Mindhunter Season Two Review: The Terror Continues.

4 stars
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).

Manson
Many of the killers interviewed look just like they do in real life, with Manson and Berkowitz looking particularly true to life.

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.

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The interview scene with BTK survivor David Bright is probably one of the most chilling scenes in Mindhunter season two.

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.

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The first episode acts like Holden’s panic attacks are going to be a major plot line only for them to be dropped pretty quickly.

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.

Mindhunter: Realistically Terrifying.

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Based on the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, the Netflix show Mindhunter presents a mostly fictionalized version of events in this book.
Created by Joe Penhall, The series follows special agents Holden Ford (Jonathon Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) as they travel the country to interview captured serial killers and figure out what makes them tick.
Along the way, they are joined by psychology professor Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), and the three of them strive to help the FBI adapt to a terrifying kind of killer that has yet to be officially recognized.

the gang
The series follows Ford, Carr and Tench in their efforts to make the FBI more aware of serial killers. A term they actually coin in the show.

Mindhunter is very different from other crime TV series.
Most shows of this genre take an extremely fictionalized angle but not Mindhunter. 
Sure, a lot of the characters are not real people, but many of the serial killers interviewed are.
The series also takes a realistic approach to the murders from the sole perspective of law enforcement.
Apart from the opening, we never see anyone die.
All the show gives us is pictures of the aftermath and the killers’ own words on what happened.
You would think this would make it hard to feel scared about some of these murders but this if far from the case.
The photos are often brutal and disturbing, and the way these killers talk about the murders they have committed is the most frightening feature of the show.
One of the main serial killers the shows focuses on is the real life Ed Kemper, the Co-ed Killer, who murdered ten people.
Kemper is portrayed by Cameron Britton, in a terrifyingly brilliant performance.
Watching his lifeless eyes while he talks about murder as if it is the most natural thing in the world always sent chills down my spine.

creepy killer
Britton is terrifying as real life serial killer Ed Kemper. He was nominated for an Emmy for his performance, which he absolutely deserved.

The other killers are just as creepy and, whenever Ford and Tench take on an active case, the details and progression of the case often lead to more disturbing scenes.
The impact these scenes have on the characters is shown fantastically because we see how it affects both Ford and Tench’s relationships with their loved ones.
Mindhunter also tackles the time it is set in, of the 1970s, incredibly well.
Subjects like the mistrust of the government, and the slowly changing tactics used to catch killers by the FBI, are handled realistically, just like everything else.
In fact, if I had to describe Mindhunter in one word that is what it would be: realistic.
There are no death matches between the FBI agent and the serial killer, there are no explosions, and there is no happy resolution.
Mindhunter feels like real life in all of its terrifying ways and that is what makes it so great.
I cannot wait to see season two, whenever it comes out.