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I have served in Dr. Kreizler’s household for many years, tending to his every need. He took me in as a young girl despite my bleak past and I intend to repay him for his kindness and compassion. Many people don’t see him like I do. He has a cold, hard exterior, driven by his logic and scientific methods. But deep within, he is very much a warm-hearted and generous man, always trying to shield me from the ugliness of this world. What was once love shared within a special friendship between Dr. Kriezler and I, has now blossomed to become much deeper than that.
— Mary Palmer[1]

Mary Palmer is Dr. Laszlo Kreizler's housekeeper.

She's a character portrayed by Q'orianka Kilcher.

Character OverviewEdit

"MARY PALMER is Dr. Kreizler’s housekeeper. She is an exotic beauty with a bewitching face. After years of abuse and sexual violation, she chained her father to his bed while he slept and set the house on fire. She has never spoken again as a result of those acts. Kreizler discovered her at the Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island and determined that she was not insane. He found ways to communicate with her and to teach her to communicate back. He ultimately brought her into his home as one of his staff. Unlike Cyrus and Stevie, who become part of the investigation, Kreizler wants to keep Mary as far away as possible from the sordid and grisly details of the case, not only for her own security, but also because of his evolving feelings for her. "[2]

Backstory Edit

Grown up in a difficult and violent family environment, Mary burned her father to death. According to what John Moore discovered, it took her several attempts to set him alight. She was taken in by Dr. Kreizler when she was still quite young. Since then, she was his housemaid and was slowly introduced to the pleasures of reading, music and the love of a loving family formed by Cyrus, Stevie, and Dr. Kreizler himself.[3]

Story Edit

New York City, March 3rd, 1896. [4] Mary knocked incessantly at the door of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler's bedroom in the middle of the night; her face contracted by fear. With a gesture of her head, she waved him to follow her downstairs where Cyrus Montrose and Stevie Taggert were taking care of a child, a harbinger of terrible news about a murder on the under construction bridge.

Several days later, Mary was in the company of the doctor and the rest of the servants in the parlor of Kreizler Mansion, happily listening to them playing music when John Schuyler Moore showed up, bringing news about the murder case.

After Dr. Kreizler was the one who had all the appearance of being the first real contact with the murderer they were searching Mary helped her master to undress, silently listening to his plan to catch the killer, and crying at the thought of it. [5]

Appearance and Personality Edit

Mary Palmer was a young woman of Native American descent whose upbringing had strongly scarred her, leaving her unable to utter a word. Although she was saddened to find herself unable to speak and establish relationships with her peers, Mary found a way to discover her true value and get out of the spiral of suffering after Dr. Kreizler took her under his protective wing. Mary was able to communicate through gestures but above all through the eyes, being able to communicate a wide range of emotions through glances and stares. Mary was a voracious reader and a lover of little, delicate things like flowers pressed between the pages of a book, or an altruistic, gentle gesture towards her. However, in spite of this sweet and friendly nature, Mary is capable of violent and heinous gestures if forced by the situation and has no fear of fighting to save those she loves.

Gallery Edit

Photo by Kata Vermes and Jesse Giddings. [Courtesy of TNT Pressroom]

Notes Edit

  • According to Q'orianka Kilcher, Mary was jealous of the time Dr. Kreizler spent with Sara Howard, sharing thoughts and opinions in a way that Mary could not do. She also described Mary as trapped in her own mind which is her escape and prison at the same time. [6]
  • In the novel, Mary was a former patient of the Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island. Initially believed to be affected by dementia praecox, now known as schizophrenia, Dr. Kreizler discovered that Mary was actually affected by classic motor aphasia – the extreme difficulty of speaking although retaining comprehension abilities – and agraphia, or inability to express thoughts in writing.

Episode Appearance Edit

References Edit

  1. ‘The Alienist’: Mary Palmer Promotional Quote on TNT Instagram account.
  2. Official Overview for Q’orianka Kilcher's Mary Palmer — TNT Pressroom
  3. Gina Gionfriddo (writer) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (February 5, 2018); "Silver Smile". Episode 3.The Alienist. TNT
  4. E. Max Frye (writer) & James Hawes (director); (February 19, 2018); "Hildebrandt’s Starling". Episode 5.The Alienist. TNT
  5. Hossein Amini (writer) & Jakob Verbruggen (director); (January 22, 2018); "The Boy on the Bridge". Episode 1. The Alienist. TNT
  6. The Alienist These Bloody Thoughts - Season 1, Ep. 4 INSIDE THE EPISODE TNT