The first season of Netflix’s Mindhunter was a big deal for fans of David Fincher, especially the David Fincher who occasionally dips into the world of true crime. Like his 2007 film Zodiac, the TV series–which he helped create, produce, and direct–is a fascinating, cerebral journey into the psyche of those who study serial killers, more than it’s even about the killers themselves. At the center of the story is FBI special agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), who struggles with his own sanity as he kickstarts the bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit, to profile and map the minds of serial killers in the hopes of preventing future crimes.
The first season followed Ford as his mental strength unraveled as he plunged deeper into his work. Now, we have our first full trailer for season two, where it looks like his struggles are far from over–this time complicated by an even more in-depth, upsetting murder case.
One of the more brilliant aspects of Mindhunter is that it weaves true crime into the fictionalized FBI. Here, for instance, we see Ford, his partner Bill Tench (Hoyt McCallany), and psychology professor Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) working on the Atlanta Child Murders, a real-life case that claimed the lives of 28 black Atlanta children and young adults from 1979 to 1981. It appears that Ford is once again a stand-in for John Douglas, a real agent who got in hot water for his participation in the case, and who wrote the book (Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit) that inspired the show.
Elsewhere in the trailer we meet the BSU’s new director, played by Michael Cerveris, which should be exciting for fans of the sci-fi series Fringe. (Cerveris played an Observer on that series opposite Torv’s Olivia Dunham, so this season will serve as a mini-reunion between the two actors.) We also see that Ford is still pressing for an opportunity to interview Charles Manson, which is granted by Cerveris’s character grants him. What help–if any–will Manson provide?
We’ll find out for certain when the second season of Mindhunter lands on Netflix on August 16.