Whether you think Alcatraz is clipping along nicely or revealing itself at a glacial pace is going to depend on how much you’re enjoying the ride thus far. Personally, I’ve liked most of the returning inmates and feel the episodes are well-paced. Still, I’m still struggling to truly get into the lead character, Det. Rebecca Madsen. She certainly doesn’t bother me, but I never find myself excited to see what she’ll do in a given situation. Ideally, that’s what you want out of a series’ lead: their reactions guide your reactions and thereby set the tone of the show.
Anyway, last night’s installment started off back in the ’60s when the young version of Emerson Hauser first met Dr. Lucy Sengupta (who is comatose and un-aged in 2012). It’s fun to see Hauser—the amoral avenger in present day—as a fresh-faced, fumbling kid. Hauser awkwardly offered to escort “the lady” from the Rock back to the mainland. She declined but offered him a mint, which proved to be the most erotic exchange of Altoids I’ve ever seen.
Back in present day, the inmate-of-the-week Paxton Petty (a super-villain name if ever I heard one) was wreaking havoc in a San Francisco park with a few well-placed landmines. After a few civilians bit the dust, Madsen, Hauser and Dr. Soto arrived, because they apparently investigate every crime scene in the city hoping that it relates to their time-traveling prisoners (heck, they even beat the bomb squad to an actual bombing). Well, as with every week, they were right!
The crime scene fit the M.O. of Paxton Petty, a Korean War vet who was court-martialed for blowing up Korean school children, scolded, and then later imprisoned for blowing up American children when he returned to the States.
Pulling up his dossier, Madsen realized she’s seen the man before—about 15 yards away from her, actually. She chased him down but he rolled a landmine at her like a bocce ball and poof, he was gone in a cloud of explosion.
When the bomb squad finally showed up, an old friend of Rebecca’s, Tanner, was with them. The two cops affectionately ribbed each other until Dr. Soto started looking jealous, prompting Tanner to ask Madsen the question half of the nation uttered after Sunday night’s Best New Artist Grammy was awarded—who the hell is this guy?
No, Jorge Garcia isn’t Bonny Bear, but that could be a cool alias for him. Soto indignantly informed Tanner he was Rebecca’s partner, which the bomb squad man seemed puzzled by. But validation came to Soto in the next scene when some superfluous police work introduced him to another acquaintance of Rebecca’s—only this time it was a hot doctor lady wearing a Sandman t-shirt. Casually mentioning he owned a comic book store, Soto basically invited her to come and see his etchings, but sadly we’ll have to wait for future eps to see where that goes.
Back in flashback-town, Dr. Beauregard was torture-dunking Paxton Petty to find out where his final landmine was. As John McCain once said, “Torture doesn’t work,” and sure enough Petty wouldn’t give in. Enter Dr. Sengupta in icy professional mode, where she told Beauregard his methods were antiquated and that she had a better plan.
Her idea of “modern” interrogation turned out to be very ’60s in a CIA sort of way—she secretly drugged Petty, started zapping his temples and waited for the answers to come slipping out. Petty cryptically began humming an eerie tune, which she recorded and later pieced together as a Korean lullaby. All that was missing was Timothy Leary reading passages from the Tibetan Book of the Dead and they could have had a real happening in the Rock, you dig?
NEXT: Hauser stares at pictures of Lucy and Madsen gets the graveyard shift