Monday, January 30, 2012

Alcatraz: Season 1 Episode 4 - Cal Sweeney

Hello fellow inmates!  I'm really enjoying our visit to Alcatraz this year.  They are building up a repertoire of very memorable and highly dangerous prisoners while expanding the mystery of their reappearance in the present day.  There were a few more interesting tidbits added tonight that I'll mention below.  Let's not waste any time and dive right in.

Cal Sweeney

So we learned that Cal had a pretty rough childhood.   He lost his whole family in a fire when he was 10 years old and had only one empty tin box as a remembrance of them.  There was a story to be told of that box and so he went into a life of crime courting bank tellers so that he can rob people's safety deposit boxes of their most valuable possessions.  But, what he really wanted was the story of WHY it was so special.  And of course, he left a trail of corpses behind him.

Emerson's team were hot on the case as always finding unconventional ways to capture him.  This week involved distracting authorities while Madsen broke him out of a locked down bank.  And kudos to her for noticing that Cal had no idea what a seatbelt was. 

In Cal's flashbacks we got to visit what seemed like a very important dinner of Alcatraz authorities and medical practitioners, but we'll get to that. We also met another inmate named Harlan who took advantage of overconfident Cal and his whole cigarette prison business.  Harlan gave the impression that Deputy Warden Tiller stole his tin box, putting Cal in the hole for 30 days.  This gave Harlan the chance to take over and rise to new heights in the prison hierarchy.  Something tells me we'll be hearing from him again.

Mythology Talk

  • We learned more about Tiller.  He has a special needs sister who was making some pretty hysterical comments all night.  Seems like she needs some male attention pronto!   Tiller also appears to be a corrupt conned Sweeney into 50% of the profits from the cigarette business.  He seems to be rather hated among prisoners which could explain why Sylvane went right after him when he got out.   (or it could have just been his assignment with whoever the man/woman in charge of this operation is)
  • You had to love how the writers are still trying to figure out what to do with Hurley (sorry, Soto) during these missions.  Obviously he has Alcatraz knowledge but that only goes so far in an episode.  So, the building that the bank was in just happened to be similar to the construction of his comic book store.  This allowed him to help Madsen break in.  A bit of a stretch!  But hey, the whole driving Emerson around while Tracking (errr tailing) Sweeney made up for it big time.  You just have to love Jorge Garcia! 
    • Oh yeah and how about the lady at the flower shop offering a police discount to Madsen of 15% but then to Soto, "20% for youuuuuuuu"  Ahh good times. 
  • So the first big mythology event of the night was the dinner where Lucy, Dr. Beauregard, Warden and Tiller all sat down and were having a light conversation.  Lucy discussed how she specializes in both medicine and psychology and then started talking about how people are wired by their memories.  She was studying ways to remove traumatic memories in an effort to correct inmates behavior and be able to restore them into society.  

    • Interesting.  Well, it wouldn't seem like it worked if these people are still sticking to their old habits out in present day.  But obviously, we need to keep tabs on this whole memory removal thing.  
    • Speaking of memories, did anyone else catch a vibe that maybe Cal Sweeney didn't know why he stole that bag at the last robbery?  He either didn't want to talk to Madsen about it or he really didn't know what was in the bag and why he stole it.  So perhaps, as I mentioned above, they are somehow programmed to be doing whatever they're doing?   Just a thought.  I'm not past the whole cloning concept yet.  Now add in the whole memory correction angle. Perhaps someone took Lucy's knowledge and used it against original intentions and kept the BAD wiring for these people and instilled some mental instructions for what the powers that be want done?  (sorta like Inception?)    Like I said, just throwing darts at the wall for now.  That's what we love to do! 

  • So, then there was the mystery keys.  Sylvane had one and now Sweeney robbed one out of that bank.  Emerson took the keys to his science team where they discovered the keys were cut by lasers, meaning they couldn't have possibly been made in the 60s. 

