Television

The Alienist Angel of Darkness

The Alienist Angel Of Darkness Season 2 Episode 3 And 4-Review And Recap

Everything is accelerated in The Alienist Angel of Darkness Episode 3 and 4 when killers are revealed but not before doing some damage.

Things moved quickly this week. The Alienist Angel of Darkness Episode 3 and 4 revealed what felt like an entire season of information and twists. If Season 1 was about the slow burn of a city on the edge of change, Season 2 is about the quick progress the Industrial Age brought. With only ten episodes, this is one murder mystery with broader implications than who done it and little time to show it.

The beauty of The Alienist has been its ability to dive deeper than the crime du jour. The murders both last season and in The Alienist Season 2 are grotesque. They are disgusting crimes that are as much psychological as they are bloody. History, politics, drama, and horror combine in a genre-bending series that is as gorgeous as it is grisly. Think beautiful people in stunning costumes doing shocking things. It’s an odd mix that the cast and director Claire Kilner, who also directed the last two episodes of Snowpiercer, deftly keep balanced. Angel of Darkness Episode 3 Labyrinth and Episode 4 Gilded Cage moved forward at lightspeed as our group must now race to capture the killer and save baby Linares all with bullies and those desperately clinging to the status quo try to thwart them.

Where do we go from here? Just four episodes in, and we know who is stealing and poisoning babies. With that superficial, procedural point out of the way, more room can be allocated for richer storylines. Women and their place in society, corruption, and Cyrus’s daughter, who aspires to be a reporter, all have more space for exploration. That is what allows the series to be relevant and resonate with a modern audience. Central themes about the inherent complexity of people and inequality are something everyone can relate to, with or without a corset.

Our group, although working well together, is splintering. Sara and John have miles of backstory, and both are smarting from engagements. John loved, and some could argue still loves Sara, but she rejected him. Sara doesn’t want the confinement of marriage but wants John to remain hers alone. It’s a problem for the two who are clearly perfect for each other. John is motivated by companionship and money. He isn’t a bad person, just a flawed and lonely one.

The Alienist Angel of Darkness Episode 3 and 4
Angel Of Darkness Ep 204 ph: Nelly Kiss

After Sara said no to John’s proposal, he moved on. Violet is perfect for him in that she is beautiful, peripherally connected to society, and wealthy. She is everything Sara is not. Unfortunately, she sees how John and Sara look at each other and is jealous. She should be. Luke Evans(John) is settling for Violet, and Sara judges him for it. Violet and her Godfather(hidden biological father) Hearst are cruel bullies who throw their status around because they maintain their control that way.

John knows how they treat him is wrong but is willing to accept it because he doesn’t want to be lonely. He is right to be angry with Sara for being judgemental. She lost the right to accuse him. As we get closer to the wedding, these two will continue to have conflict. Hopefully, they can find a way to care for one another and be supportive without being defensive. With the addition of new love interest Auggie, their strained relationship is bound to become even tenser.

John may not have money anymore, but he does still have connections. His friend Auggie provides an opportunity for Sara to investigate the Lying-In Hospital. Before she can find very much information, Dr. Markoe’s Matron steps in to divert her. Dr. Markoe(Michael McElhatton) is an ideal villain as he’s not overtly evil. The consummate passive monster. We know by the end of the episode he isn’t the killer, just a misogynist and controlling pig.

McElhatton is brilliant as the condescending doctor who believes it is his right to sterilize the young women who come to him and take their children. As a man of privilege, he thinks he should be able to make decisions for the weak and helpless. When Sara confronts him at John’s party, she displays steely fire to his patronizing superiority. He may be able to lord it over the vulnerable charges of his hospital, but he can’t scare Sara. Now that everyone knows something unusual is happening at the hospital, it is only a matter of time before the house of cards he and the wealthy abusers he covers for will come crashing down. John’s new family is very involved, and that will undoubtedly blow back on him.

