The Alienist (S01E09) “Requiem”

Okay folks, we have reached the penultimate episode of the series. This is important, because as anyone who has read my other reviews will know, I love the word ‘penultimate.’ I don’t have a lot of opportunities to use it, so when I do, I make the most of it. Penultimate, penultimate, penultimate. There, I got it out of my system.

This episode was amazing, with a lot of action and tons of suspense. By the end of the hour, the tension was incredible, just what you want to lead into the finale. Intriguingly, the episode in almost entirely alienist free. Arguably, Kreizler isn’t really necessary, now that they know who the murderer is, they just need good old fashioned detective work to find him. The search takes them all over New York City.

The episode opens with Mary’s funeral (I’m not crying, you’re crying!) and Moore is reading a poem by Christina Rossetti. Then is starts to rain, because of course it does. Kreizler blames himself, because of course he does. He also wants out of the investigation, and does almost nothing in the episode but cut himself with a broken wineglass.

But Sara tells Moore that they need to continue without him. I’m going to say right here and now Sara is totally the MVP of tonight’s episode. She’s ready to run the whole investigation, while Moore doesn’t look ready to run a bath. Sara, Moore, and the Isaacsons work on figuring out how to find Beecham. They eventually decide to review the census records, and that pays off in spades when they find out that Beecham actually worked for the census as an enumerator. They talk to his ex-boss, who told them he was a good worker, but he had to fire him when someone complained that he’d become too friendly with their daughter. They also get an address for a boarding house where Beecham lived.

They visit the boarding house and talk to the landlady, who says he moved out around the same time as her tabby cat Jib disappeared. They go to his room where there is a horrible smell, and if you were surprised that the missing Jib was found under the floorboards, all I can say is that you have not been paying attention. Well, they’re on the right track, but they still don’t know where he’s currently living, or what he’s been doing since he stopped enumerating (whatever that is) for the Census Bureau. But by some nifty deduction, they realize that all of his victims hated their parents, and their parents, specifically the victims’ fathers, were gamblers who owed money. And Beecham worked in collections.

By talking to more people, they find Beecham’s current abode. When a criminal’s home is called a ‘lair,’ I think this is the kind of place they’re talking about (or at least it is in ‘Pretty Little Liars’). Among other tasteful (hee!) bits of decor, they find a heart shaped box with, you guessed it, a heart. And a jar full of human eyeballs.

But they don’t find Beecham, because he’s killing his next victim. Joseph is hiding from him in the public bathhouse, but Beecham hears him. And finds him. And the screen just suddenly turns black.

Other things:
– Did the phrase ‘cop a feel’ actually exist in the 1890s? According to my research, the earliest reference dates back to the 1930s, so probably not.
– Am I the only one who thought the twelve year old Jewish girl whose parents complained and got Beecham fired would turn out to be Esther? And that Beecham would also turn out to be the father of Esther’s child? Because that would have been an awesome twist.
– I could have happily gone my entire life without seeing Connor and Mrs. Connor having sex.

“Haply I may remember, And haply may forget.”
“Weakness is hiding in the past, old man.”
“That’s no man to cross.”