Monday, March 5, 2012

Alcatraz: Season 1 Episode 9 / 10 - The Ames Bros. / Sonny Burnett

Hello fellow time traveling, super blood inmates! So, lots of drama outside of the show itself with FOX scheduling and the Daytona 500.  Last week's episode did not air and will not air until next week.  So, we were treated to the 2 episodes that were meant to air together tonight on schedule.  Not sure if that will impact any mythological advancements that were learned this week.  Probably not.  But we might lose some momentum that was built tonight.  Because we got 2 pretty solid episodes with some fairly interesting tidbits about the secrets of Alcatraz!  Considering it was 2 hours and I'm on a busier schedule these days, my recap probably won't be much longer.  So, let's just get on with it!

The Ames Brothers and Sonny Burnett 

Okay, 2 interesting stories over the 2 hours.  The first revolved around the Ames Bros.  Supposedly they were fraternal twins who were very keen on discovering hidden gold in Alcatraz.  Of course, in their desperate search for the gold, they stumbled upon the 2 mysterious keys that open that "secret hatch" below Alcatraz.  There were some fun scenes in the flashbacks with them using their accomplice in guard Donovan to help them copy the keys in the kitchen.  Pinky Ames earned his nickname by slicing off another inmate's pinky to delay a shift change.  Ouch!  In the present day, the Ames Bros. continued their search for gold and even ran into their old buddy Donovan too as a park ranger on Alcatraz.  With a storm brewing, Madsen, Soto and Emerson were marooned on the island with the villains and one of the scientist guys.   Scientist guy bit it early.  And Soto was taken captive, but found as a valuable resource with his knowledge of the rock.

Drama ensues, brothers eventually die.  Donovan continues on to try and find that gold.  He blows down the padlocked door (to which they thought those 2 keys went) and found an empty room.   In 1960, we see the Warden open that padlocked door to find a whole lot of gold.  It would seem that he was just seeing this gold for the first time, but considering he had the keys, I doubt that.  But, why he has the gold?  Who knows!?

Story #2 was with Sonny "JUICE!" Burnett (Juice, from Sons of Anarchy of course!).  He went into prison as a professional kidnapper.   He was not a murderer, but prison made him hard.  More specifically, Jr. Deputy Tiller hardened Sonny.  Telling him that he had to kill or be killed out there.  Sony tried to align himself with the big "mafia type dude" among the inmates.  When his female kidnapping interest Helen took back her $100,000 after his arrest, it did not bode well for him in the slammer.  He got shivved by these goons, and sent him over the edge.  He worked out non-stop and got his vengeance eventually, gouging out mafia dude's eyes.  OUCH!!

In present day, he was all about getting revenge on Helen for taking that money back.  He killed her husband with a power saw.  (disgusting scene btw)  He buried her daughter alive in the same field where he buried the $100,000.  But, as always, our crack team were able to finally chase him down and put him behind bars in New Alcatraz.

But there was tons of other stuff going on behind the scenes in all of this!  Let's discuss that.

