Ladies, don’t ever say “I love you” to a man in a television show. It will almost never end well for you. Either you will get your heart broken or you will die a horrible death so that the man can develop properly. Can you guess which one happened to Mary, Lazlo’s mute servant who shared a passionate kiss with him the last episode? This week’s The Alienist was finally picking up the pace, leading our characters to significant clues that will, no doubt, break the case. But as the show has continually shown us, we can never have nice things.
Moore joins Lazlo on a train to Washington D.C. with two black eyes from Connor’s beatings the night before (Why can’t the show just leave poor John alone?). Both men suspect that their perpetrator spent some time in the army and traveled to D.C. to check psychiatric records. Little do they know they are being followed by a mysterious man in a bowler hat, who probably has a twirling mustache because that’s how stereotypical this show has become.
The case finally starts to come together when Lazlo learns about a soldier named John Beecham, a former soldier with a violent tic who had been in and out of psych wards. Beecham was born in New Paltz, which just happens to be the same location where a grisly family murder occurred that has all of the familiar MOs of our kid killer: eye gouging, brutal dismemberment, and scalping.
Lazlo and Moore reach out to Sara and ask her to reach out to the Isaacsons and have them locate Beecham’s former commanding officer, while they seek out the child of the massacre victims, Adam Dury.
Marcus and Lucius seek out Beecham’s former commanding officer (after having their own little feud over Esther) and find out that this man was even more disturbed than they were let on. It turns out that Beecham was discharged from the military because he was found repeatedly stabbing a corpse while sporting a very noticeable erection. Yes, you read that right.
After being told to stay put in New York, Sara goes rogue and heads to New Paltz herself to speak with law enforcement about the brutal murder. Apparently, the parents were religious zealots who scared their children with tales of the “blasphemous” Native Americans. One of their children, Adam, had already left home by the time his parents were murdered, but their youngest, Japheth Dury was abducted.
When Moore and Lazlo interrogate the troubled Adam, we learn more about Japheth and his troubled family history. He struggled with not only a violent facial tic but also with the wrath of his highly abusive mother. Japheth was a skilled mountaineer and would turn to rock climbing as an escape mechanism. His climbing partner was an older farmhand who had seemed like a trustworthy friend. But when Japheth came home beaten up and raped, Adam knew something was wrong. The next day, the farmhand was found dead with his throat slit from ear to ear. And what was this farmhand’s name? George Beecham.
So, the dots are connected: Japheth Dury and John Beecham are the same man. With an abusive mother, a traumatizing experience, and knowledge of Native American rituals, it’s safe to say that Kreizler and Moore know who their killer is.
But the celebration doesn’t last for long. While discussing their findings in the carriage, Moore and Kreizler’s driver is shot dead, making their carriage topple into a ditch. For once, Moore comes out unscathed, but Kreizler is left with a broken ankle. While trying to find a place to hide, Kreizler confesses to Moore that he’s in love with Mary. It’s a very emotional moment for Kreizler, a character that we’ve seen so cold and standoffish to everyone around him. To see him finally open up is a significant turning point in his character development.
But as with most romances in grim settings, the love doesn’t last. In New York City, Connor is desperately trying to nip this investigation before his wealthy influencers grow impatient. He barges his way into Kreizler’s home, knocking out Cyrus and Stevie with chloroform. But Mary won’t go down that easily. She manages to get a good stab at Connor’s shoulder, but is quickly overpowered. She gets thrown over the railing and crashes through the chandelier, breaking her neck at the bottom of the stairs.
It’s an especially gruesome sight, especially considering that she is the only woman of color on the show. It’s very disappointing that Mary had to be thrown away simply for Kreizler’s progression.While only a small boo-boo in an overall great episode, it will leave a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of the series.