We scratched the surface with Dr. Kreizler’s insecurities in last week’s The Alienist; we now viewed what happened when he runs off the dang rails with overwhelming anxiety and insecure behaviors (Hint: it’s bad. Really bad).
Our power crew take a more modern tack and decide the best way to draw the killer out is through an undercover operation. Using a runner for the police department (Stevie) as a decoy, the stakeout consists of John, Kreizler, Sara, the detective-sergeant twins and Cyrus. It’s an ambitious plan: no communications metric, a sordid base of operations (child prostitution ring) and a killer who knows what they all look like. Basically a recipe for disaster.
Before the plan can go through, Sara’s solo investigation into what kind of man Kreizler really is, hits pay dirt. Confirming with John that Kreizler has always claimed “he was born malformed,” she shows him a thirty year old newspaper society article. In it, a write-up about the Kreizler family (recent emigrés living on 5th Avenue, natch) extolls the virtuosity of young Master Kreizler playing Mozart’s Concerto for Piano No. 20 in D Minor. As John looks up in curiosity, Sara patiently explains, “It cannot be played with one hand…he was always lying.” Well, well, well…
Back to the stakeout: Stevie catches the eye of someone who unsettles him so fully, he signals to John and Marcus. All hell proceeds to break loose with Marcus running after the suspect, John securing his street kid friend upstairs and Sara and Kreizler having a loud argument-with Laszlo slapping Sara for a perceived insult.
Marcus ends up in the same dank basement with the killer but is unable to get a clear shot because of the dark. There’s a frantic, keystone cop feel to the final scenes: Marcus and John run after the killer; Laszlo slaps Sara; Lucious runs to the brothel; Cyrus stays put to keep watch. The problem is realized when John, Marcus and Lucious look in horror across the street from a tenement rooftop: the killer had a direct view into the brothel and clear access. And it appears there could be TWO killers working in tandem.
We can say for sure who the killer is not: Willem Van Bergen. The gross, licentious, syphilitic pedophile met his end at the hands of corrupt former Captain Connor. Possibly realizing he has no reason to protect rich snobs who are indifferent to his very existence, Connor puts a bullet between Van Bergen’s eyes.
One suspect down. Multiples to go.
Watch “The Alienist” Mondays at 9PM on TNT and on-demand.