Mindhunter season 2 wraps up Holden Ford and Bill Tench's investigation into the Atlanta child murders, but more serial killers surely await them in Mindhunter season 3. The Netflix series was created by Joe Penhall and based on the real-life experiences of former FBI agent John E. Douglas. Mindhunter recounts the efforts of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit to compile a database of serial killers' psychological profiles and patterns - let by Agents Ford and Tench, and consulting psychologist Dr. Wendy Carr.
The ultimate goal of the BSU is to create methods for tracking down at-large serial killers by narrowing down the field of potential suspects, and in Mindhunter season 2 they get their opportunity. While Wendy continues the work of interviewing incarcerated serial killers, Holden and Bill set up shop in Atlanta to try and find the culprit behind the serial murder of the city's black children. Meanwhile, the killer known as the BTK Strangler still lurks in the background, claiming more victims even as the BSU tries to figure out what's driving him.
Here's what we know so far about Mindhunter season 3 - from potential storylines and new featured serial killers, to when the next season of the Netflix series could be released.
Mindhunter Hasn't Been Renewed For Season 3 Yet
Mindhunter season 3 hasn't officially been given the green light by Netflix just yet, but that's not cause for concern. The streaming service typically waits at least a few weeks after the last season has been released before announcing a continuation, in order to assess interest in the show. Netflix doesn't release viewing numbers for its shows, but Mindhunter received huge amounts of critical acclaim for its first season, as well as a Primetime Emmy nomination for actor Cameron Britton. With the prestige of director and executive producer David Fincher attached, we would be very surprised if Mindhunter was cancelled after just two seasons - especially since the original plan was for the show to run for five seasons.
Mindhunter Season 3's Release Date
Although the likelihood of Netflix ordering Mindhunter season 3 is high, the question of when the next season will release is less certain. Season 1 of Mindhunter was released in October 2017, and season 2 wasn't released until August 2019 - almost two years later. Speaking to Collider, star Jonathan Groff said that the reason for the long wait was that Fincher didn't want to get started filming until he felt that all the scripts were perfect. With that in mind, there may well be a similar wait for Mindhunter season 3, so a summer 2021 release seems likely.
Mindhunter Season 3's Story
Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Mindhunter Season 2
Mindhunter season 2 focused on two cases that were active in the late 1970s and early 1980s: the BTK Strangler and the Atlanta child murders. The latter ended with the arrest of suspect Wayne Williams, though he was only convicted of the murder of two adults, and the other 29 murders remain officially unsolved to this day. The BTK Strangler, meanwhile, was first introduced in Mindhunter season 1 - played by Sonny Valicenti and credited only as "ADT Serviceman," since at the time his name was unknown. Unfortunately for the BSU, the BTK Strangler (whose real name was Dennis Rader) wouldn't be apprehended until 2005, long after Mindhunter takes place. However, we can expect more chilling vignettes into Rader's life in Mindhunter season 3.
The real-life Holden Ford, John E. Douglas, continued to work for the FBI and consult on serial killer cases up until 1996, and Mindhunter has so far only covered 1977-1981. Mindhunter season 3 will likely continue through the early 1980s and focus on other high-profile serial killers from the time, such as Ted Bundy and Joseph Paul Franklin, and also look at how the BSU's findings were put into practice by the FBI.
Mindhunter's three main characters are also all dealing with personal issues: Holden, with his stress-induced panic attacks; Wendy, with the breakdown of her relationship with Kay; and Bill, with his son's involvement in the killing of a toddler. Mindhunter season 2 ended with Bill returning home to find that his wife and son had moved away without him, leaving him with nothing but a bed, a couch, and a closet full of clothes. Whether this will convince him to take a step back from his work at the BSU, or lose himself in it even more, remains to be seen.