The Alienist. Review and Discussion Space. Episode Seven

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: “Many Sainted Men”

Directed by: Paco Cabezas

Synopsis: John attempts to sketch the killers face from Stevie’s description. There is a riot in front of Mulberry Street, angry of another immigrant victim. The team examines Rosie’s body. This time the heart is missing and the child was scalped. Roosevelt says it reminds him of mutilations committed by natives out west.

Jack McManus saves Kreisler and John from the mob for Paul Kelly. Connor reveals to Byrne that Van Bergen is dead and therefore can not be the killer. Kreisler and John head to the Natural History Museum and consult with Franz Boas and Clark Wissler. Saying mutilation of your enemies is common because you enter the spirit world as you left, but they would never mutilate a child.

At 808 Broadway the Issacsons and Sara look at old accounts of the Custer massacre. Kreisler visits Cyrus at the hospital and his niece accuses him of keeping him down. He brings Cyrus home

John is attacked, cholorformed and wakes up next to Kreisler. Connor has kidnapped them and taken them to meet J.P. Morgan, Byrne and Bishop Potter. Morgan kicks the other men out and wants the civil unrest to die. Needing a compliant workforce and wants a quick resolution. Kreisler turns down Motgan’s help.

Sara visits Blackwell Island and finds out that someone matching their suspect was at St. Elizabeth’s, a federal mental hospital.

Kreisler suggests Mary live independently. She doesn’t take it well. Sara meets John to tell him about her suspect. Sara says she is going to St. E lixabeth to find out more. John confronts Kreisler about striking Sara. Kreisler invites Mary to have dinner with him and she accepts

Historical characters:

  • Jack McManus Born Thomas McManus on March 1864 in Boston MA(died 1905), also known as “Eat ‘Em Up”, was a noted New York City gangster around the turn of the 20th century. He started off as a prize fighter only to begin work in as a bouncer in the dives of lower Manhattan, including Suicide Hall and New Brighton.
  • Franz Boas attended University at both Heidelberg and Bonn studying mathematics and physics. He went on to complete his PhD in physics at the University at Kiel. He then became interested in “psychophysics” which addressed psychological and epistemological problems in physics. Prompted by this interest, he went to Baffin Island in 1883 to conduct geographic research on the impact of the physical environment on native (Inuit) migrations. Over the following years, he studied evolution, philosophy, and eventually anthropology. In the late 1800s, he emigrated to the United States where he worked at the Field Museum in Chicago, was the assistant Curator of Ethnology and Somatology of the American Museum of Natural History, and later went on to lecture at Columbia University as a Professor of Anthropology. He is now considered the “father of anthropology”.
  • Clark Wissler completed both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees within psychology at Indiana University in 1897 and 1899, respectively. After completing these degrees, he went on to complete his PhD in psychology at Columbia University in 1901. While at Columbia, he developed an interest in anthropology after hearing a lecture taught partially by Franz Boas. In response to this in 1902, Wissler took up an assistant position at the American Museum of Natural History where he worked under the leadership of Boas. After Franz gave up his position as Curator of Ethnology, Wissler overtook his position until he retired 40 years later. He was particularly interested in North American ethnology, focusing on the Plains Indians. Over the years, Wissler published several important works including North American Indians of the Plains (1912), The American Indian (1917), Man and Culture (1923), The Relation of Nature to Man in Aboriginal America (1926), Indian Cavalcade (1938), and Indians of the United States (1940).

Historical Locations

  • American Museum of Natural History Before construction of the present complex, the museum was housed in the Arsenal building in Central Park. Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. was one of the founder s. In 1874, the cornerstone was laid for the museum’s first building, which is now hidden from view by the many buildings in the complex that today occupy most of Manhattan Square. The original Victorian Gothic building, which was opened in 1877, was designed by J. Wrey Mould.
  • 219 Madison Ave. J.P. Morgan’s mansion
  • The Blackwell’s island Asylum was the first lunatic asylum for the city of New York and the first municipal mental hospital in the country. The institution was the first in what later became a larger system of New York City Asylums which was comprised of hospitals on Blackwell’s, Ward’s, and more briefly Hart’s and Randall’s Islands in New York City.

Changes from the book: Anthony Comstock, the United States Postal Inspector, and Archbishop Michael Corrigan were also present at the meeting