Mindhunter (TV series)

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Mindhunter (2017–2019) is an American crime drama television series about two FBI agents in the late 1970s who expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters. The show was created by Joe Penhall, based on the true crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit written by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker.

Season 1[edit]

Episode 1 [1.01][edit]

Holden Ford: When we know who the criminal is, we can understand what set him off. In a homicide situation, we do the inverse. We ask, "What happened? Why did it happen that way?" Which narrows the search for who did it. But what if our killer is someone who's not rational? Why do we behave the way we do? It's a question asked by poets, and philosophers, and theologians since time immemorial. The playground of Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Freud. The stuff of Crime and Punishment and Beyond the Pleasure Principle. The greatest minds in history have been fascinated by the vagaries of behavior. So, in a case where we can't immediately divine a motive, we shouldn't panic. It's a riddle, but it can be solved. It's complex, but it's human.

Leo Buchanan: [teaching] Personality and character far outweigh the presence of psychotic or defective diagnoses. In other words, by extrapolation, are criminals born or are they formed?

Holden Ford: You get onto a crowded elevator, and you face the opposite direction, the back of the elevator, and everybody freaks out. They're uncomfortable for reasons they can't even articulate. But if you turn around and face the front, everybody relaxes.
Bill Tench: Okay. Well, how do we do that?
Holden Ford: What do we have in common? What unites us? What keeps us all awake at night?

Bill Tench: The question is not only why did the killer do it, but why did the killer do it this way?

Bill Tench: [squabbling about their differing methods] Let me ask you something else. Do you have a girlfriend?
Holden Ford: I do now, Bill, as it happens.
Bill Tench: Okay. So next time you're a long way from home and you flip your shit, you find a pay phone and you tell it to your girlfriend. Okay?
Holden Ford: Okay.
Bill Tench: How's that sound?
Holden Ford: It sounds okay, Bill.

Episode 2 [1.02][edit]

Bill Tench: Holden, they're not gonna let you in with a sidearm.
Holden Ford: The guy is six foot nine, weighs 300 pounds.
Bill Tench: That's right.
Holden Ford: So what's he gonna do?
Bill Tench: He's gonna take the fuckin' thing away, kill you with it, and then have sex with your face.

Unit Chief Shepard: Can you make him shut up?
Bill Tench: I have not been able to, sir.
Holden Ford: How do we get ahead of crazy if we don't know how crazy thinks?
Unit Chief Shepard: I like you, Bill. I don't particularly like him, but I like you... Okay, you may continue with your little sideshow. However, no one can know about it. Clear? You will relocate yourselves to the basement beneath Behavioral Sciences, reporting directly and exclusively to me.
Bill Tench: The basement? I'm 44 years old.

Holden Ford: You don't think you could benefit from psychiatry?
Edmund Kemper: I already did all that in the institution. It didn't take. For me, I think surgery might give me the best chance.
Holden Ford: And if surgery doesn't take, in this modern society, what do we do with the Ed Kempers of the world?
Edmund Kemper: Well, isn't that your department?
Holden Ford: From your perspective...
Edmund Kemper: Death by torture?

Edmund Kemper: You see, Bill, I knew a week before she died I was gonna kill her. She went out to a party, she got soused, she came home alone. I asked her how her evening went. She just looked at me. She said, "For seven years." She said, "I haven't had sex with a man because of you, my murderous son." So I got a claw hammer and I beat her to death. Then I cut her head off, and I humiliated her. And I said, "There, now you've had sex." If there's one thing I know, it's this: A mother should not scorn her own son. If a woman humiliates her little boy, he will become hostile, and violent, and debased. Period.

Edmund Kemper: Butchering people is hard work. Physically and mentally. I don't think people realize. You need to vent.
Edmund Kemper : What are you writing down?
Holden Ford : [freely showing his notebook] Oh, I just think it's an interesting choice of words, "vocation."
Edmund Kemper : Well, what would you call it? A hobby? I'd say it's more than that. Look at the consequences. The stakes are very high.

