The Alienist: Episode 4 review


 I’m late again, later than I have been. And while I could go on and on about how netflix and binge watching whole seasons has ruined me for an actual once a week tv show, I won’t. Instead I’ll just say, this episode is the one that ramped up the mood and the tension. This is the episode I’m glad I didn’t watch at night, in the dark, right before bed.

Episode 4 we see the killer. We learn more about his methods. We learn that he is more than just a monster, but a well to do person who is not just killing but taunting as well. Taunting the families of his victims, and the police and Dr. Kreizler and his not-so-merry band of crime solvers. But aside from the murder mystery that propels the show, the characters that define it are also up on the block this episode. Jealousy runs deep in Kreizler and John Moore as well. As does anger and self importance. The two men are more alike than either of them realize it and it makes for a viewing with me yelling at the tv and shaking my head.

Though the show deals with deep thoughts and motives, there was a light heated scene in this episode, which dealt with the beginning of motion pictures, and to watch the people act like they’ve just seen a miracle was quite amusing. I was half expecting one of the audience members to jump up and yell “witchcraft” but that didn’t happen.

And now for the downside of what is a very good show. I watch with my husband who is burdened with a brain full of totally useless information, which sometimes comes in handy and sometimes ruins something good. We were near the end and I was reeling from the “he’s watching us” when they started to read the letter. And my husband stopped the show and angrily pronounced he was done! Done! Because apparently, either the writer of the show or the writer of the book (Caleb Carr) pretty much lifted the contents of that letter from the contents of a real letter from a real serial killer that was active circa 1920’s. Now, curious at my husbands indignation, I looked up the real man (Albert Fish, google at your own risk) and sure enough, the letter read on the tv show is, in some spots, nearly a carbon copy of the one sent to the real victims of Albert Fish. So with that knowledge I will still finish out the series, but will wonder now, if the real killer was the basis of this one, and how much more of that reality is used and twisted for the story.

Still a solid 4 star episode and I am looking forward to the more exciting things to come.


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