Esther is a young single mother whom Detective Sergeant Marcus Isaacson met in Tenement District on Hester Street. In a short time, the two start a passionate, but troubled affair.

She's a guest-starring character portrayed by Daisy Bevan.

Backstory Edit

Esther is a young Jewish girl who lives in the Tenement District on Hester Street, the Jewish neighborhood of New York City. At some point in her early twenties, she married a man who abandoned her as soon as Esther became pregnant, forcing the woman to grow their child alone. [1] Her grandfather came from a village outside Minsk, but he died before she was born and her parents met in New York. [2]


New York City, 1896. During a particularly cold morning, Esther was handing out flyers for an upcoming meeting of the Socialist Party when she had a brief but intense exchange of glances with a young man in a butcher's shop on Tenement District on Hester Street.

In the evening, she attended the meeting in the midst of a crowd packed in a factory warehouse and was surprised to see the same young man entering the room in the morning. After exchanging a fleeting greeting and a couple of smiles, both continued to listen to the spokesman spurring the working class to claim their rights. At the end of the meeting, Esther had a passionate encounter with the young man and in the middle of the sexual intercourse they introduced themselves; Esther then discovered that the young man's name was Marcus. [3]

A few nights later, Esther and Marcus met again for another night of passion at Esther's apartment. Behind the curtain separating Esther's bed from the rest of the room, a baby started to cry in the cradle, awakened by the moaning of the two lovers. [4]

A couple of weeks later, Esther was invited by Marcus for a dinner at his house so that she could meet Mrs. Isaacson and Marcus' twin brother, Lucius. During the frugal candlelight dinner, the guests shared part of their family history. Marcus said to Esther to tell how her family had contacts with the Old Continent, like his own. Esther then explained to Mrs. Isaacson that her grandfather was originally from Minsk, but that he had died before she was born and her parents had met when the families had already emigrated to America. Esther then asked why Marcus and Lucius didn't had name from the Bible as per Jewish tradition, and Lucius explained that they were named after characters from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, a book his parents were reading to learn English before they were born. The choice of these names was to prevent both Lucius and Marcus from being victims of anti-Semitism. Esther commented that this was a beautiful story behind a name. Mrs. Isaacson, however, did not seem very friendly towards Esther, so the diners continued their meal in silence. [2]

Some time later, Esther was standing in front of a pharmacist's stall as she was worried about her daughter's health. The pharmacist said that the problem was simply teething and that a little bit of clove oil rubbed on the gums would alleviate her pain. Esther offered to pay, stating that she was perfectly able to provide for her own daughter, but the pharmacist said it was just a bit of clove oil and there was no need for payment. On the other side of the sidewalk, Esther noticed Lucius, but the man pretended he didn't see her and mingled in the crowd. [5]

Following the missed meeting with Lucius, Esther and Marcus cooled their relationship and Marcus tried to change direction when he spotted Esther on the street. The woman reassured him, saying that she did not want to set him up in a marriage to have him raising her daughter or take his money. She only wanted a second chance to be happy after a disastrous marriage to a man who had been so coward to leave her and the newborn. She also asked him not to cross the street every time he sees her. The two then took their leave friendly.

A few days later, Esther received a visit from Marcus during which he apologized for his behavior and they shared a kiss. [6]

Appearance and PersonalityEdit

Esther is a pretty young woman in her mid-twenties with long, curly brown hair that she usually style in a braid, hazel eyes and a slightly hooked nose giving character to her visage. Her dresses are simple and decorous, with long dark skirts, blouses buttoned up to the neck and with long sleeves. She often also wears a headscarf, especially in public. Esther is a no-nonsense and affable woman whose harsh life has rendered vaguely cynical, but not for this foreign to the pleasures of life and happiness. As a single mom in an openly hostile period towards emancipated women, Esther demonstrates considerable courage and self-confidence.

Memorable QuotesEdit

Esther (to Marcus): "I didn't sleep with you to try and trick you or force you to look after my child."
Esther: " You know, I can earn my own living. But what I don't want is to be alone for the rest of my life because a man I was foolish enough to marry was too cowardly to face up to his duties."
Esther: "I ain't askin' for your charity. I'm only asking that you not cross the street every time you see me."
Castle in the Sky



  • Esther doesn't feature in the novel by Caleb Carr, unlike many characters.
  • Since Esther's family comes from a village near Minsk, Belarus, but part of the Russian Empire at the time, it is possible that hers was one of the many families of Jewish immigrants forced to flee to avoid persecution and forced conversions and assimilation into Russian Orthodox Christian culture and life.

Episode AppearancesEdit

The Alienist


  1. Cary Fukunaga, John Sayles & Chase Palmer (writer) & Jamie Payne (director); (March 26, 2018); "Castle in the Sky". Episode 10.The Alienist. TNT
  2. 2.0 2.1 E. Max Frye (writer) & James Hawes (director); (February 19, 2018); "Hildebrandt’s Starling". Episode 5.The Alienist. TNT
  3. Hossein Amini & E. Max Frye (writers) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (January 29, 2018); "A Fruitful Partnership". Episode 2.The Alienist. TNT
  4. Gina Gionfriddo & Cary Fukunaga (writers) & James Hawes (director); (February 12, 2018); "These Bloody Thoughts". Episode 4.The Alienist. TNT
  5. John Sayles (writer) & David Petrarca (director); (March 12, 2018); "Psychopathia Sexualis". Episode 8.The Alienist. TNT
  6. Cary Fukunaga, John Sayles & Chase Palmer (writer) & Jamie Payne (director); (March 26, 2018); "Castle in the Sky". Episode 10.The Alienist. TNT