Ahhh, nothing like a brisk run to start the morning off. Frisbee in the air, dog on the ground, couple laughing kids, and of course let us not forget the land mines!
What is the fascination with mass attacks in public areas? Seriously, are we supposed to assume that all of the inmates on Fox’s Alcatraz just woke up and go right back to doing what they were doing fifty years ago? If any of these guys have a lick of sense and smarts, they will figure out the world they are in and the laws to break before breaking them.
Well, perhaps Ernest Cobb, (Joe Egender) had a clue, but then again he was a sniper. He knows subtlety. Paxton Petty, (James Pizzinato), is a bomb expert. I am pretty sure the man does not know the meaning of the word subtle. Not to mention, like most of those on Alcatraz, he is probably not that mentally stable, especially after his run-in with the lovely Doctor Singupta, (Parminder Nagra).
I am getting ahead of myself. How about we go back to Pine Street Park, littered as it is with bodies and blood and Fluffy’s Frisbee? Or how about we take one step back into a cozy private room with Billie Holiday lacing through the air? That was how this week’s episode began – a nice little breath of peace before the world blew up.
Welcome back to Alcatraz, viewers. You are showing strong ratings for this exciting adventure from J.J. Abrams. That mile and a half to shore, (aka Season 2), is being eaten away. Let us keep on pushing, shall we? In the meantime, how about we take a look at our bitter-hearted Marine and the path of carnage he leaves across San Francisco.
MAJOR EPISODE SPOILERS TO FOLLOW AS WELL AS SPOILER-POSSIBLE REFERENCES TO SYFY’S ALPHAS.
That is the acronym no one wants to hear as they gaze down on their loved one sleeping, but Emerson Hauser, (Sam Neill), is learning that Lucy Banerjee, (or is it Singupta?) may fall under that category. Before he can make a decision, however, there is a bomb attack on the Pine Street Park.
This time around, both Hauser and the lovable Diego Soto, (Jorge Garcia), know the Alcatraz inmate behind it: Paxton Petty. Rebecca Madsen, (Sarah Jones), has one more clue – Petty is standing not ten feet away, watching them. She immediately tries to give chase, but it is all too easy. Petty escapes via a homemade flashbang.
Shrapnel from the bomb reveals it was filled with Silver Stars, (the military medals, for anyone who may not know), which is the first clue that leads Madsen and Soto on the hunt for the underground Petty. In the meantime, Hauser is hunting on his own. It quickly becomes obvious that Hauser has his own personal stake in this case – and he is not letting Madsen in on the fun.
Madsen and Soto follow the clues to The Presidio in San Francisco (now a United States National Park), where Petty worked the graveyard shift. They find out that that is where he got the stars from, and continue searching until they locate an underground crypt. In the crypt lies Petty’s bombmaking materials, including turf and paint that suggests his next hit point as a school.
In a flashback, we finally see Lucy getting in her own dose of interrogation, much gentler and yet more twisted than the violent ice water Petty was undergoing earlier in the episode. She lulls Petty into a soporific state, bringing him to the memories she wants him to reveal, and then hits him with an electric shock, zapping him into revealing one single clue – a Korean lullaby.
Lucy later speaks to the mysterious Tommy Madsen, (David Hoflin), who reveals that the lullaby is where the bombs are placed in order to keep the wrong people from stepping on them. In the present, Hauser employs the same method in order to figure out Petty’s next bombing.
We also learn that Petty’s last attack consisted of four bombings – but only three have gone off in fifty years. There is a fourth set due to go off that no one knows where they are.
Hauser tracks Petty to his next suspected location – Sunset Beach. In a brilliantly stupid move, Hauser engages Petty alone – and gets himself trapped atop a land mine.
Petty escapes and heads to the school, where he is trapped and caught by Madsen and Soto. After some questioning, (in which Petty reveals he has no idea where he has been for the last fifty years), Madsen tracks Hauser to Sunset Beach. The bomb squad is called in, and Madsen’s old friend Matt Tanner, (Mehcad Brooks), manages to defuse the bomb Hauser is trapped on long enough for him to escape – but not completely. It detonates in his face, killing the charismatic ‘Psycho’.
Hauser’s response is to shoot Petty in the leg and then taunt him with how his last bomb, (the mysterious fourth bomb), has already gone off and not killed anyone. Petty falls for the ruse, revealing where the bomb is. Hauser finds it and defuses it, then brings the remainder of it to Lucy, who is still in a coma. In an act of desperation, Hauser steals Lucy from the hospital and brings her to Doctor Beauregard, (Leon Rippy). “You know her methods,” he says, his voice frantic. “Fix her.”
