Cast: Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia, Sam Neill, Parminder Nagra, Jonny Coyne
Writer: Elizabeth Sarnof
Director: Brad Anderson
Network: Fox, Airs Mondays @ 9 p.m.
Original Telecast: January 30, 2012

The biggest question coming out of the “Cal Sweeney” episode of ALCATRAZ is: What’s behind door No. 1?

While the episode itself was another inmate of the week returning to modern day in order to cause havoc on San Francisco, kill a whole bunch of people and steal loot. It turns out that Sweeney (the inmate in question) wasn’t just wooing lonely tellers in order to get swag but instead a key that is one of three keys that opens a door in the bowels of the old prison leading to an unknown subterranean dweller. Or at least, that’s what shady warden Edwin James (Jonny Coyne) says to Sweeney’s 1960 inmate protégé that set Sweeney up in order to take his illegal prison business.

Seems like a long way just to get to the point where we see the mysterious door and learn that something or someone is behind it. And that the warden definitely has some ties to what is happening with the re-appearance of the inmates and their disappearance (presumably). But in grand LOST fashion, we’ll have to wait to learn what resides this well guarded door and why the inmate the warden brought down there would be getting a better life.

Of course, we still have no idea what’s really happening beyond that and we learned that neither does Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) – he has no clue what the keys open nor why these inmates are gathering them at the request (command?) of some unknown force. That’s at least some good news to Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Diego (Jorge Garcia) who also are in the dark and believe Hauser has all the answers and is just not letting them in on it.

Of course, whether either find out that Hauser knows nothing is a different story. One would assume he knows the secret of Lucy (Paraminder Nagra) and that she was also in Alcatraz in the 1960s, but at this point he could not know this info as well. Obviously, the viewer has the most knowledge as we are clued in to these well-timed flashbacks that are giving us more about the mysterious (and maybe supernatural) prison than the main characters.

Like I said, it is a long way just to give us a small nugget of mythology but that seems to be the format that ALCATRAZ is following. However, at least it is something. Unlike another recent high profile show in TERRA NOVA that failed for the first eight episodes to give us any meat, ALCATRAZ is at least giving us an eyebrow to raise and something to think about in future episodes.

Hopefully, we’ll get some good meaty episodes down the line that will be more than just a bone to chew on. While this LOST type format worked for that popular show, not sure that ALCATRAZ will be able to hold the audience that long.


Related Link: TV Review – ALCATRAZ – Season 1 – “Guy Hastings”

Related Link: Exclusive Interview with ALCATRAZ star Parminder Nagra

Related Link: TV Review – ALCATRAZ – Season 1 – “Kit Nelson”

Related Link: TV Review – ALCATRAZ – Season 1 – “Pilot”/”Earnest Cobb” – Season Premiere

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Article: TV Review – ALCATRAZ – Season 1 – Cal Sweeney

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