Alcatraz Review: The Sound of Music

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Finally, everyone is on the same page. Sort of.

Rebecca and Diego not only became privy to the colloidal silver in the blood info, but they also discovered Lucy appearing in an old video taken at the Alcatraz prison over fifty years ago. That's right, Lucy is a '63!

Which I'm sure is huge news for them because that verifies that Emerson has been keeping secrets. Although, to be fair, Emerson has pretty much always kept secrets. He's not really an open book when it comes to his reappearing prisoners or certainly with his matters of the heart. Should they really be surprised that he's kept everything hush hush?

Rami Malekon Alcatraz

Unfortunately, because viewers already knew the secrets, any real chance for new thought provoking discussion will probably have to wait until next Monday's finale.

But Lucy waking up was a huge moment. It's been Emerson's driven quest to find any prisoner with matching blood type to help revive her, meaning that every other focus - from the mysterious keys, to the secret room, to why everyone is returning - was pushed to the side. And that's fine from a character standpoint because it means that Emerson does garner some kind of compassion and emotional connection beyond his determined desires about the prison.

Except... the coma lasted for far too long and the final shot of her eyes opening was predictable and lacked a gravitas for what should have been a climactic moment for the audience.

Maybe it's because we hadn't known Lucy long enough to feel the same care that Emerson might when she was actually shot. Yet the flashbacks have done a decent job in establishing her as a character back then, both as a doctor and in her relationship with Emerson.

Thankfully, this episode was strong in regard to Lucy and the true take on her not as a villain joining in the mischievous ranks of the Warden and E.B. Tiller. There was a sense of compassion and interest to help even with Webb Porter being a criminal. She truly is that softer side and its hard to imagine how she become entangled in the disappearing mess in the first place.

Even her relationship to Emerson seems genuine and he remarks at her care and concern in a way that enlightens him. It's nice getting to see the two together on romantic occasions especially with the present being devoid of any interaction between the two. Are they still lovers? Are they still in love? I wish I could see more of Sam Neil's Emerson interactions with Lucy and not experience simply his gruff and angry side.

The case of the week certainly helped establish Lucy's regard for the prisoners, as well a connection to the present for a significant moment.

Plus the fact that Webb wasn't simply killing people for no reason, but rather echoing his drowning through their deaths and then using their hair for his musical tastes, was both creepy and well done. It expanded upon him as a character trapped within his own mind of desire, subjected to difficulties because of his ear problems. The guy clearly had issues.

I still find Rebecca Madsen to be your run-of-the-mill female cop, and, in fact, has become even more bland in the process. There isn't the same type of life in her character that there was in the pilot. She's not assertive or questioning or much of anything. Rebecca simply finds the case, follows the clues, whips out her gun, and catches the bad guy. She's basic and I wish that would change, especially as the character that got the ball rolling in terms of uncovering the '63s, Diego, and Emerson. She's too important to be ignored.

I did rather enjoy seeing all the past villains appear on screen. It gives the show a real sense of continuity as well as the chance to think, "Hey, I recognize that guy from before!" I can't help but think that there's something big in store for all of them. Hopefully, their stories aren't done once they are put back behind bars.

"Webb Porter" was another fair episode, but it didn't provide many answers. Let's hope I'm not writing that again after the season finale.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
  • 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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This show desperately needs to step it up. Give the MAIN characters some emotion for god sakes Abrams! When Rebecca died In the season finale it wasn't even upsetting. The audience needs to be able to connect to the characters and there's nothing for the viewers to grasp hold of! The people that show the most emotion in this show are true criminals who've murdered people! Absolutely ridiculous! Dont give up but it needs to be much better if I continue to watch this

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If Hauser first read philosophy at Yale, and was later a prison guard in 1963, I reckon that makes him at least 72. Has nobody else commented on the improbabilty and absurdity of the Emmerson Hauser character?

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dude it totally cut off half of my response. this site can suck it.

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Okay...it's a new show. It might have gotten off to a rocky start but that doesn't mean they won't smooth it out later. And yes - the characters finally are filled in on what we've known for episodes - but that doesn't mean there is more that we aren't told that will be discovered. Clearly if them finding out wasn't a big deal then it WASN'T a big deal. There's something else more important that we're supposed to be driven to learn. Is the warden really "long ago dead."? I think not. The finale finally looks like they want to give us a taste of the actual experimenting. Hopefully that gives us a handful of questions we can carry over into the next season. I mean, be honest, it's a big show to handle. Right off the bat they're juggling 300 + characters in their brain while trying to string them all together in little pieces when they can. These episodes haven't necessarily had fluidity because they haven't really needed to yet. They simply are trying to catch some bad guys first while giving you small glimpses into the main characters lives during Alcatraz. Now that they've put a few baddies behind bars hopefully they will take the time to focus more on the story development as apposed to "Where are they - gotta find them." type deal we've been getting. Which is nothing different than any other CSI show. Now that Singupta is awake - she will be interrogated. A new chapter to the story will be stirred. And we will be descending into the horrors and hells of the Alcatraz prison soon enough.

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You can't have all the answers at the beginning of the show. Yes we all knew that they were the '63's and that Lucy was one of them before the rest of the characters found out. They give a little clue each time, but if you give it all at once, then the show ends. There are over 300 63's, we get one of their stories an episode. We still don't know how they did all this and where these people are being kept before they are let loose out on the streets, or why they are being let loose. I hope this show makes it to next season, you can only have so many talent and cartoon shows on one network, but I'm not counting on it.

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Did anybody else notice that the black musician that gave Hauser the clue looked like the Sax player from the Alcatraz band? But he did look older. Maybe he was released before the event. I liked the scene with the doctor struggling with the web cam. Like the series. Hoping for renewal.

Fortyseven

Meh. If the finale is a game-changer then I'll probably watch a couple episodes next season if it's renewed. Otherwise, I'm done.

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I've just about given up on the show. The main characters finally know what we have known for a long time and we didn't really garner any new info from this episode. I did think it was one of the better written ones from the prisoner standpoint but still it didn't unearth any new treasures. Here's hoping the finale is worth 2 hours.

Niks4u

This was a good step forward for Alcatraz after some very average episodes. The villain was creepy and the story had a solid background. This show has such a good premise that it can be great but the effort so far hasn't been that good.