Mythology Talk
  • It would seem that the Ames Brothers and Donovan showed up in the present day at least a month prior to their encounter with the Alcatraz hunters.  All of the previous incidents seemed to having them show up closer to when they started wreaking havoc.  
  • Donovan was taken to New Alcatraz by Hauser for interrogation at the end of the episode.  We found out some things that Emerson is looking for answers to.  He wants to know why everyone was interested in Tommy Madsen (join the club), how much did Ray Archer know?  Is Warden James behind all of it?  Was he willing to kill to get a hold of the keys?   Obviously, we didn't get any answers on camera but it's good to know we're asking the right questions. 
  • Ray Archer in 1960 was still a prison guard and was suspicious of Donovan and the Ames Brothers' activity.  When he helped hunt them down, Warden James rewarded him with a fake story that sold him on preventing the greatest escape attempt ever from Alcatraz.  It also brought Archer (aka Fletcher) into Warden's circle of trust.   This turned out to be the plan of his and Tommy Madsen's all along.  He told Tommy he was going to get to the bottom of what they were doing to him.  Interesting...
  • In the next episode, Emerson paid a visit to Ray in the present day upon Ray's request.  Ray wants Rebecca out of the picture.  Emerson said that it's not him keeping her there anymore but is curious to why Ray is just coming to him now.  Both he and Rebecca figured out pretty quickly that Ray has had a run-in with Tommy.  Things seem to be hitting too close to home for Ray, and it would seem he has some baggage he's trying to hide too.  But, he's sticking with his "Tommy is bad news" story for now.  Probably not entirely incorrect! 
  • We got a big advancement on the blood story.  Dr. Beauregard discussed how Ernest Cobb (who was shot by Hauser in the hand) healed in weeks when it should have taken months.  And none of the prisoners that were brought in have any ailments anymore.  Apparently, they all had some collodial silver in their blood that advances their healing techniques.  Beauregard claims to have not been involved in implementing this into the prisoners.  He said he was involved with decanting blood but then it was all up to Warden and his people to what they wanted to do with it. 
  • But a big thing brought up was that they might be able to cure Lucy with this blood.  But they need the right blood type.  I guess maybe Tommy IS a universal donor and maybe his blood was used to put this silver mumbo jumbo into it and then injected into various prisoners?   Or maybe there was more than just Tommy giving blood.  In any case, they don't have the right blood type right now to give to Lucy.  Burnett had the right blood type but didn't have the silver in his blood.  So what made them decide which inmates would get it vs. which wouldn't?   Perhaps this has something to do with the warring factions between the 63s?  
  • It definitely seems like Warden James and Tiller are at odds with each other in 1960.  They seem to be having a competition with the inmates for sport.  Tiller seemed to be pleased with his evolving of Burnett into a cold blooded eye gouger and felt he had one-upped his superior.  Stay tuned on what that means in the long run. 
  • And most importantly, Soto has developed nicknames for the scientists that work with Emerson at The Rock.  And one is called the Whistler.  And he is a big fan of showtunes.  And who can blame him when there are such fantastical musical masterpieces such as Les Miserables?  Of course, I couldn't tell you if it was the Whistler that got whacked by Pinky Ames or not! 
I'm sure there's other stuff, but we can cover it in the comments if I missed it.  This just in folks.  As I was writing this blog, I received a tweet informing the world that Fox has cancelled Terra Nova!  It's a shame. I was starting to like the show.  (well I never hated it)  But at the same time, it's not like I'll terribly miss it either.   Its cancellation could be positive news for Alcatraz or Touch's renewal, maybe even Fringe!  One can dream, though based on the article I referenced it doesn't sound good for Alcatraz either.  Anyway, just thought I'd share the news since I saw it.  

That's all I have for now, we'll be back for more Alcatraz commentary next week as we flash back to episode 8 of this season!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings, I look forward to reading yours and I'll see you next week! 

End Credits
  • This season I am recapping FringeTerra NovaThe Walking Dead and Alcatraz
  • 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: Awake and Touch.  
  • As always, there are other shows that I watch as well and would be happy to discuss with all of you in the comments of any of these blog posts.


Kelly said...

RIP Terra Nova, I will surely miss pointing out the fine aged cheese you put forth on a weekly basis. Taylor, I hope you continue to be the awesome badass I've come to love and respect. Shannon family, I am very glad I don't have to hear you sing stupid spider songs again. I mean, there's a CHANCE another network will pick it up, but I really don't care all that much if that happens. I did start to enjoy it, but it's better this way. It's not me, it's you, Terra Nova.
I thoroughly enjoyed last night's two hours o' fun and murder! I really hope that viewership rises, or that Fox gives it a chance. I'm crossing my fingers. Since Terra Nova and House are now gone, hopefully that'll mean that Alcatraz will get another season(and yes, Fringe too, because I know all the cool people love it).
The first hour last night was awesome. I loved the creepiness of the storm added to the action between "the brothers plus one" and soto/hauser/madsen (we should have a name for these guys- the gleesome threesome? ...naw...).
The second hour was awesome, mostly because of FRIGGIN' JUUUUUICE! Yes, Juice, please take off your shirt and show us how muscular you've gotten during your stint on The Rock. And there's something about an underdog coming back to really eff up his enemies. Yum. *whew* sorry, I recently broke up with my bf and feel a crazy rush of being alive again, lol. Amazing guy, but the spark was gone for a long time.. so it's nice to feel like myself again, lol..
ANYWAY, interesting stuff about the colloidal silver and the blood. Still have no clue what that means, but at least we're getting some tidbits. And when Hauser asked Donovan about the warden being the big cheese, I got pretty excited thinking about him being in the present day. He is a very interesting guy, I love his character and want to see more!
Was Once already talked about? I didn't look in previous posts.. Not that I have that much to say about that episode... except that the Blue Fairy was on BSG! she was the girl who was kind of the leader of the people who idolized Gaius Baltar. Woo!

