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On 10/18/2017 at 11:49 PM, Irlandesa said:

Did she cheat?  That was just the vaguest and weirdest sequence.  She invited him to her thing.  He said he wouldn't go.  He showed up, it's dark and she's talking to Patrick.  Granted, they were really close but that's it.  And then they were all good soon after.  I don't know if I'm supposed to think she did or if it's just that Holden is supposed to think she did.

Yeah, I took it as another example of Holden thinking he could figure everything out from his observations.  In other words, I didn't think the show was trying to say for sure she was cheating, but her actions weren't the emphasis; his reaction was.

At this point he thinks he's got it all figured out, so he walks into this ambiguous situation where everybody is talking in a dark room.  He sees that they're close to each other, which could be for any number of reasons (they need to hear each other talking softly, physical proximity was part of the experiment, etc.).  But Holden decides she's cheating and doesn't need to hear what she has to say to know what's up.

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On 10/27/2017 at 11:33 AM, spaceghostess said:

I watched all the episodes over about four days and liked it. Agree with the overall assessment that the HITG playing Tench was a standout. Anna Torv was perfectly fine in a somewhat thankless role, although I found her resemblance (to me) to Carrie Coon was a tad distracting at times. Holden was frustrating as hell from dweeby beginning to arrogant end, but I applaud the show for doing this with its "hero". That was a hard fall he took with Kemper; I hope it shakes him out of his dickish attitude. The worst part of the show for me was Debbie. Affectless and sardonic is an acting choice that should only be employed by extremely skilled performers; IMHO, Hannah Gross didn't pull it off. I was having trouble separating how much of the flatness was the character and how much was the actor, and that shouldn't be. The character herself was somewhat problematic in that, while I could see how Holden might be attracted to her combination of chilly intellectualism and hippy-ness, I couldn't at all see why she was into him, considering how much time she spent acting snotty and condescending. Still, I'd even have given that a pass if there were flickers of warmth or sincerity as a counterbalance. We saw the tiniest bit of that with Tench's wife (Nancy?), but it wasn't enough for me. I'm not saying female characters need to be sweet, cuddly nurturers; I just need some genuine human emotion--whether the character is male or female--on which to hang my hat. I also was kind of annoyed by Debbie's reaction with the principal's wife. She'd seemed to agree wholeheartedly that the tickling was creepy and wrong, yet she was super-judgmental about how Holden handled the situation. Meh, I guess we're stuck with Debbie; maybe she'll grow on me?

OMG YES!! What WAS that? I understand that the principal's wife was upset and I understand why, but her actions were pretty scary and inappropriate. It's made pretty clear that she had to go to some trouble to stalk him down and figure out his HOME address (could she not have much more easily tracked him down at work?), and then she unleashes this tantrum about how her life is over and her husband's life is over and it's ALL HOLDEN'S FAULT. Um...wasn't he told numerous times, by both parents and colleagues, to stop touching the kids? And he refused to do it? Said things to the parents like "My covenant is with your son, not you"? Didn't Holden get involved after teachers pretty much begged him to because they didn't know what else to do? So, this lady has spent a huge amount of energy and focus tracking down an FBI agent that made some recommendations to the school board so that she can scream at him from the elevator in his hallway, and Debbie's reaction is:

"Would you like to come in?"

If I were Holden, I would have dumped her right there. "No dear, I'd rather not have the creepy stalker lady who clearly blames me exclusively for the downfall of her creepy husband 'come in'." Jesus. And then, after the wife leaves, Debbie says "What did you DO?"

That made no sense, unless Debbie loathed Holden so much by then that she WANTED something awful to happen to him. My god, if I was in the same scenario and someone did that to a loved one--or even NOT such a hugely loved one, like my ex husband or something--I would have told that woman to get out before I call the police and never, ever come back to my PRIVATE RESIDENCE.
 

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On 11/27/2017 at 10:58 PM, nutty1 said:

Just started this series a few days ago. Yes, I’m hooked. 

That was my first thought too. My feet went up a half size with each kid!

And am I the only one who has never seen a size 16 women’s shoe? Especially in a stiletto?!

Um, yeah, as a woman with size 11 shoes, this seems unrealistic in 1977. It's hard enough for me to find my size now!

I also was thinking "pregnant!" when the girlfriend's shoe size went up.

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I couldn't figure out where that school principal story was going. The thing that stuck out to me is how different the attitudes about the whole thing were back in 1977. NO WAY any of that would fly in 2017. Nor should it. Creepy and inappropriate! But a lot of the adults dismissed it or just weren't sure what to make of it.

A minor quibble with this show: Debbie supposedly goes to the University of Virginia, which is about 2 hours from D.C./FBI headquarters and Quantico. I went there, did that drive many times myself. UVA is in Charlottesville, yet Holden and Debbie seem to be local. The writers clearly know Charlottesville is a bit of a drive, because Tench's wife mentioned the drive when discussing taking their son to that music therapist.

I can't figure out why Debbie is with Holden. She doesn't seem to really like him at all.

Edited by candle96
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6 hours ago, candle96 said:

Um, yeah, as a woman with size 11 shoes, this seems unrealistic in 1977. It's hard enough for me to find my size now!

I also was thinking "pregnant!" when the girlfriend's shoe size went up.

There were niche markets for men who wore women's shoes - particularly stilettos - even back then. You wouldn't have seen them in a regular store. But maybe on Castro Street in SF. 

