Jonathan Groff Reveals The Unscripted Moment In The ‘Mindhunter’ Finale

**Spoilers ahead**

While “Stranger Things 2” has dominated television talk for the past couple of weeks, it wasn’t that long ago when “Mindhunter” was leading the conversations. The first season of David Fincher‘s serial killer drama is talky, masterful, precision driven storytelling. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t opportunities to try new things, and that’s just what everyone did for the knockout finale.

As the first season winds down, Holden (Jonathan Groff) returns to see Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton), who is in the hospital following a suicide attempt. The visit becomes a moment of realization for Holden, where he finally realizes the true nature of the man who thinks they’ve become friends. The scene is played out beautifully, as one simple gesture tears apart Holden’s world. As it turns out, that moment wasn’t in the original script.

“I love the evolution of the Ed Kemper-Holden Ford relationship, the arc of it through the season, and the way the writers put in this energy at the end almost like Ed is this jilted ex-lover. Holden is so completely different in his final scene with Ed than in his first scene with Ed. In that first scene we see him buttoned up, horrified, scared, and then in their final scene you have him sort of begrudgingly come back to visit Ed when he’s got nobody else in his life,” Groff told Esquire about that final scene. “It’s that sort of desperation and need that drives him straight to the center of it all with Ed. And Ed is the one who gives him the wakeup call.”

“I remember when we were in rehearsals, [series creator] Joe Penhall saying, ‘What if Ed hugs him? What if the end of the first season is the serial killer hugging the profiler? Isn’t that a horrifying image?’ Cameron is so amazing, and when I read the scene with him for the first time, the hair stood up on the back of my neck,” he continued. “That final scene was easy to act, because he is truly terrifying,”

Indeed, that hug is frightening, and it drives Holden out of the hospital room, and he collapses in the hallway panicked. It’s a blunt reminder for the character — and audience — that a demure personality like Ed Kemper could be extraordinarily dangerous.

“Mindhunter” is now streaming on Netflix.

  • Rodrigo Paroni

    this image is helped by the powerful use of Led Zepp’s “In the light”

  • Jimmy Siu Yan Ngai

    that is one truly hair-raising scene.