Skip the Binge Sesh With This Handy Recap of Mindhunter Season 1

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Where do we begin?

If it seems like years have gone by since Netflix first released Mindhunter, then you technically wouldn’t be wrong. The first season was dropped in October 2017 and later renewed for another season in November 2017. Then, it took another year and a half to get the first glimpse at Holden Ford and Special Agent Bill Tench’s latest adventures.

But alas, the wait is over. Season two of the thrilling true-crime series is back and it promises the return of Jonathan Groff. However, last season’s cliffhanger of a finale truly left the series in limbo.

In case you’re in need of a bit of a refresher, here’s where things left off: Holden (Groff) is all but institutionalized following a series of mental breakdowns and one particularly frightening panic attack, which Ed Kemper was witness to. 

Fans of the ’70s-era series will recall that the entire plot centers around Holden and Tench’s mission, with the help of consultant Wendy Carr, to find proof that profiling will help the FBI bring an end to the numerous killing sprees terrorizing the country. However, it is clear from the start of the show that Holden is ill-equipped to handle the emotions that come with talking to literal murderers. 

This is evident in the fact that in episode one he expresses sympathy for killers like Charles Manson, much to the chagrin of local authorities, the FBI and Tench himself. Eventually though, Tench finds himself increasingly intrigued by the soft and almost friendly approach that Holden takes with serial killers like Jerry Brudos and Ed Kemper.

In episode three, however, Tench’s formerly wavering loyalty to their mission is totally solidified when Holden is able to deduct the characteristics of a killer in Sacramento, solely based on the similarities he sees in Ed Kemper’s crimes. The case is subsequently solved and is a pivotal moment in their research.

But that trust in their mission was once again tested when Holden crossed a line during an interview with killer Richard Speck. In said situation, Holden manages to persuade the killer to talk by referring to women as the c-word. This is unfortunately caught on tape and later reported to their FBI supervisor. Luckily, Carr and Tench decide to omit Holden’s crude language in tapes given to the supervisor, just barely saving their project from being shut down. 

This is just the beginning of Holden’s downward spiral that leaves him without a girlfriend, smeared in the press and nearly institutionalized.

Meanwhile, throughout the series the ADT serviceman, who will end up being revealed as the BTK killer Dennis Rader, is merrily planning his methodical kills. 

How will this come together in season two, you may ask? Well, you can see for yourself when the full season is released on Netflix on August 16.

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