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I just binge watched this show today and loved it. Sadly, the two characters I truly dislike are the girlfriend and the professor. I know more of you had trouble with some of the  acting, Anna Torv's acting is the only one who  fell flat to me. It pains me to say that, because I genuinely like her.

 

I  had absolutely no problem with the pace of the show. On the contrary, I found it refreshing because this show is about character development (profiling). Therefore, I like that it is character driven.

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On 10/16/2017 at 11:47 AM, teddysmom said:

It made me really angry that the new guy went against everyone's decision and sent the tape to the internal affairs unit. 

Gave Catholics a bad name, lol.

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On 10/19/2017 at 8:21 AM, megsara said:

I think the whole point of having so much of Holden and Debbie's relationship was to show how Holden's opinion and actions towards women have been affected by Holden getting into the minds of so many violent misogynists.  There were also two pointed references to Holden's mother and her seemingly OTT reaction to her son's sex life, so that seemed like another way Holden relates to these men.  The line started to blur between Holden's "play-acting" and his real feelings.  We see him becoming more and more dismissive of Debbie, his jump to instant jealousy, etc.  Then he flies out to see Kemper because on some weird level Holden thinks Kemper is the only person he can relate to after the breakup and Tench and Carr questioning his methods.  He was also becoming insufferably egotistical (that celebration bar scene....yikes).  In a weird way I hope the whole thing with Kemper at the end shakes him enough that he course corrects.   

I do hope Holden and Tench are on better terms in the future - with Carr as well.  I really liked the scene in the diner after the car accident with Tench telling Holden about his son and the implication that Tench was starting to see Holden as a son, of sorts, and that's why Tench was so shaken after the crash.  

I am an Anna Torv stan, so I cannot be objective, but I did like Carr and hope we get more of her in the next season.  

I agree 100% about Debbie but that’s why I can’t love this series even though I liked it. She existed to only serve a need to develop Holden and IMO really didn’t have her own story or arc (they could set that up while not taking away the focus of the show). I actually hated that we didn’t see their reconciliation talk because I wondered why they got back together because they didn’t seem to like each other very much. 

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On 12/11/2017 at 0:04 PM, candle96 said:

A minor quibble with this show: Debbie supposedly goes to the University of Virginia, which is about 2 hours from D.C./FBI headquarters and Quantico. I went there, did that drive many times myself. UVA is in Charlottesville, yet Holden and Debbie seem to be local. The writers clearly know Charlottesville is a bit of a drive, because Tench's wife mentioned the drive when discussing taking their son to that music therapist.

This always drives me crazy with TV shows.  Just watch a couple of episodes of NCIS.  A quibble of mine is the fact that the FBI academy does not look like those scenes they show.  Especially back in the 70's  I know when I went to a couple of classes there back in the 80's it was nowhere near that large of a complex.  I also only heard gunfire when driving past the marine ranges, not constantly like they keep playing.  I love all of the vintage cars.

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I'm way late to the party, and a lot of my thoughts have already been said, but let me geek out for a moment.

I'm all the way on board with Dr. Carr and her insistence on following a (at least somewhat) standardized format. There are various reasons for that - better quality data, you're never going to be accepted by the academic community if you don't and acceptance by the academic community leads to something being admissible in court, etc. It's sort of a wonky conflict, though, in that things that work perfectly well under controlled conditions don't always work well when put out into the real world (efficacy vs effectiveness). She's an academic researcher, and so invested in doing things the right way - they do, after all, repeatedly call this research. Ford is, at heart, a practitioner. He's all about action, action, action. They're both right, and they're both incapable of seeing how the other is right because of circumstance.

I don't know that they said it explicitly, but Carr is a clinical psychologist, I would imagine. She'd need to have a detachment. If she's done a lot of this type of data collection, she's probably pretty aware that people will react to signals from an interviewer. If you encourage something - nod, smile - then you might get more of it because the interviewee sees that you feel it's interesting or important, which can skew your data collection. Maybe they go into great depth about something that isn't actually all that relevant to appease you, when they would have moved off of that topic and onto one that's more substantive had you not given those nonverbal cues. On the other hand, they're not going to tell you anything if they don't feel some level of connection, so Ford's trying to create a bond is in service of that.

You can see, though, that he absolutely does not buy into Carr's questionnaire and doesn't want to use it, even if he finds her fancy and impressive and wants to be able to talk with her on her level. He reads the informed consent in the most monotone voice possible. He abandons his efforts before he's more than a few sentences in and reverts back to what he thinks is the right way to do things. On the flip side, we don't see her providing them with any training on how to be good qualitative data collectors. She's probably not allowed into the prisons to do the interviews because of who the subjects are. (I don't know if we'll see her do this, but she'd likely be very disruptive to the process just because she's a woman and these are men who like to kill women but who have largely been deprived of contact with them.) He can't see her demonstrate ways to do this better, and she can't get the practical experience to help them figure out how to do things better.

And then you have all the bits and pieces about academia vs real world. Carr's girlfriend is firmly ivory tower and sees Carr's activities as beneath her and her intellect, as if she's playing around with cavemen and, as she clearly says to Carr, wasting her time. You have Tench, who sees the value in what locals have to offer even if they don't have the training and inclination/insight the BSU has. (Even if he does get frustrated with some understandably dopey locals.) You have Carr who takes a chance to step out of the ivory tower for something she believes to have real, practical value. You have Ford who is desperate to get the shine of academia on him. (You have his girlfriend who has the shine he wants but, bless her, hardly gets to get a word in edgewise around all of his self-congratulation, especially there at the end.) Like, I don't think I've described it well, but I find it an interesting continuum, where there's value on both ends but they're often so far apart that the value they have to offer one another isn't appreciated or nurtured or capitalized upon. They need each other, but at this point in time, are about as compatible as Ford and Debbie.

