Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Alcatraz: Ray Has Some Secrets

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

How great would it be for the writers to never have to come up with a witty episode title? Here, all of the titles are the names of the 63s. I suppose this might change when multiple criminals show up in the same episode, but it's a non-issue at the moment. Anyway, on to the episode... I think the biggest news is that more people are aware of the "63s return" than the audience originally thought. Madsen's grandfather's friend (who we find out this episode is really her great uncle), Ray, has encountered Tommy already, so he wasn't all that shocked when Hastings returned, too. There was also a vague mention by Hauser that he figured out this was going to happen sixteen years ago... or is that when the first 62 resurfaced? This just adds to the mystery on the show, and I'm still itching to know how Lucy came back! We don't even hear mention of her in the coma this episode, so who knows how long it'll take to clear up that confusion! The episode left me with a lot of questions about Ray... why he went through the trouble to work at Alcatraz, why he hid the relationship from Rebecca, what seeing his brother incarcerated was like... I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Alcatraz "Guy Hastings" (S01E05): Hastings is in a nearly-empty, dilapidated room, which we later learn was his family's home on Alcatraz Island. He removes a baseboard to find a hole with some photographs and a gun inside. He's confronted by a ranger, so he beats him up. [it's amazing how many rangers they must need on the island to keep patrolling the "off-limits" areas all the time!] Then, he kidnaps Ray, claiming that Ray needs to bring him to Tommy Madsen. Ray takes him to the graveyard where Tommy's son is buried, but all that does it help Hastings to realize that there's a blond female descendent of Tommy's - Rebecca Madsen. They head to the old Madsen home, and Ray asks Hastings where he's been all this time, since he hasn't aged. Hastings says that the guards were told that their families were dead and that they were contaminated, so they couldn't leave the island... and, all of a sudden, it wasn't 1963 anymore. [interesting...]

In 1960s Alcatraz, Hastings was a guard with a wife and daughter. He trained new guards, including Ray Archer. On Ray's first day, inmate Tommy Madsen recognizes him and beats him with a lunch tray, requiring Ray to get stitches. [ouch!!] Ray denies knowing Tommy to Hastings, and Hastings makes Ray prove it by beating up Tommy the next day. [wow, that was so brutal!] Ray goes to see Tommy in the hospital wing, though, and Hastings witnesses an exchange.

CR: Liane Hentscher/FOX
Madsen and Ray eat dim sum and she asks him if he thought that her grandfather killed her grandmother. He said that he didn't think so in the beginning, but he eventually believed it. [anyone know which dim sum place she keeps going to? I'm looking for clues because I'd love to find another gem of a restaurant if it's real!] Soto recognizes Hastings by sight. [even more impressive than his usual methods of recognizing the 63s.] Soto suggests that they  check with Hastings' daughter, who was eight years old when he died. They learn that she was told there was a chemical spill, and a box of his things was sent to her and her mother later. [is it reasonable to keep a box of your dad's stuff for fifty years??] Soto borrows the box, and they find medals and photos inside. Just then, Madsen finds out that Ray is missing, so she and Hauser go looking for him. Hauser realizes that Hastings is after Tommy. back at the lab, Madsen and Soto realize that the house in the background of some photos must be where Tommy grew up, so they have Soto's comic book buddy try and reconstruct the full house to figure out where he lived - they have the house number but not the street. After a little research, they determine that Ray and Tommy were BROTHERS! [I was completely unready for this.. the news blew my mind and I had to pause so it could sink in!] Ray changed his name so he could work on Alcatraz! Madsen and Soto head off to Daly City, and Hauser follows them. They find Ray and Hastings, and Madsen has to shoot Hastings in the foot. He doesn't believe that she saw his daughter that day, as he thinks that she died in the chemical spill. So, Hauser drives Hastings by his daughter's house. [what did they do with him? lock him up like the bad guys? make him be a guard again?] Madsen realizes that Hauser asked Ray to join this project previously... Tommy Madsen is awfully important to what's going on. [but why would you need someone with such ties?] 

The episode ends with Tommy walking into Ray's bar, upset that Ray stopped him from being able to continue living in his house forever. Ray has been worried about Rebecca's safety for years, and is tired of covering for Tommy. He also tells him that he'll kill him if he ever sees him again. [this show just keeps getting weirder and weirder!]

Some random things we learned this episode: Hauser has some seismologists in his secret room; Soto was a scout.
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