You take my breath away. That is the only thing playing on my mind after I have seen this one.After Chernobyl if I can think of a series that has come close to my top list then it will be Mindhunter. GOT due to its last season fiasco has been left a way long behind now. A series which is worth your time if you are one of those who would like to screw your mind even when you are having your daily does of entertainment.
I have been a very strong believer of a fact that your personnel life will always have effects on your professional lives. We must try and keep them separate but inadvertently one always has something seeping into another. Some people’s motivations behind their behaviors can always be found in the other life they are leaving. This show has reinforced that theory again.
After a terrific first season David Fincher (Zodiac, House of Cards , Gone Girl, Fight club, The Game, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The social Network, Panic Room ) is back with second season of the show based on psycho-analysis of serial killers. 2nd season was released on 16th August,2019 after a lapse of 22 months. I was eagerly waiting for this season and always used to follow any announcements on its release etc. It is from a true story of the FBI’s criminal investigations into trying to understand how the mind of a serial killer works. It started when one of the FBI agents figured that some of the killings don’t have any real motive behind them and the perpetrators were people who were wired or conditioned to behave in this manner. As mentioned by Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) in season 1 “How do we get ahead of crazy if we don’t understand crazy?”. And the head of the FBI reluctantly agrees to indulge Holden Ford’s fetish. And Holden is not wrong in getting this fetish.
John Douglas whose character is renamed as Holden ford wrote fictional book “Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit” who is the real ‘FBI’ mind hunter. Holden Ford in the series is played by Jonathan Groff who is the star of the show …. or is he?? Holden Ford is a modern version of Sherlock homes who likes to deep dive into the psychology of the sociopaths and their narcissistic behavior. This book and the second season,is more open at accepting that humans are inadvertently attracted toward the criminal behavior and would like to indulge in it too. A humankind’s obsession to violent crimes is accurately depicted during one of the barbecue scenes when some of Bill’s neighbors get curious about serial killer’s responses after being caught. Whether they feel remorse or not? May be this animal instinct is so deeply imbibed in us that it takes center stage as soon as we come to know anything about such acts. And may be I am also one of those attracted to it the way I was following the announcement.
In second season the serial killers are the stars and they make agents dance to their tunes. We see our agents trying to get ahead of the killer but they seems to fail measurably.
1st season was about lengthy interviews and some small case workings but this one takes you into the real life wild goose chase with Atlanta Child Murder case. It starts right where the 1st one left off. Ford’s encounter with the Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton) at the hospital leaves him out of breath. And we find him in a hospital bed with his hands and feet under restraints. Although the diagnoses does not come up to be more then just panic attacks which is very much underplayed. This encounter and it’s outcome on Ford has its rhyming in the real life encounter of K. Ressler (Real life Bill tench) and Ed Kemper (Co-Ed Killer) .
Bill Tench holds the center stage in this season as we find Ford can’t help himself from being too upfront/show off when situation would demands discretion. We see the reasons for it too as Ford jeopardizes some investigations due to the lack of it. He was a troublesome lead and being a technical support is a better position for him as he lent himself in trouble at the end of the 1st one and Bill Tench lands the roll of a mature lead and carries it awesomely. His character also has his failings and he carries them out tremendously too.
The new FBI head Ted Gunn (Michael Cerveris) is more supportive of Holden’s instincts or logic and is also aware of his character’s pitfalls. And tells Bill to hold the ropes on him. This leaves Bill in a precarious situation of juggling personnel and professional lives by a tiny thread as a killing at his home town leaves his better half upset and on the edge. We also see his son going through something called “selective mutism”.
Try we may our personnel and professional life tend to get intermingled in tiny or big ways and that’s why it’s important to know a person’s background before hiring him/her. And this has been perfectly highlighted in Bill’s plight. Same is the case with Dr. Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) whose personal life also gets a bit distracted but not as much as Bill’s. Ann Burgess is a certified psychiatric clinical nurse on whom Anna Torv’s Dr. Wendy Carr is based, who is also a specialist in assessing and treating rape victims of their traumas. This season is also throwing some light on lesbianism and pitfalls of it. But somehow Dr.Carr doesn’t get too much attention due to Atlanta Child murders.
