Mindhunter was one of the biggest shows to come out on Netflix in 2017. Since its initial release, we have delved into the world of the early days of the Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI where Special Agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench reside.
The two agents have developed a great partnership in the work they have accomplished to learn the psychological side of why serial killers do what they do. It's completely fascinating and both agents have had great moments throughout the first two seasons that showed what they are truly capable of.
While they are both flawed characters, they are both incredible in the field. Here are the 5 Times Holden Was The Best Agent (And 5 Times Bill Was).
10 Holden: When He Met Ed Kemper
In season 1 of Mindhunter, Special Agent Holden Ford is still perfecting his technique of getting into the minds of psychologically disturbed individuals - particularly, serial killers. But one of the main deviants he wants to talk to is, but of course, Charles Manson.
He initially gets denied his request, but instead, he gets to talk to Ed Kemper a.k.a. The Co-Ed Killer. This real-life serial killer is rather larger in size and has a domineering presence.
But when Ford and Kemper first meet, there is a bit of camaraderie there that slowly starts to develop into a friendship. While this may seem odd, this actually kicks off the beginning of great knowledge they get from Ed Kemper alone and showed the potential of Ford's interviewing abilities.
9 Bill: His Quote To Holden After The Meeting With Brudos
“If what we’re doing doesn’t get under your skin, you’re either more screwed up than I thought or you’re kidding yourself.” This is what Bill Tench says to his partner, Holden Ford, after a particularly brutal interview with serial killer Jerry Brudos.
This was an important moment for Special Agent Tench because many times it seemed like Holden needed a reality check after an interview with such heinous individuals. He needed his humanity to kick in more than his investigative tendencies.
Tench seems to be the person who can bring Holden back down to earth and that is an integral part of their partnership.
8 Holden: He Learned How To Play To The Killer’s Personalities For Information
This is a slightly tricky and possibly even controversial method of Holden's - as we saw in season 1 of Mindhunter - but you cannot deny the effectiveness of it.
Sure, there were times Holden took it way too far and compromised their team and the work they were doing. But before that unfortunate and problematic incident, Ford found a way to get into the minds of the killers without losing their trust.
Playing to their personalities and even preferences built a connection and trustworthiness between the FBI agent and the disturbed killers and, in the end, helped them gain pertinent knowledge.
7 Bill: He Convinced Their Boss To Continue Their Work (And Not Fire Holden)
Towards the beginning of the series, it is very much up in the air if Special Agents Ford and Tench will be able to continue their work for the Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI. This is mostly because of the scientific approach they were creating to build a psychological profile on killers who have killed multiple individuals.
While Tench is still building a friendship and partnership with Ford slowly, he steps up and defends Holden when their boss is on the verge of firing him. Not only does Bill save Holden's job, but he saves their new team to continue their work. If it weren't for him, they never would have learned what they did about serial killers.
6 Holden: He Had Son Of Sam Confess His Story Was A Lie
The Son of Sam serial killer was a multiple murderer who terrorized the city of New York during the summer of '76. His reasons behind his killings were quite out there and were hard to believe.
He felt that his neighbor's Labrador retriever was possessed by an ancient demon who was demanding the "blood of pretty young girls". At least, that's what he claimed was what triggered him to commit these heinous crimes.
But in season 2 of Mindhunter, Holden was able to goad David Berkowitz a.k.a. Son of Sam into retracting his confession and admitting it was all a huge lie. That takes serious skill as a Special Agent that few are known to possess.
5 Bill: When He Met Charles Manson
It's long been known that Holden was a bit obsessed with meeting and interviewing the infamous Charles Manson.
Bill, on the other hand, was not enthused to meet the man in person, especially when he was dealing with so much at home. So when Holden and Bill arrive to interview him, and Manson is being his typical out-of-his-mind self, Tench is annoyed, to put it lightly.
The moment he finally was fed up was when he not so subtly put down his short stature. Manson was known to be sensitive about his height, but Bill couldn't handle his antics any longer and it was a great moment that showed he doesn't take crap from anyone. Not even Charles Manson.
4 Holden: His Idea To Set Up Memorials For The Atlanta Child Victims To Lure Out The Killer
One of the great tidbits of knowledge that Ed Kemper gave to Holden about the way a killer's mind operates was that many, including himself, like to return to the scenes of their crimes.
They relive the moments of their crimes in vivid details and it is an exhilarating experience, evidently. So when Holden and Bill are wanting to lure out the killer in the cases of the Atlanta Child Murders, he comes up with the perfect plan - set up memorials for the victims where they were found so the culprit may come out of the woodwork to relive his handiwork.
Of course, it didn't go as planned, but the plan itself was a stroke of genius and shows the lengths Holden will go to solve a case.
3 Bill: He Continued Working The Atlanta Case (Even When His Home Life Suffered)
Special Agent Bill Tench had an important yet heartbreaking storyline in season 2 involving his adopted son, Brian. Brian had been a part of a crime committed against another child with a group of older boys.
While dealing with the repercussions of his son's crimes, he also was working the Atlanta Child Murders case with Holden. He was constantly going back and forth from his home to Atlanta while trying to balance his work and home life precariously.
Even while his personal life was slowly falling apart, he continued to work the case with Holden and his fellow FBI agents to bring the killer to justice, once and for all.
2 Holden: He Fought For The Mothers Of The Victims Of The Atlanta Child Murders
While in Atlanta to interview a different killer, Holden gets caught up in the case of the missing children of Atlanta - later known as The Atlanta Child Murders. He immediately wants to do everything in his power to help, even if he keeps getting thwarted by authorities who are more concerned about politics than the murders themselves.
No matter what obstacles he came up against, he continued to stick to his guns and fight for the children and the mothers of the children who were victims of these disturbing crimes. His determination and empathy got the killer off the streets, even though the circumstances were less than ideal.
1 Bill: He Keeps Holden In Check (And His Biggest Secret)
Since the very beginning, Bill has had to keep Holden in check and keep him on the right path, even when Holden wanted to do anything but go by the book.
This has frustrated Bill time and time again but he continues to do what he can to keep him in line so he doesn't lose his job or the great work they are doing for the FBI.
Bill puts his own neck on the line for his partner, like when he learned of the panic attacks Holden suffers from at the start of season 2. He keeps his secret and doesn't let their bosses know of this development because he knows Holden is a pertinent part of their work and they wouldn't be here without him.