Edited by afterbite
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On ‎10‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 10:56 AM, Cheezwiz said:

I'm wondering if a ton of people just binged on all ten episodes.

I usually only come on these boards when there is some down time at work.  So I primarily stick with my shitty, trash shows to talk about (Teen Mom, The Challenge, Vanderpump Rules).  It's been unusually slow lately so I've started drifting into other boards. 

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On ‎10‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 7:10 AM, Lady Calypso said:

my immediate thought was that she's pregnant. 

me too but they never touched on it again.  Why even place that line of dialogue?

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Last episode was good but this one almost made me turn the whole thing off. Getting annoyed at the constant use of time period cars but Bill and Holden don't seem to be wearing accurate clothing. I was annoyed enough at the liberal spouting feminist, it wasn't like that in the 70s. But now oh she is a lesbian? Yes this show is bringing its modern politically correct morals into the 1970s. That is sloppy. The show works best when it is dealing with what the investigators find out about serial killers and apply that to current unsolved cases. I was unclear however if anything would happen to Rose for the murder.

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On 10/16/2017 at 1:47 PM, teddysmom said:

That was terrifying. I was pretty sure Holden wouldn't be killed but I didn't know if Kemper would try to hurt him and someone would come in or what. When he ran out and went into the panic attack, I really felt that. 

I didn't really buy that. For someone that is a profiler he should know that Kemper wouldn't kill or hurt him. Obviously it doesn't fit the profile. Not in terms of victim OR place. Kemper was still chained to the bed.  Holden is an FBI agent and that would mean a transfer to a Federal Prison for Kemper if he did anything. But I have to say my favorite parts of the whole series were Kemper. The actor is amazing. I am afraid of him and want to give him a hug at the same time.  I think the audiences fascination with serial killers is that they usually had a terrible life and our heart goes out to them... but then we are sickened by that because we know what they did.  I think Holden came simply because he does care about Kemper.  More than any other killer on this show it is hard not to. 

I really dislike what Holden is doing. I have never liked the idea that police lie and stage scenes to get people to confess because yes, it can be used to make innocent people confess. The emotion of the situation can set people up.   So if this is what this entire series leads up to... using a "supposed" profile to emotionally submarine someone (innocent or not) because the investigator "thinks" he is guilty...  I don't want to glorify that as legitimate FBI techniques. 

I don't know if I like this series. Groff isn't the best actor and plays Holden unconvincingly.  The show is politically correct and that is annoying and I think ultimately the tactics that are being showcased here are not that great and not something I want to encourage.    It is sort of presumed that these tactics led to arrests but do we know that for sure?  I agree with Holden's partner who often says that good old fashioned investigations get them to the result and Holden's stuff is just fluff.  I think their work was only significant in opening up other possibilities that investigators hadn't thought of before. 

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I bought Holden's panic completely. Just because Kemper prefers killing in a specific way, he is, in fact, a murderer who could chose to change things up a bit. Profiling is not an exact science now, much less when it started out. 

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For someone that is a profiler he should know that Kemper wouldn't kill or hurt him. Obviously it doesn't fit the profile. Not in terms of victim OR place.

Sometimes reality is unrealistic.

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I like this show! My brother recommended it.

When is season 2? Can we have Groff sauce at least a 30 second singing scene please. :))

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yes yes yes, I just found out after watching the entire series yesterday that Groff is a total broadway baby.....too bad he can't act. But that's okay, the series is still really really good for we serial killer lovers. 

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With the capture of the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker, I wonder if they'll do breadcrumbs like they did with BTK the first season? Are they filming right now?

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On 1/21/2018 at 8:53 AM, BooBear said:

I didn't really buy that. For someone that is a profiler he should know that Kemper wouldn't kill or hurt him.Obviously it doesn't fit the profile. Not in terms of victim OR place. Kemper was still chained to the bed.

Kemper's first victims were spontaneous and one was a man, his grandfather. And he was very fond of his grandfather. So, he's certainly capable of killing in the moment and not for any sexual gratification.

But, more importantly, the whole profiling thing Holden is so proud of is at least 40% bullshit and on some level he knows it. Now 60% not bullshit makes it a worthwhile endeavor and valuable. But sometimes he's wrong. With the dog killings he initially had the police bringing in teenagers before changing his mind and thinking it had to be  someone a little older. I only bring that up to show that profiling isn't an exact science, at all. He could think he knows Kemper better than Kemper does but he doesn't really. He wouldn't stake his life on his profile being accurate. Nor should he.

And as was mentioned above it had the nice quality of putting Holden in the shoes of the victims. He's spent too much time thinking like the killers. It's thrown off his empathy. He's perfectly capable of being empathetic but as the series wore on it was empathy for the wrong people.

Quote

I really dislike what Holden is doing. I have never liked the idea that police lie and stage scenes to get people to confess because yes, it can be used to make innocent people confess. The emotion of the situation can set people up.   So if this is what this entire series leads up to... using a "supposed" profile to emotionally submarine someone (innocent or not) because the investigator "thinks" he is guilty...  I don't want to glorify that as legitimate FBI techniques. 

I agree it's complete BS. Whether guilty or not Holden is way over-confident and he's used to interacting with far more sophisticated and/or hardened guys. His over-bearing ways would break anyone who is weaker and less accustomed to law enforcement. And false confessions do happen.