    • Ahh, but still we flash back to 1960 and we see the Warden "enlightening" Harlan to a whole new world.  He used 2 of these keys to open a magical door on Alcatraz Island (it would seem to be under the prison).   All we see is Harlan's eyes light up and we cut to the Alcatraz title.  
    • Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind (at least mine) is some kind of time portal to the present day.  But that's a little too easy, right?  But where did they get those keys?  Did Jim Shannon throw them through the Hope Plaza portal?  Did a DHARMA Polar Bear turn a crazy Donkey Wheel with the keys lodged on one of the spindles so they'd be transported through space and time?  Yeah, I'm going to guess it will be something else.  But we're definitely meant to be remembering these keys and the whole memory extraction discussion. 
So that's all I have for this week.  Did I miss anything?  I'm kind of enjoying these smaller recaps.  I'm usually so worn out from doing a play by play, that I don't spend too much theorizing on stuff.  Of course, there hasn't really been a show lately that has warranted theorization.  Hopefully, Alcatraz will keep us guessing!   I look forward to hearing your developing thoughts on the show as well!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 

End Credits
  • This season I will be recapping FringeTerra NovaThe Walking Dead and Alcatraz
  • Sneak Preview of TOUCH will air after American Idol on Wednesday January 25th.  Once Alcatraz airs it's 12 episodes, Touch will take over and air its 12.  I'm looking forward to this one as well! 
  • Other shows that are being discussed in comments recently:  Sons of Anarchy, How I Met Your Mother, Once Upon a Time, American Horror Story, Dexter, Chuck, Shameless, Mad Men (March!!), Game of Thrones (April 1st!), among others.  Feel free to join in!
  • See trailers for the Mid-Season shows I'm looking forward to: AlcatrazAwake and Touch.   I doubt I'll have time to recap them all but they will most likely be discussed on this blog!  
  • As always, there are other shows that I watch as well and would be happy to discuss with all of you. For a complete list by day, you can check out my "FALL TV" post.


Ryzen said...

What did the Warden say at the very end of the episode? I can't for the life of me make out what he says right before throwing the guy in. To be specific I mean the second to last sentence he spoke.

Mike V. said...

Hi Ryzen. The Warden said, "You're future just got a whole lot brighter, kid." And then the final thing was "Don't be shy." This is what I meant by "enlightening to a whole new world" lol Hope that helped!

MJ said...

I found it interesting that his most cherished item was a little metal box that was left behind in a fire - an what he does now is rob mietal boxes. Symmetry there.

Yeah - Soto is def the weak link in this ensemble unfortunately. To me it's the running around and being on scene. I think his character would work better staying at his shop helping remotely, then give him some humor at the shop or something. But what do I know !

Agree we wil def see the guy who screwed over Sweeney again. Very interesting dinner party. But - since Sweeney was seeming to show him the ropes I thought it odd that the kid had enough juice to pull the whole thing off. But hey - it's tv.

Leslie said...

One thing I noticed, that may mean nothing, is that Lucy has a different last name in the 60’s. She’s Lucy Banerjee now, but introduced herself as Lucille Sangupta in the past. At the dinner party, Dr. Beauregard called her “Sanguppy”. He seemed to not like her too much.

When Madsen was in the car with Cal, and she asked him what was in the bag, Cal said he was “not supposed to look in it”. And, Hauser didn’t seem to know what the keys opened and said something about the key analysis giving them insight into “how the prisoners jumped”, so even though it seems Hauser isn’t telling all he knows, there are things he’s in the dark about.

Did I recognize Tiller’s sister as the same girl who played on The Facts of Life? I don’t remember her name, but I remember she was a comedian back then.

It was interesting that we didn’t see Cal being taken off to the prison in the woods, but I guess we can assume that happened since Madsen had him handcuffed to the steering wheel.

Kelly said...

Leslie, you beat me to the punch! I was totally going to mention that Tiller's sister was in The Facts of Life, hahaha! I recognized her immediately. I'm such a nerd when it comes to that stuff, I always have to make actor connections for some reason. A new friend of mine noticed that last weekend, she said I'm an actor savant, lol..
Anyway, just thought I'd hop in here to comment on that, I'll be commenting further in a bit after I get some stupid work done, lol

Corey said...

I wonder if the two non-inmate returnees (so far), Lucy and Dr. Beauregard, know about each other coming back. The doctor doesn't seem to be too nice a guy, particularly to Lucy. If Lucy does know about him being back, I imagine she's too keen on having to work on the same 'team' with him trying to figure out what happened.

