Alcatraz – “Cal Sweeney” (S01E04)

There was something about Lost that annoyed me sometimes, and that was when the episodes wouldn’t spend enough time from what was happening on the island. Instead, they cluttered the episodes up with flashback stories of a specific character. But with Lost, whatever was happening on the island would keep on trucking forward. In Alcatraz, you know the action will end within the episode.

Because of this, once again this week’s episode of Alcatraz felt uneven. The present was full of police procedures trying to capture our prisoner of the week, Cal Sweeney, while the past was unraveling more of the mystery surrounding what the hell happened. Tense scenes like when Sweeney was surrounded by the police with what they believed was a hostage situation resolved itself way too quickly and neatly, but that’s what happens when you cram in too much in one episode.

The episode had a few major points that progressed the mystery that is embedded inside of the show. First, we see Lucy Banerjee dining with the Warden and speaking of how traumatic memories are reinforced in criminal behavior. She theories if somehow those memories could be removed, will their criminal behavior vanish? Interesting stuff. Next, after they captured Sweeney, Madsen confiscated another large key. Hauser gave this one to a team of scientists and, placed next to the one they took from Sylvane, hope to discover what they’re meant for. The final scene of the episode revealed the Warden using those two keys, along with a third, to open a secret door on Alcatraz.

Notes:
– It was fun seeing Sweeney go all Anton Chigurh on his victims with the cattle gun.
– The dinner scene worked very well in this episode and might’ve been the best scene of the series to date.
– Seriously, what was behind the door that the Warden opened? Could it be the Smoke Monster?!

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