Salutations, Wicked Theorists! It’s Tuesday again, which means we’ve made another foray into the world of Alcatraz. This week we find ourselves pursuing one Guy Hastings, and I cannot be the only one who thinks that would be a fantastic name for a game show host. Or a Muppet. Or both.
|"Sooo, Minecraft is not a prequel to Minesweeper?"|
Back in 1960 (you can tell it’s the past because they put the blue filter on!), the Forlorn Guard has a quiet conversation with his wife and daughter and then goes to conduct some guard training in the pouring rain. (Surely there’s a gym or a cafeteria or something they can use?) He’s Guy Hastings. One of the trainees is Madsen’s “uncle” Ray Archer.
Speaking of Ray, he’s busy showing Madsen a photo of himself and her Grandpa Tommy as kids. She asks if Tommy really killed her grandmother, and Ray says that although Tommy was his best friend, he thinks so. Madsen gets paged away to the Batcave, where Hauser summarizes the opening scene and Soto recognizes Guy Hastings in a surveillance shot. Hauser puts on his ominous face and says that since Hastings was a good man, someone must have put him up to the attack on the ranger. They wonder what Hastings was sent back to do. Right on cue, we see Hastings flexing his bloody knuckles and watching Ray.
In Hastings’ apartment, our heroes find the loose trim and discover that Hastings replaced the photos with two clips for a gun. Hauser tells them to track down Hastings’ daughter, and the super duo find her, now a business-casual type woman in her fifties. Soto pretends to be writing a book, so she lets them in for a chat. Annie tells them how much she loved living on Alcatraz, and relates the story of a chemical spill on the island that served as the cover for her father’s disappearance. Soto asks to borrow Hastings’ belongings, still in the box the prison sent to Annie’s mom, and he’s so adorable and bumbling about it that she agrees. Apparently he has the same effect on Annie that he has on me, something along the lines of a total loss of logic and reason. Why else would she agree to that?
|Doc Soto: Diary Hunter|
Back in the 60s, Hastings leads his new guards on a tour of the mess hall. When Grandpa Tommy spots Ray Archer, Ray smiles warmly, and Tommy loses his nut. He starts screaming and walloping Ray with his lunch tray, shouting that he shouldn’t be there.
In the present, Hastings pulls a gun on Archer while he’s taking out the trash. When Archer recognizes Guy, Guy wallops him on the head again.
Oh, how the past repeats itself!
In the 60s, Dr. Dracula stitches up young Ray’s head. Tiller and the Warden show up, and Tiller (who increasingly reminds me of Severus Snape) has cunningly figured out that Ray and Tommy know each other. He thinks that Ray is here to bust Madsen out. The Warden leaves it up to Hastings: should he stay or should he go now? Hastings decides that Ray is worth keeping around.
Back in the Batcave, our heroes have had no luck pinpointing Guy, but Madsen gets a fortuitous phone call letting her know her Uncle never came back from taking out the trash. Before she can go, Soto finds a photo of Hastings and Ray looking friendly, hinting that Hastings might be involved in the disappearance.
Back at Ray’s place, Hastings is making a real mess, dumping out drawers and messing up the nice clean apartment. He pulls the gun again and demands to know where Tommy Madsen is. Ray tries to blow him off, but he’s caught in his lie by a little photo of him and Tommy as teens. Hastings demands to be taken to Tommy Madsen’s son. Madsen and Hauser figure out that Hastings has Ray and hustle to his apartment, where Ray has left behind a watch that Madsen gave him as a kid as a kind of signal. Hauser spots the photo on the floor, and they realize that Hastings (and therefore, whoever took the 63s) is after Tommy Madsen.
Back in the 60s, young Ray lies and tells Hastings that he doesn’t know Madsen. Hastings points out that Ray lost a lot of face in front of the inmates in the beating, and if he doesn’t know Tommy, he’d better prove it. (Fight, fight, fight!)
|"Sir, we can't deliver you Pizza unless you tell us where your Secret Lair is."|
Back in the Batcave, Hauser picks up a red phone and struts off to “the Room.” Soto, meanwhile, has figured out everything we’ve just seen and tells Madsen. She theorizes that Hastings and Ray will head to Tommy’s old house; they have the number in the photo, but they don’t know what street it’s on.