I agree that Hauser doesn't know all about what happened. Found it interesting that he doesn't want to let on about things he doesn't know to Madsen and Soto (perhaps wants to maintain the all-knowing persona). When Madsen asked what the key is for he told her nothing, though left the impression that he was choosing not to tell her the key's purpose. Then we find out that he really doesn't know anything about what the keys are for.

Mike V. said...

@MJ - Good call on the Symmetry. And it pains me to say that Hurley is the weak link in the story, so I'm just not going to say it! But I'm with you on the suggestions! lol I kind of felt that way about Peter on Fringe in the first season. Like they didn't know how they wanted to integrate him into the story yet and they were working on it. Of course, it may have been because I had to distance the fact that I knew him as Pacey on DC and the dude from The Mighty Ducks previously. lol But, eventually, big plot points revealed themselves making Peter very integral to the story. So, hopefully they'll be able to work something out like that for Jorge.

Yeah, it was pretty crazy that Harlan was able to pull that off, but these are the country's most dangerous criminals....I guess there was more than meets the eye to him!

@Leslie - Good call on the Lucy name change. I never would have caught that. Definitely could be significant. Unless she got married at some point. lol Yeah Beauregard did seem to not respect Lucy too much.

I didn't catch Cal saying he wasn't supposed to look in the bag. Guess I missed that. But totally agree that they revealed Hauser isn't "all knowing" when it comes to the prisoners showing up. That's good to know. And yeah, it was interesting that he said "how the prisoners jumped"...that would suggest jumping through time or something...but I'm not quite sold yet! But definitely interested in this magical doorway under Alcatraz now. (or should we say, HATCH? lol)

Totally didn't recognize the sister from Facts of life so kudos to you and Kelly!

Yeah, I was thinking at some point they'd have a problem showing that prison when it got more full because they'd have to bring these guest stars back for every episode unless they wanted to have a really choppy scene that just keeps cutting to different prisoners staring out of their bars. lol I like how this week they showed their mugshots on the wall instead. I'm sure cal was taken to the secret prison. It's still unclear whether Soto and Madsen are aware of this prison.

@Kelly - I have noticed your tendency to make actor connections as well! There's nothing wrong with it. lol I do it too, just not always outloud. :-) Look forward to additional comments!

Nice comments everyone, keep up the great discussion! (just saw there is another one, I'll get to that next!)

Mike V. said...

@Corey - It's a good question if Lucy and Dr. Beauregard are aware of each other in the present day. Considering we both saw them at some point in this new prison, I'm going to assume they are both aware. Of course, what we have been seeing in flashbacks has mostly been in 1960. There is a chance that in the years that followed prior to 1963 (the disappearance) they learned to get along for the "greater good". As far as trying to figure out what happened, I wonder if Dr. Bearegard and/or Lucy have any additional information on what happened that they haven't shared with Emerson. It would seem unlikely since they're all on the same team. And of course there is always the possibility that these people in the present day are NOT the same people that we are seeing in flashbacks. Same DNA, same knowledge, same tendencies, but they may not have all of the same memories (a la Lucy's 1960 comments). Of course, that wouldn't explain the futuristic (for 1960) keys that could not have been made in that year yet. Hmmmm

I think you're right that Emerson wants to keep his "all-knowing and mysterious" vibe going for Madsen and Soto...why? No clue and perhaps we'll find out.

Thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

Good comments, everyone. And thanks for posting the last few lines voiced by the Warden. I have so much trouble making out what that guy says!

Am I the only one that thinks the Warden has "special feelings" for Tiller? That speach was just a little TOO weird. That Tiller is such a slimebag --

That old "open the door and make you wonder what's behind it" trick still works for me! I'm dying to know! I wonder if Harlan is going to turn out to be one of the 63.

Weak point in plot -- a bank wouldn't have those air ducts secured? Other than that, it's all good as far as I'm concerned!


Mike V. said...

@Cajun - No problem on the last few lines. So weird, it's clear as day to me! At least those lines were.