Quote

I'm all the way on board with Dr. Carr and her insistence on following a (at least somewhat) standardized format. There are various reasons for that - better quality data, you're never going to be accepted by the academic community if you don't and acceptance by the academic community leads to something being admissible in court, etc.

Yeah, I felt like the show was a bit too dismissive of that. She has really good reasons for wanting better quality data. And, frankly, some of Ford's behavior could easily taint the results. It's been raised but also kind of dismissed but some of these guys are telling him what he clearly wants to hear. And his questions/statements are far too leading. He has a narrative in his head and that is what he solicits.

Quote

I found her irritating, patronising and occasionally passive-aggressive towards the start, and I found him selfish, self-obsessed and occasionally passive-aggressive towards the end. Without the cheating, I would have had a lot more sympathy for her, but this somewhat undid any moral high-ground she might otherwise have occupied. 

I don't love the character (but I'm sure she'll be back) but there is really no evidence she cheated. They were standing close in a dark room. I think the show intended it to be ambiguous. It's only purpose was to fuel Holden's need to assert his control via the principal.

And Holden was completely wrong in the shoe scene. That was his issue and he turned it on her. "This isn't you" is acting as though the problem is her putting on a show and he disapproves of that. He made her feel shitty over his own issue.

Edited by CherithCutestory
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On 5/9/2018 at 5:37 PM, Atlanta said:

With the capture of the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker, I wonder if they'll do breadcrumbs like they did with BTK the first season? Are they filming right now?

Well, he did commit three murders in 1981- one in the winter and two in the summer. Maybe they could add in a reference?

I'd also like if they could add in a reference to Buckskin Girl/Marcia King, who was found murdered in April of 1981 and wasn't identified until 2018.

Edited by methodwriter85

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11 hours ago, kariyaki said:

Cameron Britton was nominated for an Emmy in the Guest Actor category for his portrayal of Ed Kemper.

Well, he sure pulled off "the look."  Real Kemper on the left, Britton as Kemper on the right.  How creepy was that guy????

Capture.JPG

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On ‎7‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 8:56 PM, kariyaki said:

Cameron Britton was nominated for an Emmy in the Guest Actor category for his portrayal of Ed Kemper.

Richly deserved. I hope he wins, because his performance was easily the most memorable I have seen in years.

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And  we now have confirmation that the ADT guy is Dennis Rader: If you watch past the ending credits and the Netflix logo, it moves on to the foreign language dubbing credits. The German credits specifically list "Dennis Rader" as one of the characters.

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I'm really enjoying this show. The atmosphere is quiet but tense, the acting is understated and realistic, the cinematography is terrific, and it's more and more engrossing as it goes along.

I loved the scenes between Wendy and her partner. The writing was so economical but in just a few minutes you could immediately see that her partner barely listens to her, twists her words to suit herself, and considers her project with the FBI beneath contempt. Then her little trick with the hand-holding at dinner and I could see why Wendy simply saw that it was unworkable, and left (which I supported -- I mean, yes, Lena Olin as always is gorgeous, but the moment when she parroted back her own sentence at Wendy as being Wendy's POV, that shook me -- it's just so gross). 

On 1/20/2018 at 10:35 AM, BooBear said:

Last episode was good but this one almost made me turn the whole thing off. Getting annoyed at the constant use of time period cars but Bill and Holden don't seem to be wearing accurate clothing. I was annoyed enough at the liberal spouting feminist, it wasn't like that in the 70s. But now oh she is a lesbian? Yes this show is bringing its modern politically correct morals into the 1970s. That is sloppy. The show works best when it is dealing with what the investigators find out about serial killers and apply that to current unsolved cases. I was unclear however if anything would happen to Rose for the murder.

Seriously, my Mom was a raging "liberal spouting feminist" in the 70s. We went to protests, had Pro-Choice bumper stickers and everything. Everyone was political about something then, so it's totally accurate for that to be present here.

Meanwhile, I'm confused as to how Wendy's being a lesbian is somehow "politically correct" or out of place for the 1970s. It's not like there weren't lesbians in the 1970s.

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On 7/12/2018 at 8:56 PM, kariyaki said:

Cameron Britton was nominated for an Emmy in the Guest Actor category for his portrayal of Ed Kemper.

I read this as "Connie Britton" and was confused..

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Wendy seems so lonely, and the nightly glass of wine where she brings tuna for the cat is just absolutely terrifying me that it's going to end sadly or tragically (for the cat). Wendy seems like one of those people who can handle anything with aplomb, but who then might also break over something small, like someone brutalizing or killing a cat. (Which by the way would not be small to me. Aghghgh.)

The foot-tickling principal really got to me, as did his reactions when he was called out for his behavior. I felt it was interesting though given the subtext of the episode -- he's upset by them, he's aware that he can't stop, but he's still trying to twist his behavior to make it seem okay and acceptable. He's lying to himself, and I fully expect to hear that he's broken down in an upcoming episode and either harmed a child, or himself.

I was so bummed they didn't hire the African-American agent, because he was so obviously qualified and committed (nice character note that Wendy and Bill were so immediately psyched to hire him, and that it was Holden who was the wet blanket). From a character complexity standpoint, I like that Holden can be occasionally sexist or subtly racist -- it keeps him from being a cookie-cutter boy scout, even though those scenes also enrage me about him.

