Monday, August 19, 2019

REVIEW: 'Mindhunter' - Bill and Holden Organize a Lengthy and Agonizing Sting Operation to Catch a Killer in 'Episode 8'

Netflix's Mindhunter - Episode 2.08 "Episode 8"

Red tape hinders Holden's plan to narrow his suspect pool. A weary and heartsick Bill tries to connect with his son. Wendy rethinks her relationship.

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 8" was directed by Carl Franklin with story by Joshua Donen & Courtenay Miles and teleplay by Alex Metcalf

28 people are dead. That's a sobering number. Across two years, that's the current tally for these killings in Atlanta. A city has been under siege. And now, salvation possibly appears with the arrest of the true killer. It has taken so much manpower from both Atlanta and the FBI. At one point, the operation was literally running out of money and could no longer continue conducting its investigation the same way it had been. That certainly put the pressure on the team to show results. But again, all of this highlights the many ways in which Holden is inept when it comes to inserting criminal profiling into actual case work. He was ultimately proven to be true when the suspect pulled over is a black man named Wayne Williams. But that shouldn't serve as the validation that he got this case perfectly right and helped prevent more murders from taking place. He is still woefully out of his depth when it comes to understanding the racial and socioeconomic factors at play in this city. He was confident that one man was responsible for these killings. It's only now that he starts to contend with the notion that someone else could have latched onto this story just so their slayings would be lost in the sheer chaos. The police has mostly just been flailing around following leads as they slowly develop. They do provide resources for the various plans that Holden concocts to catch this killer. And yet, they aren't realistic or feasible in such a short time frame. Holden wants to smoke the suspect out by having him apply for a security job at a benefit concert. But Holden doesn't know how to navigate through the paperwork to actually get the operation up and running in a timely fashion. He is very idealistic and productive in some instances. In others though, he just proves his ignorance. With 28 victims, the team is still just now realizing the connections that have long existed between them. A fair number of them actually knew each other. There are even more in the same neighborhoods who have a specific understanding of the world. It means something when Holden offers ten dollars to a young boy outside the hotel arcade. He does it to ensure that he stays inside and safe. But it also proves that this is place where everyone is hustling just to get by. Every dollar has the potential of being life-changing for the people of this community. They fight back and are passionate. They know how to be distrustful when the situation presents itself. But most of the time it's too late when something should have been done earlier. Holden sees this connection and learns from it. But he still lashes out at the world simply because he has devoted his entire work on his one theory. He wasn't open to the possibility of being wrong. Nor could he see the trouble that Bill has navigating by having to go back home so often. Things could have turned out differently had Bill actively been in Atlanta all of this time. And yet, his family also needed to be a priority. He yearns for a stronger connection with his son. He wants to know how Brian is responding to everything that has happened. Nancy presents as a woman who wants to forget it all but can't escape from the fear of public perception. Everyone is nice and forgiving of her but she only sees the eyes of condemnation. That extends to Bill as well who isn't home enough of the time to comfort her and support their family in their time of need. Hopefully that will change. A viable suspect is caught on the bridge at the conclusion of this hour. Bill and Holden are confident that this is the killer. Evidence would seem to suggest so because an officer heard a splash in the river. This may not be a carefully wrapped up case though. The community still has to find a way forward while accepting the official narrative that the police will put out. Will everyone be able to rationalize it as the truth? Holden was right but that may not be a calming response for the citizens of Atlanta. It may be reassuring to know that the children are safe once more. But fear and distrust will still exist. The world will still be broken. Will Holden learn the right lessons from all of this? It's unclear at this moment as he and Bill will have to return to Quantico to potentially implement this program. They will regroup with Wendy to figure out the best way forward especially if the BSU will expand and try to teach these skills to other FBI agents.