Sunday, August 18, 2019

REVIEW: 'Mindhunter' - New Discoveries in Atlanta Could Propel Bill and Holden Closer to the Truth in 'Episode 6'

Netflix's Mindhunter - Episode 2.06 "Episode 6"

The FBI officially sends the BSU to Atlanta to investigate the missing and murdered children. Wendy second-guesses her interview methods.

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 6" was directed by Carl Franklin with story by Joshua Donen & Courtenay Miles and teleplay by Courtenay Miles

The FBI is officially called in to help investigate the Atlanta child murders. It shouldn't have taken this long. It takes it becoming a priority for the Reagan administration and the new head of the FBI for the leaders in Atlanta to become compliant. Even then, it's abundantly clear that this investigation has been mishandled because so much of the police didn't care about these children. Holden understands that there is a predator on the loose. But he too has to act carefully because he can't risk his theories blowing up in his face once more. He has to be smarter when dealing with the political concerns of this world. Sure, he still makes pointed comments about how the police commissioner cares more about how things will reflect on him instead of actually conducting a competent and meaningful investigation. The BSU agents don't even know if the suspect they bring in for questioning has anything to do with the actual murders. They just have the clarity that one person is behind all of these murders. They walk away with that conclusion after his graveyard is discovered. It's because they stepped in and told the local detectives that they needed to refocus their efforts on combing the previous crime scenes to see if there were potentially any new clues. That led to the discovery of three bodies within a very hundred yards of each other. That's a significant discovery. It's one that will propel this case forward. But it's also not enough to appease the citizens of this city who are on edge fearing that their child could be the next one to be taken. They fear that children will keep disappearing because the police have looked at all of these cases on an individual basis while blaming the families themselves for what happened. That's absolutely despicable. Holden and Bill know it not to be true. They can't prevent the details of the investigation from leaking though. They are told to be extremely careful. There is certainly the impulse to help the community that is hurting. And yet, the team can't confirm any details about the status of the investigation. They believe the work they are doing is substantial. It will lead to a huge break in the case and get justice for the numerous victims. But that is really only scratching the surface when it comes to some of the systemic issues at play here. When Bill and Jim re-canvas a neighborhood, they realize that many crucial witnesses weren't even interviewed by the police to see if they had details that would be considered important. This is a failing of the entire police system even for those who want to do the right thing now. This is a community that has been hurting for far too long. Of course, Bill is also worried about his son and what his recent behavior could indicate about his future. The team is operating with the understanding that all of the serial killers they have interviewed had behavioral problems as children. The new FBI director was a former judge who wanted to lock criminals up for longer sentences because he could instinctively know that they would commit more dangerous crimes. As such, everyone should rightfully be worried about Bill and Nancy. Their sanity is fraying because they don't know how to help Brian. This isn't a problem that will go away on its own. Brian seems to regressing emotionally. And yet, that's very terrifying as well. Bill's work may amplify his concerns. But he's also not around long enough to actually be an active member of this family. That's concerning as well. He is forced into environments where he doesn't want to be even though he does a fairly solid job in impressing his new boss. Meanwhile, Wendy is still adjusting to how conducting interviews in the field is different from how she has long studied psychology and manipulative individuals. She believes she is fully capable of leading her subjects to the exact point where they can open up. She is certainly more effective than Gregg is in getting details from Paul Bateson. And yet, it still ends with him shutting off any questions about his possible guilt with several open cases. It also presents as yet another story with sexual orientation at the heart of violence which is such a tricky line to delve into because Gregg sees it as defiance while Wendy knows just how loving and genuine that connection can actually be. She is happy and stable with Kay even though she still allows her work to dominate her focus.