Review: Mindhunter, season 2

Holt McCallany, Albert Jones, and Jonathan Groff in Mindhunter

Mindhunter, season 2, continues the real-life story of how the FBI worked to perfect the idea of suspect profiles in serial murder cases. Several famous cases were mentioned in season 2 including Son of Sam, Charles Manson, and 27 murdered black children in Atlanta. Almost all of the second half of the season was devoted to the child murder cases in Atlanta.

The basic FBI investigative unit remained Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) as the creative mind behind the idea of profiling. Working with him were Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), Dr. Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) and Agent Smith (Joe Tuttle).

Most of the episodes dealt with the work this team did interviewing serial killers, or helping find serial killers. They received more support from the FBI in their data gathering efforts as they tried to peer into of the minds of serial killers.

Holden Ford had a tendency to tell people his theories about killers when he had no evidence and often got in trouble for speaking when he should not have.

Holt McCallany and Stacey Roca in Mindhunter

Bill Tench had a major subplot with his wife Nancy (Stacey Roca). Their son was part of an incident with some other children that resulted in a death. It drove the Tench’s marriage into rocky territory. Tench was under more stress than anyone else because of his job and the problems in his home life.

Anna Torv and Lauren Glazier in Mindhunter

Wendy Carr got the other major subplot. She had a romance with a bartender named Kay (Lauren Glazier). Perhaps it was because this series was written by a man (Joe Penhall) and had only men directors, but the subplot around Wendy seemed merely meant to paint her as socially inept and an idiot at dating. But she was a wiz in the psychiatric forensics department.

Holt McCallany, Albert Jones, Jonathan Groff, and Phil Nardozzi in Mindhunter

Tench and Ford spent many episodes in Atlanta, trying to convince local authorities that their newfangled ideas about patterns and profiles had some merit. They worked with a local agent named Jim Barney (Albert Jones).

June Carryl, Sierra Aylina McClain, Jonathan Groff, Crystal Lee Brown, and Andrene Ward-Hammond in Mindhunter

Ford met the mothers of some of the murdered children. He was convinced that the killer would be a black man. The black mothers and citizens of Atlanta were convinced it was the Klan. Although there was an arrest made in the final episode, it was clear that the case wasn’t really solved and the Atlanta police department (filled with KKK members) might have covered up some of the evidence.

The series implied the Agent Jim Barney might keep working on the Atlanta child murders quietly and that maybe there would be more about them in season 3. (I haven’t heard any news that season 3 has the go ahead.) However, the reality is that the questions about those 27 children are still unanswered

The mystery involving ADT Security Services installer (Sonny Valicenti) from Park City, Kansas, that I expected to see resolved in season 2 was only hinted at again.

The cases this unit in the FBI worked were nationally known media sensations. The men cast in the roles of the killers were fantastic matches in appearance for the men we have seen so many times on the news.

As I pointed out in my review of season 1 of Mindhunter, the series is based on the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit (paid link), written by FBI agent John Douglas. The Ford character is based on Douglas.

Here’s the poster. Pin it.

the mindhunter poster

Season 2 Trailer

Are you a fan of this fascinating mystery series? What did you think of season 2?

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2 thoughts on “Review: Mindhunter, season 2”

  1. Loved it !! They have set up not only 1 more season but many it seems. The reason BTK wasn’t resolved was because he was very inactive for long periods and they are following a time line . He wasn’t caught until after 2000 . Poor Wendy faced with dating below her grade lol. Kay wasn’t as advertised and I personally loved her expression when she walked out the back way after hearing ” no one important”.

    1. Thanks for the info on BTK. I assumed it was something about the years involved, but hadn’t looked it up. This show could go on for many seasons, I agree.

      I thought Wendy was unnecessarily cruel to Kay after she got her feelings hurt by the “no one important” remark. With J. Edgar Hoover as a boss, she wasn’t exactly in a position to be out. I thought she should have understood what Kay was doing with her ex. She’s a brilliant psychologist, after all.

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