Mindhunter s02e01 – Episode 1

I forgot what happened at the end of last season of “Mindhunter.” I remembered about three-quarters of the way through this episode, but not everything. It wasn’t until the second-to-last scene there was exposition covering it all.

No wonder writing about TV is a full-time job.

And not just because you either commit season finales to all your shows to memory or have time to rewatch seasons before new ones start but because sometimes you’re going to be writing about something like this episode, which is almost entirely character… work. Not really development, because it’s just about the characters dealing with the fall-out from last season and confronting each other about their shit; there’s some exposition, but certainly not a lot. It’s not like Holt McCallany is ever going to talk a lot. Though he does in this episode, in one of the (relatively) many comic relief moments—directed by David Fincher. Fincher doing comic relief. It’s kind of interesting to see, especially since he’s not doing a procedural with it. This episode is very un-“Mindhunter” (as far as I remember it); there’s no interviewing serial killers, there’s no crime to solve. There’s an update on the recurring serial killer in training guy, but otherwise it’s all about the team recovering from last season.

It takes Jonathan Groff so long to show up in the episode you forget he was the original protagonist. It’s McCallany’s episode, even though it’s not really his show. He’s great. I forgot how great McCallany is in “Mindhunter;” my bad. He gives such a complex performance in this caricature. So good. Groff’s good too, when he shows up, he’s just not as subtle as McCallany. Not with all his activity.

So the show not being a procedural—it’s an FBI bureaucracy episode with McCallany, Groff, and Anna Torv meeting the new supervisor (Michael Cerveris). Cerveris is off to a good start. It’s hard not to remember him being a shit heel on “Good Wife” though. Cotter Smith gets a nice scene too.

By the end, you remember why you love “Mindhunter,” but you don’t feel like you’ve seen a new episode of it. Not exactly. It’s a post-script to the first season, not the start of a new one; concerning given this season only runs nine episodes.

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