The Alienist Season 1 Episode 6 Review: Ascension

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That was a big hole in the prevailing theory.

That hole was the bullet hole in the head of everyone's favorite murder suspect, put there by everyone's favorite corrupt cop on The Alienist Season 1 Episode 6.

So let's summarize a bit before going into detail.

Source of Intelligence - The Alienist Season 1 Episode 6

Willem Van Bergen left his gilded cage and now there's one less entitled pedophile in New York City, thanks to an enraged ex-Captain Connor. It's good to see that a handgun was easy to find, even in those days, for the ex-cop.

So Kreizler has been right all along when he said that Willem wasn't the murderer. He wasn't an upstanding citizen by any means, but he wasn't the murderer being sought.

This means, six episodes in, we're right back where we started, with basically no idea who is killing boy prostitutes.

Related: The Alienist Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Hildebrandt's Starling

It was a good plan that Kreizler and his team dreamed up to entrap the killer. Stevie fit in remarkably well as one of the boy prostitutes, despite being largely grace-free.

I figured Kreizler was onto something with the killer attacking on holy days. Which is why I'm puzzled that he didn't kill on the Day of Ascension.

Maybe he overheard Stevie telling the young boy that he was working for the police? If so, why would he have approached Stevie at the brothel later?

In Pursuit - The Alienist Season 1 Episode 6

All the trap did was prove that Kreizler's team has very little actual sleuthing skills. Sara, the one with the best police abilities, was sidelined along Kreizler. Meanwhile, Marcus and Moore were being distracted while on stakeout, then Marcus wildly fired his new gun at the fleeing killer. Even Cyrus, the most streetwise of the bunch, somehow got cold-cocked.

While they may have a lot of knowledge of their individual specialties, they don't have a lot of smarts when it comes to tracking a suspect.

This group may generally be consider forward thinking, but refusing to include Sara and Kreizler in their plans because she's the "weaker sex" and he has a disability? What does it take to hold up a pair of opera glasses?

On Duty - The Alienist Season 1 Episode 6

Everyone should be thanking Connor for un-muddying the suspect pool a little bit.

However, it may take a while for anyone to find out Willem's fate. Connor and Doyle tossed him in the river, and who knows when he will wash ashore? Also, his parents and the powers-that-be think he's been shipped off to Buenos Aires. It's not like he can text when he gets there.

I feel worst for Teddy Roosevelt. He can't trust the corrupt Irish cops who serve under him, and the politicians around him are concerned only with protecting the wealthy who back them.

It was like Roosevelt joked in this episode during the family photo at the gala. When the photographer had him stand with New York behind him, he cracked, "That'll be a first."

He's backed Kreizler's team, and Kreizler may be the only man worse than Roosevelt when it comes to navigating urban politics. Both say what they feel, without any regard to consequences.

Related: The Alienist Season 1 Episode 4 Review: These Bloody Thoughts

The problem now is that Roosevelt's ill-kept secret, Kreizler's investigation, is filtering out, which is bound to make headway harder to come by for the alienist and his helpers. That should bring even more heat down on Roosevelt.

The series seems to accurately reflect history, as Roosevelt served only a tumultuous two years as police commissioner. He did go on to bigger and better things, including New York governor, Vice President and President.

The major characters on Kriezler's squad continued to develop.

For instance, Moore was attempting to become a contributing member of society. He's given up drinking, although I think that's mainly to impress Sara. He's also taken a somewhat paternal interest in Joseph. He's also kind to his grandmother, despite her meddling ways.

I shook my head at the loot Moore and his grandmother brought home from the gala auction: a stuffed armadillo and a typewriter. Granted, the typewriter was an attempt for Moore to get in with Sara, but maybe he was serious about trying to become an author. He has the money to indulge a hobby.

Dangerous Research - The Alienist Season 1 Episode 6

But Sara only had eyes for Kreizler. That was a big surprise about his psychological impairment. My guess is that his parents rode him so hard to be a piano prodigy that he psychosomatically crippled his arm.

Sara got him to face his fear, but paid for it. That slap is bound to be a hindrance in any relationship between them.

As Kreizler's tender scene with Mary shows, his heart belongs to his housekeeper, even if he can't admit that to himself. This alienist has all kinds of untreated psychological problems.

Related: The Alienist Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Silver Smile

So let's go back to the killer. Based on Kreizler's conclusion, he's from immigrant stock and was abused as a child. So, in his own sick way, he's trying to rescue the boy prostitutes from their terrible lives ... by killing and mutilating them. He can't be from the rich side of town, or someone would have recognized him by now.

In 1896 New York City, that's not much to make anyone stand out. Let's hope Kreizler and Company find some kind of clue soon, before the next holy day.

To look for missed clues, watch The Alienist online.

Now that Willem's gone, what's your guess about the killer? Can Kreizler's team work out their problems in time? Who's your favorite character so far? Comment below.

Ascension Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Alienist Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

Lucius: Miss Howard, this is no place for the weaker sex, or for [looking at Kreizler]
Kreizler: Cripples, you meant to say.

Sex is but a three-letter word, Commissioner.

Kreizler [to Roosevelt]