Episode 3 [1.03][edit]

Wendy Carr: Imagine, like truly imagine what it takes to bludgeon someone to death. The lust for control, the feeling of arousal, the decision to rape the severed head of your victim, to humiliate her corpse. How could you possibly get that from an ordinary police report? You know why it took me nearly a decade to publish my book? Because narcissists don't go to the doctor. Psychopaths are convinced that there is nothing wrong with them. So these men are virtually impossible to study. Yet you have found a way to study them in near perfect laboratory conditions.

Holden Ford: So you're saying you don't think this, us interviewing these killers, is crazy?
Wendy Carr: Just the opposite. I mean, crazy in the way that anyone with a truly new idea is crazy. But no.
Holden Ford: Wow, okay. That's a relief. That hasn't really been the feedback we've gotten so far.
Bill Tench: Actually, this is the only feedback we've gotten so far.

Bill Tench: I'm sorry, Ed, do you mean that violence in the movies drove you to kill those women?
Edmund Kemper: No. My point is, in reality it doesn't work the way you expect. When you stab somebody they're supposed to fall dead. They go, "Oh," and they fall dead, right?
Bill Tench: Right.
Edmund Kemper: In reality, when you stab somebody, they lose blood pressure and they leak to death, very slowly.

Bill Tench: There's nothing behind Kemper's eyes. It's like standing near a black hole.
Holden Ford: Right.
Bill Tench: And he thinks we're his friends. Well, he thinks you're his friend. Which makes you a pretty great FBI agent.

Holden Ford: So what are you teaching?
Wendy Carr: Um, I'm teaching a class on the intersection of sociopathy and fame. People like, um, Andy Warhol, Jim Morrison. Their celebrity becomes the only thing they need to sustain their ego.
Bill Tench: Nixon was a sociopath.
Wendy Carr: Very similar.
Holden Ford: How do you get to be president of the United States if you're a sociopath?
Wendy Carr: The question is, how do you get to be president of the United States if you're not? That's why this work is so vital. It goes so much further than the FBI.
Bill Tench: All the way to the White House.
Wendy Carr: Perhaps, yeah.

Episode 4 [1.04][edit]

Housewife: Oh! I didn't realize you were still in the house.
ADT Serviceman: I'm sorry to startle you. Here's the estimate. House looks good. Can't think you need much beyond door and window sensors. I included in the cost three keypads.
Housewife: My husband wondered, would you ever just sell the stickers for the windows and a sign for the front lawn?
ADT Serviceman: Signs come with the sensors, I'm afraid.
Housewife: Of course they do. That makes sense.

Bill Tench: We're from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Behavioral Science Unit.
Montie Rissell: Scientists?
Bill Tench: We're from the Behavioral Science Unit. We're doing research. Interviewing men like you.
Montie Rissell: Men like me?
Bill Tench: Murderers with multiple victims. To better understand why you do what you do.
Montie Rissell: I'd like to know, too.

Montie Rissell: You know what? I don't think I'm interested.
Bill Tench: Fine. You want to diddle around, we'll walk out of here. We'll go have a nice, leisurely lunch wherever the fuck we want, and then take the picturesque drive back to Quantico. What's the rest of your day look like?

Montie Rissell: Cancer. It's, uh... It's a bitch, man. Yeah, it's hard on a human being. So I let her go. It's, uh... It's a weird feeling, man.
Holden Ford: What's a weird feeling, Monte?
Montie Rissell: Um How do I put it?... Showing mercy.

Wendy Carr: I mean, if they admitted that they rape and murder for pleasure, it would destroy them. There's a tension. They need to be seen to have power over someone, and yet circumstance demands that they erase the only witness, which means they have to do the whole thing over again. It must be Hell.

Episode 5 [1.05][edit]

Holden Ford: His given name is Benjamin Barnwright, but everybody calls him Benji. He came back to town, just like I told you he would. Benji was home watching TV the night Beverly Jean was killed?
Detective Ocasek: That's what he told us and I believe him. He let us search his car, no warrant. And we didn't find a thing except for some of Beverly Jean's hair, but in the passenger seat, like you'd expect it.
Bill Tench: Passenger seat's not the best way to transport a corpse, I'll give you that. But you said he was home alone watching TV? That's not much of an alibi.
Detective Ocasek: Why? Isn't that what most people do most nights of the week?

