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  • Writer's picturePanthergirl

Unpopular Opinion: Mindhunter S2

Mindhunter or The Omen? You decide!

First of all, to quote my favorite pop culture podcast ExtraHotGreat, SPOILERS AHOY. If you haven't seen the season and don't want to be spoiled, now is your chance to turn back. Read another amusing post on this blog. Click on Archives and get lost down THAT rabbit hole. But whatever you do, don't read this post and then cry about how I ruined the season for you. (if anything, this advance warning could be seen as my gift to you).

OK... you've been adequately advised.

We loved Mindhunter. I watched it when it dropped in 2017 and then again last year with the BF, as he hadn't seen it. The fingerprint of David Fincher made it gorgeous to watch (keep the ambient light to a minimum or you won't see a thing on screen), the writing and performances were riveting. I wouldn't call it a perfect show. It's not Breaking Bad or The Wire, but loved it nonetheless.

Jonathan Groff (Holden Ford) isn't what I'd call a "layered" actor, but the rest of the cast seemed to prop him up nicely except for the actor who played his girlfriend. Painful to watch. Happy to see her gone in S2. Absolutely loved Holt McCallany (Bill Tench) and his line early in S1 about Ed Kemper ("he's gonna take your gun, kill you with it and then have sex with your face") became an instant classic for me.

And do we even need to mention Cameron Britton's standout performance as Kemper? The casting director needs every award in the book for this brilliant discovery. How can someone be so physically perfect for a role and talented enough to pull it off?

So what the hell happened in Season 2?

Someone decided we needed a deep dive into Bill Tench's personal life, and wrote a completely bizarre and implausible storyline about his young son participating in the murder of a toddler. The crime is so outrageous that it's impossible to believe that no one at the office, FBI no less, knows anything about this or that Bill's son is involved. The kid is turned into Damian from The Omen, Bill's wife gets way too much screen time, and ... and... and... it's a complete waste of time.

The Atlanta Child Murders is an interesting plot thread, but too little time is spent on it. If there wasn't enough material to give a backstory on the alleged killer, maybe pick something else? (Another spoiler alert: Wayne Williams couldn't really be tied to the crimes in the end. The assumption is that he did it, but no one is really sure.) The side-killers get interviewed by Anna Torv and the other forgettable detective. Even Charlie Manson couldn't make this interesting.

Are you bored with this review? That's nothing compared to sitting through S2 of Mindhunter. Was it 100% terrible? No. There's a moment where a very white, very clueless Holden Ford is running through Atlanta with a huge cross during a memorial march for the dead black children. Brilliantly horrifying. The look of the march is so well done I thought they had cut in archival footage. It's been several weeks since we watched and that's the standout moment for me. The rest has vaporized.

The teasers about BTK have been interesting, but we also know there is no way the show can cover that case and the ultimate arrest of Dennis Rader in 2005. The timeline won't allow it.

For whatever reason, the critics have slobbered all over S2. We wanted to love it, we really did. But for us it was dead in the water.

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