Why We Need Season 3 Of [Mindhunter]

Am I doing this? Am I actually doing this? Am I going to write an entire post about something that doesn’t need saying? This post will be the appendix of the blog world… nobody knows why it exists, but it’s here, and it might even be doing something, although we can’t say what.

Right now, it doesn’t seem like we’ll get another season of Mindhunter. Which is like telling a room full of second graders that there will not be Christmas…. for the next decade. It results in denial, a lot of screaming, and some tears (okay, a lot of tears).

Imagine no more Mindhunter. Imagine Tench forever sitting on the edge of his bed, Brian and his wife gone from the house, his last relationship being with his insufferable business partner Holden. Imagine BTK, forever remaining in that hotel room, noose around his neck, trophies of conquest displayed on the bed before him, never caught, always prowling. Imagine not seeing Holden fully realize his journey to better identify and capture serial killers, imagine not getting the catharsis of him using his profiling methods to catch BTK. Imagine not getting to see the dance, the duel, the cat and mouse game between BTK and Wendy as they circle around each other and she eventually closes in to capture him.

I have imagined that world, and it sucks giant donkey genitalia. 

There are interesting relationships formed when a woman or man commits to telling a story. There is a relationship between the storyteller and the story… its characters, plot, and execution. There is a relationship formed between the audience and the story… what happens next, how it occurs, love and hate for the characters. And there is a relationship formed between the audience and the storyteller… one of admiration and accolades, money and success, but also one of duty. 

A while back I saw Neil Gaiman respond to criticisms of GRRM and his inability to release books in a timely manner (I wrote about that annoying GRRM trait here). Gaiman said that the story was Martin’s and he had no responsibility to his audience to write anything for them or provide them with the next book in any time frame (and I guess by extension, at all). I love Gaiman and his views on writing, but in this case, I disagree.

A storyteller takes on a certain responsibility when they create a story. There is magic and power in creating characters in other people’s minds, in getting them emotionally invested in that which has not happened or that which is not a part of their experience. Storytellers expand minds, alter opinions, and change people through the stories they tell and the characters they create. We, as viewers, open ourselves up to these stories and allow the storyteller to invade us and alter us, we make ourselves vulnerable to the storyteller.

So to callously say that the storyteller does not owe something to the audience, seems to deny the relationship, to make storytelling a solo activity. Which is fair only if the storyteller is not presenting their story to an audience, and certainly not if they are making money off of the exchange. Storytellers, when they widely distribute a story, are looking to engage in the relationship in one way (entertainment and/or money), they should not be able to deny the relationship in another (a duty to finish the story based on the listener opening up to them).

And when stories are left untold, when GRRM does not write the last books of ASOIAF, when the producers of Mindhunter let the cast out of their contracts and vaguely reference revisiting the story at a later date, they devalue those who committed themselves to the story. It is better not to have told the story at all, to never have invaded our minds in the first place, better to not have given us the ability to imagine something we could not have on our own, then to do so and deny us the rest of the tale.

I know this point is not addressing the actual situation that led to Mindhunter letting the cast out of their contract and possibly ending the series. It also is not taking into account that the show may come back at a later date (in connection with the timeline of the story) and finish the series.  But to me the issue is not what happened, but that it happened. Viewers deserve a third season of Mindhunter because viewers didn’t need one until they watched their series, and part of the reason they watched their series was because they expected it to be finished. That vulnerable step into another world should be valued by the storyteller, and they should show that they value it by finishing what they started. Not doing so is akin to malpractice.

So I hope to see the story finished. I would like my cathartic release from the horrible place Mindhunter left off, I would like to see Tench reunited with his wife and son, Holden realize the responsibility his role requires, Wendy find love and acceptance, and BTK go to jail. I wasn’t even capable of wanting these things until I watched the show, it’s now up to the storytellers to provide them.

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The Closing Scene of [Mindhunter] (Season 2)
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Father Of The Year: TV Drama’s Bad Dads

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