Mindhunter Recap: The New Unit Chief

By Daniel Hart
Published: August 16, 2019 (Last updated: January 3, 2024)
Previous ArticleView all
Netflix series Mindhunter Season 2, Episode 1


Mindhunter Season 2, Episode 1 deals with the repercussions of Holden’s altercation with Ed Kemp, and a new case is on the surface in an intriguing opening.

This recap of Mindhunter Season 2, Episode 1 contains significant spoilers. You can read the spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.

Episode 1 begins with a woman slowly walking to a rattling door; the tension builds as she gets closer, and as she opens it, she sees a man in a clown mask with ropes. She immediately runs out of the door, screaming.

Following on from Season 1, Unit Chief Shepard is retiring, and he reveals there will be a new Chief of the BSU (FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit) — Ted Gunn. Bill Tench speaks to Ted; he comes across as smart and innovative but slightly invasive. He asks Bill to keep Holden on track and not to limit his creative side.

Ted Gunn interviews Wendy Carr and asks her why she wants to work at the BSU. Ted also gives Wendy the same advice about Holden — it appears he wants two babysitters, not one.

What I enjoyed about Ted Gunn’s interviews are his unpredictable responses. He’s completely different to the previous Chief and looks apparently more daring and wild with his decision making.

We are introduced to Holden Ford eventually — following on from the previous season, he is in a mental facility, suffering from a series of panic attacks after his close encounter with Ed Kemper. Bill has been covering his back and flies to California to meet him and to sign him out of the facility.

I don’t believe Holden will be the same again after his encounter with Ed — Mindhunter Season 2 is likely to go down a path where it will make his behaviours worse.

With medication to help his panic attacks, Episode 1 sees Holden Ford meeting Ted Gunn. Ted lavishes him with praise, and he offers an interview with the infamous Charles Manson. Holden looks strangely inspired.

The team are back together, and you can sense the tension amongst them. Holden calls out Gregg for the altered tape, Bill apologises to Wendy Carr, and the feeling in the room feels dysfunctional. That’s until Ted shares the news that he will be providing them with more resources to deliver their work.

Mindhunter Season 2, Episode 1 ends at Shepard’s retirement party. The ex-Chief does not look particularly happy, and the truth comes out when Holden attempts to deliver a speech. He reveals he was forced to retire due to the shenanigans that occurred at the end of last season. Holden falls to the floor, leaning against the car — he’s experiencing another panic attack.

The Altered Tapes

  • Wendy references William Henry Hance, the first official black serial killer — the first victim was white and asked if it was it racially determined.
  • Bill Tench is still struggling with family and work-life balance.
  • Holden goes for a drink with Wendy and discusses his panic attacks after Ed Kemper. Wendy is curious to why Ed hugged Holden.

You can read the recap of the second episode by clicking these words.

Netflix, TV Recaps
Previous ArticleView all