This week’s episode of The Alienist, titled ‘Silver Smile,’ showed our team of investigators closing in on a lead. They’re still far away and things grew tense because the murderer is definitely toying with them.
I was provided a screener of The Alienist 1×3 ‘Silver Smile’ for review. The opinions are my own.
Trigger Warning: This review mentions suicide and sexual assault.
One of the things I like about The Alienist is that along with being an interesting murder mystery, it also explores themes of police corruption and class inequality. While it’s set in the past, the themes are still relatable due to the elite preying on the weak and the poor treatment of racial and sexual minorities. We also got an exciting new opening sequence which ended with the construction of the Statue of Liberty. Now, while I enjoyed watching ‘Silver Smile’ there was a part that didn’t sit well with me. But I’ll get to that later in this review.
Kreizler (and his team) is clearly trying everything to unveil the mystery of the murderer but the progress is quite slow, especially because the investigation is being conducted under the nose of a corrupt police department. Furthermore, the murderer is on to the detectives and I have a feeling he’ll try and attack one of the members soon enough. We got a few hints about the murderer’s identity. He has a silver smile and is someone young boy prostitutes are familiar enough to be alone with.
The bulk of ‘Silver Smile’ focused on fleshing out the main characters. We got to know more about Cyrus and Mary. Both of them are responsible for killing people. I really liked the scene between Kreizler and Cyrus where the alienist makes Cyrus relive a horrific event and got more than he could handle. There’s also something clearly going on between Mary and Kreizler. I ship it!
The episode also had some awesome Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning) moments. Her scenes during the reunion dropped a hint about her budding attraction to Kreizler. However, I’m not sure if it’s romantic or if she’s simply intrigued by him. She also cemented her position in the investigation team after deducing the murderer’s motives and his affinity with water. Her father’s suicide has clearly left a mark and I’m looking forward to seeing her come out of her shell.
Now, coming to the part of ‘Silver Smile’ I didn’t like. In the previous episode, we saw John Moore (Luke Evans) being drugged while visiting a brothel. This week’s episode revealed he was sexually assaulted. However, his unfortunate experience was quickly dropped as the episode progressed. I understand John not wanting to talk about it or not being able to clearly remember what happened, but it looked as if he didn’t care at all (or the writers didn’t care). Sexual assault is a serious matter and I hope The Alienist decides to properly address it in the upcoming episodes instead of making John move on as if nothing happened. Otherwise, having John experience such a situation comes across as something the writers added for cheap shock value.
Having said that about ‘Silver Smile,’ I’m looking forward to seeing how The Alienist progresses and finally getting to know the murderer’s identity. Also, there’s a possibility of two dangerous men running around.
Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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