I loved the first season of Mindhunter.
Created by Joe Penhall, and with many episodes directed by David Fincher, The Netflix series hooked me right off with its disturbingly realistic portrayal of actual serial killers.
I was eagerly anticipating the second season, and we finally got it now, two years later.
The second season picks up with Holden Ford (Jonathon Groff) recovering from his encounter with Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton) at the end of the first season.
After getting released from a mental hospital by Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), Holden meets back up with the team, consisting of Tench, Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) and Gregg Smith (Joe Tuttle), in their studies of serial killers.
What follows is a season that sees the characters interviewing a wide ranger of terrifying murderers, like David Berkowitz (Oliver Cooper), and those who manipulate others to kill, like Charles Manson (Damon Herriman).
Most terrifying of all are the investigations into the BTK killer, Dennis Rader (Sonny Valicenti), and the Atlanta child murders, which eventually becomes the main focus of the season.
Just like the first season, what makes Mindhunter season two so scary is its horrifying realism.
Again, no murders are shown but the aftermath of these crimes, and the way they are explained by both the killers and surviving victims is horrifying.
This leads to one particularly disturbing scene when Tench is interviewing Kevin Bright (Andrew Yackel) a survivor of the BTK killer.
The way this scene is shot is so particular, the acting from Yackel so tragic, and the sound design so unnerving, that is makes the scene horrifying to watch, even though no violence is taking place.
It is particularly disheartening to hear Tench make assumptions about BTK, only for us to know he is completely wrong, meaning they are further away from stopping him.
Speaking of Tench, he has the best story this season, with a tragic family event that makes his interactions with the killers even more personal.
A scene where a confrontation takes place between Tench and Manson is particularly illuminating to Tench’s character.
It is not all great, though, because compared to last season Mindhunter season two does fall short.
There are quite a few plot lines that are dropped like Ford’s panic attacks, which are quickly forgotten about, and the cat Carr was feeding last season, which is oddly left out of entirely.
As for Carr, herself, she does not have much of a role in the back-half of the season, and a romance storyline she has feels a bit too similar to Ford’s relationship from the previous season as well.
However, these problems do not diminish how great Mindhunter is.
It is still a creepy show, with great fictional characters and terrifying real killers.
I am already looking forward to season three.