David Fincher’s Netflix series, Mindhunter, revolves around two FBI agents, Agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff, of Hamilton fame) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with psychology professor, Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), who start a program that studies the psychology of serial killers. The most compelling part of the show, which should come at no surprise, is when these Agents sit down with murderers and question them on their state of mind during the killings. Serial killer Ed Kemper, played brilliantly by Cameron Britton, always leaves a chilling presence especially in the way he talks about women.
With this series we get to see how the stories from these killers affect our two main characters. It’s certainly no easy thing to come home and try to act normal when you just heard in excruciating detail about how someone killed multiple women. And because it is Fincher, the series is a slow burn, but it also doesn’t have any stakes, which is unlike him – there is no grand climax or plot twist at any point in the story – it simply shows the psychology of all of its characters, the most interesting being Holden’s transition of being a eager, goody two shoes to being a crass, asshole who no longer cares about what he says or does.
One negative I have for the series is that it starts up subplots but never goes through with them, now it could have been left untouched for a season 2 (which no doubt we will get), but still it would be nice to see what direction they would go in instead of them almost being forgotten. I also have to say that Holden’s girlfriend, Debbie (Hannah Gross), doesn’t really add anything to the story. She’s mainly there for Holden to talk to about his findings and not much else. And sadly that is also true for Dr. Wendy Carr, who is supposed to be a main player, but mostly offers psychological insight when the two Agents question the killer’s viewpoint or state of mind.
I suggest this series if you are more interested in characters instead of story, are a fan of procedural cop shows, or are a fan of David Fincher.
I give this show a B+.