Mindhunter E04 – Review + Analysis

This week we begin in Richmond, Virginia, meeting Monte Rissel. In an act of self-narration now that the stage has been set and the progressive narrative has been put forward. Tench himself covertly narrates the plot in telling Rissel why they’re here; that they’re from the Behavioural Science Unit, interviewing, men like him; “murders with multiple victims. To better understand why you do what you do.” Interestingly, this is when we see the first of the pair of protagonist’s personal flaws. Throughout the interview Tench takes a slightly more aggressive tone in his interactions with Rissel. After Rissel’s discussion on his first few victims, he diverts from his kill list, and tells them that he did actually let one of them go, unharmed. This is news to Ford and Tench – but the next sentence out of Rissel gives an interesting insight to the lack of self and impulse-control that psychopaths are afflicted with.

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GIF Source: Mia for TGON

After Rissel’s discussion on his first few victims, he diverts from his kill list, and tells them that he did actually let one of them go, unharmed. This is news to Ford and Tench. He recounts that he’s in the car with a girl, who’s got no idea what he’s planned, when, “all of a sudden she starts crying. Out of nowhere. Tells me her daddy’s dying… Cancer… [a long pause ensues from Tench and Ford] My brother had cancer. It’s, uh… it’s a bitch man. It’s hard on a human being. So I let her go.” What’s fascinating is his recognition of the incredible agony that cancer can wreak on a person and family, but not what the affect of rape and murder can do.. What he says next prompts Tench’s final outburst that ends the interview:     [and with that, the first fatal flaw of one of our two protagonists is revealed.]

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GIF Source: Mia for TGON

The main question most viewers had after watching this episode was what exactly Tench meant when, after opening up to Holden about his troubles with fatherhood and family life, he also broaches the topic of the responsibility he feels for Holden – at least in regards to the car crash and his safety. Voicing the question to Holden [ see below.. ] And if this didn’t immediately click for you, not to worry. Holden’s reaction mimicked a lot of ours. It was only on the second or third viewing that it clicked for me. Tench tells ford that he feels like he’s failing the boy, that things are spinning out of their control, now that they can no longer see a clear path in order to get him on track, to what a boy his age should be like, to what a healthy relationship between parents and a child should be like. As things continue to be troublesome at home, there’s a potential growth medium or metaphorical representation with the car crash, spinning out of control. He feels like his relationship with his son is doing something similar.

GIF made by Mia for The Game of Nerds
GIF Source: Mia for TGON

Wendy Carr’s appearance means we’re definitely getting exactly what drew us into this series in the first place, some in-depth dissection of the minds of psychopathic serial killers. And we’re here for itttt.

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GIF Source: Mia for TGON

This episode has, in my opinion, the classiest end scene of the entire series. Seriously. After Wendy, Holden and Bill are called into Chief Unit Shepard’s office, and informed that he had applied for grant money from several sources. Much to his surprise those to whom he sent the applications were already aware of the project, and knew more about it then he had put in the application. This leads to an incredibly awkward pause, Wendy begins to apologize but is cut off when Shepard tells her that their research has been awarded 200,000 dollars, with an additional 185,000 from another source. Although their project will now be under a considerable amount of scrutiny, they find out that not only are countless institutions highly interested in what they’re doing but also that Congress itself will have a strong interest in everything that goes on within it. And we end on, as promised, the classiest exit to the entire season of the series. After being effectively scolded whilst being given good news, they wait until they reach the elevator ..

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GIF Source: Mia for TGON
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