Damn. I didn't see that coming.
The person who was becoming closest to Kreizler got killed protecting him on The Alienist Season 1 Episode 8.
Of the three people on Kreizler's home staff, Mary said the most while saying nothing at all. It finally got through Kreizler's thick skull how they felt about each other on The Alienist Season 1 Episode 7.
And then she was gone, taken by the forces of ignorance that opposed Kriezler's effort to catch the child killer.
Tragedy was bound to strike, as the limited series nears its end.
I figured the victim would be Stevie, the most expendable among Kreizler's inner circle. After all, hadn't he already tempted fate by coming in contact with the killer?
No, unfortunately, it was faithful, gentle Mary, with her long-hidden violent side flaring up when she perceived the man she loved was being threatened. Her death came just a short time after Kreizler had admitted to Moore being in love with her.
As an aside, high marks to Moore for keeping a stiff upper lip, at least until Kreizler explained he was in love with Mary, not Sara. So Moore still has a chance, although he's got years of bad behavior to overcome.
I fear that Cyrus and Stevie will blame themselves. Cyrus accounted well for himself, but he was still recuperating, and they were surprised and overwhelmed. Mary stood alone in the end, powered only by rage.
What this is going to do to Kreizler is difficult to say. The buttoned-up alienist finally let his feelings out and then this happened.
Hopefully, he will redouble his efforts on the investigation, if only as a way of spiting her killers. Because I think Byrne and his henchmen are largely untouchable. Connor killed Willem on The Alienist Season 1 Episode 6 and now Mary, and little has happened to him, despite the fact he's on suspension from the police force.
After seemingly supporting Kreizler's investigation last episode, J.P. Morgan turned around and told Roosevelt that Kreizler can't succeed, because the sheep (the masses) would be discomfited by Kreizler's new methods beating the corrupt police department at its own game.
So the powers that be wanted the approach which would rock the boat least. Convict someone of the crime, even if he isn't guilty, then move on, truth be damned.
That's why Byrnes turned The Swede loose, to maybe kill Kreizler and Moore or at the least to intimidate them. Connor's late-night visit could only have been for intimidation purposes. A real detective would have found out some intel about the person he was stalking, but Connor and Doyle were just as much thugs as The Swede.
Hopefully, Mary's death, as tragic as it was, won't derail Kreizler's investigation, which finally seems to be on firm footing after encountering many missteps along the way.
It was intriguing how sending team members to Washington, D.C., Boston, New Paltz, N.Y., and South Dakota soon got everybody onto the same general page. Still, they all ended up out of their elements.
First, in D.C., Kreizler and Moore turned up a potential suspect and his first mutilation. And this blew their cowboys-and-Indians scenario out of the water.
My favorite team was the Isaacson brothers in North Dakota. Right after Marcus asked about possibly seeing Indians, they ended up riding across from two Indians on the train. The look on their faces when they realized the horses were to be their transportation to the fort was hilarious.
They found out about Corporal Beecham and his mutilation of a young striker at the Haymarket Riots in Chicago, of all places.
Then there was Sara sent off to the wilds of the Hudson Valley. She haughtily explained she was the first woman in the NYPD. But she did what others have done to her: underestimated the abilities of her guide, Eliza.
She also discovered that what was thought to be an Indian massacre was something altogether different, that a ranch-hand who had molested Jacob ended up with his throat cut and eyes removed.
Finally, Adam Dury told Kreizler and Moore that the Indians who massacred the puritanical parents that made their children's lives a living hell also stole away Jacob, who had facial ticks and was happiest when climbing the nearby mountains.
Now here's the connecting the dots that the team hasn't gotten together to do yet and will undoubtedly be delayed: Jacob is Corporal Beecham, named for his molester. Somehow he escaped St. Elizabeth's and is now "saving" immigrant boys on the streets of New York City.
Next up promises to be Kreizler turning inward to grieve while he decides whether it's worthwhile to continue his investigation. We all know how that's going to go in the end.
To follow the clues up until now, watch The Alienist online.
Do you anticipate this tragedy? How will this change Kreizler? How will the team find Jacob/Beecham? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.