Though executive producer Charlize Theron accidentally leaked (or was it a tease?) that the new season of Mindhunter would be released in August, director David Fincher has finally landed on a date: August 16, 2019. “Yes, there is now [a date]. I’m not sure, I guess I’m allowed to say it, but, yeah, it’s gonna be the 16th.” And it’s going to be huge.
Season 1 of Mindhunter introduces Holden Ford, an up-and-coming FBI agent in the late 1970’s, who asks a simple question about psychotic murderers: how do we get ahead of crazy, if we don’t know how crazy thinks? The series then leads us through Holden’s quest for his methods to be taken seriously within the FBI, from interviewing the known, convicted serial killer Ed Kemp, to pairing up with special agent Bill Tench from the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, and Anna Torv, a psychology professor.
Holden has come a long way, from being confined to conduct his team’s experimental approach at a Quantico basement, to suffering a nervous collapse at the end of season 1, but season 2 of Mindhunter will have the FBI beginning to pay attention to Holden and recognize that this team is onto something. David Fincher, one of the show’s creators, directors, and executive producers, talked about what he remembers of a period in the United States in which serial killers became a central focus of the public conversation.
“In the 70s, post-Manson, post-Son of Sam, post-Zodiac, there really was, I don’t think you can say it was an epidemic, but there was definitely the feeling that the notion of this has gotten away from us. There was this transition. I remember it happening with Son of Sam. When I left the Bay Area in the mid 1970s and our parents moved to Oregon, you go 300 miles north and nobody talked about Zodiac. It had been this festering thing that had never been brought to any kind of closure but no one cared about it. Then Son of Sam came, and it was Newsweek and Time, the cover. I remember conversations at the family dinner table about Son of Sam. We didn’t have those conversations about Zodiac. Granted, I was in the second grade and it was probably too distressing to talk about this stuff. But when I was a teenager these conversations were had out in the open.”
This period is exactly where the context of the Mindhunter season 2 is set. So, just as serial killers begin to grab the public’s attention, so will Holden, Bill, and Debbie take the reins of the police investigation.
@cinemacomcriticaAnother sneak peek of sorts Fincher let us have was that the main narrative driving the season will be true story of the Atlanta Child Murders, the killing of 28 African-American children, teenager, and adults between 1979 and 1981. “You could probably do three seasons on the Atlanta Child Murders. It’s a huge and sweeping and tragic story. We couldn’t do it justice in the background of our nine hours. We had to choose to dramatize.”
I don’t wish to provide any spoilers with the details of the real-life murders, but Fincher did say that the story will begin when the FBI is called in, near the end of the case. “[The FBI] are the last guys in, they’re trying to help out something that has its own momentum and politics. It’s a divided battlefield. They’re coming in to throw this federal umbrella over everything to make everyone feel OK about sharing information.”
Mindhunter has won widespread recognition because of its 1970’s look, Fincher’s involvement and the use of thriller tropes that create cliffhangers to capture our interest. Though there’s many crime shows out there, this one boasts great direction, cinematography, and even the soundtrack. Psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est?
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