I finally finished watching Netflix’s Mindhunter last night. All ten episodes. Wow. Precise, patient, unnerving, character-rich, exacting dialogue, blissfully intelligent. By far the most engrossing Netflix thing I’ve sat through this year, and that includes Okja, First They Killed My Father, Mudbound and The Meyerowitz Stories. I’m really glad the second season has been approved as I couldn’t get enough of season #1. Really and truly riveted. A perfect thing to watch at the end of a long, vaguely depressing, anxiety-ridden day consumed by writing and researching and…you don’t want to know the rest.
Though Mindhunter I’ve come to know four…make that five actors I’ll never forget and want to engage with again — Jonathan Groff (Holden Ford), Holt McCallany (Bill Tench), Hannah Gross (Debbie Mitford), Anna Torv (Wendy Carr) and even Joe Tuttle, who plays God-fearing, goodie two-shoes FBI agent Gregg Smith, who rats out Groff when he sends a Richard Speck interrogation tape to a pair of FBI internal affairs investigators.
An HE salute to producers David Fincher (who directed episodes #1, #2, #9 and #10), Charlize Theron, Josh Donen and Cean Chaffin.
For whatever reason I didn’t do my research until a week or so ago, and hadn’t realized that Holden Ford is based on former special agent John Douglas, who co-authored the same-titled book about his 25 year career with the FBI’s Investigative Support Unit.
I loved the Holden and Debbie breakup scene in episode #10. [After the jump.] Or rather the “Holden breaks up with himself” scene. Debbie is radiating that silent hostility thing that women love to radiate when so inclined, signalling everything and saying nothing. Holden calmly adds up the signs and indicators and comes to a conclusion that “you’re breaking up with me?” Yup, that’s what she’s doing but she’s making you do the work.
What I don’t get is why no one in the unit identifies Gregg and asks him why he’s become Judas Iscariot. Tench asks Carr if she’s the one, and she responds “fuck you, Bill” but that’s the end of the general inquiry.
That final hospital-room meeting between Holden and serial murderer Ed Kemper is seriously creepy. You can feel the blood pounding as Kemper stands up and suggests that he could and even might kill Holden then and there, but I don’t understand why the latter would suddenly suffer a crippling anxiety attack in the hospital hallway. Holden is made of sterner stuff than this.