ALCATRAZ OBSERVATIONS: 1.01 Pilot

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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.

ALCATRAZ NOTES
  • 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 Neill Emerson 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.

  • 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.
Big Answers

  • 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..??
Big questions

  • 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.

Comments

  1. WaySeeker says

    In Ray’s bar … was there a Lost bottle? The Mc whatever scotch whatever that we’ve seen in FRINGanime and OUAT. It was in the wider shot before they closed in to Ray … maybe.

    Was there significance to the code to open A-Z 2.0?

    I had a dream last night that I was a guard at A-Z 2.0 and survived to witness a bunch of prisoners being broken out and taken out, and they had intel. They had been let themselves be caught on purpose and now they were getting help to get out and join the mysterious group.

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  2. kb6263 says

    4 8 15 16 23 42….

    JJ Abrams continuing mind f#$%??? I went to http://www.fox.com/alcatraz/ford/
    and knowing how intricate Lost really was, figured I would take a long look at the main page and the odd letter provided for us. I was able to find all of the numbers on this intro page. I am interested to know what you or others think? Is it just a tease? Or is this JJ just continuing some themes from lost?

    Here is where I found all of the numbers on this page:
    4- there are 4 ink blotted letter E’s
    8- there are 8 bold faced punctuation marks
    15- there are 15 bold faced / capitalized letters in the words Alcatraz and Legends
    16- this one is kind of a reach but there is the obvious 16 in the premiere date but also 16 total punctuation marks on the page.
    23- There are 23 typewriter keys shown in the picture.
    42- There are 42 characters in the description at the top left header “Legends of Alcatraz series premiere jan 16 mon 8/7c”

    would like to hear some feedback from any Lost junkies that like myself, cannot help themselves.

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    • Russ says

      All it is is a cool remake of “The Island.” The blood being drawn is for cloning experiments. It would explain why the people are cloudy about details and it would also be appropriate that things focus on an island and underground. I’m wary of JJ’s stuff since the bogus and extremely disappointing ending to Lost. And I think he and his cohorts are simply trying to throw everyone off the track of his “The Island” rip-off. Again, LOVE the show, but cloning certainly explains everything (as in no aging).

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      • Betty says

        If The Island is about cloning humans for replacement parts, then is Alcatraz about cloning humans and sending them on suicide missions ?

        There has to more to the story than that.

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          • Russ says

            The government lies all the time so it wouldn’t surprise me if they denied it. I am pretty sure they did. All the black ops stuff during the cold war? Yes, they were experimenting with cloning and all sorts of stuff. Now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Hitler had initiated a cloning project himself. Regardless, the “more” to the story is clearly that someone has these 63s under some sort of control, and in “The Island” there was a certain amount of control on the clones too. I didn’t say this was an EXACT match. It’s just very clear that’s where JJ got the idea from. Nothing wrong with it, just predictable…yet OH SO FUN! :o)

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  3. kb6263 says

    Also once you enter the site, once you solve the time of the riot … there is a page with a TON of numbers which I am sure is also code to be deciphered… #brainisfriedalready lol

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  4. Belle says

    The pilot was 2 hours. Granted, it was more like 2 back to back eps, but still, why did you only cover the first?

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  5. Sami H says

    I think Lucy was the first back, if she dissipated at all. March 21/.3.2.1 2002 aka the man behind the curtain, it never gets old J.J

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  6. Chris D says

    did no one else notice the qr code on sylvane’s 2.0 cell? you can see it when they’re putting the other guy in his cell in the end of the episode

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  7. Betty says

    Looks interesting. What was with the head-butt that Hauser gave Svlvane at Alcatraz 2 ?
    I know he is upset, but a head butt ! … caught me off guard.

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  8. Jeff says

    I saw the pilot twice on Continental/United flights. The episode aired was slightly altered. On the plane version, her live-in boyfriend (the painter dude from Heroes) played a bigger part. He was basically removed from the televised version. Anyone know what give?

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