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  • The show struggles to make Holden make sense — which makes for a slow, rocky start through his career woes and love life. Though the pilot’s tone is an intriguing combination of wry humor and ‘70s noir, it’s otherwise a slog of exposition and painfully on-the-nose scene-setting. (The song selection is so appropriate, both in terms of era and theme, that at first I assumed it was ironic.) Things pick up considerably as soon as McCallany’s Bill appears in Holden’s life.

  • The first two episodes of Netflix’s Mindhunter, directed by David Fincher, are slightly stylistically diluted but still distinctively his. Fincher also directed the last two episodes of the ten-episode first season, which has already been renewed for a second prior to dropping this Friday — whether I make it to his bookending episodes I have no idea, but fans should at least take a look at this starting point.

  • It reveals itself as a suspense series hinging on after-the-fact investigations into the heads and hearts of known murderers. Not whodunit so much as whydidyou? And in these two episodes, it's never less than engrossing. Fincher's proven time and again that he can make even the most mundane activities and actions riveting... There's no telling if the series can maintain this level of quality, though Fincher seems much more hands-on here than he did with Netflix's House of Cards.

  • It's addictive and resonant for its mining of two evocative forms of social contrast. The terrific cast informs Fincher and creator Joe Penhall's sociological schematic with a human element that's unusual for a crime procedural, and the series has a piercing sense of how macro influences micro culture.

  • There is something distinctly interesting about Holden and his journey toward toxic masculinity that feels entirely new and, not to overstate things, kind of important. And while the reception to the show thus far has been mostly positive, much of the focus has been on the serial killers profiled..., with multiple blog posts on Vulture, Vanity Fair, and others filling out the histories of the men slenderly portrayed on screen, rather than the complex gender dynamics going on throughout.

  • Featuring a great turn from Cameron Britton as prim psychopath Ed Kemper (aka ‘The Co-Ed Killer’), the show both examines and exploits the public fascination with gruesome murder. And for stylistic flourish, look no further than Fincher’s virtuoso montage of quotidian business travel in Episode 2. Airport lounges and cheap motels were never used so effectively.

  • The soundtrack has been candid all season . . . and the Led Zeppelin track that’s threaded through this tenth and final episode underlines Holden’s mind-set in permanent marker . . . That contrast between lyrics that reassure — “Just believe, and you can’t go wrong” — and music that suggests inner turbulence gets at Holden’s precarious state of the end of Mindhunter’s first season. He’s arrogant enough to believe he’s in the right under any circumstances, but falling apart on the inside.

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