Speaking of sexism, I don't like Holden with Debbie at all. She's obviously smart, but she's also just as obviously not into him, so she tends to give off this pushme-pullyou vibe with him -- drawing him close then shoving him away. Everything seems to have a cutting undertone. And Holden's no Prince with her, either -- he's judgy, passive-aggressive, and frequently, blatantly sexist. Which I guess is believable if a bummer. Although I also think it's saying something bigger (and that the show is trying to communicate) about toxic masculinity and how it directly leads -- at its worst -- to these men who kill women and turn them into dead dolls and playthings in order to make them compliant. 

We've had scenes where both Holden and Bill managed to strike up a rapport with a killer simply by referencing a subtly implied real-life frustration with women, and it's so well-done even if also stomach-churning. That's why I'm so grateful to have a character like cool, calm, empowered Wendy, who is a constant buffer against that frequently oppressive anti-female subtext created by the show's killers.

Edited by paramitch · Reason: parentheses
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21 minutes ago, paramitch said:

I was so bummed they didn't hire the African-American agent, because he was so obviously qualified and committed (nice character note that Wendy and Bill were so immediately psyched to hire him, and that it was Holden who was the wet blanket). From a character complexity standpoint, I like that Holden can be occasionally sexist or subtly racist -- it keeps him from being a cookie-cutter boy scout, even though those scenes also enrage me about him.

I think that was about Holden being logical, not racist. The black agent wouldn't be an effective interviewer for the same reason Wendy wouldn't be: who they are. Most of the subjects would not respond well to them and, best case scenario, it would taint the data they're trying to compile. Worst case scenario, it would be dangerous for them to be around wily serial killers.

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I really enjoyed this, and thought the finale was stunning. Holden's inevitable fall of pride, the final few minutes, were utterly mesmerizing. That final conversation was incredible -- a perfect depiction of how blase and innocent Holden actually was. He thought he understood how casually these men can kill, but he really didn't believe it. It's like it was all a fairytale to him, and then Kemper steps up and calmly talks about killing and decapitating him like it's nothing. Which it would be.

On 10/28/2017 at 9:28 AM, kariyaki said:

Carr knew that and was accepting of it. The problem she was having was that A: Ford would start off-book, which was fine to open the lines of communication, but then never get ON-book and use the questionnaire. And B: that he redacted his off-color opening salvo with Speck and lied about it, thereby blindsiding her.

I agree with this take on the situation.

On 10/29/2017 at 1:14 PM, Irlandesa said:

I'll post this article in the media thread too but Fincher did give an answer to the tuna/cat question.

  Reveal hidden contents

Basically, the cat is dead--killed by a potential future serial killer in her building.

Yeah, I didn't get that.

I was afraid it was that. I was holding my breath the entire time. I will say -- irrespective of the article you linked -- that I was certain that revelation with the ants and the can showed plainly that the cat was dead nearby.

On 11/3/2017 at 10:33 AM, DrSpaceman73 said:

Kemper is the most interesting character, hope he is back for more.  The fact he is so egosyntonic even with his killings, mentioning them so casually and plainly is the surprising part.  I know that is a characteristic of psychopaths, not feeling remorse or how out of place their actions are with society, but his is even different than most.  He is completely comfortable talking about it with nothing to hide, an open book, plus he is so articulate about it.  Which of course is what makes him such a great subject

I didn't find Kemper that unusual in his willingness to talk, although his intelligence and verbal precision (even about his own motives) were I think rare and genuinely interesting and of course deeply unsettling.

Kemper's psychology is classic -- he's lonely. He's desperate to connect with others, and Holden and his partner made him feel singular and special, understood and liked. His pitiful pride that Holden called him "a friend" in the newspaper both chilled me and made me pity him for a brief second, as did his horrible speech about his murder victims being his "spirit wives" who were always with him. The loneliness of Kemper, created out of his abuse, resulted in a misogyny and a feeling of separation from humanity that left him with killing as his only expression. I think the worst thing about the pathology of serial murder is that over and over again, in the vast majority of cases, we find a lonely child who was horrifically abused, and who then turned to torture and killing as a way to rediscover power. It's so sad, terrifying and upsetting.

On 12/6/2017 at 7:17 AM, rwgrab said:

Yeah, I took it as another example of Holden thinking he could figure everything out from his observations.  In other words, I didn't think the show was trying to say for sure she was cheating, but her actions weren't the emphasis; his reaction was.

At this point he thinks he's got it all figured out, so he walks into this ambiguous situation where everybody is talking in a dark room.  He sees that they're close to each other, which could be for any number of reasons (they need to hear each other talking softly, physical proximity was part of the experiment, etc.).  But Holden decides she's cheating and doesn't need to hear what she has to say to know what's up.

If you go back and watch that scene, however, when the light flashes on the two of them, she is on the desk and he is bent over her, his hand on her stomach, and they have pretty clearly been making out or getting a little frisky. Even when Holden notices them, if you look at the moment, the guy doesn't remove his hand from her middle. He is clearly touching her in an intimate way. So my vote is that yes, she cheated. And then she and Holden reconciled after the laundromat scene.

On 1/17/2018 at 10:55 AM, afterbite said:

I'm all the way on board with Dr. Carr and her insistence on following a (at least somewhat) standardized format. There are various reasons for that - better quality data, you're never going to be accepted by the academic community if you don't and acceptance by the academic community leads to something being admissible in court, etc. It's sort of a wonky conflict, though, in that things that work perfectly well under controlled conditions don't always work well when put out into the real world (efficacy vs effectiveness). She's an academic researcher, and so invested in doing things the right way - they do, after all, repeatedly call this research. Ford is, at heart, a practitioner. He's all about action, action, action. They're both right, and they're both incapable of seeing how the other is right because of circumstance.