Wendy Carr: Psychopaths are extremely skilled at imitating human emotions. It's how they manipulate other people, or how they gain power over their environment.
Holden Ford: How do they understand emotions if they don't have them?
Wendy Carr: Well, they have emotions. They just don't believe other people have them. Or, more specifically, they don't believe that other people have interior lives.

Holden Ford: [brushing his teeth at a hotel] Here's a question, if it is Benjamin or some other boyfriend who freaked out on her, does the case merit our involvement? We still can't rule out a sequence killer, but if the perpetrator was a townie, then the crime is random, and there's no expectation that he'll be repeating it.
Bill Tench: Here's my question, shouldn't our funding cover separate rooms?
Holden Ford: You don't like my company?
Bill Tench: We'll get connecting doors.
Holden Ford: The mutilation of her body alone justifies our involvement.
Bill Tench: Would you mind sitting on your own bed, please?

Episode 6 [1.06][edit]

Wendy Carr: You know, you're going to see people present with similar pathologies, but the way a person kills is as individual and distinct as the way they have sex.
Holden Ford: And just as complicated.

Bill Tench: It's always the mother. They all have a crazy, angry mother.
Holden Ford: Or an absent father. Benjamin only changed after his father took off. Maybe this has nothing to do with the mother.
Bill Tench: Aren't all fathers absent in some way? I know my old man was never around. Imagine how different Benjamin and Rose's lives might have been if their father never left.

William: [over dinner] In society, everyone behaves in certain ways in order to avoid embarrassment, either for ourselves or others.
Gore: The very idea of embarrassing oneself, or others, by being oneself speaks to a deeper treachery.
William: "Treachery!"
Annaliese Stilman: Goffman saw a connection between the kinds of acts or masks that people put on in their daily lives - and in theatrical performances. In a social interaction, as in a theatrical performance, there's an onstage area where individuals or actors, as the case may be, appear before the audience. But there must be a backstage, a hidden, private area, where individuals can truly be themselves.
Gore: Of course, Annaliese, that's lovely, but you're missing the point. There's no risk of embarrassment for anyone in their hidden and private places. It's not backstage where the damage is done.

D.A. Peterson: [emerging for grand jury hearing] You know what we're up against. We have to consider the attention span of a prospective jury pool. Need to keep them in mind. Our objective is the lowest cost for the highest quality of justice.

Episode 7 [1.07][edit]

Holden Ford: One time, my mom walked in on me jacking off. Came into my bedroom. I hadn't locked the door.
Jerry Brudos: Really?
Holden Ford: Yeah.
Jerry Brudos: What'd she do?
Holden Ford: I'd never seen her so shocked. It's like I was doing something too horrible to even imagine. She thought I needed help.
Jerry Brudos: She offered to help?
Holden Ford: Psychological help.

Bill Tench: If what we're doing doesn't get under your skin, you're more screwed up than I thought, or kidding yourself.

Debbie Mitford: Those shirts looked good on you. I can't believe you didn't buy them.
Holden Ford: I don't like patterns.
Debbie Mitford: You know, you dress the same off-duty as on-duty?
Holden Ford: I'm wearing plain clothes.
Debbie Mitford: Yeah, plain is right.

Bill Tench: I've been around crazy. I was in the army.

Bill Tench: Guys communicate in a certain way. It can be rough, but it's like a code. It gets out the conflict.

Episode 8 [1.08][edit]

Debbie Mitford: Goffman says we wear these masks to make everyone else comfortable. Like you and your suits.
Holden Ford: We're not talking about my clothes again.
Debbie Mitford: Your suit is your uniform you wear to fit in at Quantico.
Holden Ford: I don't want to fit in.
Debbie Mitford: Everyone is trying to fit in.
Holden Ford: Guess that explains your hippie thing, too.
Debbie Mitford: My "hippie" thing?
Holden Ford: Your peasant tops, long hair, bracelets, leather sandals. Helps you assimilate on campus.
Debbie Mitford: Right. It's exactly the same.
Holden Ford: What would you wear if no one were looking?
Debbie Mitford: Probably nothing. What about you?
Holden Ford: I'd wear my suit.

