Episode 2 of The Alienist Season 2 begins at The New York Times as John tries to convince his boss to pursue this case. Eventually he caves and allows John to look into this further with Sara. Laszlo enters the scene not long after and talks to the others about an upcoming lecture with Dr Markoe.
This could be their ticket in to question the man over what happened with Martha. Given Laszlo’s less-than-elegant touch, John decides to accompany him and put his position to good use. Together, they head in fashionably late and immediately question Markoe over his behaviour. Instead, he turns and walks away after refusing to talk to them.
Before this takes place, Laszlo accompanies Sara at the Linares house and they begin questioning the various workers and family members. When the attention turns to Isabelle, he suggests hypnotizing her into crucial clues about that night. This idea is quickly shut down though.
Back at the agency, the Isaac Brothers partially complete their autopsy and feed back their findings thus far. It’s a confusing crime for sure, with Nightshade and Copper both pointing at a murderer conflicted by their actions. The child did not die by poison but instead of asphyxiation; the child was smothered after ingesting the poison. Whoever did this also seems to have medical expertise given the tricky implementation of Nightshade being used.
On the back of this, John and Sara head back to meet the eccentric Sterling at the doll shop. They don’t find much at the scene but do manage to find an address for a repeat buyer with the initials E.H. This could be a crucial clue going forward.
Burns arrives to meet the Chief at the Times and reveals the truth about the missing Spanish child. This weighs heavily on his mind that evening at dinner, especially given John’s involvement with this case. Things are made a little more awkward that evening too when John leaves mid-meal. Outside he meets with Sara and together they track down the address for the doll buyer.
This brings them to a pretty shady part of town and into the territory for a nasty gang. Together, they request to speak to the gang’s leader GooGoo surrounding the missing baby. Unfortunately they wind up going home empty-handed.
Down on the docks, the Isaac Brothers examine a new body that washes up in the morning. Chopped up into pieces, Burns stirs things up with the local Police Captain and encourages him to spin the story that Spaniards are behind this.
When John catches wind of this news, he pays off one of the locals to track down and gain an audience with GooGoo. Only GooGoo gets there first and confronts him in an alleyway. When Sara arrives on the scene too, they question him about the missing baby but apparently he has no knowledge of this. Is he telling the truth or lying?
Getting nowhere, Sara turns her attention to Laszlo instead and confronts him at a restaurant about betraying her truth. Given his innate desire to fulfill his promise to Martha, he apologises before the duo engage in some verbal sparring over food.
When Laszlo mentions a worker at the estate that may hold some clues, Sara has an idea and encourages him to join her. When they arrive at the house, they find the Captain apprehending Isabella for questioning thanks to Burns’ interference. Sara and Laszlo thankfully manage to talk the Captain out of this.
In the aftermath of this incident, the investigation is given a much-needed jolt of urgency. That urgency comes from the Isaac Brothers finishing their examination. They report that three poisons were used – one of which not readily available to the public. However, it is most commonly found in a maternity ward. The Lying-In Hospital perhaps?
As we cut across, we get our answer as Dr Markoe delivers a baby and tells the Matron that a “kindness” would be to reveal the child didn’t make it.
The Review Write-Up
As the mystery deepens and more characters become involved in the main plot line, Angel of Darkness leaves the door wide open for the future episodes. There’s some lovely establishing shots of the area too and visually the series looks fantastic.
It’s also nice to see some more development surrounding the complicated relationships our central group of characters hold. The restaurant scene in particular is a great touch and hopefully we see more of this going forward.
The Alienist returns with a solid duo of episodes to kick off this new series. Whether it can match or surpass the great work done in season 1 however, remains to be seen. For now though, there’s certainly enough intrigue with this one to stick around for the long haul and find out what happens next.