I don't know that they said it explicitly, but Carr is a clinical psychologist, I would imagine. She'd need to have a detachment. If she's done a lot of this type of data collection, she's probably pretty aware that people will react to signals from an interviewer. If you encourage something - nod, smile - then you might get more of it because the interviewee sees that you feel it's interesting or important, which can skew your data collection. Maybe they go into great depth about something that isn't actually all that relevant to appease you, when they would have moved off of that topic and onto one that's more substantive had you not given those nonverbal cues. On the other hand, they're not going to tell you anything if they don't feel some level of connection, so Ford's trying to create a bond is in service of that.

You can see, though, that he absolutely does not buy into Carr's questionnaire and doesn't want to use it, even if he finds her fancy and impressive and wants to be able to talk with her on her level. He reads the informed consent in the most monotone voice possible. He abandons his efforts before he's more than a few sentences in and reverts back to what he thinks is the right way to do things. On the flip side, we don't see her providing them with any training on how to be good qualitative data collectors. She's probably not allowed into the prisons to do the interviews because of who the subjects are. (I don't know if we'll see her do this, but she'd likely be very disruptive to the process just because she's a woman and these are men who like to kill women but who have largely been deprived of contact with them.) He can't see her demonstrate ways to do this better, and she can't get the practical experience to help them figure out how to do things better.

And then you have all the bits and pieces about academia vs real world. Carr's girlfriend is firmly ivory tower and sees Carr's activities as beneath her and her intellect, as if she's playing around with cavemen and, as she clearly says to Carr, wasting her time. You have Tench, who sees the value in what locals have to offer even if they don't have the training and inclination/insight the BSU has. (Even if he does get frustrated with some understandably dopey locals.) You have Carr who takes a chance to step out of the ivory tower for something she believes to have real, practical value. You have Ford who is desperate to get the shine of academia on him. (You have his girlfriend who has the shine he wants but, bless her, hardly gets to get a word in edgewise around all of his self-congratulation, especially there at the end.) Like, I don't think I've described it well, but I find it an interesting continuum, where there's value on both ends but they're often so far apart that the value they have to offer one another isn't appreciated or nurtured or capitalized upon. They need each other, but at this point in time, are about as compatible as Ford and Debbie.

Thank you for such a great post on Carr. I love Wendy's character and thought Torv was terrific. She is a rather clinical, reserved person, but she is also one step removed from the horrors witnessed by Tench and Holden, and she is somewhat muffled/protected from really experiencing these men as real, threatening, terrifying, pitiable subjects. She is able to maintain distance. Whereas, she heard the cat meow, she is lonely and was having a glass of wine (pretty clearly implied to be part of her coping mechanism), and was trying to make a connection there (and using her own methods to entice it forward).

And I agree that the men -- especially Holden -- are too dismissive of why they need a standardized interview approach. I would argue that ALL interviews should have been scheduled with Wendy's Q&A first, and then with Holden allowed to go "off the leash" for the follow-up.

On 4/18/2018 at 4:02 PM, atlantaloves said:

yes yes yes, I just found out after watching the entire series yesterday that Groff is a total broadway baby.....too bad he can't act. But that's okay, the series is still really really good for we serial killer lovers. 

I've been a fan of Jonathan Groff's Broadway work since "Spring Awakening," and he was also delightful in "Hamilton."

I was actually blown away by his acting here. FYI, the restrained, quiet approach was all due to Fincher, who according to an article I read (I think it was Vulture) micromanaged everything he did. It worked for me, and I especially loved it because when (here in the finale) Holden finally loses control, it's that much more impactful. I mean, Holden's absolute terror there was incredibly real and visceral.

But Fincher is definitely the person behind those performance choices. Honestly, for me he takes it a bit far -- for instance, here, Groff was not allowed to smile (unless openly directed to do so), was ordered to stop smiling as a reaction in daily life, wasn't allowed to raise his eyebrows, etc. I mean, the description is so exact it's nuts. Then add in the fact that Fincher may do dozens or even hundreds of takes. I like Fincher's work but for me it's too needlessly exacting, and I'm certain something is lost when you stop allowing a scene to breathe and are that technical. But that's just me.

On 5/22/2018 at 6:53 PM, CherithCutestory said:

And as was mentioned above it had the nice quality of putting Holden in the shoes of the victims. He's spent too much time thinking like the killers. It's thrown off his empathy. He's perfectly capable of being empathetic but as the series wore on it was empathy for the wrong people.

I agree it's complete BS. Whether guilty or not Holden is way over-confident and he's used to interacting with far more sophisticated and/or hardened guys. His over-bearing ways would break anyone who is weaker and less accustomed to law enforcement. And false confessions do happen.

(snip)

And Holden was completely wrong in the shoe scene. That was his issue and he turned it on her. "This isn't you" is acting as though the problem is her putting on a show and he disapproves of that. He made her feel shitty over his own issue.

I agree with you on Holden's arrogance and comfort becoming a regular thing with the killers -- he was beginning to lose sight of the victims, which I think Tench never does. So I loved the finale here and the final moments when HOLDEN is a potential victim. Me: "That's right, Holden. You are now ACTUALLY experiencing the dead-eyed psychopathy of someone who would as soon kill you as stomp a bug."

I posted above on the scene between Holden's girlfriend and the guy, but I absolutely do think she was cheating (and their discovery was a frankly sexual scenario). But I also think she was testing him, trying to see if he really cared. 