You're right, the Warden speech to Tiller did seem a little strange. Of course, it could be alluding to a flashback that we have yet to see. Then again, said flashback could just accentuate the "special feelings" he has. And yes, Tiller is definitely a slimebag. Loved that they threw in that "shaving scene"...If you want to show who the villain of the story is, always throw in an old fashion shaving scene, and there must always be a nick on the neck! lol

I just assumed Harlan would be one of the 63s (since it was basically EVERY prisoner that was in alcatraz in 1963. To be clear, there are more than 63 of them (hundreds actually). That's just a nickname due to the year they disappeared. lol). And yes, the "mystery door" trick always works on me too! Kept me excited for half of season 1 of LOST and the entire summer before season 2. :)

Good point on the air ducts. Of course, maybe the bank factored in every scenario except: "Well, what if there's a cop that needs to break in and he/she has a comic-book writer with them that lives in a building similar to this? Surely, they're going to know to go for this secret air duct!!" LOL Yeah, I'm not going to worry about that bit too much, but you're right. Seems a little too convenient!

At least we didn't have anyone singing the "Go away Spider" song while Madsen got in or while they were breaking out. (ahh Terra Nova, how I miss your cheesiness. lol)

Corey said...

@Mike - Huh, I don't remember ever seeing Lucy at the new prison. I thought it's always been Hauser personally escorting them to the prison in the woods. I only remember seeing her at the new lair under Alcatraz. Would be interesting if he's keeping that from Lucy. But she seems pretty in the know with Hauser and would be odd for him to not tell her where he takes the prisoners. I guess we'll see...

Mike V. said...

Corey, didn't Lucy interrogate Sylvane at the prison giving him the lie detector test? Surely they didn't transport him back to Alcatraz for that. Lol

Kelly said...

Oh MJ, love that comparison between the empty box he cherished and how he robs metal boxes :)
I feel like I'm in the whole camp of how these guys are cloned and have memories implanted in them. All of the blood that has been taken, all the talk of extracting memories.. then again, JJ's shows always have us guessing, so I could be totally wrong. I kinda hope I am wrong, because it's too soon to have anyone figure out what happened! Unless they bring out some other juicy mystery for us to ponder :)
Mike, I definitely think Cal didn't know why he stole that key. It goes along with Jack Sylvane not knowing what was going on when Lucy was interrogating him, and the lie detector test determining that he was telling the truth.
The keys being cut by lasers, yet being used in the 60's was interesting. Supports the whole time portal idea, though I hope that's not the case. And LMAO on the Hope Plaza (and spider song) reference!! and the polar bear/donkey wheel reference!
THANK YOU, show, for giving us more info on the keys, btw. I almost did a "WTF?" when Hauser said he was going to tell Madsen about it, then he walked away, lol.
I agree that they are underusing Hurto (lol). It feels like they just made a character for Jorge Garcia without fully developing him. But I'm sure there's something more to his importance that they'll touch on soon.
Oh, remember a few weeks ago when I pondered about how they'll handle the missing guards? Looks like they'll be visiting that next week, along with more of Madsen's grandfather. YAY!
I'm still loving that they aren't sugarcoating these criminals. Alcatraz inmates were dangerous, and I thank the show for keeping it that way!
As for the warden and Tiller's relationship, I kinda feel like it's a strained one. Like, they really hate each other and are overcompensating by outnicing each other or something, but in an obvious, sarcastic way.
And just when we thought we were done with hatches, lol.. it would've been funny if when the warden opened the door, "Make your Own Kind of Music" started playing ;)
And now I shall turn to other business.. on today's edition of "Hey, it's that actor from that show!", Alex from Lost was on 90210 last night. And boy does that show STINK. I don't think I'll be coming back next season for that one.
Where's my Ringer buddy?? MJ, did you see the episode last night? One thing I have to mention is that I hate on shows when a person is hailing a taxi, they yell "TAXI!" as if the cab driver can actually hear them, lol.. But I digress. It was becoming an "out of sight out of mind" show for me, and I was worried that I wouldn't get back into it. But I definitely was hooked very quickly! Looks like Siobhan (the real one) is going to tell Henry who she really is.. I do love how this show isn't afraid to mix things up and actually move the storyline along! I felt bad for Juliet's teacher, that girl is such a biznatch. Yeah, go ruin a great teacher's career and life because he rejected you. Tsk, tsk!
And now, I shall take my leave for the moment. I have ""Make Your Own Kind of Music" in my head now, lol

MJ said...

4 minutes of TWD premier - I didn't watch it but for those of you who want to.

Ringer: Zap2it says they have a catchup of of Ringer before it comes back - but the video does not work. Damn it.

