The Alienist Episode 2
I’ve been eagerly waiting for this week’s episode of The Alienist. We left off last week with Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Brüel) giving his very peculiar monologue. Could he actually be the killer? If not, is he slowly losing his mind? I hope this episode, “A Fruitful Partnership,” gives us more insight into the doctor.
We open in a morgue filled with dead bodies. Candles are seen burning around the bodies and flames were glowing from most of the bodies. The coroner inserts a tube into a corpse and lights it. An eerie blue flame burns from the body. I assume this practice has something to do with removing gases from the corpse, but I’m honestly not 100% sure on this. Dr. Laszlo Kreizler asks if any murdered children have been brought in with missing body parts, particularly the tongue. The coroner says there hasn’t, but if he means the boy whore from the bridge he had it coming. That comment makes me wonder if he could possibly be the killer. I have a feeling I’m going to be suspecting an awful lot of people.
A Brutal Attack
In what appears to be an old tenement building, a man is being brutalized. He is called a Guinea as he is thrown down the stairs. A Priest stands by talking in Italian. A young boy is paid to tell anyone asking about the Santorelli family that he’s seen nothing. Turns out that it is Captain Connor (David Wilmot) that is attacking Mr. Santorelli, Giorgio’s father. I already hate this vile man. I’m sure there will be a growing list of reasons that will cause me to hate him more and more. Connor tells the severely battered man to “keep his dago nose out of police business.”
Captain Connor and Sergeant Doyle (Martin McCreadie) approach Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning) looking to talk to Commissioner Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty). The Commissioner is not there so Connor tells Sara that the Santorelli’s don’t know anything about the murder of their son. Connor then approaches Sara and she looks as nervous as I feel right now. As he reaches for her face I flinch inwardly as much as she does outwardly. This man makes my skin crawl. Turns out he is just plucking an eyelash from her cheek. He holds it in his still bloody hand and tells Sara to “blow for luck.” I hold my breath waiting to see how she responds. I’m so proud of her for not giving in to his request.
An Unexpected Request
When John Moore (Luke Evans) returns home he finds Sara waiting for him. She tells him about Connor visiting the Santorellis. Sara tells Moore she wants to talk to the family. During their conversation Moore calls her a “typewriter”, which I can’t help but find funny, and Sara informs him she prefers the term Secretary. I love this woman! He warns her it’s not a great neighborhood and she asks him to accompany her. When he balks at the idea she questions whether he is afraid. Did I mention how much I love her?
Questioning his bravery worked as we find Moore and Sara in the Santorelli’s very tough looking neighborhood. They enter the extremely run down apartment building the family lives in. Water flows inside the stairwell, where from – I’m not quite sure. Rats scurry about the filthy hallways. We hear a scream and they find a baby alone and crying on the landing. Sara picks it up against Moore’s warning that the baby could have a disease. A woman comes out of an apartment and grabs the baby from her and slams the door.
Searching for Details
The pair finally reach the Santorelli’s apartment. The door is answered by a teenage boy who lets them in. The apartment is overflowing with people. I attempt to count them all but quickly lose track. Mrs Santorelli (Eugenia Caruso) is excitedly speaking to them in Italian. I do not understand Italian, but I do make out the word Doctor. Luckily, unlike me, Sara does understand Italian and translates for Moore. Mrs. Santorelli thinks Moore is a doctor she has called to come to tend to Mr. Santorelli who was badly beaten by Connor.
The boy who answered the door can speak English, and lets them know his father was beaten by two cops. That the police told them Giorgio died in sin and warned them to keep their mouths shut. As the boy comforts his mother he translates for her that Giorgio wasn’t like the other boys. He tells them Giorgio was a like a girl and that their father beat him so he ran away. He tells them the police said “Giorgio is the same as the other boys killed, nobody cares.” The news there were other murdered boys shocks Sara and Moore.
The Murder Weapon
Marcus Isaacson (Douglas Smith) is attempting to gouge an eyeball from a cow’s skull. While doing so he is distracted by a young woman hanging a flyer outside the shop. His brother Lucius (Matthew Shear) refocuses him on the task at hand. They find a knife that makes “the same knife marks”. I assume they found the same marks on Benjamin Zweig’s skull. As they leave the shop with the cow skull Marcus checks out the Socialist Flyer the girl had been hanging.
Kreizler sits looking at a young girl’s genitals as her mother anxiously explains that her daughter “touches” every night. My heart goes out to the poor girl, who is on the verge of tears, as her mother explains the priest’s recommendation of “ice bath and leeches”. She has brought her daughter to Kreizler because the priest said “the devil is in her mind.” Kreizler comforts the girl by telling her she is becoming a young woman and there is nothing her mother or the priest can do about it. This scene is a bit awkward to watch, but I suppose that was their intent. As they are leaving Kreizler stands up to the priest, showing that he is not intimidated by anyone and anything, not even Religion.