If I’m running late again with a recap of last week’s episode of ‘Alcatraz’, that’s not entirely my fault this time. My DVR failed to record the episode for some reason. As far as I’m aware, the episode wasn’t pre-empted and I didn’t have any recording conflicts. Did anyone else run into this problem? Because of this, I had to wait a few days for the episode to turn up On Demand. Let’s get a quick recap out of the way before tonight’s new episode airs.
The convict ‘Clarence Montgomery’ was, at least allegedly, the only innocent man in Alcatraz at the time the prisoners disappeared. A black man, Clarence (Mahershala Ali from ‘The 4400’ and ‘Treme’) was falsely convicted of murdering his white girlfriend and leaving her body on the golf course of the country club where he worked as a cook. As Rebecca figures out when she investigates, he couldn’t have committed the crime, because knife wounds indicate that the killer was left-handed, which Clarence is not.
Although he may have been innocent of that crime, once he reappears in the present day, Clarence takes up committing a string of new murders and posing the victims exactly as his girlfriend’s body was found. However, he blacks out during these events and has no memory of what he’s done.
Flashbacks show us that while in prison, the warden promoted Clarence to head chef, a controversial decision that led to a race riot in the cafeteria. Later, Dr. Beauregard straps him to a chair and Ludovicos him, as part of an experiment to see whether they could turn an innocent man into a real killer. Apparently, it worked. What’s still not known at this point is whether this is why the other returning convicts have been so dangerous. If so, we also aren’t sure how much Hauser knows about Dr. Beauregard’s involvement.
Rebecca tracks Clarence to the home of another former convict, this one an old man who was released before the 1963 event. Overcome with guilt, Clarence begs his friend to shoot him before Rebecca and Hauser can take him in. After Clarence’s death, Hauser captures the real original killer and has Clarence’s name cleared of that first murder. However, he leaves out the parts about Clarence returning from the presumed grave and murdering at least three more people himself.
A little research tells me that ‘Clarence Montgomery’ was originally scheduled to air back on February 27th, and was the episode that was pre-empted for NASCAR. After shuffling the episode order a little and finally airing it, did Fox mistakenly flag the episode as a repeat? That might explain why my DVR didn’t pick it up. Whatever the case, this is a pretty good episode and I’m glad I caught up with it, but it doesn’t seem too crucial to the season’s arc. If you had the same problems I did and don’t have the opportunity to hunt the episode down, you can safely skip it without missing anything too important.