Review: Mindhunter Season 2 Episode 9

Episode 9 marks the end of the season. As is the show’s style, the finale does not bring an overwhelming sense of jubilation, opting to go with a somber tone instead. The last eight episodes have taken us deep into the darkness. When we are finally confronted with the monster at the center, we are forced to look into a mirror to determine what is truly more monstrous – the criminal or the convoluted criminal justice system.

Much like the last few episodes, there is hardly room to breathe in the finale as FBI agents Tench and Ford begin to close in on the suspect, Wayne Williams. Although Holden is certain of Williams’ guilt, nothing can be tied to him due to lack of concrete evidence. Thus begins a game of intense cat and mouse with the press getting involved as well. Justice, when it finally arrives, is more of political correctness than absolute justice for victims, and by the time Season 2 ends, we see how much of a toll this lifestyle has taken on the central characters.

Mindhunter Season 2 Episode 9 Recap

Episode 9 begins with the Tench and Holden confronting Wayne Williams about what he was doing on the bridge they were scouting. If you remember, the task force was staking out bridges looking for suspicious activities, believing the killer would dump the bodies. While Williams has a story prepared for the moment, the officials do not believe him. However, without finding the body, they are forced to let him go. This becomes the first of many interrogations that Williams has to sit through with Tench and Holden.

However, Williams is a smart individual, who always seems to have a way out, and is adaptable enough to mold his narrative to fit the situation. Although he frustrates Holden, there is nothing concrete to tie him to the killings at first. When Holden revisits his house to follow up, he notices some more pointers that fit his profile and notices the flyers that Wayne has for children’s music auditions. Holden is sure that he has his guy. There are some pointed questions at the next couple of interrogations and Williams has to remain calm not to let the FBI agents get the best of him. Despite managing to evade arrest, he cannot escape the surveillance that the FBI puts on him. Nonetheless, Wayne shows his acumen when he detects Holden and Tench following him and buys them food.

The press gets a hold of Wayne’s name and address, one of the times he is arrested. Soon, the man is at the center of a media storm. While others might have been put off by this, Wayne’s narcissism is tickled and he begins to control the narrative by manipulating the media. He also uses this attention to create a diversion so that his father can make possible arrangements for him to flee the country. With Wayne becoming a media sensation, the political powers become concerned and an immediate arrest warrant is put out. He is tied to the murder of two adults based on forensic evidence from a green carpet, whose fibers were found on the victims, along with dog hair from his family dog, which was also found on some victims.

Despite the evidence, Wayne is only convicted of 2 out of the 29 cases. It is insinuated towards the end that he might not even be responsible for all of them, and there might be a ring of sexual predators operating in Atlanta. Holden’s attempts at seeking justice are somewhat successful but remain thwarted in the eyes of the mothers who lost their children. The best possible outcome that comes from the Atlanta child killer case being closed is the fact that the BSU gets recognition for solving the country’s highest-profile case. As a result, the new boss assures Tench and Holden that from the next crime they will be getting the first call.

As the episode ends, we realize that the next crime might not be too far away, as we see the BTK killer live out his deviant sexual fantasy in a motel room with the trophies from his victims laid out in front of him.

Mindhunter Season 2 Episode 9 Review

Episode 9 has a lot to offer in terms of food for thought. The pacing in the finale is crisp due to the cat and mouse chase that plays out between Williams and the law enforcement officials. However, what stands out most strikingly is how often complete justice is averted due to the politics involved in the justice system. ‘Mindhunter’ makes no bones about pointing out how the Williams case was grossly mishandled by the political powers of that time, resulting in numerous people not getting justice. It would be important to note that as of 2019, 27 of the cases remain unsolved and have been opened as of March 2019, to be reexamined with the help of modern-day forensic technology.

By the end of the episode, the central characters are emotionally worn out as Wendy Carr rids herself of all the remnants of her loving relationship with Kay, while Tench returns to an empty home to see his wife has left with their son. Holden comes to the shocking realization that not everyone cares about justice when he sees the Atlanta case play out on the news. Finally, we are introduced to the fact that the ADT serviceman has been the BTK killer all along and the upcoming season will definitely have him at the front and center of our focus. Overall, Season 2 has lived up to our expectations and has been better and darker than Season 1 of ‘Mindhunter’.

Rating: 5/5