Mike V. said...


Loved your Terra Nova obituary. lol Yeah, I'm indifferent to its renewal. But, I'd definitely watch if it came back! Recaps? Eh..dunno.

Thanks for rooting for Fringe even though you don't watch! lol The storm was pretty cool on The Rock. And yes Soto/Hauser/Madsen do need a name. I had proposed "ALCATRAZ HUNTERS" in the blog. Along with calling the new prison New Alcatraz. lol But yeah..something quicker to say for the team would be appreciated!

Condolences on the BF breakup. But congrats on getting reacquainted with the true Kelly! lol And if you need to vent by ranting on about how "juicy" certain dudes are on television, I'll try to let is slide. lol

It always seemed pretty obvious to speculate the Warden as being very involved with the 63s conspiracy and possibly even being the big cheese. Which makes me think it won't be him...but it was cool to hear Hauser ask about it. And one thing we really didn't confirm is if Warden is ONE of the 63s. He would have to be if he's gonna be in the present day I would think. And I totally agree, it would be awesome if he was!

Leslie and I started talking about ONCE in the TWD recap. I really liked the ep. Don't remember the Blue Fairy from BSG, but nice catch! There was an intentional lost reference with the 42 candles sold last year....the showrunners made reference to it at Paleyfest. Their panel happened like an hour before the show aired on the east coast. And there were live tweets going on about it. Good times! Anyway, go check out the discussion in the TWD post!

Kelly said...

I just saw someone call our protagonists the "A-Team", lol..
Yeah, it's definitely obvious that the warden will show up eventually in the present day.. though like you said, he probably isn't the head honcho since that's the obvious answer. Still, the mention of the possibility of him being around made my tummy tingle in happiness :) Hooray Alcatraz!!

Leslie said...

Great episodes! I can see why they wanted to keep them airing together, but still am curious if airing them out of order will confuse things.

I think I saw in the opening when we first saw Pinky that he was missing half of his pinky finger also, but I don’t think they talked about why. Liked Doc's nicknames reminiscent of Sawyer. I think it was Dandruff Guy who was killed.

Where do I know the actor who plays Donovan? I know he’s familiar, but I couldn’t place him. The brothers commented that it wasn’t a coincidence that they ran into Donovan last month, so I guess they weren’t brought back together, but they clearly had one goal. Doc really took a beating, and Rebecca can really fight! Also, when Hauser was shot, he put something on his wound, then gave himself a shot. Since it was later revealed about the colloidal silver and its healing properties, was that related???

So, we still don’t know what’s behind the secret door that the mysterious keys open. Inquiring minds want to know! Interesting that Hauser revealed he knew about the keys, but didn’t know they belonged to the Warden.

Why was Tommy outside Rebecca's window watching her sleep? Creepy.

About the blood reveal, we did confirm last episode that they took blood from Jack Sylvane as well as Tommy, so maybe they were both universal donors??? So does this colloidal silver not only cure their ailments, but keep them young? And, when the Warden and Tiller were talking about being predator or prey, he said something like “natural selection is predetermined”. Was that a hint about his master plan and why some where “chosen” and others not?

Loved it when Hauser said from now on he wants them all alive, and Doc goes, “He does realize he’s the only one who shoots them.”

I feel the same you guys do about Terra Nova. I would have watched again, but frankly, I like Alcatraz better and hope this gives it more of a chance to be renewed

Kelly said...

Leslie, I tried to find out who Donovan was played by, and I couldn't find it! IMDB doesn't seem to have him for that episode... strange, huh? But he does look familiar, and yet my uncanny ability regarding actor connections are not working for this guy! GRR!!
I LOVED that comment Soto made abuot Hauser being the one to shoot everyone, lol!
I'm wondering if Tommy is outside Madsen's window because he wants to be closer to her since she's his granddaughter.. or perhaps to take her down someday? I'm leaning towards the more "happy" side of it- that he is watching her for good purposes, not evil. But yeah, definitely creepy! Kinda reminded me of Buffy when Angelus watched her and left her stuff in her room while she was sleeping.. *shudder*

AUStarwars said...

I liked the episodes a lot even though "theres a storm brewing and its causing power outages" was like a scene from Scooby Doo/Bad Horror Movie that I cant fathom was not taken into consideration..they are on an ocean right?

Have we seen Tiller in modern times? The guy in the first episode? Seems long ago..

Good call on the "universal donor", i like that theory

Kelly said...