Ray has taken Guy Hastings to a picturesque little graveyard where he points out Tommy’s son’s gravestone. Ray asks why Hastings wants Tommy, and Guy answers cryptically that “they” told him to. He reminds Ray that something fishy was up with Tommy, what with all the time he spent in the infirmary and Dr. Dracula stealing pints and pints of his blood all the time. He spots the words “Loving Husband and Father” on Tommy’s son’s gravestone, and figures out that Rebecca, who he saw in Ray’s photos, is Tommy’s granddaughter. Ray grimaces, then says, “Okay. I’ll take you to Tommy.” So does he know or is he faking?
Back at Doc’s Comics, Soto has given the photos to his teenage assistant, who has somehow managed to magically figure out what the rest of the house and surrounding scenery would look like based on a shot of the front porch. Really? I suppose it’s outside the realm of possibility that the porch was ever renovated? It looks like the kid pieced together a photo collage using other old photos, but if that’s the case, it should have taken months, not seconds. Unless there is some kind of photo pool called “Vintage shots of houses in San Francisco suburbs” on the internet that I am not aware of, and even if that exists, I’d still expect that to take days at least. Soto whips out a map, pinpoints an area, and suggests they cross-reference with 1960s records. In the Batcave, Hauser confers with his team of scientists. He points out that the guard is looking for Tommy Madsen, which suggests that whoever took the 63s somehow lost him. Soto finds a census roll that reveals that Tommy and Ray weren’t buddies—they were brothers. Hey, he really is her uncle! Ray changed his name so he could work on Alcatraz.
In 1960, Hastings gives Ray a test. He isolates Tommy and Archer in front of all the inmates. (Fight, fight, fight!) Ray beats the daylights out of Tommy, and Hastings has to separate them.
|"That was absolutely disgusting. Play it again? Slo-mo."|
In the future, Ray has taken Guy to the row house where he and Tommy grew up. Just think kids: given its prime location in a popular suburb, that dump probably costs a fortune. I’m surprised no flippers got it during the bubble and converted it to cheerful family housing. If Ray owns that place, he’s sitting on some serious untapped assets. Ray assures Hastings that if they wait, Guy will come.
Soto and Madsen are en route when Hauser calls and asks why they’re in Daly City, revealing that he’s tracking them. Soto asks Madsen what she’ll do if Tommy’s there, and she merely reminds him that Tommy killed her partner.
While they wait, Ray asks Guy where he’s been. Guy answers that he hasn’t been anywhere. He relates that he had been on the North Tower in a fog that night, and the next morning he was in the infirmary. He was told that there’d been an accident and his family was dead. The guards were told that they were sick, and quarantined. The next thing he knew, it was no longer 1963. Just then, Rebecca Madsen comes in, gun drawn. Guy grabs her from behind. Madsen talks him down by explaining that his daughter is alive, and Hastings was lied to about everything. Hauser breaks in and tells Guy that he’s going to shoot him in the head. Since Madsen’s seen him do that before, she saves Hastings’ life by punching him in the gut and shooting him in the leg.
In 1960, Ray has beaten Tommy out of all recognition and visits him in the infirmary. He tells him that he’s here because they’re blood and he doesn’t want him to be alone, etc. Tommy takes his hand, and when Ray walks off, we see that Hastings was there the entire time, concealed in a shadow. He always knew.
Hauser arrests Guy Hastings, but instead of taking him straight to Bizarro-Alcatraz, he drives over to Annie’s house. They arrive just as Annie’s daughter and grandchildren arrive for a visit, giving Guy a nice view of his descendants. He wants to talk to Annie, but Hauser refuses. It’s clear, however, that Hauser pities Hastings for what he’s lost. He calls him a “casualty.”
|"I'm sorry boys, but I think... I think I feel a song coming on..."|
Madsen watches Ray through the window of his bar, but goes on to the Batcave. Ray is so calm, she’s figured out that Hauser once asked Ray to be a part of his team. It was 16 years previously, and Ray refused because he was busy raising Rebecca.
The bar closes, and when Ray’s employee slips out, Tommy Madsen slips in. He’s been there before. He’s angry that Ray gave up the house, and reminds his brother that he’s supposed to protect him. Ray makes it very clear that protecting Rebecca is his priority, and finishes by telling Tommy to stay away. He promises that if he sees Tommy again, he intends to kill him. (dunh dunh DUNH!)
And that’s it. I don’t know. I felt a little let down by this episode. There was some good character stuff, and a little (almost microscopic) furtherance of the mystery element of the show, but overall, a lot of wasted potential here. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m already getting sick of this “monster of the week” type format, and it seems like the first returning guard might have been a good opportunity to shake things up.
What do you think? Did you love it? Talk to us in the comments, and don’t forget to visit us on Facebook. I’ll see you next week.
|"Predicable Island" was already taken.|