Fans of the hit Netflix show Mindhunter were shocked to discover the highly anticipated third season is on “indefinite hold”. Earlier this year, a Netflix spokesperson announced key cast members had been released from their contracts.
Executive Producer David Fincher appeared to confirm the show’s already uncertain future. “Listen, for the viewership that it had, it was a very expensive show,” Fincher said. “I honestly don’t think we’re going to be able to do it for less than I did season two. And on some level, you have to be realistic – dollars have to equal eyeballs.”
Set in the late 1970s, Holden Ford and Bill Tench of the FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit are tasked with interviewing serial killers to solve open cases. The original plan of five seasons now has now left many burning questions.
Despite the show securing a hit overall rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and amassing a huge cult following online; often, this just isn’t enough to secure another season. Netflix does not release viewing figures but based on trending conversations – season two was much quieter for the streaming giant.
Here are five reasons we really need Mindhunter season 3 to happen…
5. We Need To See More Cameron Britton As Ed Kemper
Those aware of Ed Kemper before Mindhunter were transfixed on Cameron Britton’s eerie portrayal of the serial killer. Standing at 6ft 9″ tall and weighing around 300 pounds, Kemper is labeled by investigators a “natural born killer”. Not only could he overpower his victims physically but also teamed with an IQ of 145; he was highly manipulative also.
Britton’s ability to nail the interview scenes; his deep reflection and level of self-awareness, will be what fans of the show miss the most. However, playing the role of one of the most deeply disturbing serial killers clearly took its toll on Britton. He explained in one interview how he became distressed over intrusive thoughts of hurting his own mother.
Britton told Vulture, “I was in that dude’s head for nine months. I enjoy acting so much that endorphins are released when I’m performing and yet I’m using a lot of dark thoughts to get to where I needed to go. So then dark thoughts become synonymous with endorphins. So my body Pavalovian style starts wanting more dark thoughts.”
Adding, “But those were weird days; my Mom came to visit and when the door shut, I was in tears. Like, it wasn’t me who wanted to hurt my Mom – it was the character who just can’t stand his mother. That was a weird thing, you know.”
4. John Wayne Gacy Was Expected To Be The Next Perfect Casting
Mindhunter fans endlessly praised the show for its realistic portrayals of the most notorious serial killers. There was Oliver Cooper as David Berkowitz, Happy Anderson as Jerome Brudos, and Damon Herriman as cult leader Charles Manson.
In season one, Dr. Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) briefs her co-workers on which imprisoned serial killers they plan to interview next. One name pinned to that board is John Wayne Gacy – also known as ‘The Killer Clown’. Gacy was convicted of killing at least 33 teenage boys and men between 1972 and 1978 in Cook County, Illinois. Creepily, he attended children’s parties and fundraisers dressed as his alter-ego ‘Pogo the Clown’.
The character of Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) is based on former FBI agent and serial killer profiling expert John Douglas. Gacy’s double-life is now used as an example in behavioral science training programs. Douglas said, “We used him to basically show how a guy like Gacy was almost like a chameleon. How he could blend into society. He can have a job and be very, very functional, married, and belong to a political party and have his picture taken with Rosalynn Carter.”
Adding, “These people don’t look odd. They look like you and I and can blend into society. To this day, people think that serial killers look different than us, act differently than us.”
3. The BTK Subplot Has Only Just Scratched The Surface
In season two, the man masturbating while dressed as a woman and choking himself before his horrified wife came home was serial killer Dennis ‘BTK’ Rader (Sonny Valicenti). He was then left sleeping on the couch with a book on sexual deviance gifted to him by his wife. The last we saw of BTK was when one of his letters detailing a murder jammed in a copier. This near-miss was returned to him by the copy shop manager before he was able to realize anything.
Although BTK was active during the ‘70s and ‘80s it wasn’t actually until 2005 the FBI caught up with him. He took a ‘break’ from serial killing for nine years only to resurface years later.
John Douglas wrote the book, ‘Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind the Thirty-Year Hunt for the Notorious Wichita Serial Killer. He explained, “Sometimes you know the case so well that there’s just like one thing you want to know. With him, it was, ‘Why did you stop? And then what triggered you to start killing again?’ When the time comes to talk to the offender, you have in the back of your mind what this guy – who looks so normal – what he did.”
2. The Green River Killer Fits With Season 3’s Timeline
Mindhunter’s season two focused on the Atlanta Child Murders that took place between July 1979 and May 1981. 28 victims were murdered in cold blood; many of the victims were young, black children – mostly male.
In 1982, the Green River Killer murders started. At least 49 victims were murdered by the serial killer; his victims were all female sex workers and runaways.
The hunt for the Green River Killer also involved serial killer Ted Bundy who claimed the killer would likely return to ‘dump sites’ to further violate the corpses – something which was later determined to be true. Finally, in 2001, Gary Ridgway was arrested and confessed to the murders.
Douglas contributed to the investigation as a profiler and the hours were so grueling he was hospitalized. He said, “I collapsed during the Green River murder investigation. They recommended me going to a stress psychologist and I did. They said I was experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. Just the volume and then the nature of dealing with the criminals and dealing with the victims.”
1. We Need To Talk About Brian
Bill and Nancy Tench (played by Holt McCallany and Stacey Roca) adopted their son Brian (Zachary Scott Ross) at the age of three.
Brian had begun to emotionally withdraw. He regularly wet the bed (one of the traits on the Macdonald Triad of Serial Killers) and was monitored by child and family services. In the last episode, while Bill was out of town, Nancy cleared out the family home, taking Brian with her.
Could the son of an expert in spotting behavioral patterns of criminals turn out to actually be a serial killer in the making? Although we can’t be sure, we do know if Mindhunter season 3 goes ahead, it will be a welcome return.