'Mindhunter': Anna Torv's Wendy Carr makes a breakthrough as a lesbian psychology professor in the '70s

Anna Torv enters 'Mindhunter' as a bright and sharp psychologist Dr. Wendy Carr and is a beacon of hope for FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany)

                            'Mindhunter': Anna Torv's Wendy Carr makes a breakthrough as a lesbian psychology professor in the '70s

Set in the year 1977, 'Mindhunter' is a dark, gripping tale about vicious predators who follow a certain pattern to prowl on easy victims. Based on the crime book 'Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit', it follows the lives of FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany). The special agents decide to interview sequence killers to understand how they function. It is then that Anna Torv enters the scene as a bright and sharp psychologist Dr. Wendy Carr.

Working at Boston University, she is the first one to assure them they might be on the right course and how the interviews may actually be insightful for criminal psychology and criminal profiling. In fact, she comes as a beacon of hope for them as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s Behavioral Science Unit is hardly impressed with their idea. When snubbed by his boss, Tench tells him, "How do we get ahead of crazy if we don't know how crazy thinks?" She adds to it by saying their idea is "crazy in the way that anyone with a truly new idea is crazy." 

Anna Torv as Dr. Wendy Carr in a still from the crime thriller 'Mindhunter'. (IMDb)


Shedding light on what a serial killer actually goes through, she says in a scene, "Imagine, like truly imagine what it takes to bludgeon someone to death." Her academic knowledge lifts their spirits as she continues: "The lust for control, the feeling of arousal, the decision to rape the severed head of your victim, to humiliate her corpse. How could you possibly get that from an ordinary police report? You know why it took me nearly a decade to publish my book? Because narcissists don't go to the doctor. Psychopaths are convinced that there is nothing wrong with them. So, these men are virtually impossible to study. Yet you have found a way to study them in near-perfect laboratory conditions."

Wendy's support for Holden and Bill is a great boost. Thanks to her, they manage to get a large sum of grant money for their research. Well, it's not just the professional sphere where she wins her way. Even in personal life, she makes a revolution with her choices. A closeted lesbian, Wendy is shown to be in a relationship with Annaliese Stilman (Lena Olin), head of the Psychology Department at Boston University. When she gets a full-time offer with the FBI, she asks Stilman if she should go ahead. Even with the latter's doubts, Wendy takes up the opportunity and leaves for Virginia to join Quantico.

Wendy Carr with her partner Annaliese Stilman in a still from 'Mindhunter'. (IMDb)


Battling her own way in the search for serial killers, she finds a mysterious cat in her apartment. Although she never actually sees the cat, she leaves it a can of tuna. When she returns to it later, the can is licked clean. But the second time, it remains as it was. Was there even a cat in the first place? David Fincher, the producer of the show, later explained to Torv that the cryptic series of scenes suggested that “there was a kid in the building who’s going around killing cats. And it’s the birth of a new sociopath that we don’t quite know about. Because that’s how it starts — with [inflicting harm on] animals.”

In many ways, Torv's character makes a major breakthrough — not only as a strong-headed woman in a man's world but also as a homosexual woman who embraces her sexual freedom — that too, as early as in the 1970s. As season two returns to Netflix on August 16, Wendy Carr may step in the right direction and take a quantum leap with new cases on Charles Manson, the BTK Killer, and the Atlanta Child Murders. 

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