MindHunter Season 2 Review: Continues To Prove The Truth Is Much More Horrifying Than Fiction - GMonsterTV

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MindHunter Season 2 Review: Continues To Prove The Truth Is Much More Horrifying Than Fiction

NetFlix dropped the nine episodes of "Mindhunter" season 2 on Friday. I'm sure I'm not the only one who devoured it as quickly as humanly possible. If you're unfamiliar with "Mindhunter", it depicts the creation of the FBI's Behavior Science Unit. We follow the three leads Holden Ford (played by Jonathan Groff), Bill Tench (played by Holt McCallany) and Dr Wendy Carr (played by Anna Torv) in the late 1970s/early 80s as they begin interviewing serial killers in order to create "profiles' of their behavior. See my season 1 review here 

Yes, the show is based on real life BSU members John E Douglas (who wrote the book "Mindhunter" that the series is based on), Robert K Ressler and Ann Wolbert Burgess (a forensic nurse, she current teaches forensic science at Boston College).Yes. there are of course fictional aspects of the story but the scariest parts are very true. They interview the worst of the worst. And much of the dialogue is taken from their actual interviews. This season that includes:

  • Edmund Kemper/ The Co-Ed Killer- Killed at least 10 people including his paternal grandparents and mother. Cameron Britton is back from season 1. His portrayal of Kemper is amazing and horrifying. At the end of season 1, Kemper tried to kill himself and listed Holden as his medical proxy. He is currently 70 years old and is housed in the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, CA.  
  • David Berkowitz/ Son Of Sam- He killed six people and wounded seven in 1976/77. He said his neighbor's dog was a demon and commanded that he do it. He later confessed to Holden and Bill that it was all an act. He is currently housed in the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Wallkill, NY.  
  • William "Junior" Pierce- Committed a number of robberies and killed nine people between 1970 and 71 (including a Senator's daughter). He is at first very resistant but Agent Harvey is able to win him over with Reese Cups. He was sentenced to life in prison in SC and GA in 1973.    
  • William Henry Hance- Killed three women near military bases in Georgia in the 1970s. He kidnapped and held for ransom women and demanded that the Stocking Strangler in nearby Columbus, GA be captured. Only problem is: 1. He already killed the women; 2. His stories dont make any sense.  He is the only person on the show sentenced to death. He died in the electric chair in 1994 at the age of 42.  
  • Elmer Wayne Henley Jr- accomplice to Dean Corll (aka The Candy Man). He and another accomplice David Brook "procured" for $200 each at least 28 boys which Corll then violently tortured, raped and killed between 1970 and 1973. Wendy and Agent Smith do this interview since the guys are out of town. She is able to get Elmer to open up by saying she was in a similar relationship (with an older woman). Smith thinks she was just ad libbing but we know it was true. 
  • Charles Manson- Charlie famously said he never killed anyone. He just convinced his "family" to do it instead. They killed a minimum of nine people (maybe more). Manson was originally sentenced to death before the state of California outlawed the death penalty. He instead was sentenced to 9 life sentences. Manson died in 2017 at the age of 83 (after some 40 years in prison). 
  • Tex Watson- a follower of Manson who killed 8 1/2 months pregnant Sharon Tate and six others. His original death sentence was changed to life in prison. He is currently 75 years old and has been repeatedly denied parole. He is housed in the Mule Creek State Prison outside of Sacramento. 
  • Paul Bateman- This is another interview that Carr and Smith handle. Bateman was convicted of the murder of a journalist and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was paroled in 2003 and is currently 78 years old. He is suspected of killing a number of gay men in Manhattan (The Bag Murders) but there was not enough evidence to bring charges. His other claim to fame is he was in a scene as a radiologic technician in "The Exorcist III".  
  • Wayne Bertram Williams- The Atlanta Child Killer(?)- The second half of the season focuses on the deaths of 28 young boys in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981. The BSU is called in to help. They are joined by local agent Jim Barney (Albert Jones). I hope he becomes a series regular. Note: IRL they did NOT work on this case. It's still very interesting to watch everything unfold. TRUE FACT: Williams was convicted of killing two adult men (but was never charged with the children's deaths). The cases remained open until March 2019 when the Atlanta PD and the mayor said they were retested all available evidence. Williams was sentenced to life imprisonment and is currently housed in the Telfair State Prison in McRae-Helena Georgia. The 61 year old still professes his innocence in all charges. Interestingly, the killings stopped after he was arrested.    
  • Dennis Rader/ BTK- We saw snippets of him in season 1. This time around the BSU starts investigating his killings. But as we know, he was dormant for many years before being finally captured.  

Last season we got to see some of Holden's personal life as he struggled with his relationship with then-girlfriend Debbie. This time Bill's personal life is brought to the forefront. His seven year old adopted son Brian was a witness/somewhat involved in the murder of a toddler. Brian is not charged but the family must undergo lots of social worker visits, therapist appointments, etc. Bill struggles to juggle the demands of the job and his family obligations.His wife Nancy is very distraught over how to deal with their son. Bill wonders if Brian will grow up to be one of the men that he hunts. 

We also see some of the office politics that goes on in the FBI. At the end of last season, the team had agreed to redact the first three minutes of what Holden said during their Richard Speck interview. He was attempting to connect with Speck by acting like him. Their boss (Chief Shepard) also tried to cover it up. Agent Smith secretly sent the tape to the Office of Public Affairs (OPA). Shepard takes the fall for their misdeed and is forced into retirement. Ted Gunn becomes their new boss. The team eventually gets a win with the Atlanta case so wont have to kiss ass and fight for funding hopefully for a while. 

I thoroughly enjoyed season 2. I have a few small criticisms but the overall quality of the show outweighs any negatives: 

  1.  What's up with the big GIANT letters announcing their locations? They freak me out since they show up out of the blue. Smaller, less frightening letters please. 
  2.  Holden's panic attacks were caused by Edmund Kemper hugging him during his hospital visit. But the story line disappears by the end of the season. I guess he's cured? If so, what was the point of that story line?
  3. The pacing of the first few episodes was a bit slow but since I watched them all at the same time, it wasnt a problem.    
  4. Wendy didnt have much to do this season. Holden and Bill spent a lot of time in Atlanta but she was left home. Dr Carr went on a few interviews before she was basically told to stay at the office. We got to see a little of her personal life (and her short lived relationship with Kay). Hopefully a season 3 will give us more. 

Grade: 4 3/4 Monsters (out of 5). Another excellent and compelling season of "Mindhunter". It left me wanting more and that's the sign of a great show. Serial killers interviewed this time around include some very heavy hitters: Charles Manson, Tex Watson, David Berkowitz/Son of Sam, Elmer Wayne Henley Jr (The Houston Mass Murders), Wayne Williams (Atlanta Child Murders), and Dennis Rader/BTK. Edmund Kemper is also back for a few brief scenes. I've said it before but I'll say it again. Cameron Briton deserves ALL the awards for his portrayal of the Co-Ed Killer. The personal life of Agent Bill Tench is revealed (and its almost as harrowing as his day job). We don't get to see much of Dr Wendy Carr. Let's hope there's a season 3. We need to see more of Dr Carr and for the rest of the BTK story. "Mindhunter" is too good to stop here.

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TV: Heavy On Sci Fi, Horror & Adventure

August 18, 2019
MindHunter Season 2 Review: Continues To Prove The Truth Is Much More Horrifying Than Fiction Reviewed by GMonsterTV on 6:52 PM Rating: 5 NetFlix dropped the nine episodes of "Mindhunter" season 2 on Friday. I'm sure I'm not the only one who devoured it as...

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