The Alienist – Psychopathia Sexualis

I am going to start needing a Xanax if the last two episodes are anything like this one. “Psychopathia Sexualis” was a mix of laughter, shock, and awe-inducing moments, climaxing with another unexpected finish. Let me just have it on the record: if karma doesn’t come and envelop our Captain Connor, I do not know what I am going to do. For the most part the beginning of the episode follows last week’s leads, but then takes us on a wild ride, like a certain carriage in tonight’s show.

We at least start with Mary smiling and stopping to smell the flowers. The reactions from Cyrus and Stevie were adorable, and I believe some foreshadowing was happening here especially with what takes place at the ending of the episode. We then flash to Moore and Kreizler on a train on the way to D.C. Moore has two black eyes from his run in with that rat Connor. Kreizler does not ask about it, he just assumes he had too much to drink and got into it with some local riff raff. Their discussion about where love originates from was poignant, yet it looks like they have a caboose and I am not talking about the train. A mysterious figure is watching them. Sent by whom?

In an aside, we find out that the lady friend of Marcus Issacson, Ester, may in fact have a baby.  This is corroborated by Lucius when he sees her in the neighborhood. This had me a bit puzzled since they have really not gone into this particular story line for a while, but still an interesting side note and a you get more of a sense of knowing the brothers on a  personal level.

Sara is briefing Roosevelt about their progress and tells him that Kreizler is in Washington D.C. and that his clue referencing Rosie’s injuries possibly being influenced by the West helped a great deal. Roosevelt has friends that he will ask to help Kreizler and Moore when they arrive. When they arrive Kreizler visits the government hospital that Bunzl was a patient and Moore visits the Bureau of Indian Affairs. They both turn up that Bunzl is in fact dead. What we do find out via Moore is that a minister and his wife are killed by Indians in upstate New York; New Paltz to be exact. The one suspect that Kreizler finds in his file-combing is a patient that has a strong facial tic (thank you, Dr. Ignacius Blunt) and was a solider by the name of John Beecham.  Guess where he was born?

8.08 pt1, 8.08 pt2, 8/08B
Kata Vermes/TNT

Moore telephones Sara to tell her of the New Paltz massacre and that Kreizler would like her to go up there and investigate further. He also tells her that the Issacsons will be going to question John Beecham’s former commanding officer.  There is a nice moment where we see Moore decide if he wants to say more or not. He truly cares for Sara. He just tells her to be careful very sweetly and hangs up the phone. My heart is breaking.

Kreizler informs Moore at this point that they are not going to head back to New York but to Newton, MA to interview the surviving brother, Adam Dury, from the massacre of New Paltz.

At the same time Sara is arriving and is met by her guide and driver to the boarding house she’ll be staying at, Eliza. Eliza and Sara have a wonderful bonding moment. Sara telling Eliza she is the first woman to work for the NYPD, and Eliza telling Sara she has climbed the Shawangunk Mountains, aka the Gunks, and why shouldn’t she climb them just because she’s a girl. Victorian Girl Power at its finest.

8.27, 8.38, 8.24C
Kata Vermes/TNT

Moore and Kreizler take a carriage to Adam Dury’s farm in Newton.  Moore has a very funny and touching moment when telling Kreizler that Gram fancies these biscuits from Newton.  They have a fig filling she just cannot get enough of.  Yes, it was funnier when Moore told the story, but you get the idea.

The Alienist Ep 108 8/8/17 ALIENIST_S1_108_08.08.2017_165.nef
Kata Vermes/TNT

The Issacson’s arrive to interview Captain Miller.  The Captain tells them he was religious, and that he has seen many a soldier driven by bloodlust, but never anything like he saw with Beecham.  During the Haymarket riots, he came upon Beecham sitting aside a dead striker, stabbing this poor young boy over and over, naked and how the Captain puts it, “Stiff as a flagpole.” Therein lies the title of our episode as well: a mental disease characterized by sexual perversion (www.themedicaldictionary.com).Connor is “visiting” with Byrnes in front of his brownstone.  These two are thicker than thieves; why else would Connor name his son after his former boss? Byrnes tells Connor that he’s not going to let Kreizler throw thirty years of police work out the window.  I do not like the sound of that, and as we see later, for good reason.

Eliza and Sara meet with Sheriff Early who was a Deputy at the time of the murders. He tells Sara they were butchered like hogs. Sara investigates around the property. I really liked how they would go back and forth between Sara being in New Paltz and Moore and Kreizler interrogating Dury. It was like watching someone putting pieces of a puzzle together on a table. Laying them all out and seeing which pieces were easiest to fit together first.  We find out at the end of this that Japheth Dury had a facial tic and a mother who did not love him. She would even go as far as to call him a bastard child of a red Injun. Adam reveals that one night his brother came home sobbing, cursing, and bleeding from “down there”. He was abused by a man named George Beecham. Eliza tells Sara that George Beecham was found dead after falling down the mountain, only he was already slit ear to ear and had his eyes gouged out as well. From this we can deduce that Japheth Dury is John Beecham, taking on his abuser’s name to inflict more pain and abuse onto others because it excites him.

JP Morgan and Roosevelt have an interesting aside where Morgan tells Roosevelt that he should not let Kreizler continue investigating. To Roosevelt’s credit, he stands steadfast, and voices that this is the future.

Moore and Kreizler were right to think that they were followed, as gunshots kill carriage driver dead, while their horses run off with them still inside. Their carriage careens over a bridge.  Kreizler is hurt, but Moore helps him and they escape through the woods. The conversation they have was lovely and showcased their friendship more, which was appreciated. Kreizler admits he’s in love. Moore congratulates him and says, “I can say I introduced you”, to which Kreizler laughs and explains it is not Sara whom he loves but Mary; however inappropriate that may be.

The Alienist Ep 108 8/11/17 ALIENIST_S1_108_11.08.2017_329.nef
Kata Vermes/TNT

The last scene has a foreboding tone even before it begins. We see Kreizler on his way back to NYC.  Then we have a long shot of his home. Mary is helping Cyrus get ready to rest. Stevie is in the stables taking care of the horses. When Mary and Cyrus hear the door they assume it is the good doctor. Unfortunately, it is Connor and his henchman chippy. Another one of Connor’s men knocks out Stevie. Damn you, chloroform! Once Mary realizes they are not going to just leave on their own, she runs to the kitchen for something she knows she can protect herself with: a knife.  Connor’s inside man is there and Cyrus gets the jump on him, giving Mary the chance to grab the knife and go after Connor. Before Cyrus has the man completely choked out, the outside lookout comes in with his trusty chloroform rag for Cyrus too. Mary makes it up the stairs to go after Connor and puts up and extremely good fight, even stabbing the evil red-headed ex-Captain but before she can finish the job, the inside man come flying up the stairs giving Connor a much needed moment to get the drop on Mary; and boy does he get the drop. Right through the banister, through the chandelier to fall dead on the floor below. Our poor sweet Mary.Love in all its splendor, all its pain, and all its sickness was visited this week. What will happen when Kreizler returns home? Will this mean war against the police department, including our dear Roosevelt and Sara? Will Moore ever reveal his true feeling and intentions for Sara? How will Kreizler continue without Mary? Only two more episodes of The Alienist left. The suspense is killing me!


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