Teacher: Do you have children?
Holden Ford: Not yet.
Teacher: Imagine one of those seven-year-olds is yours. Principal Wade has her take off her shoes and socks so that he can tickle her feet. Wouldn't you be worried one day he'd ask her to take something else off? Put a call in, please?

Holden Ford: What's the point if we don't apply it to the real world?
Bill Tench: We're trying to save women from getting pulled into vans and cut to pieces, not crucify some schoolmarm who hasn't done anything.
Holden Ford: Yet! Certainly our goal is to be preemptive.
Bill Tench: We're the FBI, Holden. That is not our goal. Yet.

Episode 9 [1.09][edit]

Holden Ford: [holding Richard Speck newspaper clippings] It's like meeting a movie star.
Bill Tench: Could be as anti-climactic.
Holden Ford: "Crime of the Century."
Bill Tench: Until Charles Whitman two weeks later...
Holden Ford: I remember staring at this wanted poster of him, trying to figure out if I saw him on the street, would I know he was insane?
Bill Tench: You clip all these?
Holden Ford: Everything I could get my hands on. Even went to my neighbors who subscribed to newspapers outside of Milwaukee.
Bill Tench: Holden and his first criminal crush!

Holden Ford: [defending his interviewing techniques] You want truffles, you gotta get in the dirt with the pigs.

Holden Ford: You would really turn down the chance to meet Richard Speck? He's almost up there with Manson.
Bill Tench: Well, maybe he'll give you an autograph.
Holden Ford: That would be inappropriate, right?

Peter Dean: [concluding an intense interview] Gentlemen, we'll review these and keep you updated on our findings. What we expect from you during this process, more than anything, is candor.
John Boylen: [turns off his recorder] Richard Speck, what a shit stain, huh?
[nerve-relieving laughter around the table]

Bill Tench: I can choke down the bile, manufacture empathy - when our subjects are at least informative.

Episode 10 [1.10][edit]

Holden Ford: [holding up a letter] Got another one. "Wish you were here." [opens the letter] "Dear Holden, it's been some time since we've seen each other, and while the memory of your voice has faded, what we discussed has not. I've had more insights into my behavior, which I'd like to share with you at your earliest convenience. Warmest regards, Ed Kemper."
Gregg Smith: Ed Kemper writes you?

Holden Ford: Please stop analyzing me.
Debbie Mitford: I'm not analyzing you.
Holden Ford: You run this commentary on everything I do.
Debbie Mitford: I was talking about your work. That's how we communicate, right? You talk about your job, I give my opinion.
Holden Ford: Maybe I don't always want your opinion.
Debbie Mitford: When I'm not in agreement with you...
Holden Ford: Could you just be my girlfriend? Could you just listen?
Debbie Mitford: You mean shut up and adore you?
Holden Ford: Well, you could try it. Once...

Esther Mayweather: When you go from an abstract idea of murder to the visceral reality, you can no longer be objective. Only when you feel the pain of those victims and their loved ones can you know the magnitude of the choice that killer made. And it's that choice that seals his fate.
Wendy Carr: There's no reason to kill people when we have the wherewithal to lock them up. These people spend the rest of their lives in horrendous conditions, which likely reflect the environments in which they were raised.

Peter Dean: If you leave, I can't help you. I have to write a report on this. It will go down on your permanent record. You're making a terrible mistake.
Holden Ford: [continuing out the door] The only mistake I made was ever doubting myself...

Holden Ford: You want to get something? It's getting late, we should get going.
Debbie Mitford: No, I don't think so.
Holden Ford: Okay... Are you still mad? Are you... What exactly are you?
Debbie Mitford: Must I be something?


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