Paxton Petty is more babyfaced than the other inmates we have seen sneak across our screens in previous weeks. He is an ex-Marine, which says a lot about him right there. He is driven, motivated, hardcore. He is also, apparently rather fanatical, and bears almost a Hummelesque need for retribution – for himself, though, not for the families of dead soldiers.
For reasons unknown, he was denied a Silver Star despite his heroics in the Korean War, (defusing minefields, the irony is born), as well as his pension. We are led to believe he is doing all of this out of vengeance, (or a major temper tantrum), but I still hold that he is not mentally stable. He is simply too fixated on killing people to be considered anything other than criminally insane.
The undercurrent of this particular episode is focused entirely on Lucy and Emerson. It is clear now that the two of them were romantically involved and I am going to assume married. Whether or not they are divorced remains to be seen, but is it painfully clear that Lucy being ill has a terrible effect on Emerson.
He is panicked, vengeful, afraid, lost, and short-tempered. He will barely leave her side except when he has to, and when he is rubbed the wrong way or comes up against Alcatraz inmates, he is vicious and unforgiving. He shot Cobb and now Petty, both of whom have ties to Lucy, (Cobb because he shot her, Petty because that was a case Emerson promised Lucy he would solve), and finally breaks at the end of this episode, pulling her from the hospital and bringing her to Beauregard, imploring him to ‘fix her’.
What this entails of course will be one of the mysteries of the series, but we can guess it might have something to do with how none of the inmates or guards have aged in fifty years. Lucy’s ‘methods’ also are something we may have seen with Petty, but how electroshock and sedatives tie into not aging not only seems like a long shot, but definitely not something that should be released to the public.
Lucy Banerjee, (Singupta? Hauser?), remains the most mysterious person on this series so far. Ever since Lucy was shot by Cobb in the second episode of the series, she has been shown in flashbacks to have ties to everything that is going on. However, it should be interestingly noted that Soto has no idea who she is or that she was on Alcatraz, as he states to Petty that Alcatraz had no female doctors. Lucy also appears to not know as much as previously suspected, as she has no idea why Tommy Madsen keeps needing his blood drawn, (whereas Doctor Beauregard definitely has a clue).
This begs the question of why she hasn’t aged and just how quiet she’s keeping herself. One potentially interesting theory is why Cobb shot her in the first place. This is probably easily answered, but think about it. She was brought in to help him. He knows her. He still shot her even though he saw her at the window. Simple vengeance, a warning, the criminal detachment, or was he possibly ordered to by Them. Perhaps Lucy herself will be able to tell us, as long as the writers do not do to her what they did to Alphas’ Anna, (Liane Balaban).
Neither Petty nor Guy Hastings, (Jim Parrack), gave any indication that they know where they’ve been for the past fifty years. This was quite a surprise to learn, especially as Hastings was a guard, not an inmate, so it stands to reason that he would be willing and able to reveal everything he knows. But he never did, swearing he has no clue. Petty says the same, furthering the questions of the series. What happened? Do they really have no memory? How did it happen? How are Hauser and Lucy and Beauregard tied in?
The past few episodes have dealt pretty heavily with Rebecca Madsen’s past, especially when it came to her grandfather Tommy Madsen. Last week, however, Madsen did get a one-up on Hauser, finally learning that he needs her more than she needs him. For a brief moment, Hauser was completely at her mercy, and that is something I think will be brought up again in future. Madsen will not leave – she is not able to. But the status quo and balance of power has shifted, and we will see the repercussions when things turn really ugly.
It was a bit of a relief to see that despite all the terrible stuff going on, Soto and Madsen are still a solid team, Soto having reached inside himself and found that spark of determination to keep going. A tiny bit of character development some episodes back for Soto may have inspired his comic book store and his love of that fantasy world.
I certainly think it is part of his motivation to continue working with Madsen. He is, in a way, a superhero himself, having overcome a kidnapping when he was eleven. Madsen herself is easily adjusting to Soto’s rather unorthodox, (some may say simplistic), view of the world, though I do have to say I wish we would see a little more of them off-hours together. I wonder if they are just as fun off the clock.
Last week’s episode introduced a new element into the game – a guard instead of an inmate. What happened to Guy Hastings is not clear, and our return to inmates this week shows a diversionary tactic. It came as an alarm to see that even the guards are not willing or able to reveal what is going on, leaving our three left to fend for themselves. Next week, it is indicated that we will learn more about Tommy Madsen, and the mass murders will continue. I suspect no one will want to go swimming ever again, but we will see…
See you then!
Thank you for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency
Please feel free to leave a comment here or if you prefer, click the social media icons below to share this news article. Or as many of our readers and visitors often do, visit WHR on Twitter, WHR on Facebook or visit me on Twitter by clicking the text links or images avatars in this news story.
I and the WHR team look forward to and will be Seeing You on The Other Side“!