Tiller in present day is apparently dead, Jack Sylvane killed him in the pilot.
The storm stuff is a classic literary tool to create an ominous atmosphere. Lost did it a lot, I find it effective, albeit overused

Mike V. said...

@Kelly - hmmm...i like the A Team but I dunno if they've earned being compared to the legendary group of Hannibal, BA, Face and Murdoch just yet. :-) lol

sometimes IMDB doesn't have the characters listed for the most immediate episode. But if you check back later (weeks/months/etc...) it should all be there!

Ahh yes LOST and their storms. It was a good tool, but they did lead us to believe that they would be explaining the sudden change in weather patterns. And I always wanted to know how Lock could predict it to the second. But alas, we really didn't get that explanation! Not complaining, just funny that you brought it up!

@Leslie - Hurley doing Sawyer nicknames just reminded me of "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" when they're drinking dharma beer and fixing the fan. Hurley says to drunk Sawyer "Shut up Red....NECK...MAN!" and sawyer smiles and says "Touche'!" LOL Good stuff.

We did confirm that they took Jack's blood too, but I think we've also confirmed that Tommy is "IMPORTANT" to them. And they have definitely takem more of his blood. So, he probably is some sort of universal donor or something. But I'm sure there's more to it.

I don't think Hauser injected himself with the colloidal was probably something to numb the pain. Even Beauregard asked him in the next episode what he was using to treat his wound. And he introduced the concept of the silver to I don't think he would have known.

I'm thinking the door reveal will be something that is led up to in the finale (a la Season 1 hatch)...but I could be wrong!

Forgot to mention Tommy watching Rebecca! That was creepy....well I'm sure he knows it's his grand daughter. But if he has any other motivations, that would remain to be seen!

Yeah...i thought about the blood maybe keeping them young. Maybe it does...but there has to be an explanation to why they were one day in 1963 and the next in 2012. They didn't just "LIVE" that long. So there's something else going on too. The natural selection thing could definitely have been a hint of things to come.

LOL...didn't even hear Soto say that line about Hauser. That's pretty funny.

Mike V. said...

@AUSW - As Kelly said, Tillman was definitely killed by Jack Sylvane in the pilot episode. It could have been some memory adjustments that Lucy has referred to and a hit was put on him (perhaps by the Warden?).

Not sure exactly what you're referring to with the power outages....but I'm sure that Alcatraz HQ has some backup generators. So each time the power went out...they knew how to reboot it. As far as an ocean....i'm pretty sure it's in the San Francisco Bay.

Can't take full credit for the universal donor theory...we've all been discussing it for the past few weeks. I just added in the whole silver stuff from this week's reveal. lol But thanks!

Leslie said...

Between Mike and Kelly, I was sure one of you would know where we know that actor from! I'm so disappointed! :)

Mike V. said...

Okay Leslie, you got me motivated! I did some googling on Donovan and found out the actor's name! It's Frank Whaley. Here's his IMDB profile

The dude has an impressive resume and has been in lots of stuff. The stuff I'd probably notice him most from are Pulp Fiction and Field of Dreams. (he was young Archie Graham! Who eventually became Doc "Moonlight" Graham. Niiiiice!

Leslie said...

Mike, you rock! Archie in Field of Dreams! That's where I know him from! Love that movie! That has been bugging me. Now I can sleep tonight. lol

Anonymous said...

When I first saw Donovan I had an unexplainable hankering for a Kahuna Burger and a tasty beverage to was it down with. LOL

Interesting stuff revealed on these two episodes. Especially about the blood. I find it hard to believe the doc didn't know anything about the larger purpose. It's all starting to point to the Warden. BTW, every time I see him I can't help but think he looks like an evil Ed Asner.

Bill B

Mike V. said...

No problem Leslie!

@Bill - Nice on the Kahuna Burger reference. "This IS a tasty burger!" Ahh what a great movie.

You're right, it is hard to believe Beauregard doesn't have any knowledge of what was going on. But maybe we'll see him let go in the flashbacks before any big reveals happen. And good call on the Warden looking like Ed Asner! lol

Mike V. said...

Looks like netflix has taken an interest in keeping Terra Nova around!

It was even mentioned as a possible outlet for a 5th season of Fringe a few months back. They're really exploring getting into the "new content" business. That Kevin Spacey show is set to debut later this year and they already have that Lilyhammer show with Sil from the Sopranos and Steve from the E-Street Band. lol And of course, there's the whole Arrested Development Deal too.

Very intriguing.

Mike V. said...

SOA Scoop!