I also agree that Holden was 100% wrong (and gross) in the shoe scene with her. But I liked that it was an obvious moment of unwitting misogyny and how it illustrated that he was, in fact, guilty of lesser counts of it all the time (another example was when he was asking how many partners she had had and was ALREADY JUDGING HER before she would even give an answer). On the other hand, we had Wendy (so brilliant and cold but, I still feel, fragile outside her bubble) and Tench, who I absolutely loved, who never lost sight of his own humanity, and who was both loyal and yet troubled by what he witnessed in the killers and in his partner (and himself). I've always liked and noticed Holt McCallany as an actor, but this was a truly star-making role for him, and I thought he was the best thing in the show, and its real heart.

Last but not least: One of the things this show did really well was spotlight the grotesque misogyny behind the vast majority of serial killers. I appreciated that we didn't have to watch the killings; there wasn't that prurient, "Let's all watch them die horribly!" thing that so many shows seem to get off on (don't even get me started on "Criminal Minds" et al). In this case, by removing that aspect, instead, we were faced with the simple, clinical truth of these men and their willingness to kill and torture women because of their own abuse and (more troublingly) toxic masculinity. Women didn't talk to this guy. Women didn't respond to that guy. Fast-forward to Kemper talking casually and yet with visible, searing hatred, that women are born with "something men want" and they can't just reach out and take it.

For me, this season was superb, and I'm looking forward to the next one. I also hope they give Wendy more to do. 

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On 10/15/2017 at 3:06 PM, Calamity Jane said:

Although I like this enough to keep watching the whole series, a couple of things bug me immensely.  First of all, I don't want all the personal backgrounds on the principal characters.  It seems completely gratuitous, and it doesn't add enough to make slogging through it worthwhile.  

I wish I could give this a thousand likes.  The stuff about Holden and his GF is so boring and slows everything down.  It’s a very good crime drama on its own and they need to stop shoving in 10min of ‘Dharma and Greg’ opposites falling in love BS in every episode.

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Thank you for mentioning the extreme misogyny that these killers have.

It concerns me how many posters have worked up empathy for Kemper, even after all of the sadistic things he did to women. And then bought his bullshit story enough to lay the blame with his mother.

First of all, its pretty wellknown that psychopaths are prolific liars. They love lying to people because because it boosts their ego. They believe that they are smarter and better than everyone else, and pulling shit over on people reaffirms that to them, and selfjustifies their ruthlessness with others.

Second of all, they are known for having an absence of conscience for their actions. They blame everyone else for their actions. And in the case of misogynists, that would be their victims, their mothers and women in general. Eg, saying that the victim was a slut, or their mother abused them, etc. They pose themselves  as the victim, and have no sympathy or concern, no guilt,  for the actual victims, other than mouthservice.

Blaming the mother for these sadistic murderers was a fallback of the psychiatric and law enforcement communities in the past. Because misogyny.

Now we know that fathers play an equal if not larger role in the development of psychopaths ( who are no longer called that, btw). And not just by their abuse, but by their neglect and abandonment also.

Kemper's father divorced, remarried, resettled far away, and when Kemper wanted to live with him, rejected him. Kemper blamed his new wife of course.

The show also makes no mention of his killing of his fathers parents. Kemper blames his grandmother. Not a shocker. He posits himself again the victim of a woman.

No mention of his own preoccupation with death and killing, from childhood. He wanted to kill. He tortured and killed cats as a child. Decapitated them and stuck their heads on poles. Played games about nazi gas chambers. 

When he killed his mother, he also killed her voice. The guy literally did that by sticking her larynx down the garbage disposal.  Knowing what we know about both Kemper and psychopaths of his ilk, it's much more believable to think that his mother saw something in him that tipped her off to his psychopathy and extreme misogyny; to the point that she feared for her own daughter.   Kemper shot up to 6'7", but well before that was a physical threat to his mothers discipline.

It is certain that plenty of people have been treated far far worse and somehow didnt become grisly sadistic serial killers.  His flat affect, ability to mask/charm ( cops), his complete lack of empathy, etc point rather heavily to the fact that a lot if not all of his psychopathy was hardwired. He does not need a hug or empathy of any kind. He doesnt process things like a normal person. Its a normal persons narcissism that allows them to imagine everyone else is just like them  when it is not the case. And this deadly mix of narcissism and ignorance just makes more potential victims of the psychopath.  

There have undoubtedly been killers who've suffered abuse from their mothers and which that abuse might have had a factor in their killings. But Kemper isnt one of them. He was living at home with her, and he actually killed not only her at home, but called her friend over on a ruse after, and killed her also, for shits n giggles.

Kemper made himself the victim of his mother and all women, in his mind. He killed his mother's voice figuratively , and literally. She cant give us her lived experience, and all we are left with are his twisted stories.  Saying that his mother abused him  or caused the sadistic murderous behavior in any way, makes his story a tidy, almost familiar, one. But the chance that it is the actual truth, coming from his mouth, is astronomically small.

Edited by Butless
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On 10/18/2017 at 11:26 AM, Violet Impulse said:

If the goal of studying serial killers is to see how they're made and to try to prevent them, it's likely to make him more aware of what not to do. I'm thinking his son is just autistic, but that Tench will become more determined to be less of an absent father as that's a commonality in the killers he studies.

If absent fathers were all it takes to make serial killers, most of us would be serial killers. It takes a whole lot more than that, so i hope the filmmakers arent going down that blind alley. Its also really gross to assume an autistic kid is a potential serial killer.

