We cast an eye over the potential clues and interesting elements from the Alcatraz pilot. We also round up the big mysteries and answers stemming from this first episode.
- The premise is actually outlined twice in the episode: March 21st, 1963, Alcatraz officially closed due to rising costs and decrepit facilities. All the prisoners were transferred off the island, only that’s not what happened..not at all, teases
Sam NeillEmerson Hauser.
- 302 men disappeared that night.
- Susie — as incorporated into the Alcatraz viral campaign — finds a man sleeping in one of the Alcatraz cells.
- Jack Sylvane is the first returning Alcatraz prisoner (or so we think). Will all of the returnees come back through the prison itself? (unlikely, but it’s a question).
- He seems to be suffering from the ill-effects of time-travel or whatever was done to him to achieve this feat. He’s notably taken aback by the fact that he’s in the future, probably more of a culture shock.
- Clearly, he’s been sent back (or forward) intentionally. They even prepared him with a ticket, money and a key to help him perform his mission. How considerate of them.
- Doc Soto’s book, “Inmates of Alcatraz,” should make for interesting reading material.
- Sylvane was inmate 2024, sentenced 27 April, 1956.
- Fans of Fringe might remember Justin Butler Harner (E.B. Tiller) from the Fringe pilot — he played the Steig twins.
- Olivia Dunham 2.0? Not quite. I mean, great leap and all, but Oliva’s rooftop chase in the Fringe pilot had more of an emotional build up, and was just executed with awesomeness. Not to undermine Rebecca, but it might be while before I’m dubbing her The Madsenator.
- Soto’s Alcatraz comics. Think the show will release a batch of these?
- Soto essentially plays the Fringe ‘Peter Bishop’ role, but he’s not half as unwilling to jump aboard the Madsen train. Maybe one day we’ll see a tulip field flashback. Heh. Sorry, in-joke. Moving on..
- Locker #8 – also one of the LOST numbers.
- Ray Archer, former guard at Alcatraz — sort of Rebecca’s uncle. He raised her after her parents died. Her grandfather, Tommy Madsen, was also an Alcatraz guard. Ray seems to know that Alcatraz holds many secrets that Rebecca and others might find interesting. He tries to warn her off, she’s not having it.
- Sylvane’s ‘death certificate’ (1976)
- Soto to Rebecca: “I bet you have a pretty cool origin story” — we’d soon find out how Rebecca’s backstory ties in.
- The Alcatraz barracks, not to be confused with the LOST barracks.
- Although they share a common theme.
- Interesting that Lucy is the one who advises Hauser to enlist Rebecca.
- Sylvane underwent unexplained blood extraction. Hints towards medical experiments, no-doubt related to the central conspiracy.
- Prisoner 2002 knew that something terrible was going to happen. He’s not just super-mysterious, there’s a plot reason why he’s concealed behind a curtain.
- Another box and another (big-ass) key. What does this one open..?
- Sylvane killed Tiller out of hate, as we can surmise. The other guy, Flynn? “I only did what they told me”.
- The 63s, as they’re called — 256 prisoners, 46 guards. Interesting how the above shot mirrors..
- ..the one at Alcatraz 2.0.
- At least we know Hauser’s connection to Alcatraz. He was but a fresh-faced guard when the mythology hit the Rock.
- Rebecca’s grandfather Tommy wasn’t a guard, as she was led to believe, he was an inmate — number 2002 — the guy behind the curtain who warned Sylvane that something terrible was about to happen. And he’s already back — he killed her partner. Rabbit hole!
- Hauser wants to recapture the prisoners and house them in Alcatraz 2.0. To what ends..??
- How did Hauser know the prisoners would start returning? (perhaps he had some knowledge of the experiments at the time or found out later, from E.B. Tiller?)
- Who is sending the prisoners to the present day, and why?
- How are they sending them; how do the blood extractions tie in?
- What does the key open? Where is it?
- Will we see Sylvane again (most likely, he’s still ‘in play’).
- What are Hauser’s overarching goals?
- How will Rebecca handle her ‘grandfather conflict’ going forward?
For a pilot it was a decent start, with some intriguing mythology potential introduced (not always subtle, but there you go). How much they’ll continue it in each each remains to be seen. The characters are a bit flat at this stage and there were plot-holes that I’ll overlook for now. I’ll go with 7.5/10 Seriable Stars. Future episodes will give a better idea of just how much Seriable intent Alcatraz really has.