The Alienist. Review and Discussion Space. Episode Four

The Alienist is based on a 1994 book by historian Caleb Carr. It takes place during the Gilded Age of American Society in New York City, and features historical figures from the era. TNT has produced a ten episode miniseries based on the book, starring Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Basterds and Captain America: Civil War) as Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds and Man on Fire) as Sara Howard, and Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast and The Hobbit) as John Moore.

Title: “These Bloody Thoughts”
Directed by: James Hawes

Synopsis: Kreisler visits a former patient who is now a dominatrix to discuss the connection between pain and pleasure, suggesting that someone who overpowers another person is dominated in his own life.

Roosevelt is feeling the pressure from the press. Connor has found John’s sketch book a flight the crime scene. The Issacsons have found evidence at the crime scene of mountain climbing equipment. Saras seeks Kreisler in Central Park to give him John’s book. He points out a woman who killed her children and discuss the role that society forces on women

John visits the abandoned Golden Rule, a brothel for boys and finds urchins gambling it’s where Fatima, the second victim, worked. The Issacsons and John investigate the roof and find evidence that the killer rappelled down the wall. They meet Bernadette/Joseph, who tells John about Fatima’s “angel.” The killer told Fatima he would take her away. John gives Joseph his card.

Byrnes asks Connor to keep an eye on William Van Bergen. Bynes visits Mrs. Van Bergen to suggest something be done to keep her son. Kreisler interviews a young man, Charles, who killed dogs to discover his compulsion. He talks to one of his students, letting his frustration with his mother out.

John takes Mary, who is upset that Sara saw Kreisler, on the town, seeing an early film. Sara asks Roosevelt about the rivalry between him and Kreisler. He had challenged Roosevelt to a duel in college, but due to Kreisler’s withered arm, Roosevelt refused to fight.

John returns Mary to Kreisler, who returns his sketch book. John fills Kreisker in on what he found. Kreisler questions John about his broken engagement. John visits a dentist to figure out the clue about silver smiles. It is a treatment for siphylis.

Mrs. Santorelli has received a letter from the killer. Each member of the team was asked to meet up at Brübacher’s Wine Garden . Sara brings the letter to them. They realize that the killer set up the meeting. He knows who they are.

Historical characters: Nobody new

Historical Locations

  • Brübacher’s Wine Garden German drinking hall on 17th Street

Changes from the book: There is no dominatrix character. The Van Bergens did not exist. John didn’t leave a sketch book at the crime scene. Kreisler and Roosevelt do not have ill feelings. The nature of John’s broken engagement is not revealed in the book. The killer was not suffering from siphylis. The killer did not arrange the meeting at Brübacher’s Wine Garden