The Alienist is gearing up for one hell of a season one finale–and we have no idea what’s in store. After the death of Kreizler’s maid-turned-lover, the team is seen mourning the loss at her funeral. Tired of the repercussions his investigation has caused, Kreizler decides to break up the team and end the investigation. He no longer wishes to lose any more people and have them fall victim to the wrath of those against them.
Daniel Bruhl does an amazing job playing Kreizler in this episode as he channels pent up frustration, anger, and resentment for losing Mary and has a breakdown in the middle of the episode as he stabs himself in the arm with a wine glass while looking at a picture of his father. Bruhl’s execution of these lost and frustrated moments shines as we finally see a side of Kreizler that has remained hidden to us. Mary’s death has brought him to the brink of facing his demons and we hope this week’s finale will show him as fierce as ever before.
Having witnessed Mary’s death, Cyrus heads off to Brooklyn to aggressively confront Captain Connor for his sins. Unfortunately, the Captain and his posse have not been punished for their crimes and say they killed Mary in self-defense because of her seductive ways into luring them into the house. Captain Connor’s character has progressively become someone the viewers have grown to despise and hate, and this episode solidifies that hatred and increases it ten-fold. Lucky for Connor, one of his kids shows up as Cyrus is about to take his life – sparing him for yet another day.
As always, Fanning’s portrayal of Sara steals the episode as she takes over the investigation despite Kreizler’s moping around and defeat. She finds an empty saloon for the team to continue their investigation in and begins devising a plan to find Beecham. The teams decides to check census records to see if they can find an address for him. While the men of the team scramble to find the answer, Sara beats them to it only to discover that Beecham is not in the census records but the one recording all the data.
After some convincing, they manage to get his address from the gentleman working. and also learn that Beecham was fired from this job because he got too close to a 12-year-old girl during one of his visits. However, when they arrive at the house they learn that Beecham is no longer there and moved out after being fired. After talking to the landlady, the team continues to connect dots and realizes that all of Beecham’s victims had horrible fathers with gambling problems. This leads them to a gambling den and eventually to a bar where they find Beecham’s set-up. His apartment is extremely disturbing as they find a jar of eyeballs and a human heart.
Since Beecham is not at home, it can only be assumed that he is out looking for another victim to kill. The feel of this episode is extremely haunting and unsettling because it feels as if, despite Beecham’s absence, he is always lurking around the corner. The episode ends on a dramatic, frightening note with Joseph’s life hanging in the balance. After Moore insists he stays off the street and gives him money. Joseph soon realizes one of his friends has stolen his money and goes back to the bath house to confront him.
Unfortunately, his friend has become Beecham’s next target and victim. While Joseph doesn’t see the entire body, he sees the blood marks spread across the floor from the body being dragged down the hallway and hears noises indicating Beecham is ripping away at the boy’s flesh. To escape Beecham’s wrath, Joseph tucks himself into a locker to hide and while we hold our breaths hoping that Beecham won’t notice Joseph’s loud whimpers, this is not the case. Beecham is seen dragging the body across the floor and abruptly stops in front of the locker Joseph is hiding in and opens the door. Did Joseph make it? Tune into the season finale to find out!
The inaugural season of The Alienist has been heart-pounding, thrilling, and frightening. The stakes are high and there is still no sign of catching Beecham or preventing him from murdering more boys. It almost feels impossible that the season finale is amongst us already because there is so much to cover and wrap up. This episode Kreizler takes a backseat to the investigation as he’s mourning Mary’s death, but we hope that he comes back to help the team catch Beecham. He can’t be MIA during the finale – can he? And while we anticipate that Beecham will be caught, we are left with a list of questions as to where everyone’s story will end.
Will Moore and Sara find a way to come together and have a relationship? Will Kreizler ever recover from Mary’s death? And what will the future of the NYPD look like with a female running the investigation of a serial killer? There is so many things to look forward to going into the season one finale, and while this may be a limited series, we won’t complain if TNT decides to extend the story of Moore, Kreizler, and Howard.
The Alienist has done a phenomenal job with incorporating multiple elements into it’s story – ranging from Sara’s strong personality to some of the scientific discoveries of the time. It is genius in its writing and foreboding plot. The sets, the production, and the acting really tell the story and invite the viewers into this frightening world. We look forward to where the season will end and how the lives of Kreizler, Moore, and Howard will change after the case comes to a close (or rather, if it does). But first things first, here’s to hoping that Beecham is brought to justice and that our talented team of investigators gets the recognition they deserve for cleverly and intelligently working on this complicated, gloomy case.
Catch up with our previous reviews of The Alienist here.