Sometimes a series comes along and curb stomps you with how good it is. Amazon’s “The Boys” did it, and not even a month later, Netflix has done it with “Mindhunter.” While its been a while since I’ve watched the first iteration of “Mindhunter,” I was excited to see where it would go next, and while sometimes a series goes down in quality compared to the first (The Punisher season 2, and True Detective season 2 as well), “Mindhunter” season 2 is absolutely one of those rare times where it surpasses the first.
“Mindhunter” is about Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), the cocksure Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), and Dr. Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) two special agents who pioneer the FBI’s behavioral science unit, focusing on serial killers and mass murders, and a psychology professor who is part of the BSU. Based on a John E. Douglas novel “Mindhunter,” the trio met with quite a gallery of interesting folks in the first season, Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton) the “Co-ed killer” for instance, to interview among others. This season though, taking place a very short time jump afterwards, goes deep into the Manson family rabbit hole, as well as into other things I don’t want to spoil.
Just like the first season, “Mindhunter” season 2 is brimming with a palpable aesthetic and atmosphere that immerses you and absolutely never lets go. This is always a strength with shows like these, and it is especially true for “Mindhunter.”
Another thing I appreciate is the way the show has recognized its (very subjective) weaknesses. Ford has always been the protagonist of the show, with Carr and Tench taking a back seat. However, that changes this season. Tench himself is my favorite character of the bunch. An unbigoted hard nosed guy with the greatest flat-top I’ve seen since Schwarzenegger’s, Tench is easily the most preferable character of the entire trio. He is given his own expansive storyline, and it made me so happy to see McCallany’s Tench get the spotlight over Holden.
However, Torv’s Carr is given the short end of the stick. While she is given her own subplot as well, the show manages to shove her aside, keeping her character static, and when it does show her scenes, they feel out of place at times.
To continue on this problem of Carr’s of not progressing as a character, the same thing befalls Holden. In the first season he was an unlikable character, and in the second, while he makes some strides, he still remains his, I’ll say again, cocksure self.
You are probably asking how the Manson performance is, and oddly enough the actor Damon Herriman has also played Manson in this year’s Margot Robbie Tarantino flick “Once Upon a time in Hollywood” (which I will review at some point). If you compare the scenes he is in with Manson interview footage, the performance is phenomenal.
Overall, while I have seen mixed reactions on the internet of this second season, I personally loved it. While there are some slight pacing issues, the show more than makes up for it with how interesting it is. As I get older it is harder and harder for shows to hook me, but “Mindhunter” has done it again, and I can’t wait for the next iteration.
Edited by Jessica Galvin, Adam White