Alcatraz Cal Sweeney S01E04 (Fox)

Alcatraz intertitle, via Wikipedia

Alcatraz is J.J. Abrams next show, and it’s currently being broadcast on Fox. The overall setup is eerily similar to Fringe, since it features an FBI task force investigating crimes, however that’s where the similarities end. Although, the show does feature Jorge Garcia from Lost and another blonde female lead, à la Anna Torv, but she’s much younger and starts out as a detective before getting assigned to Hauser and his team.  It turns out that Alcatraz was never closed. The prisoners just vanished and they have started reappearing for some unknown purpose. Each of them accomplishes some task for some nefarious over mind that we’ve yet to meet. The exact mechanics of the transport is unknown, but certain clues point towards wormholes of some kind.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

As I mentioned in the beginning, there are a lot of similarities with Fringe. Time will tell if this show has a different way of functioning, but naturally, they don’t dwell into fringe science. However, the methodology is somewhat akin to what we’ve come to expect from Fringe. The first two episodes were good. I didn’t dislike them, but we haven’t learned much about the exact reasons why the prisoners of Alcatraz were abducted and how. The show plays out in different times, which hasn’t been confusing yet, but it could become tedious if not properly dealt with.

* * * * *

In the present, some guy wants access to his safety deposit box. The teller thinks he’s here to screw her but he uses a syringe instead.

He uses an air piston to knock out some specific safety boxes and take their content. Another bank employee walks in and he kills him.

Back in 1960 at Alcatraz, Sweeney is training some new inmate. Through the laundry room, Sweeney runs a contraband operation. Sweeney is a textbook sociopath.

A guard tells him that his cell is being tossed. Teller took something of his.

In the present, Madsen and Soto are having breakfast at a chinese place. Soto got blacklisted for publishing some criminal model based on Gotham City.

Madsen and Soto are called to the bank. Soto immediately knows that it’s Sweeney. He was known for robbing safety deposit boxes in banks in the 50s.

The cameras were turned off by the teller. They question her. She was conned. Madsen wants to alert local pawn shops with the items that were stolen so that they can nab him. They need to contact the people to whom the safety deposit boxes belonged.

Sweeney is already doing this. He is posing as someone from the bank and he goes to the house of a man. His box contained a blue sapphire necklace. He gets violent when he doesn’t hear where the man met his wife.

Back in 1960s, Teller has a little meeting with Sweeney. He wants a part of Sweeney’s racket. Sweeney wants his little box back. Sweeney tells him that he’ll close his racket until he gets it back.

Madsen and Soto arrive at the house. The wife is about to walk in. She lets them in. She finds the husband dead.

Sweeney is already pulling another heist.

In the past, there is a dinner at the Warden’s Residence. Dr. Singh-Gupta is here. She is working on finding a way of erasing traumatic memories and rewiring the brain.

It looks like Sweeney is picking one of the victims from each robbery and killing them. They compare the CCTV footage and figure out that he’s targeting similar women. They trace the flowers he sent them to the shop, and find out that he’s already targeted another woman.

In the vault, Sweeney makes a mistake and the teller presses the silent alarm. He’S about to exit the bank when the cops arrive. It turns into a hostage situation.

The dinner at the Warden’s residence doesn’t go as planned for Sweeney. He assaults Tiller in the bathroom, after using a ruse to get him there, but Tiller uses a fountain pen to maim him and then condemns him to 30 days in the hole for the offense.

Hauser wants Madsen to break Sweeney out of there. Doc finds a way for Madsen to get in. He says that a lot of these buildings were built over each other, so there might be a way in from the building next door. Madsen leaves her gun.

Once inside, she has a talk with Sweeney. She brought a bag. Outside, Hauser is making a fuss. They hear shots so the TRU storms the bank. Madsen is posing as one of the hostages. Sweeney is posing as a member of the TRU team. They leave in a squad car. Soto and Hauser tail them in Madsen’s Mustang, but Soto is shit at this, so Sweeney orders Madsen to lose the tail.

At Alcatraz, Sweeney’s partner has managed to get his tin box. He was set up by the protégée. It was a move to take over the racket.

Sweeney shows Madsen the pouch he was supposed to take from the bank. He’s not supposed to open it. Madsen stages an accident, cuffs him to the steering wheel, takes his gun and the pouch. There is another one of those strange keys in the pouch. Hauser makes her hand it over.

He takes them over to the scientists. The keys were laser-cut. They’ve got two of them now.

The two keys open an underground cell. Another key is needed to open the last lock that’s revealed once the two others are turned. Inside, there is a shining light and Sweeney’s protégée is led in by the warden.

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