Mad bomber plots are a staple of many crime shows. But a time-traveling serial landmine bomber… ? Well, that’s the kind of twist that ‘Alcatraz’ puts on the old formula.
The escapee of the week in ‘Paxton Petty’ is a Korean War vet who specialized in ordnance disposal. When denied the Silver Star that he felt he deserved, Paxton went a little screwy, returned to San Francisco, and planted landmines in public places for innocent civilians to step on. A young cop by the name of Emerson Hauser worked the case. Although Petty was eventually captured, one of his mines was never accounted for. Searching for it became one of Emerson’s obsessions for many years. In flashbacks, we see that the prison warden and doctor tried to torture the location of the final mine out of Petty. When that failed, Dr. Sangupta attempted electroshock therapy.
Now that he’s back, Petty resumes where he left off. In a grisly scene, a series of mines blow people to pieces in a public park. Rebecca and Doc investigate, and discover that Petty returned to the present day in a mausoleum in the Presidio cemetery. Eventually, Hauser figures out that the locations of Petty’s targets are hidden in the lyrics to a lullaby. He tracks Petty to a beach, but as he’s about to capture the man, steps on a pressure-sensitive mine. If he moves, he’ll be blown to bits.
Petty doesn’t get away for long. Rebecca captures him and finds Hauser. A cocky bomb squad specialist named Tanner (Mehcad Brooks from ‘True Blood’ and ‘Necessary Roughness’) gets Huaser off the mine, but is killed while trying to disarm it. Pissed off, Hauser shoots Petty in the leg and tricks him into revealing the location of the final mine from the ’60s. It was planted on a hiking trail that was later closed off to the public, and just sat there for fifty years.
Notable Developments in This Episode
- When Rebecca asks where Petty could be getting vintage landmines in the present day, Doc speculates about the existence of a “facilitator” who supplies such things, including the sniper rifle that Ernest Cobb used in Episode 2.
- Although we still don’t know why Lucy Banerjee/Sangupta hasn’t aged, we see young Emerson meeting her for the first time. It appears that they had (have?) a romantic relationship.
- This episode introduces us to a sexy M.E. named Nikki who likes comic books. Doc is instantly infatuated.
- Petty genuinely seems to have no idea what happened to him or how he got to the present day.
- Doc is very surprised when Petty tells him about a female psychologist at Alcatraz. He’d never heard of this before.
- With Lucy making no progress in her recovery, Hauser pulls her out of the hospital and brings her to Dr. Beauregard in his secret prison. Lord knows what he plans to do with her.