The Alienist – A Fruitful Partnership

The anticipation of tonight’s episode was maddening. Especially when your four year-old is holding out for another story and won’t go to bed. Luckily, I was just in time to see the beginning of what I knew would be another edge-of-your-seat episode. I also love that the episodes starts with the explanation of what an Alienist is again.  This hammers home exactly how far down the rabbit hole one must go to understand those who are ‘alienated’.

Kreizler talks to an undertaker about his experience with children, especially the removal of tongues. The undertaker tells Kriezler that this boy had what was coming to him. Captain Connor kicks what we find out is Mr. Santorelli. Connor is calculated since he brings an Italian priest to translate the beating and warning to not talk about Giorgio’s death. Connor then goes to see the Commissioner. Sarah tells him he’s attending hearings all afternoon. Connor notices an eyelash on Sarah’s cheek. When he brings his hand up to tell Sarah to blow for luck (this scene made my skin crawl) she notices his bloody hands. The woman that Sarah is knows what she needs to do: she must see the family herself. Sarah asks Moore to accompany her to see the Santorellis. When they arrive they speak to Santorelli’s brother since they only speak Italian. They are waiting for a doctor to treat Connor’s handy work on Mr. Santorelli.  Giorgio’s mother says he wasn’t like other boys and that’s why he ran away. They do reveal to Sarah & Moore that other boys were killed.

Moore & Sarah

We then see the Issacson Brothers at the butcher trying to pry eye out of a cow skull with a knife. (Actually, we come to find out it’s a weapon called an Arkansas toothpick; more on that later).

Issacson brothers

Best line of the night goes to Marcus Issacson: “In Capitalism, man destroys man. In socialism, it’s the other way around.” They take the head of cow, presumably to show Kreizler. We then flash to Kriezler trying to help a new client. When walking her to the door with her mother, Kreizler removes a priest who has came into his ‘school’ and who tries to use scripture to explain why a girl acts on her normal impulses. Kreizler does not want God involved in his sanctuary. The battle of why God would allow pleasure and pain is even something our good doctor questions, along with many of us. This scene seemed to show some foreshadowing; of what exactly will hopefully be revealed in upcoming episodes.

Sarah goes looking for files of the other boys that the Santorellis spoke of. As she snoops in Connor’s desk, she finds the files of two boys.  Connor then sees her leave his office. This doesn’t bode well for Sarah; she’s now on Captain Connor’s radar.

We then see Sarah, Moore, and Kriezler discussing their findings. This news makes the atmosphere very tense.  Mary, Kriezler’s housemaid, is eavesdropping.  Is she being a nosy maid or is there more to her story? Does she see Sarah as competition in Kreizler’s attentions?  Mary drops a tea cup and watches Sarah inquisitively as she goes over to help her. It’s a very odd exchange, indeed. We then see the boy from the end of the last episode, who was taken by what we can only speculate is the killer.  He speaks to someone who calls him child, and then grabs the hand of this someone, and the child questions: “What is wrong with your mouth?”

Kriezler takes Moore to the opera. We then see the Issacson brothers getting ready to go somewhere as well. Kriezler sees that Commissioner Roosevelt is also attending the opera. He asks Roosevelt after the opera to be able to use Sarah as a liaison so he can conduct his own investigation alongside the police (both Kriezler and Roosevelt know it has corruption within its walls, which is why Roosevelt gave Kriezler the Issacson brothers in the first place).

Again, I must give bravo for the cinematography. When the brothers walk through the Delmonico’s, our view is the same dizzying view the brothers are seeing while walking through the restaurant.

The next scene can only be described as “Dinner and partnership”. Quite possibly that fruitful partnership that the title of this episode teases.  Throughout the courses of their exquisite dinner, they discuss why Kriezler has brought them there and what they know about the case so far. This is where we find out that the Arkansas toothpick is a very strong knife but also sophisticated weapon.

arkansas toothpick

Fingerprints. The brothers found bloody finger mark on a timepiece involved in the murder of Benjamin Zweig. The technology or science of fingerprints was not used at this time but the brothers believe in this new investigative method. It’s clear that Kriezler is forming what I would call a Victorian CSI team. He also warns them that if they get close to finding who the killer is, the violence may come back on them.

Delmonicos

Both Sarah & John care about each other and think both aren’t as strong as people might think. The both share this information with Kriezler. I love this side story. It adds a layer of human emotion that is far from what Kreizler is normally faced with on a daily basis. Sarah’s carriage ride with Kriezler is all the more interesting because and they are both interested about each other; whether professional or romantically is yet to be seen. A triangle perhaps?  It is quite delicious tension. Sidenote: Sarah shows herself to be a strong woman who can definitely handle herself. Love her! So sassy and smart.  I can’t wait to see where Dakota Fanning takes this character.

We then watch Stevie follow Moore (on Kriezler’s command) to a brothel, which he enters. It’s filled with young boys all dressed up like women. Very much dressed like we know the Santorelli boy was. Moore asks about Giorgio and ends up getting drugged by Biff Ellison. If you’ve seen Episode 1, you know he is part owner of the brothel where Giorgio was working.  Moore pays one of the “girls” who tells him that Gloria (Giorgio) never left her room, but that Gloria had a client she called the “Man with the Silver Smile”. The drugs start to set in; Moore’s wallet is taken by his “girl”; and Ellison, Paul Kelly (the other half) and Captain Connor come in and figure out who Moore is. They decide to let the rest of the “girls” take care of him. The last thing we see is Moore’s panicked eye.

moore brothel

This week’s episode had the perfect set up in the creation of Kriezler’s dream team. It seems every single person in the partnership has a stake in this case, which draws them all together and to Kriezler. It also had the perfect amount of plot and intrigue, but bravo this week to Luke Evans who completely made that last scene feel as though you were laying right there next to Moore: Helpless. Blinded. Fearful.

I don’t know how I can wait a whole week to see what happens next!


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