Mindhunter s02e06 – Episode 6

It’s back to Atlanta again for sure this time. And almost some Jonathan Groff stuff… but also some “is this ‘Mindhunter’ or a slasher movie prologue” stuff with Holt McCallany's home life.

There's also another interview for Anna Torv and Joe Tuttle, with Torv once again having to lead the interview. Morgan Kelly plays the interviewee and basically looks just like Corky St. Clair (Christopher Guest) from Waiting for Guffman. It's a little disconcerting, but Kelly does a fine job so it doesn't really matter. And I suppose Tuttle's wet rag performance is fine–I was actually a lot more positive about Tuttle before they started giving him more to do. Juxtaposed against Albert Jones's performance as the Atlanta-based sidekick… Tuttle's just… a wet rag.

As for Atlanta, the scenes consist mostly of Groff telling everyone they're wrong about whatever lead they're following and everyone ignoring Groff and telling him they're going to follow every lead even if it wastes time. How the procedures of a police procedural affect Groff would be a thing if anything made a real dent in Groff's psyche but we're still waiting to see if he's actually going to have any character development.

The closest this episode is when he runs into Sierra McClain again. She was the pretty Black woman who Groff thought was seducing him but was actually introducing him to the mothers of the dead kids. McClain was really good and all, but she's just back to give Groff something to do besides argue with people. The show really needs to commit to not wanting to spend time with Groff while he's not working, which is definitely not ideal given Groff's top-billed, but… he's far more effective as the profiler, far less interesting as the privileged, naive White guy.

Mindhunter s02e04 – Episode 4

It’s back to Atlanta for Holden (Jonathan Groff) and Tench (Holt McCallany); there’s been a kidnapping from someone with the same MO as the as yet unnamed Atlanta Child Killer and they’re calling in the FBI. So our leads are going to be in the background until they can prove (or at least convince someone) there’s a link to the other cases. It’s great; everyone’s very excited, except Anna Torv and office drone Joe Tuttle. They’ve been doing the actually work—interview prep—and don’t like the idea Groff and McCallany are going off to prevent murders instead of talking to convicted murderers.

Which is real shitty, when you think about it.

But it does give Torv and Tuttle the opportunity to go out into the field themselves and do an interview, which ends up going quite well because Torv opens up to the interviewee about being gay. Of course Tuttle’s such a Ned Flanders-type he thinks she’s lying about it to manipulate the interviewee. It doesn’t go quite as well as one would have hoped, scene-wise. Tuttle and Torv have been thrown into a close orbit this season and they’re not really clicking. It doesn’t help Albert Jones is back this episode as the Atlanta FBI guy who Tench wanted to hire but Holden didn’t hire. Jones’s character isn’t just better than Tuttle’s, Jones’s performance is a lot better than Tuttle’s.

Tench’s home life subplot has a horrifying development this episode and Groff once again shows he’s too much of a white liberal for his own good. Will he learn from his mistakes this episode and improve? Will he at least be honest? Well, the episode ends before we get to see if there’s any such development for Groff.

The episode’s something of a loop; concerning given there’s such a limited number this season.

Mindhunter s02e03 – Episode 3

It’s a little weird to see “Mindhunter” doing race stuff—and this episode does a lot, not just with it turning out Albert Jones’s Black Southern FBI agent gets on better with other Southerners—Black and White—than Jonathan Groff’s preppy White liberal—but also with Groff thinking he’s getting picked up by the beautiful (Black) hotel clerk only to find she’s bringing him to talk to three (Black) mothers of dead children. I’d heard “Mindhunter” was doing the Atlanta Child Murders this season, so I was expecting all of it, but expecting it didn’t make the scenes any less effective. Especially since Jones barely gets any close-ups—David Fincher, directing again (so three hours of “Mindhunter” so far this season; no wonder he hasn’t been directing features?) usually goes with Groff and the interviewee for the two interview scenes. Jones is sitting in with Groff because Holt McCallany is dealing with a murder in his town (and lying to both Groff and Anna Torv about it).

So the ostensible A plot is Groff going to Atlanta to do the interviews, only the obvious soon-to-be A plot is the dead children, McCallany’s the B plot, with Torv going and asking out the lady bartender the decided C plot. Though Torv gets the best music in the episode (The Pretenders), even though here’s a weird cut at the end with the song volume.

Both of the serial killer interviewees are fine, but other than the white one looking so much like Jeremy Irons I kind of hope they CG’ed him young and it really is Jeremy Irons playing a hillbilly serial killer. Nate Corddry is back again—he first appeared last episode—and he’s got a couple good moments. The episode’s definitely not an actors’ showcase, however. McCallany gets less to do this episode than in either of the previous two, Groff gets overshadowed by everyone (it’s fine but it’s a thing), and Torv’s got two and a half scenes. It’s interesting to see Corddry in such a dramatic part—overwhelmed small town detective on a terrible case. It’s nice to see Corddry again.

“Mindhunter” is being real careful with the race stuff—Groff hasn’t quite grokked the reality for the Black people living in the South yet, especially not in the burgeoning Atlanta metropolis (which comes up). I’m just hoping they can handle it all. It’ll be interesting to see how “Mindhunter” scales, as it’s apparently about to go full procedural.

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