Crime scene investigation has come a long way. The Isaacson brothers can test for poisons and examine stomach contents, which leads them to the revelation that someone is feeding the baby breast milk. Either it is coming from a wet nurse or a woman who has given birth and is still producing milk. Knowing what we know about the hospital, there are many candidates. The brothers have a believable chemistry that shines in quiet moments of banter while working. They are at their best behind their equipment. The two quirky men bicker in the way only family can; they also forgive with the same ease. Lucius gave Byrnes information last week, but he isn’t likely to make that same mistake. Marcus will help him avoid Byrnes and be brave.

The Alienist Angel of Darkness Episode 3 and 4
Angel Of Darkness Ep 203 ph: Kata Vermes

Sara sends Bitsy into the hospital as an undercover spy. She is smart and capable. Both women, unfortunately, focus on the wrong woman. Both of them think Libby is their confidant. By the end, we know she is deceptive and insane. Libby may have appeared to help Sara, but she was more likely trying to protect herself. Sara should have listened closer during the lunch when discussing their father’s deaths. As Kreizler and the Isaacson’s pointed out, sometimes humans lose focus of what’s essential. They become blind to the truth right in front of them.

Colleen, an angry young ward of the hospital, is a trapped plaything for Dr. Markoe to mistreat. I’m sure she isn’t the first. Like Jeffrey Epstein, he preyed on the weakest of society with no options in life. Markoe has cultivated a system that allows him access to an endless supply of women, power over his friends, and a potential revenue source in trafficked babies.

Laszlo is an enlightened man who may have all the decorum of a bull does not like injustice. Whether that be an imbalance of power like with Osgood and Hearst or a young boy with no one to treat him, he isn’t afraid to demand it. Sara and Laszlo are similar in the approach to confrontation. Both of them lack finesse. Laszlo is capable of deep emotion and eloquence, though when speaking about John at his bachelor party.

He truly cares about his friend and wants him to be with someone that cares equally for him. John will need all the support he can get as he is marrying into a tough situation. Laszlo is right to worry about John. Violet and Hearst seem only to know how to bully, and then lavish with rewards. Hearst bought them a car; Violet is using sex. With Violet’s mentor in town, perhaps Laszlo will finally have a romantic interest that is an intellectual match for him. His interactions with her will be fun to watch.

In the final moments of The Alienist Angel of Darkness Episode 4, Libby went on a violent spree. She first attempted to poison Bitsy and later killed Matron in a rage. Was she concerned Bitsy was becoming too curious? Why was she so angry with the Matron. The woman ruled with more intimidation then kindness, but Libby’s anger seemed disproportionate. What additional secrets does she still hold? Her handy paint job left no doubt; however, she has the baby. What we don’t know is why she was poisoning herself? She had charcoal on her mouth, indicating she was attempting to reverse the effects. The Alienist is great with false flags, though, and we may find someone else is poisoning the girl. Rosy McEwen was chilling as Libby this week. The quiet and meek ones are always the most dangerous. McEwen had us all fooled.

The Alienist Angel of Darkness Episodes 3 and 4 were about power vacuums, secrets and regrets. None of it is good for you. Now that the mystery of the killer is over, the real work can begin. There are a lot of people who have some atoning to do. Rest assured, Sara and company will be there to hold them to it. The Alienist is at its best when it allows the personal growth of the characters to overshadow the death. Nearing the halfway point, there is still so much story to tell. Catch up on all our Angel of Darkness coverage here.

Stray Thoughts:

  • The good professor was right. Marie Antoinette’s famous quote translates better to let them eat brioche. When questioned about the starving citizens of her kingdom, she said, not my problem, I’m rich.
  • Similar to King cakes, small trinkets, typically silver, are hidden in ornate engagement cakes. The spectacle of watching beautifully dressed women fight over the cake was highly anticipated. It showed the obscene excess the upper class had.

Have your say