‘Alcatraz’ 1.08 Recap: “I’m Not a Fan of Small, Dark Places”

Last week’s scheduled episode of ‘Alcatraz’ was pre-empted for NASCAR, a little fact that Comcast didn’t bother to update its cable guide about. I discovered this the hard way when I went to watch my DVR’ed recording of the series a couple days later, only to find a solid hour of cars driving in a circle. As someone who doesn’t care much for the sport of watching cars drive in a circle, I found this very frustrating. Fortunately, Fox doubled-up on the show with a two-fer of pretty good episodes this week. I’ll break out my recaps to separate posts.

‘The Ames Brothers’ sees not just one, but three new ’63s appear in the present day. The two title characters are a pair of twins (paternal), one big oaf named Pinky and one weaselly smaller guy named… Huh, I didn’t catch his name at all in the episode. Was it even mentioned? We’ll call him The Brain, because why not? The brothers reappear in Alcatraz itself on a dark and stormy night. They kill one of the scientist dudes from Hauser’s think tank (Doc calls him “Dandruff Guy”) and take Doc captive.

Back in the ’60s, the Ames boys had embarked on a daring plan to steal a pair of keys from the warden and escape into the tunnels beneath the prison. They weren’t trying to break out, however. They were trying to get into a locked room that legend claims held a secret stash of Confederate gold from the Civil War. How they were planning to get the gold off the island isn’t really brought up. Perhaps they didn’t think through this plan as well as they might have. In any case, it turns out that they took the wrong keys, and the Warden hauls them back to their cells.

In the present day, the brothers need Doc to update their treasure map with the latest renovations to the prison. While searching for him, Rebecca comes across a park ranger named Donovan (D.B. SweeneyFrank Whaley) who offers to help. Naturally, he’s revealed to be another ’63, a corrupt guard who helped the Ames brothers with their plan.

Rebecca kills The Brain during a shootout, but Hauser gets hit as well. He brushes it off as a flesh wound. Rebecca eventually rescues Doc and outwits the ragingly psychotic Pinky by dropping a heavy bench on his head. Meanwhile, Donovan uses dynamite to blow open the locked room where the gold is supposed to be, only to find it as empty as Capone’s Vault. (Having skipped over the 1980s, Donovan has probably never heard of Geraldo Rivera or seen that humiliating TV special, which is a shame.) Hauser and Rebecca grab him easily at that point. In a flashback, we learn that the warden had indeed been sitting on a stash of gold there.

Two mysteries are left unanswered in this episode: What happened to the gold, and what was the warden hiding in the other room that his mysterious keys go to?


  1. Bryan

    FYI …. Donovan was *not* played by DB Sweeney. I’m pretty sure that was Frank Whaley as the guard/ranger gone bad ….

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