Who is a serial killer? Or more importantly, how do they think?
Mindhunter, taking place in the 1970s, begins in the age where the term 'serial killer' has not even been coined. Most crimes are assumed to be a direct consequence of passion - a disgruntled employee, a dissatisfied spouse or even a jealous acquaintance.
The law enforcement has still not discovered these criminals, who hunt people purely out of their desire to kill. Only during the late 1970s did the FBI recognise the need to conduct interviews, to identify patterns and secure all possible help to predict the next step, of these kind of criminals.
Hollywood great David Fincher (of Se7en, Fight Club and Zodiac fame) has his stamp all over the show, as a pair of FBI agents discover the need to 'profile' the accused. This helps them narrow down the suspect list, and also assists in saving the killer's future victims.
Is a serial killer born in this world, with peculiar characteristics of their own? Do they display signs outside of conventional human behaviour? Or is it the society that conditions them through years of systematic abuse? These are only some of the questions asked in the show, which is based on the real-life book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Serial Crime Unit by John E Douglas and Mark Olshaker.
The show follows FBI Agents Holden Ford (played by Jonathan Groff), Bill Tench (played by Holt McCallany) and an academic Dr Wendy Carr (played by Anna Torv) - who pool in all their intelligence to form the prenatal version of the Behavioural Sciences at the FBI.
It all begins with talk, lots of talk.
Ford is the one, who takes the lead in the matter and goes and speaks to the Co-Ed killer Ed Kemper. What he learns from his first two conversations becomes the basis of why the three individuals get together and try digging deeper into the minds of violent criminals.
The show sees them meet at least 4 violent criminals being held imprisoned serving their life sentences. And thus begins the game of the cat and mouse, as the killers indulge the FBI agents ever so slightly.
The show deals with discovering the signs of a prospective serial killer. The harmless oddball in the neighbourhood, who suddenly goes on a killing rampage - decapitating his family and then indulging in intercourse with the victim's bodies. What explains such extreme violence? What causes it? Can we identify the factors in society which go into building a serial killer, block by block?
As a study of extreme characters (the lead FBI agents included), the show constantly keeps us on our toes about who decides the lines of morality.
How do you predict crazy, before it leaves behind a trail of unspeakable crimes?
Mindhunter deals with all this and more. Make sure you don't miss it for anything.