'Mindhunter' - "Episode 9" Recap & Review

Episode 9 of Mindhunter features the two things the BSU have become known for: interviewing convicted sequence killers and solving small town murders. When it comes to the solving of the latest small town murder, Holden and Bill are a well oiled machine. They quickly single in on their biggest suspect and have the case seemingly wrapped up within hours of their arrival. As for their newest interview, this time with the infamous Richard Speck, they may have botched things so bad it could put their entire study in jeopardy. 
Early on in their interview with Richard Speck it becomes clear that the killer is fond of being extremely vulgar. After being closed off to the agents, Holden tries reciprocating the vulgarities to help Speck open up. Holden refers to Speck’s victims as c**ts and makes himself as relatable as possible. It works, but Bill is uneasy about the approach. On their plane ride back to Quantico, he advises Holden to cut the audio of his vulgar remarks from the tape recordings. 

Holden’s remarks are omitted from the official transcripts, but after Speck files a complaint against the agents, the unit falls under investigation by internal affairs. During questioning Holden, Bill, and new hire Gregg Smith are forced to lie to the investigators about the lost audio. Now the entire unit, including Chief Shepard, were involved in the coverup of a federal investigation. Everything would blow over as long as the original recording was destroyed. Unfortunately, new addition Smith, wracked with guilt, snags the tape before it can be destroyed and sends it to the investigators. 

The closer Mindhunter gets to its finale, the surer Holden gets of his tactics. We've watched him grow from timid and naive, to confident and cold. It's a character arc that's been fascinating to watch, and he's finally having to reckon with the consequences of his actions. Is it possible to take the work too far? By saying the research could potentially stop serial killers in the future, does it give Holden the right to use whatever methods necessary to achieve results? These are important and heady questions that Mindhunter is beginning to ask. It turns out the most fascinating mind in a world full of serial killers is the one investigating them.