‘Alcatraz’ 1.07 Recap: “The Future Is Now”

Prepping for last night’s Oscar Live-Blog took up far too much of my time last week. Consequently, I once again let myself fall behind in TV viewing and recapping. That’s a problem, because my DVR is about to overload and start deleting the oldest programs unless I burn through some of these shows. In anticipation of tonight’s new episode, let’s take a quick look at last week’s ‘Alcatraz’, which gave us a storyline about a crazed poisoner.

The escapee in ‘Johnny McKee’ killed over seventy people before he was incarcerated. He has a short temper and doesn’t much care for bullies. Upon appearing in the present day, Johnny takes a series of odd jobs (first as a bartender, then as a pool-boy) trying to blend in and mind his own business. Unfortunately, whenever he perceives someone as bullying him or just being a jerk, he breaks out the poisons and kills them off en masse. When a cell phone video of some of his victims in a nightclub goes viral, Hauser uses some super-secret government computer voodoo to wipe any traces of it from the internet. I’m sure the MPAA wishes something like that were real.

Unsurprisingly, Johnny was a homely boy in high school who liked to read a lot of Jules Verne and wasn’t exactly a social butterfly. His favorite class was chemistry. He was bullied in school, but the final straw came when a girl he pined for named Ginny tricked him into thinking they’d have a date in order to set him up for a cruel prank that left him emasculated in the original meaning of that term. He burned her face with acid and started his career as a poisoner.

When Rebecca learns that Jack Sylvain was McKee’s cell neighbor at Alcatraz, she asks Hauser to see him again. Not ready for her to know about his secret prison, he arranges to have Sylvain brought back to Alcatraz for an interrogation. Jack doesn’t tell Rebecca much about McKee, but does express his confusion about how he got to the present day in the first place.

Rebecca eventually figures out that McKee plans to poison an entire subway car full of people on a route that travels under San Francisco Bay. She and Hauser get there in time to rescue the victims, and she chases McKee until he gets zapped by the electrified third rail (not enough to kill him, fortunately).

There’s a lot of talk about dreams in this episode. When Hauser visits the still-comatose Lucy, Dr. Beauregard makes him read her favorite book out loud and explains the importance of her dreaming. Also, Sylvain mentions (and seems quite distressed by) the fact that he has not been able to dream since coming back. Could this have something to do with Lucy’s mysterious experimental treatment of the prisoners? If so, could that have something to do with their disappearance and reappearance? It’s a subtle, fleeting detail, but opens up a lot of questions.

1 comment

  1. Bryan

    I’ve been liking this show more and more each week. (and believe it or not, even the voiceover at the beginning has grown on me … it sort of gives a little bit of a retro vibe to the show that kind of works given the storyline.) I’ve read a lot of complaints about the lead actress’ performance, but I think it has more to do with the way the character’s written than her actual performance. Either way, I’m hoping Fox lets this one stick around for season 2. I’d hate to be left hanging not knowing how/why all this is happening.

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