[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
Make no mistake. The Alienist has somewhat prided itself on exploring the grim nature of man, but this week’s episode tips toward cruelty, and some confusion on my part about who’s working at the behest of whom. It also genuinely made me wonder if we’ve seen scenes out of order.
The entire team scatters to the winds as Kreizler and Moore follow up on Sara’s research, first in Washington D.C. and later in Massachusetts. Sara heads upstate to explore one of their discoveries while the Isaacsons head West to interview a military officer about another.
It’s a multi-threaded hour that’s overlaid with Kreizler and Mary somewhat besotted after last week’s dinner, which leads to Kreizler querying Moore on the emotional particulars of love. Confined to a train with his brother, Marcus reels from Lucius’s accidental discovery about his own paramour, Esther. There’s also still something there with Moore and Sara, but neither is ready to put words around it yet.
As for the case, it again takes a turn, this time toward something even sadder and more gnarled, uncovering the repeated abuse that yielded such insanity and violence. In doing so, each of the investigative teams gain unique perspectives on the killer.
Kreizler and Moore also have to fend off outward threats on multiple fronts after Connor’s assault of Moore doesn’t warn them off the case. I expect that Moore’s decision to keep his encounter with Connor to himself will eventually weigh heavily on him.
And that’s where I get confused. We saw J.P. Morgan offer to help Kreizler, and even though it was rebuffed, I didn’t get the impression Morgan would challenge their activities.
And yet we still have Connor and the former Chief, Byrnes hellbent to upend the thing. So, who are they serving that they don’t fear Morgan’s repercussions once he finds out? I am curious to see where it all ends up, especially since Connor can’t rein in his murderous impulses. There has to be a reckoning.
Look for a few familiar faces among the guest stars this week, including Eric Johnson (who’s appearing in Canadian series Caught on CBC right now), David Meunier (Justified/Aquarius), and Switched at Birth‘s Cassi Thomson.
The Alienist airs Mondays at 10 pm/9c. If you’ve missed an episode, they’re all online now at TNT’s website. Here are a couple of sneak peeks of “Psychopathia Sexualis.”
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