Great catch Leslie - i did not notice the last name change for Lucy.

Mike V. said...

@Kelly - Exactly, if this was a 1 season show...I'd say YEP, they're clones! or YEP, it's Time Travel! But surely, things cannot be that simple if there will be an ever evolving mythology. Before we know it, we'll find out we're not even on Planet Earth, but a replica of San Francisco made inside a video game for the playstation 53 after the universe already imploded. (well, one can dream! lol) But yeah, for now...Cloning seems most probable, except for the whole laser key making thing and the reference to them "JUMPING" and the magical doorway that leads to Narni..uhh...Nevermind. lol And yes, it is interesting that both Cal and Jack seemed to be missing tidbits of knowledge combined with Lucy discussing memory extractions!

Thanks for noticing my silly references. I like to think that this blogging universe has a canon all to itself and we can reference between shows and reuse blog jokes freely without missing a beat. :-)

Yeah, here's hoping HURTO will find a more meaninful existence in the Alcatraz universe! lol Maybe once they find out that he's the guardian of a mystical moving Island with a bright light that represents the source of life, death and rebirth...they'll start taking him more seriously!! :-) Otherwise, Jack Shephard is going to start doing some serious haunting!

Yeah, I'm still pondering how/when they'll start delving into the missing guards. If it's next week, then GREAT! But regardless, following the story of Madsen's Grandfather will be an interesting and information exposing episode! Perfect way to enter February Sweeps!

Agreed on the non-sugarcoated criminals. Loving it!

That would be awesome if that song started playing. Probably was written in that timeframe too. (ugh, nevermind I looked it up, 1969 lol Well maybe they went to the future, got those keys made and picked up a Mama Cass album while they were there!)

Yeah...I've had an on again/off again romance with 90210 since the first season. It's definitely missing the vibe of the original show which I can still watch in reruns this day and laugh at the ridiculousness yet enjoy it all at the same time. As for Alex being on it, I guess a girl's gotta eat! lol

Now 4 behind on Ringer. I'll try to catch up one of these days!


Thanks for the TWD link! I'm gonna try and wait for the premiere but I may cave one of these days. lol

Also, I posted a link in the Fringe recap of some info on this Friday's ep. Looks like they'll be focusing on the Astrids finally and apparently, it's really good! Excited!

MJ said...

No - didn't get to Ringer last night unfortunately. Heard there's lots of fun coming though.

LOL on the music playing when they open the door. ! Good times.

I know that Fringe is about the Astrids and I am very excited about it - but I stopped myself from watching the vid, as I have so far stopped myself from watching TWD.

Today I rewatched the beginning of the Revenge pilot - I wanted to see the shooting on the beach again and who was where. Hear that what happened there might not be what we thought - so I wanted to refresh myself.

I'm withholding on guessing on Alcatraz yet. They def are leading us to several paths - which is great fun

MJ said...

Finally got to watch ! You were right kelly - they didn't miss a beat. Creepy when real Siobhan was watching faux Siobhan in the shower though. I agree she is def going to tell Henry ! Can't wait for the hubby to find out - that will be great - his marriage to his sister-in-law is better than to his wife.

I agree that the daughter is lying about the teacher, but a friend of mine actually thinks she's telling the truth. Says the way she is trying avoid him is a little too realistic for someone who is lying. We shall see, but I think it's a lie.

LOL on the taxi thing ! Totally agree with you - and it's done in so many shows and movies.

What I thought was blatantly wrong was a charity for public schools? Really? I don't think so. But I think I read that the new frenemy we met last night with that charity will be staying around for awhile.

Kelly said...

Yeah I'd imagine that the frenemy (I forget her name) will stick around, she's probably going to take the place of Gemma.. her hsband on the show used to be on Days of Our Lives (I MUST stop this incessant 6 degrees of actors thing! Or not, I like it, lol).
I actually did stop and wonder if Juliet was telling the truth about the teacher after all. She did seem truly upset about seeing him. It's a possibility, but why would he totally reject her and then rape her afterwards? Eh, I'm looking for logic on this show? BWA HA HA! I suppose we'll see what's up with this stuff in the coming weeks.
Although it seems a bit too convenient that Brigitte's sponsor friend (Malcolm?) just happens to save the day and get a new job with the computer stuff, I do like that they've found a reason for him to stick around. I like him, and Bridgette needs someone around that know who she really is.
Interesting stuff about Machado now investigating Siobhan. So Bridgette figured she'd get Machado off her tail by taking over Siobhan's life, but she's gonna see that her own life was the lesser of two evils, lol!

