The "serial killer" is born in a Mindhunter that shows the team at their best—and worst

B

For the Behavioral Science Unit, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The penultimate episode of Mindhunter Season 1 shows the team operating at the peak of their powers, working in in tandem to create the term for which they’ll go down in history: “serial killer.” It also depicts faultlines forming…

The pleasure principal: Mindhunter's Agent Ford learns about power from a killer, then goes outside the system to wield it

B

For Mindhunter to succeed, its investigations have to be successful too. That doesn’t mean Holden, Bill, and Wendy need to solve every case or understand every unique pathology they encounter. It simply means that the temperament and technique that help them produce their best work — the blend of curiosity,…

The boys from the Bureau make a breakthrough—and gain a partner—as Mindhunter's hunt continues 

B

Two out of three episodes of Mindhunter have begun with brief, decontextualized scenes starring the man who will become the infamous BTK Killer. Two out of three episodes have not concluded or reached a climax so much as just…stopped, at the end of a scene that feels like it could have fallen anywhere within the hour…

With a little help from my fiends: A serial-killer cameo gives Mindhunter's second episode a brutal boost

B-

Edmund Kemper is not your average pop-culture serial killer. That’s the point. Mindhunter’s second episode may be dogged by many of the same problems as its premiere—we’ll get to that later—but its decision to cast “The Co-Ed Killer” as the Hannibal Lecter to restless FBI Agent Holden Ford’s Clarice Starling is as…

Dawn of the dead: Mindhunter takes us back to the start of the serial-killer era

C-

“It’s not like there’s some magical machine that makes identical copies of things.” To its eternal credit, Mad Men got the single worst line of dialogue in the entire series out of the way in its pilot episode. Don Draper’s brief aside about the state of the art in office equipment functions as a gag only from the…