‘Alcatraz’ 1.09 Recap: “Time to Enter the Jungle”

It’s interesting that Fox wound up having to run these specific two episodes of ‘Alcatraz’ as a (previously unplanned) double-bill on the same night, because they feature one of the few instances of direct continuity from one episode to the next, which doesn’t happen too often in the show’s case-of-the-week format.

‘Sonny Burnett’ opens with Hauser recovering from his gunshot in the previous episode. He seems only mildly annoyed by this. After being shot, he poured something onto the wound that even Dr. Beauregard is puzzled by. Hauser brushes off his questions.

Intriguingly, Beauregard explains to Hauser that all of the ’63s he’s examined are in remarkable health, almost implausibly so. There is nothing wrong with them. He theorizes that this may have something to do with the presence of colloidal silver he’s found in their blood. (It’s worth noting that none of them have blue skin like this moron.) He suggests that a blood transfusion might help the comatose Lucy. Unfortunately, none of the prisoners they’ve caught so far share her blood type. This makes Hauser all the more eager to capture the latest ’63 returnee, who does.

Sonny Burnett was sent to Alcatraz for a kidnap-and-ransom operation that he turned into a little business for himself. Never before had he harmed the people he kidnapped, but that changes now that he’s back. He starts things off by killing one man and snatching another. The hostage is the husband of a wealthy woman. When Hauser and Rebecca try to follow through on the ransom demands, they find that Burnett had already killed the husband as a diversion to get to the wife, with whom he has some history.

Back in the ’60s, he kidnapped the then-14-year-old girl. But she wasn’t just his victim. He saw her as the Bonnie to his Clyde. He fell in love with her. She did not share his feelings, however. She eventually escaped and, more than that, stole his stash of loot when he went to prison. This was especially a problem for Sonny, because he expected to use that cash to pay for protection behind bars. When he can’t pay up, the prison’s shot-caller shivs him in the gut. Sonny survives, and dedicates himself to getting stronger and meaner, until he faces off against the guy who stabbed him and literally tears the man’s eyes out.

With revenge on his mind, Sonny vows to take everything away from his former victim the way that she took everything away from him. (He fails to see the irony that he started this cycle by kidnapping her in the first place.) After killing her husband, he also kidnaps the woman’s daughter and buries her alive in a field.

When chasing Burnett, Hauser is desperate to keep him alive so that he can use his blood in Lucy. Although he and Rebecca eventually capture the man, Beauregard tells him that there’s no colloidal silver in his blood. That was a red herring. The doctor still has no idea why the ’63s are so healthy.

Throughout the episode, Rebecca had been having nightmares about her grandfather Tommy spying on her. In the final scene, we discover that he really is.

Hauser’s personal attachment to this case gives the episode higher emotional stakes than usual, which provides a lot of good drama. As Sonny, Theo Rossi from ‘Sons of Anarchy’ also makes an extremely creepy villain.

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