As the series begins, a young boy is discovered dead. Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Bruhl) speaks with a young boy who may have witnessed the crime. He learns that the male victim may have been wearing a dress. Laszlo sends a message to illustrator, John Moore (Luke Evans). He instructs him to draw pictures of the victim’s body. After having partial intercourse with a harlot, Moore receives the message. He heads to the crime scene right away. He manages to convince Captain Connor (David Wilmot) to let him into the scene. He is also introduced to Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty). Moore is not happy with the way Captain Connor describes the victim. He learns that the victim was a male prostitute.
Roosevelt explains that he wants to speak with Paul Kelly (Antonio Magro). Connor doesn’t believe that will be possible. Meanwhile, Laszlo speaks with a patient and his patients about wetting the bed. He shows the boy around his clinic. Moore takes the drawings to the doctor. Laszlo makes sure that Moore explains exactly what he saw. Then, Moore and Laszlo visit the possible murderer, Henry Wolff (Jack Kesy). The man bangs his dead against the wall. Nevertheless, Laszlo wants inside of his cell. His wish is granted. Wolff is suffering from syphilis. Laszlo asks Wolff about Edwin’s eyes. After getting an answer, he believes that Edwin found another man and left Wolff. This could be a potential motive for the murder. Then, he asks him about the color of Giorgio’s eyes.
Laszlo becomes convinced that Wolff didn’t kill the boy. Outside, Thomas Byrnes (Ted Levine) answers questions from the media. When Laszlo walks by, the media turns their attention to him. Moore and Laszlo head to the police department. They speak with Moore’s long-term acquaintance, Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning). Moore explains that they’re there to see the commissioner. After a little back and forth, they finally get to speak to Theodore. However, he doesn’t want to give them any case files pertaining to the Zweig twins. The doctor believes that the case may be linked to the most recent killing. After leaving, Laszlo encourages Moore to use his relationship with Howard to get the files.
Moore confronts her in the street. She doesn’t seem interested in helping. She insists she will not betray the commissioner’s trust. Ellison and Paul Kelly visit Roosevelt. After the conversation, they’re forced to move their brothel across the street. Nevertheless, Captain Connor still receives money for his cooperation and the operation goes on. Sara Howard contemplates her options. She gets the paperwork and delivers it to Moore. Moore delivers the documents to Laszlo right away. Laszlo seems surprised that the autopsy reports say nothing about how the victims died. The victims’ bodies are dug up right away. Moments later, Laszlo gets a visit from their mother, Mrs. Zweig (Clare Calbraith). He tells her that her boy was much different from the recent victim.
He explains why he had the bodies dug up. Next, Moore and Laszlo meet with Marcus (Douglas Smith and Lucius Isaacson (Matthew Shear). They’ve agreed to perform autopsies on the boys. Moore and Laszlo leave. The doctor notices something his carriage and someone across the street. He begins chasing the individual right away. The skeletons are closely examined, while Laszlo chases the suspect to an abandoned building. He runs into a dead end. Moore joins him seconds later. They look up and find a hole in the ceiling. It is unknown where the suspect has gone. At the end of the episode, Laszlo speaks about walking the same path of the suspect, so he can better understand him.
The Alienist Review
The Alienist has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the first episode was really mediocre. Daniel Bruhl felt a little hit and miss to me. Dakota Fanning tried a little too hard and Brian Geraghty is barely watchable. I though Luke Evans was the best of the lot. The story is decent, but this episode was really, really cliché. It was silly that it was so difficult to get the case files, yet digging up the bodies was no trouble at all.
The episode wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t memorable either. I sincerely hope it gets better from here on out. At this point, I’d give the episode a 6 out of 10.