Here's What Actually Happened in 'Mindhunter' Season 1 (Because Season 2 Drops Tomorrow)

It’s been almost two years since the first season of Mindhunter was released on Netflix and caused us to question the sanity of every person we’ve ever met. Thankfully, season two is finally upon us (it drops on Friday), with even more IRL serial killers to meet than our evil little hearts desire.

Season one, which is based in 1977, tells the story of FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) as they attempt to get inside the minds of a serial killer—a completely new brand of murderer at the time. Even though you’ve had plenty of chances to rewatch the ten episodes over and over until Netflix reports you to the actual FBI for suspicious activity, you might need a little refresher. That’s what we’re here for:

So, what’s happening with Holden Ford again?


As you prob remember from season one, Holden begins studying the minds of serial killers after some advice from his sociology grad school girlfriend, Debbie Mitford (Hannah Gross). He and agent Tench join forces to create the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit.

Holden and Bill basically go on a murderer tour of the country, helping police with the most graphic of cases in order to better understand this type of criminal. Unfortunately, Holden kind of starts to lose his mind. He basically begins befriending the murderers in order to get them to talk. Even though it seems to work, his colleagues don’t approve (for obvious reasons).

The concern with Holden reaches its peak when he visits Richard Speck (Jack Erdie)—who’s in prison for raping and murdering eight nursing students—and takes things a little too far, referring to Speck’s dead victims as c-words. Seriously.


Speck ends up filing a complaint against Holden after the interaction (side note: when a serial killer files a complaint against YOU, here’s a problem), and the Office of Professional Responsibility starts investigating the entire team. Holden convinced another agent to transcribe the interview without his uncouth comments, but it’s revealed that in a Very Bold Move, the guy actually mailed the tape to the OPR.

And then…we don’t find out what happens, LOL. Any answers, @Netflix?

Holden has obviously changed significantly since episode one. Debbie thinks so too, which she makes clear by dumping his ass. The season ends with Holden having a panic attack on a hospital floor after getting a little too close with serial killer Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton).

What about our dude Bill Tench?


Bill is basically the Obama to Holden’s Biden, i.e. he spends a lot of time trying to control his partner and make sure he stays sane.

Bill also seems like he’s a little more unsettled by the fact that they spend a significant amount of time with serial killers than his partner is. Maybe it’s because he has an actual life outside of work. He has a wife, Nancy, and a six-year-old son, who was adopted and has some behavioral issues. Last we saw Bill and Nancy, they were arguing over sending their boy to therapy.

Don’t forget about Dr. Wendy Carr:


Dr. Carr is introduced as a social sciences professor at Boston University before she starts working with Bill and Holden. She’s the reason the BSU gets serious grant money, and ends up taking a full-time position with the FBI. That means she has to move to Virginia (despite the disapproval of her girlfriend, Annaliese Stilman).

Wendy’s final storyline in season one involved flying to Georgia with Holden after the BSU helps local law enforcement track down a killer. The DA wants to go for the death penalty, which is a problem for our agents. You know, because the serial killers the BSU relies on for their research may choose to stop talking to them if they think the team is out for blood. The DA doesn’t listen to them, and Holden didn’t help by blabbing all about the team’s unpublished research to a journalist while drunk. Wendy’s pretty much done dealing with Holden’s BS after that.

P.S. we still have no idea what happened to that cat in her laundry room, but hopefully season two gives us the answers we *deserve*

So, what can we expect to happen next??

Holden and Bill are seen in the trailer solving new cases, so maybe our guy’s started softening his approach. Also, there’s a new BSU chief in town, and he promises to score Holden an interview with the Holy Grail of serial killers: Charles Manson.

Lastly, the BTK killer is back. If you remember from season one, he was introduced as an ADT worker who installs security systems in family’s houses, which is basically every sane person’s nightmare. His scenes escalate, and you soon realize he’s no ordinary guy—he’s using his home security powers for evil. In the last episode, we see him burning these unsettling drawings of women in his yard. So…there’s that.

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