“A Duty to Go On”: The Alienist, ‘Requiem’

After the horrible event that took place at the end of last week’s episode, it’s no wonder that everyone on the investigative team is trying to come to terms with where to go next. It’s also no wonder that Lazlo Kreizler is the one hit hardest by Mary’s death. The title of the episode is appropriate: “Requiem.”

I Shall Not Feel the Rain

The episode opens with Mary’s funeral. Moore gives the eulogy. He reads aloud from Christina Rossetti’s “When I am dead, my dearest.” This poem ends with the following lines: “Haply I may remember, And haply may forget.” No one will be forgetting any of this anytime soon.

A single tear slides down Kreizler’s clearly devastated face. It’s hint at the literal torrent of rain that will soon come as the gravediggers throw dirt over Mary’s coffin. Kreizler barely speaks except to tell Moore that he’s glad their “wretched investigation is over.” Moore asks that he take a few days before he makes any rash decisions. Kreizler asks a rhetorical question: “Before I get you killed, too?”

Next, the Isaacson brothers are questioning Connor’s sleazy cop friend at the police station. Sara listens outside. In one short scene, he manages to offend African-Americans, Indians, women, and Jewish folks. He also asserts that Mary was trying to seduce both he and Connor the night she was killed.

A furious Roosevelt confronts Byrnes as he drinks with a group of his friends. Byrnes is not even remotely intimidated by Roosevelt. The current police commissioner tells Byrnes that “weakness is hiding in the past, old man.”

Time Is Running Out

Moore tells Sara that Kreizler refuses to continue with the investigation. She insists they go ahead without him. This is not because she seeks any sort of recognition for her police work, but so she can “sleep soundly again.” She reminds Moore that they have a suspect in Japheth Dury. She feels sure that this must be the same person as John Beecham. The team soon sets up a new headquarters in an old saloon. Moore seems pleased by Sara’s determination. Unfortunately, the team only has a little over a week until the the feast of St. Barnabas. They are all on edge.

Back at Kreizler’s, an angry Stevie wishes he could get his hands on Connor. Cyrus calmly assures him, while sharpening a knife, that one doesn’t have to cut a man’s throat to kill him. One only needs to “knick a vein.”

The team soon considers the possibility that they can find Japheth/John in the census rolls. After searching for a while, Sara realizes that John Beecham has signed every page. He is a census taker and this is likely how he gained access to meet his victims. The rather anti-Semitic Mr. Murray of the census bureau all but confirms this when he mentions John Beecham’s facial tic. He also mentions that he had to fire him because a couple complained that Beecham was inappropriate with their 12-year-old daughter, Ellie Lester.

Finding the Killer

Tracking Beecham to a boarding house, they discover that he has since moved out. They also discover the landlady’s dead cat buried beneath the floorboards. The landlady tells them two important things. One, after leaving the census bureau, Beecham was a charity worker. Two, he was fired from that job last Christmas.

That night, when locking up their new office after a long day of investigating, Connor confronts Sara. He pushes her against the door and threatens her with rape. She is obviously shaken, but says nothing of it to anyone else. Meanwhile, Moore finds Joseph on the street. He gives him money and begs him to find safe lodgings. All the while, a man is watching from a nearby rooftop. Is this John Beecham? The viewer can only speculate because his face is never shown.

Cyrus sneaks into Connor’s backyard with that sharpened knife. He thinks better of killing the former cop when Connor’s son comes outside after his father. Kreizler is shown several times at home, drinking away his pain. At one point he screams in frustration and grief. At another point, he looks at a photo of his father and mutters, “You were right. I am an imposter.” Finally, the source of Kreizler’s defense of women as family protectors is revealed.

The Sins of the Fathers

At HQ, Moore muses on how Joseph told him that Fatima/Ali Ibn-Ghazi hated his father. This dovetails with what Ellie Lester told the Isaacsons when they interviewed her. She hated her family and most of her conversations with Beecham were about this fact. Moore comes to the realization that Beecham used this to get children to trust him. There are also scenes of a man climbing a home-made rock wall and exercising. This must be John Beecham. These scenes are also quite reminiscent of Francis Dolarhyde in Red Dragon.

Based on the knowledge that the fathers of Ali Ibn-Ghazi and Giorgio Santorelli owed debts to loan sharks, the team tracks down one of them. He gives them a hint as to where Beecham might be. Moore and Lucius Isaacson then go to a seedy bar and pay the proprietor (who again confirms Beecham’s facial tic) to tell them where Beecham lives. All four team members break into Beecham’s place and find plenty of evidence that he’s their man. This evidence includes Rosie’s desiccated heart hidden inside a wooden jewelry box and a glass jar full of eyeballs under the bed.

That night, Joseph and his friend Maxie are at the local pool. Maxie is meeting someone so he tells Joseph to go ahead without him, but not before first stealing the money that Moore had given Joseph. Joseph is on his way to treat his friends to a night on the town, but when he realizes his money is missing, he goes back to the pool. Unfortunately, he catches Beecham in the midst of carving up his friend Maxie. Terrified, Joseph hides in a nearby change room. The episode ends with the door opening onto Joseph’s angst-stricken face.

Will Beecham kill Joseph, too? Or is this a misdirect?

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