Monday, August 19, 2019

REVIEW: 'Mindhunter' - Holden Struggles to Force the Atlanta Killer Out Into the Open in 'Episode 7'

Netflix's Mindhunter - Episode 2.07 "Episode 7"

Hitting a dead end, Holden suggests a bold plan to draw the killer out. Bill's family faces more scrutiny. Wendy chafes as her job begins to shift.

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 7" was directed by Carl Franklin with story by Joshua Donen & Courtenay Miles and teleplay by Liz Hannah

Holden wants the freedom to do his damn job already. He feels very restricted in Atlanta. He cares very much about solving this case quickly so that no more children are killed. He just lacks the understanding of the racial politics at play. He doesn't understand how the local community could be so riled up about the KKK. He has no evidence to support the claims that the klan had anything to do with these murders. He wants people to have rational responses to the way that he lays out the evidence. And yet, not everyone can see his perspective on the world. He may have a supportive boss at the FBI. But he still actually has to produce results. That's what all of this ultimately has to come down to. Yes, it's meaningful to get as many insights as possible from convicted serial killers. That work is still vastly important for Wendy and the rest of the BSU team still at Quantico. And yet, the narrative has shifted its focus almost entirely to the Atlanta child murders. That's the priority for Bill and Holden. Sure, Bill is also incredibly distracted at the moment. He is spending four days in Atlanta and three days at home with his family. He is not taking care of himself. He's the member of the team who isn't managing his stress in a healthy way right now. The start of the season was very concerned about Holden's ongoing health. He wasn't coping well with the actual substance of this work. But now, Holden is the one incredibly focused on solving this crime. He feels like he is the only one who is. That isn't true in the slightest. The community is very active and passionate. They want to protect their children. They want to know that their leaders are taking care of them. They no longer want to be tossed aside as if their concerns don't matter. The media coverage is only growing. Holden sees that as beneficial to the overall investigation. It doesn't matter that the team is following a dead end at the start of this hour. Holden doesn't see this man as matching the profile he has assembled for this case. He follows along with the procedure though because Bill lays out the argument for why they need to eliminate suspects. They can't just allow their vague profile to be the sole thing that drives their investigation forward. They may know what they are looking for in general. But that doesn't narrow it down all that much. This man may not align with that understanding of the case. And yet, he is still seen as a viable suspect. It's ultimately a pure coincidence that his semen was found near the crime scene in the woods. It's more damning that more bodies keep getting found that prove just how smart and capable this killer actually is. This is a killer who knows exactly what he's doing. He's not going to fall into the simple traps that the local police and community are setting for him. This case requires creativity. Holden believes that he has that exact solution by taking advantage of the march that Camille Bell has organized to bring more attention to the children still missing. He wants to actually further incentivize the killer to return to the place of the crimes by staging them as actual memorials. Of course, he ultimately sees it as a plan that doesn't work because of the bureaucracy that prevents him from getting the crosses in time. That shows that Holden really is just flailing around not fully understanding the world around him as it actually is. That could be pretty damning of his accomplishments as well. In fact, it seems like everything this team does could eventually come back to hurt them in a significant way. Bill is so used to talking about his work in order to charm people. It certainly perks Ms. Leland's interests when she stops by unexpectedly. But it could also work against the Tench family with their custody case. Meanwhile, Wendy doesn't wish to be judged for her skills in the field because of one interview that went awry. She sees it as a skill set that she has with no one else even capable of going out to conduct these interviews. And yet, Ted wishes to confine her to research at Quantico. He is so restrictive of her when he sees Bill and Holden as the geniuses who created this new art of profiling. Kay points out that dedication to work shouldn't be the only thing that Wendy is passionate about. But it also has been for such a long time. That may prevent her from being completely genuine with her feelings towards Kay though. For Wendy, there may also be the uncertainty that comes from public perception of her and this relationship.