Atlanta child murder case shows how politics and racism can get intermingled and can affect a situation to go completely out of hand. How showing a rosy picture by politicians can have some serious effects on their subjects. And how racism can get on the ground police force to get clouded on their judgment. This season gets Jim Barney ( Albert Jones) more screen time to show his skills as an actor as an Atlanta field agent.
Some of the interviews in this season are awesomely crafted as in the first season and expectations of the viewers are managed.The main event of the first season Ed Kemper also returns for a brief intro but this seasons main events is Charles Manson (Damon Herriman), along with Atlanta child murders and BTK killer-Dennis Rader whose glimpses can be seen again in the entire series. I believe BTK killer is going to be the main highlight of some of the upcoming series.
We see that there was an entire celebrity universe taking shape around the serial killers at that time as we sit through the episodes. And they are so elusive and so intelligently calculative and careful that we see the good guys going to their extreme both in their mental and physical capacity. This is what keeps you on the edge of your seat where you feel that the real culprit will go scot-free. This season too just like the last one is close to Fincher’s masterpiece Zodiac (2007).
What is most commendable is the way the actors who have played real life serial killers match their real life counter parts in detail and with perfection. Some of The interviews are also matching perfectly. Season 1 Ed Kemper intervew is a line to line match of the live video recording of the same interview and both the actor and real life killers are so similar that you forget which one is which.
Some of the most notable interviews we see in the season 2 are
- William “Junior” Pierce(Micheal Filipowich) – 9 murders committed in Georgia, North and south Carolina. Devastatingly these crimes were committed after he was released from prison. And that too when a prison psychologist declared him to be of danger to himself and others. His love for sweet is also depicted perfectly.
- Charles Manson (Damon Harriman)- He was charged for conspiracy to commit murder and was apprehended on 1971. He brainwashed some of the most highly educated students, who got to be known as the mansion family,into committing the killings of 7 people , in 1969, one of whom was famous TV personality and actress Sharon Tate. The sheer power he held on his followers was what sent USA into frenzy and it was the end of the Flower Power era. He was sentenced for being involved in killings of 9 people. He is so infamous that he was also cast to be played by the same man in recently released Once Upon a time in Hollywood.
- Son of Sam – David Berkowitz (Oliver Cooper)- Who targeted couples and women with long,dark and wavy hair and shot them with .44 callibre gun. He told authorities that his neighbor’s dog was a demon and he told him to commit these murders. Sensationalism at its best,eh! He looks chillingly similar to the real Son of Sam who left letters to the police when he committed the crimes, taunting them, Jack the ripper style. He killed 6 and wounded 7.
- Edmund Kemper (Cameron Britton) – Cameron reprises his role in season 2 with the same chilling ditto effect. He infamously murdered 10 people, including his mother and grand parents. And when police couldn’t catch him he confessed to his crimes. He has an IQ of 145 and is serving life sentence at California medical facility in Barbunk. He has denied to appear at all of his parole hearings saying he is a menace and a danger to the society and so shouldn’t be allowed to get out.
- Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr. (Robert Aramayo) -He was just 17 when he was arrested. He was one of the victims but later became an accomplice in Houston mass murders by “Candy Man” Dean Corll between 1972 and 73. He was the one who ultimately ended up killing the perpetrator. Robert Aramayo also played young Ned Stark in GOT- Episode 4.
- Paul Bateson (Morgan Kelly) – The actor who briefly appeared in 1973 Blockbuster The Exorcist killed a man in New York city and was convicted of the crime in 1978 to serve 20 years in prison. Morgan Kelly plays the part.
- Tex Watson (Chritopher Backus)- He was one of Charles Manson’s follower and was involved in Mansion family murders in 1969. His explanation of how he was brainwashed to commit the crime leaves you spell bounded. He was sentenced to death in 1971 but as California abolished capital punishment his sentence got converted to Life imprisonment.
- William Henry Hance (Corey Allen)- A military man convicted of killing two women and wrote letters trying to throw the police of his scent. He also mentioned that killers were seven white men who called themselves “Forces of Evil”. He was sent to electric chair and die in 1994. His real photograph is not found.
I am leaving one out as it might reveal too much and he is the main culprit of the main event of this season. And his interview is again done most amazingly.
My verdict you will miss something if you don’t see this one. Masterclass.
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