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On 10/22/2017 at 11:10 PM, kieyra said:

Aw, I thought I caught a serial killer Easter egg (or foreshadowing) with the green VW beetle appearing briefly, but Bundy's VW was beige.

Tons of people drove Bugs in the 70s. I think Debbies car was a Bug, beige or close to the color. That may be the egg, but there really were a ton if that same color too.

On 10/21/2017 at 1:27 PM, AmandaPanda said:

I would kill for Jonathan Groff to massage my feet while I take a bath. 

He reminds mw of the lead in That Thing You Do , who went on to do nothing much.

On 10/23/2017 at 4:02 AM, debi49 said:

I love Debbie's apartment.

I must have a shitty tv. It looks so dingy and dirty to me.

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On 10/27/2017 at 11:28 AM, spaceghostess said:

OMG, this--thank you! I couldn't believe she went down there like that, and yeah, I was always scrounging for quarters to do my laundry when I lived in my first apartment in Yonkers in the '90s. Beyond worrying about creepers and floor-borne illnesses, I'd pretty much convinced myself she was feeding a rat (or a colony of them), rather than a cat. Sure, she heard meowing, but c'mon: leaving food in a subterrenean building hole is going to attract roaches at the very least and, very likely, furry creatures that are rather less cute than kitty. She's lucky ants were the worst she had to deal with. The whole setup was so weird, it distracted me from the deeper messages we were, no doubt, meant to unpack.

They went to lengths to make her a sexpot. Even her ridiculous sexy walk. Barf.

They really blew it with her and Debbie. How many sex scenes did old Debbie have? They seemed to outweigh any other kinds of scenes she was in.  And old is also an operative word here. Shes supposed to be 24 and looks easily; older than  Holden who in his late 20s . Worse, her jaded ennui makes her seem mid50s.  Shes a fulltime college student with no interior life or real understandable motives toward Holden of her own and no reason to even be so cynical and jaded. And just weirdly passive-aggressive.  Why is she with him when all she does is tallk down to him and try to make him over? 

All the sex scenes are really egregious. As is making the acedemic doctor a lesbian sexpot. Nothing about the sex scenes with Holden and Debbie are even remotely sexy or informative in a way that hasnt been explored in nonsexual scenes. Shes just awful, and the Wendy actress plays a shitty and boring character as not  even remotely interesting, either. They both look really rawboned and deadeyed in their portrayals. So much so? that they looked related.

Also you can be prowoman and woke and still be annoyed when they make the women characters all arbiters of all that is good and true. Double barf. Its a woman version of the Magical NegroTM.

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22 hours ago, Butless said:

If absent fathers were all it takes to make serial killers, most of us would be serial killers. It takes a whole lot more than that, so i hope the filmmakers arent going down that blind alley. Its also really gross to assume an autistic kid is a potential serial killer.

I think they've already acknowledged things like the Macdonald triad in the show, making it clear that it obviously takes more than just absent fathers. The point I was making was that the issue of absent fathers was put in the forefront of Tench's mind by virtue of his work, which might have been the prompt to make him more involved in his son's life. As to autism = serial killer, based on what people have written, the concern was "will the show write his son to be a potential serial killer" and other people reassuring by saying "no, more likely they are writing him to be autistic".

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12 hours ago, Violet Impulse said:

I think they've already acknowledged things like the Macdonald triad in the show, making it clear that it obviously takes more than just absent fathers. The point I was making was that the issue of absent fathers was put in the forefront of Tench's mind by virtue of his work, which might have been the prompt to make him more involved in his son's life. As to autism = serial killer, based on what people have written, the concern was "will the show write his son to be a potential serial killer" and other people reassuring by saying "no, more likely they are writing him to be autistic".

Thanks. I got that from my reading. I was simply saying that I hope the creators don't use that spurious connection to absent fathers to justify what would be a ridiculous and gross misappropriation of the idea, and make Tench's son a serial killer, like was brought up previously in the thread. 

I think the creators are smart enough not to do something so wrong and hamfisted, but we never know what kind of b.s. is going on behind the scenes with these shows.

And the MacDonald Triad is a theory that hasnt held up, over time and more knowledge of these types of killers.

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On 9/21/2018 at 3:17 PM, Booger666 said:

I wish I could give this a thousand likes.  The stuff about Holden and his GF is so boring and slows everything down.  It’s a very good crime drama on its own and they need to stop shoving in 10min of ‘Dharma and Greg’ opposites falling in love BS in every episode.

And Tench's family, and Wendy's partner. Sometimes I think they put this relationship crap in these shows so they can justify T&A, or sexual situations, which they think draw the viewer in.  DO they not know that women are  the majority of viewers? They come for the crime, not the sex, and not for the lead character's disfunctional families. The subject matter is so heavy , in the first place. To add a crying wife and bitchy partners in the mix is UNNECESSARY. I wish I could make that word into a billboard.

And frankly the sex scenes between Debbie and Holden were a huge turn off. They have no chemistry, at all. And she is a smug asshole in every scene. There's literally no passion in any performance they give, in or out of bed. But in bed, it isa horrendously awful spectacle. Just....stop it.

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Watched this for Anna Torv. Oh how I miss Fringe. Ended up liking the show, looking forward to next season. 

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Any word on the when the next season will start? I watched last year but just rewatched with my husband. It’s a great show. I can’t wait for season 2. 

And those who have been commenting about the large lettering of the towns.... I think it’s a throwback to Dragnet. That was in in the early 70’s. Guess I’m just old!!

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