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Netflix It: Binge Watch Worthy

By Shaina Blakesley

Friday has finally come after a week of work and school that seemed like it would never end. You want to be married to the couch for the next 72 hours, and the only decision you want to make is which show to watch next. There are so many options to watch which can be overwhelming. With so many options, you have to really fish to find the best. Let me shorten the 30-plus minutes you would spend looking for the right binge-worthy show.

For all you “Law and Order,” “CSI” and “Criminal Minds” fans, there is a chilling crime drama you must watch, Netflix Original “Mindhunter.” This series isn’t about who, what, where or when, but focuses solely on the why. The premise of this show is about dissatisfied FBI hostage negotiator Holden Ford (Jonathan Goff) and his unlikely ally in veteran agent Bill Tench (Holt McCallany).

“Mindhunter” is not the fictitious, twisted nightmare of creator Joe Penhall, but it is very much rooted in reality. Ford and Tench are based on the real federal agents John E. Douglas (who coauthored the book “Mindhunter” is based on) and Robert K. Ressler, respectively.

The year is 1977 and the psychology around repeat murderers doesn’t exist, in fact, these two coined the term serial killer during their research. The previous school of thought in regard to serial killers was that there was no rhyme or reason for their recurring killings. The show stems around the profiling of the most heinous killers through a series of interviews in order to better understand how their minds work.

The agents work in the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and partner up with academic consultant Dr. Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) who travel the country teaching various police departments about criminal profiling. During these criminal profiling seminars, agents Ford and Tench are approached to help solve open cases with perverse undertones that don’t fit in the general mold of crimes of that era. They use all the research they accumulate back in Quantico in real-life cases as a means of measuring the strength of their analysis.

On their journey through the country, Ford and Tench talk to multiple famed serial killer inmates including: Edmund Emil Kemper III, (aka the Co-ed Killer), who killed his mother, parental grandparents and several other women in the 1970s and Jerry Brudos (aka the Shoe Fetish Killer), who killed four Oregon women in the 1960’s.

Although all three characters make the show a spectacular success, Ford is the protagonist and we see more of his personal life than that of Tench and Carr. Ford grows more and more obsessed with the pathology of serial killers and it is slow trickling down and spilling into his personal life with his girlfriend Debbie Milford (Hannah Gross).

There are snippets with the show, where we see eerie short moments of Kansas ADT worker, Dennis Rader (aka the BTK Killer), played by Sonny Valicenti. There are no story lines depicting the heinous crimes he committed in Kansas from 1974 to 1991, but there are little teasers that build up to it. You see Rader sending letters taunting the police with his signature “BTK,” for “bind, torture, kill.” For a brief moment, you watch how he mindlessly tie knots while he watches television, or when he is waiting to murder someone that doesn’t come home, so he wipes his prints and DNA off the glass and angrily pounds his chest before he leaves.

The haunting tale of Rader only scratches the surface of the 10 episodes, leaving room for more in season 2, which is rumored to be released in late 2018.