But when Mindhunter came around, that changed. The cinematography is drab but reels you in. The plot is set to a steady rise and fall. There is a bare minimum of on-screen violence but the show crept up on me like nothing ever has, with a great soundtrack to keep you on your toes.
That being said, the season 2 finale left us with bated breath about what’s to come in season 3, and now I need some questions answered.
So, without further ado, here they are:
(Spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution!)
The season opens with Brian finally having friends to play with, but it goes downhill when the murder of a baby takes place in the neighbourhood. Brian turns out to be a witness to the crime but doesn’t confide in his parents. He did, however, give the older boys the idea to lay the baby on a cross.
Brian’s behaviour after this discovery is chilling as he retreats into himself. He seems to be regressing to a child-like state. Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) wonders if his adopted son could turn into a killer, an idea that gnaws at his mind constantly through his work at the Behavioural Science Unit of interviewing serial killers, especially those who had a profound effect on their following, such as Charles Manson.
Now the story of Brian Tench isn’t legitimate – the crime was not related to Agent Robert Ressler (the real-life inspiration for Bill Tench), or anyone else in his family. Fans of the show, however, brought up a PBS Frontline report about abduction and murder of 20-month-old Noah Alba, known as the Crucifixion Murder, which is incredibly similar to Brian’s story.
Although the boys in the report (unnamed) don’t seem to be tied to another murder, could this be a path that Mindhunter might take with Brian?
Dennis Rader a.k.a. the BTK Killer (bind, torture, kill) has been featured across both seasons of Mindhunter, but season 2 is where they directly engage with his story. Bill goes into Kansas to chat with the only known survivor of an attack – Kevin Bright- to gain some insight. But that seems to be the end of it. The case isn’t directly followed up, although BTK is referred to quite often.
BTK’s narrative is only shown in bits and pieces and only hints at what he’s been up to. He seems to be this looming character, as the BSU team prod at inmates like Ed Kemper to find out why BTK sends letters to the media.
It would make sense that the BTK murders are not given closure in the next season – he was only arrested in 2005. His last murder was Dolores Davis, in 1991. By the end of season 2, we are still in 1981. If the series plans to stay true to the timeline, both Tench and Ford have long retired when BTK is caught.
Another interesting thing would be to see how Holden’s method of profiling holds up with BTK. Rader’s married and works a normal job. He seems to have a place in his society, which is in contrast to what BSU knows about killers so far.
It would be interesting to see if they have any run-ins with him or follow up on the case.
During the season, there are moments when the BSU squad is discussing what killers to interview next. Dr. Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) presents options of serial killers that team should interview next. We get a glimpse of the board that features some well-known names.
Among the names, a few well-known ones are John Wayne Gacy (known for assaulting and murdering 33 men in Chicago), George Howard Putt (murdered five people in less than a month in Memphis, 1969), and Johhny Meadows (raped and murdered four women in Odessa, Texas, between 1968-71). Since Mindhunter so far has brought on well-known killers into the series and exploring them, it would make sense that Season 3 might feature some of these names.
What is odd though, is that Ted Bundy’s name is not on the list. He was captured in 1978, and it is well known that BSU spent time interviewing Bundy. Netflix even has a whole documentary based on this- The Ted Bundy Tapes, that was released earlier this year. Bundy’s arguably the most infamous killer to come out of that decade, so it could be that he might feature on the show.
Phew. This is what true crime shows do to you – massive groundwork and making conspiracy theories of your own for articles.
Leaving aside hard theories and facts, I just do not trust the new FBI assistant director Ted Gunn.
He seems too good to be true, but also creepy when he undid Dr. Carr’s top to introduce her to another FBI person. I understand that he’s meant to represent the FBI embracing the BSU’s methodology, but as we saw with the Atlanta Murders, he just seems to be the ‘new face’ of the FBI – the one that is doing groundbreaking work, even though the Atlanta Murders went largely unsolved (and still are to this date).
Those are my few cents.
For what they’re worth.
Images via Netflix