Mindhunter: 2017

Profiling criminals and documenting their behavorial instincts is not the most interesting job in the world. But studying psychology is. Joe Penhall penned a story where two FBI agents would use psychology as their tool for profiling criminals. Mindhunter is a series very similar to the one created by Bruno Hellar, The Mentalist. In both series, a pattern of pyschological behavior was given the upper hand in hunting down criminals. The story was developed keeping in mind when FBI was just beginning to explore having a Behaviorial Science Unit. The plot correlates to the events happened during late 1970s.

Ever since crime busting thrillers got into the idea of bringing reference to the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, television shows have made a considerable progress. The plot of the series starts with the efforts of a special agent in FBI to push the idea of having a Behaviorial Science Unit that digs a little more and preferrably into the pysch of criminals. Their motivation and emotional approach before committing a crime. The idea was to develop a methodology to help catch criminals by way of similar behaviorial pattern. The initiatives by the FBI soon became the part of academic research and was funded by the state.

I see a fresh approach in developing a character in this series. Special Agent Holden Ford (played by Jonathan Groff) slowly and steadily develops the gift of reading people through his careful and meticulous look at the criminals. It started as part of a study but soon became a tool to solve actual crimes. The effect of the entire study was soon visible in the behavior of Special Agent Holden Ford. He soon started applying this in his personal life as well. The scene where he reads that his girlfriend was ready to break-up with him was good. Whether or not he actually read her is confusing for me, as it never got revealed. The assumptions could be entirely his. But the series focal point is based on this and so I would have to assume that his reading was true.

Special Agent Holden Ford’s first subject was a sequence killer (a term used by FBI), Ed kemper. His subject soon became attached to him and started corresponence with him through letters. Kemper wanted to confront him about Ford’s achievements as he thought that Ford owe him a lot regarding this. The last scene of the season where both of them interacted was intense. Agent Ford’s fear and anxiety while interacting with him was an absolute piece of work.

The director, David Fincher, is known for making gripping crime thrillers. His work in the movies, The Game and Gone Girl was amazing. My expectation from him got sufficed when I saw a parallel plot developing about a serial killer somewhere in Kansas City. This would be interesting to see in the upcoming seasons of the series.