationship with the mom.
There came my AHA Moment!
Holden is much like the serial killers he studies
Insatiable curiosity (his studies into their minds and the way the think
Insatiable thirst to dominate and conquer
Issues with their mothers, which leads to relationship and intimacy issues (Not confirmed
Holden mentions his mom three times all sexual in nature (doesn’t confirm much but we still don’t know much about Holden’s background)
“Better enjoy that young P****, before it becomes mom” stated during a conversation with a suspected rapist and murder (I think mentioned several times with other inmates)
Debbie mentions she will give him the key to make her mom like him. It wasn’t what car they drove or what shoes they wear. Debbie’s mom would ask them one question about her boyfriend’s mom and if the boyfriend seemed to respect, love and care for their mom she would know they would do the same with Debbie. Holden doesn’t respond with an answer just a simple nod and ponders.
Socially awkward but comfortable amongst their on “kind”
Holden has trouble making conversation with “regular” people, but can easily start and hold conversations with the killers.
Getting a taste and not being able to stop
We discover Holden is a sociopath himself and is not immune to the interviews as his partner Holt originally thought. Holt betrays him during an internal investigation, and Holden finds himself full circle in the arms of Ed Kemper, barely escaping before Ed could reveal if the embrace was out of love, forgiveness or with evil intent, spiraling out into a panic induced faint with warnings from his coworkers.
“Why are you here,” a question Ed Kemper asked him right before his embrace. A question Holden only answered I don’t know and a question that meant more to Holden than Kemper intended.
At the end of Season 1 Episode 10 of Mindhunter, we are left with the following loose ends:
Was there ever a cat that Wendy Carr (Played awesomely by Anna Torv)?
What exactly did Holt say during the interview with Internal Affairs?
Did Holden get suspended by the FBI (even though he had his badge during the Ed Kemper visit)?
What is Holden’s background?
Side Note: I have not read the book but I look forward to it.
Plot: 5 out of 5 Stars
Character Development: 4.5 out of 5 Stars (Still didn’t 100% get Debbie)
Scenery: 5 out of 5 Stars
Script: 5 out of 5 Stars
Actor Performance: 5 out of 5 stars
By Dyna Magik