Being tantalizing close to the truth has given The Alienist a true suspenseful emotional quality the past 3 episodes. ‘Psychopathia Sexualis’ takes that suspense, shakes it and spits it out. This episode gives Kreizler and his team a name…and ultimately, the reasons behind the serial killer’s motives are laid bare.
With Kreizler and John in Washington D.C. chasing down leads at Government Hospital and the twins on the frontier in the Dakota territory checking in with the Army of the West, Sara is left in the city feeling obsolete. When Laszlo and John get an actual name (former soldier John Beecham) from the detective sergeant brothers-and make their way to Massachusetts-Sara takes that same information and heads upstate to investigate a massacre in New Paltz.
Laszlo and John end up in the town of Newton, Massachusetts, searching for the only survivor of the New Paltz murders, the older brother Adam Dury. On his farm, Adam gives scant detail into what happened to his parents, the Rev. and Mrs. Dury. He does however provide them with more information on his younger brother, Japheth. Assumed kidnapped by a local indigenous tribe in upstate New York, Adam describes a solitary boy with a noticeable facial tic. The only time Japheth was at peace was climbing in the mountains surrounding New Paltz, locally known as “The Gunks.”
In New Paltz, Sara obtained similar information from a very reticent sheriff. Although there was no love loss between the residents of the town and the Rev. Dury, the sheriff exhibits a standoffish attitude toward Sara’s questions-a product of Gilded Age misogyny and/or small town versus big city intimidation tactics perhaps. She gets more out of her driver, a young woman employed by the boarding house she’s staying in. Explaining that she never believed the Durys were massacred by local indigenous people, she also lets Sara know the younger son (presumed kidnapped) had a terrible facial tic and loved exploring the mountains.
In our modern age of cells and email, the connection would’ve been clear between Japheth Dury and John Beecham. Especially when the twins Lucious and Marcus confirm with an army commander how soldier John Beecham acted during the aftermath of the Haymarket Riots in Chicago. Confirming Beecham’s presence, he said he would never forget seeing him astride a dead teenaged boy, naked as a molerat, stiff as a flagpole. A sexual deviant in the throes of psychopathic sexualis indeed.
Back on Adam Dury’s farm, he confesses to Kreizler and John that his young brother’s trust was “betrayed” by a farm hand that worked for their parents. That farm hand was later found dead at the bottom of a 1,000 foot cliff, throat slit from ear to ear, eyes gouged out. When Kreizler inquires what the man’s name was, Adam Dury says “George Beecham.” And everything the team has collected is made crystal clear. Or will be when they all come back together in New York City. The chase is coming to a climactic end.
-I honestly thought we’d have more of Mary and her backstory. The final moments of her life-defending Kreizler’s bedroom (?)-from Connor and his thugs was ill-timed and unnecessary.
-The idea that the ex-chief of police and J.P. Morgan would hire the Swede to murder Dr. Kreizler and Moore is bonkers. They are that desperate for the police to have the glory instead of an alienist? Neither of them even works for the police!
Watch The Alienist Mondays at 9PM on TNT and on-demand.