Alcatraz, "Pilot": secrets of the Rock

Quick Take: Alcatraz, “Pilot”
Welcome to Alcatraz.

Alcatraz

Review: Alcatraz, “Pilot”
(S0101) J.J. Abrams has a defined style of storytelling: lots of intrigue, lots of action, and more lens flare than the both combined. Not that I’m complaining – Abrams has satisfied the uncomfortable cerebral pulsing left by the incessant spout of “reality” television that is forcing failure upon quality shows such as Community, or Abrams’ other sci-fi love-child, Fringe.

Many fans are still reeling from the Lost finale – whether you loved it or hated it (I try not to associate with the latter), you enjoyed the journey. Alcatraz seems primed to offer the same sort of mesmerizing journey through layers of mystery that will require a bit of patience. If that’s not your cup of tea, but you still want to check out the Abrams-hype for yourself, I recommend Person of Interest.

Alcatraz begins with a slight retelling of the story of the infamous island-prison. When the Rock was shut down in 1963, the world was told that all of the inmates were transferred out – except that’s not what happened. One dark night, two prison guards arrive to find the entire island bereft of life – everyone simply disappeared. From personal experience, however, I can tell you that vanishing on command is not physically possible.

Flash-forward fifty years – to what turns out to be a flashback – where we catch up with Detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) at the precise moment  when her partner slips out of her reach and to his death. With a bit of background established, Madsen is called to a murder, only to be pushed out by Emerson Hauser (Jurrasic Park alum Sam Neill) and his team of F.B.I. Clearly an intrepid and unyielding detective who is the rising star of her generation, Rebecca starts to poke her nose in places it doesn’t belong, and recruits the dual-Ph.D expertise of Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia).

Moving past the whimsical casting of Lost’s Hurley as an expert in the field of mysterious islands, we are also introduced to Jack Sylvane (Jeffrey Pierce), a prisoner in 1960’s Alcatraz. Before he was an inmate, he was a prisoner of circumstance; after being caught stealing from a place that also sold postal stamps – thus incurring the wrath of the federal government – Sylvane finds himself being forced to drop the soap by a fellow inmate, earning his trip to the Rock by killing his assailant.

So Madsen and Soto get caught snooping around by Hauser, who is strangely open to revealing the bizarre nature of his team’s assigned task despite being ready to kill others to protect the same secret. Following the disappearance at Alcatraz fifty years earlier, Hauser is relatively up to speed on the mysterious disappearance and reappearance of Jack Sylvane, if not others.

Sylvane, after waking up in his cell having not aged a day since his disappearance, finds himself equipped to take a ferry off the island unrecognized, and proceeds to go on a murder-spree, recovering a gun and black pouch with a key before confronting his brother. Soto, Madsen, and Hauser and his team catch up with Jack at his wife’s grave, where he antagonizes a shot to the leg from a nearby sharpshooter, remanding him to Hauser’s custody.

Hauser, who has set up his Batcave beneath the Alcatraz prison, has been waiting for fifty years for the reappearance of the two-hundred-fifty-six convicts that he discovered missing on that fateful night. One of those escaped convicts also happens to be Madsen’s grandfather, and the man responsible for her partner’s death– a discovery that prompts her request to be transferred to the bizarre case, inviting Soto along to be her partner. With the team assembled, Hauser escorts Sylvane back to his cell in Alcatraz, promising him company quite soon.

By Mark D Curran

About the author

Mark is a freelance writer, student of English and Philosophy, and still has too much time on his hands. If you have any of your own, check out the blog and follow him on Twitter!

http://twitter.com/#!/MarkDCurran

More From Mark D Curran

"The pink stars are falling in lines."
Read More
"It's stuck on 2003." - Michael Bluth
Read More
If the impact of last night’s finale of the Walking Dead was at all diminished by the quality of season premieres it went up against, I’d hate to see how it would have matched up against those same shows’ finales.
Read More
0 Comments
Name:

Email (Will not be used):

Comment:

characters left
 

Featured Articles

Popular Today

 
 

Recent Comments

"Mysterion Rises" with The Cute Lord Cthulhu - South Park review
Actually, the birthing of Kenny in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" doesn't necessarily conflict with the circumstances of Kenny's reincarnation...
Alien Encounters, "The Message": a hard to find little show that's worth the search
Mind Reading Technologies and Tongues Governments from around the world have been using mind reading technologies that can read...
Dog The Bounty Hunter, "And Baby Makes Three": revisiting an old favorite
i do like your show i wish can be your fan club i want all of your show on dvd please
Boardwalk Empire, "Two Boats and a Lifeguard": daddy issues
Are you looking for a partner for the relationship or for fun? Then you came to the right place. We are providing you the best dating...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I can verify Bear Claw. Good man. I cant vouch for the other participants. It is to bad society does suck so bad that this type...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
Lake Michigan is not an ocean. Has anyone seen my white dog? Lost him while hiking in Arkansas
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too also as well live on the island, I can attest that Dan lives in the ocean as he has for hundreds of decades. We locals call...
Parks and Recreation: why is everyone so mean to Jerry?
It's funny because its so not funny.
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too live on the island and ISLANDER does not know what they are talking about. Dan lives out in the middle of the island with...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
this is not real i know that goat and it is not "doc's" its my neighbors goat. and by the way i live on the very top of that mountain...