Holden Ford

Holden Ford

Photo Credit: Netflix

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... in the Midwest with his supportive parents.

Living... in the late 1970s, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It’s near the Quantico FBI Academy, where Holden works. He lives alone and his sparse apartment reflects the fact that he prioritizes his professional life over his personal one.

Visiting... anywhere his work takes him—from Pennsylvania to San Francisco to Atlanta.

Profession... FBI Special Agent. Holden originally worked as an FBI hostage negotiator, but when he develops a fascination with the newfound field of criminal psychology, he joins the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit. The small department is led by longtime agent Bill Tench, who’s similarly interested in developing new procedures for a new era of crime.

Interests... studying serial killers.

Relationship Status... dating flirtatious sociology grad student Debbie Mitford. She’s the first woman he’s “dated-dated” since high school. Though free-spirited Debbie and square Holden couldn’t be more different, they bond over their mutual interest in the dark side of humanity.

Challenge... profiling the mind of a serial killer. Inspired by the infamous Charles Manson case, Holden comes up with the idea to interview incarcerated “sequence killers” (a.k.a. serial killers) in order to establish psychological profiles that might help law enforcement solve ongoing cases. As he explains, “When we know who the criminal is, we can understand what set him off.” Though Bill is onboard with the idea, many in the FBI are skeptical that these interviews are anything more than a bizarre diversion. For Holden, however, they become a passion project that unlocks his uncanny ability to connect with terrifying killers.

Personality... curious, idealistic, and headstrong. Though he might look like a straight-laced Fed, Holden is an independent thinker who approaches problems from unusual angles and unexpected points of view. His calm, intellectual manner can sometimes make him seem emotionally detached, but, in fact, Holden is actually rather impulsive and swayed by his gut instincts. He’s driven by a deep desire to understand the darkest aspects of the world. Yet even he has his limits where his anxiety starts to take over.


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