Sunday, August 18, 2019

REVIEW: 'Mindhunter' - Wendy Goes Out on Her First Date with Kay and Conducts Her First Interview in Prison in 'Episode 4'

Netflix's Mindhunter - Episode 2.04 "Episode 4"

Holden develops a controversial profile in the Atlanta slayings. Wendy conducts her first interview and finds being on the front lines suits her well.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Mindhunter.

"Episode 4" was directed by Andrew Dominik with story by Joshua Donen & Courtenay Miles and teleplay by Jason Johnson, Colin J. Louro & Joshua Donen

Holden's naivety about how investigations are conducted is really becoming all-consuming of the character. Yes, he's this guy who gets way too close to the cases he takes on. He doesn't know how to manage the stress in his life. But he is also taken aback when political pressure is the reason why he is no longer able to talk about his theories on a case. He is surprised just how divisive things can become when the race of killers and their victims is discussed. He returns to Atlanta feeling confident because he has the support of the FBI in an official capacity. He sees a potential kidnapping case as the way in for the bureau. Ted Gunn continues to support Holden's instincts. Bill and Wendy don't think enough work has been done to actually create a viable profile that could actually help in this case. Instead, Holden just conducts an experiment to see who is more likely to pick up black children in their car. It's absolutely horrifying that he sends two agents out to conduct this experiment. He is putting children at risk through his need to know what is and isn't capable in communities of color. It's enough to solely inform his understanding that this serial killer has to be black. He has to go undetected in these communities. But it's also startling to see who he mentions this theory to. He is more than confident bringing it up to his colleagues in the basement. He takes his shot with the Atlanta police commissioner to inform him that the city does have a serious predator on the loose. But he doesn't tell the group of community activists. He sees how passionate they are. And yet, he remains at such a loss. He sees a community in peril with no one taking them seriously. They have more missing children than the authorities are even aware of. They want to know that every possible angle is being explored in all of these individual investigations. But it's also hard to trust Holden because he abides by the same bureaucratic rules that seem to prevent any of the authorities from actually making a difference. In the end, the FBI is forced to go home because a kidnapping didn't actually take place. The city of Atlanta turns its back on those in need and those who can potentially help because its leader are too caught up in how all of this could cost them. They don't want anything that could disrupt the economic prosperity they see on the horizon. It just leaves Holden at a loss for words. He doesn't know how any of this can happen but that only proves just how privileged and isolated he has been for a long time. Of course, Bill's personal life is in turmoil as well. He is called away from the case in Atlanta because the local detectives want to interview his son about the recent murder. It turns out that Brian was the one who suggested to a group of older boys the house to hide out in and how the toddler's body should be placed. That's absolutely horrifying and will forever shape this household. It also provides new insightful into what Bill might worry about for his son's future. Is Brian destined to become just like the people the BSU profiles every single day? Wendy and Gregg head to Texas to interview a killer who continually brought victims to another man to be raped and murdered. Elmer Wayne Henley Jr. insists that he is innocent of all his crimes and only killed his mentor Dean Arnold Corll out of self-defense. And yet, he is incredibly defensive and hostile due to the sheer assumption of him being gay. He sees it all as being justified through the financial advantages it afforded him. Plus, he had a mentor. But the investigators know on some level that he was complicit in all of these actions and allowed them to happen for years before putting a stop to things. He aided in the suffering and torment of others. Wendy forms that initial connection. She brings her personal experience to the interview in a way that shows her skills while also sharing with the world her true self. She and Kay go out on a date here. Wendy remains aware of how the world perceives her. She doesn't want to be the woman left behind or to be deemed insignificant. But Gregg also perceives her story as being an elaborate lie simply because he doesn't see sexual orientation as something completely natural and normal. That serves as painful confirmation that Wendy may never be accepted by her colleagues at work or the world around her. That's tragic despite the relaxed and easy connection she has with Kay.