Review: Mindhunter Season 2 Episode 8

Episode 8 sees the Atlanta investigation reach a fever pitch. The desperation is evident in the law enforcement officials as they throw everything into one last hope to capture the killer. The team at the BSU and the local police department go above and beyond to ensure that the killer is apprehended. There is not much theorizing about the psyche of the killer. Instead, there is good old-fashioned detective work involved here.

Despite the Atlanta case possibly ending, Bill Tench might have to fight another battle as his family seems to be falling apart. The episode really displays the physical stress that Agents Ford and Tench have to go through, and it remains to be seen if Tench can bear the mental stress in the finale. The penultimate episode barely affords a breather. While ‘Mindhunter’ does not champion overt action, the breathless pacing gives a sense that the end is near.

Mindhunter Season 2 Episode 8 Recap

Episode 8 picks up where the last episode left off. We see Tench helping to track Klan members. Meanwhile, we are offered a short glimpse at the BTK killer, who carries a smaller and more sinister plan of his own. Tench’s stakeout gives him enough evidence to bring in one of the members. However, the interrogation is futile as the person passes the polygraph. Holden is less than impressed at the way time and resources have been wasted. Meanwhile, the cost of crime-solving is made evident as we become acutely aware that Atlanta may not be able to afford to keep this investigation open much longer.

Luckily, Frank Sinatra wants to hold a concert to help Atlanta foot the bill. Holden works off his theory that the killer cannot resist becoming a part of the investigation due to his vainglorious nature. As a result, he plans to get flyers printed to hire additional security, hoping the killer will apply. Holden plans to use this to create a narrower pool for the killer’s profile he has drawn up. However, his grand scheme ends up failing due to the massive red tapes, resulting in him running out of time.

Things turn even worse when the news channels reveal that fibers have been found on the victims. The forensic evidence tips off the killer and he changes his style, dumping bodies into the river. Surprisingly, this brings a lucky break for the BSU members as they theorize that the killer can be apprehended with good old police work. All that is needed is for units to be posted at the bridges over the river, to keep an eye on cars that seem suspicious.

‘Mindhunter’ takes us through a grueling sequence which mirrors the discomfort of the agents and Atlanta PD members, who spend long hours trying to find suspicious activity. After a period of failure, finally, they catch a break. This comes on the last night of their intended surveillance as they apprehend a black suspect by the name of Wayne Bertram Williams. Could Holden’s profile have been right all along? Only the final episode will tell. For those unaware, in reality, Wayne Williams has maintained his innocence and the case has been reopened as of March 2019, so that the evidence can be reexamined with modern-day forensic science.

Coming to Tench, he is shown having a rough spell with his family. He is simply unable to connect with his son, who appears more withdrawn. His wife seems to be far gone as well since she plans on moving and speaks harshly about their son, who happens to be adopted. It remains to be seen if Tench ends up losing his family. Speaking of losses, Wendy Carr definitely suffers her share of loss in Episode 8. She is ready to go the distance with Kay, her bartender girlfriend. However, Kay’s lying gives Carr pause, and she ends up breaking up with her. As we head to the series finale, the stakes are high.

Mindhunter Season 2 Episode 8 Review

Episode 8 takes on a dizzying pace, especially once the stakeout for the criminal begins in earnest. With only one more episode left to go, it is a good thing that a solid suspect is apprehended by the end of Episode 8. We cannot help but feel sorry for Tench, who lashes out at Holden. However, it is more than justified with what the poor man is going through. The complete lack of connection with his son becomes evident in the gut-wrenching scene at the ice cream parlor. Holden’s fixation of luring the killer out seemed a little strange at first, but if his profile turns out to be right, then we should give the virtuoso a little more credit. Finally, coming to Carr, we felt she was a little unfair in breaking off with Kay mercilessly since the latter did make her happy.

While episode 8 does move at breakneck speed, it also sets up everything nicely for the finale. The episode also effortlessly alternates between professional and personal lives of the agents. In fact, that has been the highlight of season 2. The way this season has tied in the personal life of Agent Trench with the crimes that he is solving is just brilliant.

Rating: 4.5/5