MJ said...

Chuck: Wish they'd put this out before the finale. I'd forgotten some of them.

Ringer: I couldn't remember earlier but her name is Greer - and she was on Twin Peaks as well as many other things. You missed one kelly ! LOL

yeah - Machado now looking at Sibhoan should be a good time.

Mike V. said...

Ugh..just saw I made one of my biggest pet peeve Typos in my first comment "You're future just got a whole lot brighter, kid."

That would be YOUR! lol

Thanks for the link MJ! Checking it out now.

And obviously, I'm out on the Ringer discussion! :)

Mike V. said...

So Mittovich here made it sound like Alcatraz was getting more episodes this season, but it isn't. Rather they are breaking up what was going to be 2 back to back episodes for the finale into 2 weeks. So the final episodes of Alcatraz this season will be paired up with Touch.

It will still air 2 episodes on March 8th though.

Mike V. said...

Oh yeah, and Fringe is going on a 3 week hiatus after February Sweeps. But when it returns it will air straight through to the end.

Mike V. said...

Another JJ Abrams sci-fi pilot ordered for next season by NBC "REVOLUTION":

Sounds interesting as always. lol

Mike V. said...

Oh's a joint effort from Abrams and Supernatural's Eric Kripke which I'm sure would excite some!

MJ said...

Abrams and Kripke - could be excellent !

3 week hiatus for Fringe !?! Grr! But it will be nice to have the stright thru to the end part.

Saw that (ABC I think) has a pilot that sounds very much like Grimm with a tought of Once - but in Manhattan. I hate when they all start ripping eachother off !

Mike V. said...

Happens every time there's a successful twist on a genre. There were tons of LOST cloning attempts too. So now Fairy Tales are the big thing. Greeaaaat!

Yeah, not too worried about the 3 week hiatus for Fringe. We still have 4 episodes until that happens. And I prefer them to air stuff in large chunks. I made lots of comments on that link. I really think FOX has been the most forward thinking of the networks in trying to figure out how to run things more straight through. Accidental or not, I think they're onto something with their Terra Nova, Alcatraz, Touch scheduling this season. The TV landscape is changing, and they're trying to change with it. I give them kudos for that! lol

Mike V. said...

Awake Finally has a date! Unfortunately it's going to be Thursdays at 10. OUCH. That can't bode well since it will be against Person of Interest and other things. I already have too much to watch on Thursdays as it is. Looks like it'll be TiVo'd for another day/night. lol

It will start March 1st.

Kelly said...

You beat me to the punch! lol, I was just going to post about Awake. Though POI is on at 9 on Thursdays, isn't it? Thursday is my off night, I only have The Office, which has been terrible lately anyway.

MJ said...

Yay on Awake finally getting a date.

I watch some brit shows and they have 8 eps for alot of seasons but then they have alot of different shows. So they avoid the whole rerun thing altogether.
It's actually nice. And they have theme nights, like supernatural saturdays - so for instance they would run 8 Fringe, then 8 Supernatural, then 8 Lost, etc etc. Works pretty well.

Have a good weekend everyone !

Mike V. said...

Yeah, POI is on at 9. Not sure what I was thinking there. Jersey Shore is at 10 but I'd definitely pick Awake over that! lol I don't really watch anything of importance at 10. But I watch shows on 4 different networks from 8-10 so I'm always watching through to 11 to catch everything. Not sure if the Mrs. will be on board for awake, but I'm hoping a preview during the Super Bowl might convert her! lol God knows we're both tired of Jersey Shore!

Yeah, I think the British TV format works much better for the current television landscape. I'd hate only 8 episodes for a season but it's better than the inflated 22-24! lol Downton Abbey did 7 or 8 per season too. We're still working our way through the first season.

That's why I think FOX is on the right track with their half season orders. Not sure if the US Masses are ready for that judging by some comments on these sites, but the hardcore TV viewers are there I think!

Mike V. said...

Have a good weekend to everyone too! FRINGE tonight!! woo hoo!