Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Alcatraz: Memory Tampering

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This episode was kinda creepy, but at least it wasn't horrific. It was a bit disturbing, but that's what this show is going for half of the time! Overall, the episode once again revealed a lot to the audience. However, at this point there is so much going on, it didn't actually wrap-up anything at all. Well, we seem to now have the gist that the 1950s Alcatraz was draining blood from the inmates, chemically modifying it, then re-inserting it. And, the removal of memories thing apparently works both ways - we now know that you can force them in. It gives me the chills to think about the sinister things that the warden did to those men! While the chance of renewal is still anyone's call (though there are quite a few NegativeNancys out there!), I hope that a few of the issues begin to tie up over the next three episodes!

Alcatraz "Clarence Montgomery" (S01E08): At a cocktail party, Clarence catches a young lady's eye, and they're soon off flirting and riding a golf cart. He starts to talk to her about a house they could have together, then kills her. [whoa.... say what?!?] He places her body in a specific position while questioning who did this to her. [so he doesn't think he did it himself?] Then, Clarence visits Emmett, an old friend from Cell Block C. Clarence tells him that he used to have his blood drawn consistently and it messed him up in the head. [so, Tommy wasn't the only guy!] Emmett insists that Clarence was an innocent guy, but Clarence claims that things have changed. Clarence sets up a wedding reception as a caterer and picks up another girl. Another body is soon found at a different golf course. [well this guy is a nut job, eh?]

Soto sits around checking out crimes for possible matches with 63s. [the guy has no day job anymore, I take it?] It's the positioning of the first girl's body that catches his eye and makes him wonder if Clarence is back. The autopsy reveals it's a different killer because the original is left-handed and Clarence is right-handed, plus, the "new" body was also killed more precisely than the first. [and, ya know, Clarence is a chef and all.] The African-American hair on the body reveals that the murderer has Wilson's disease. Madsen and Soto find Emmett's name in Clarence's box so they pay him a visit, learning that Clarence loved a (white) girl and was to run away with her to a house. Madsen and Soto try to figure out why a man who was "innocent"
CR: Liane Hentscher/FOX
fifty years ago would now be a murderer, then go to the catering company who worked the event where the latest girl was killed. Clarence immediately runs and gets away from Madsen. At the autopsy place, they realize that Emmett is likely getting prescriptions for Clarence, so Madsen and Soto get Hauser and head over there, but not before Doc asks out the girl for a drink and she accepts. [awww! so excited for him!] Emmett shoots a shotgun repeatedly, claiming that the Lord gave Clarence a second chance so they can't send him back to prison. Meanwhile, Hauser goes around the outside of the building and finds Clarence. Hauser gets Clarence to confess to Emmett, who kills his old friend.

Hauser meets with the Chief of Police to hand over proof that another guy killed the original girl in 1958. [Hauser is under some heat because he's stealing cases? oook.] Soto tells Madsen that there were a lot of experiments in the prison system in the 1950s, like having blood drawn, radioactive materials added to it, and having it re-injected. [are you serious? Doc never thought about these types of experiments being the reason that these 63s are "coming back" un-aged?] 

In a mess hall scene from 1960, Clarence is pulled aside to talk to the warden, who wants him to prepare the menu and supervise the kitchen for a chef's day coming up. He's hesitant, but his buddy tells him it's a good idea - a revolution is coming. [I'm impressed that the warden would offer such a thing as well!] Clarence thanks the warden for this opportunity. Unfortunately, many of the (white) prisoners refused to eat the food, and the white and black inmates get into such a fight that the room needs to be flooded with tear gas. [not gonna lie... as someone who has toured Alcatraz twice, I've been looking forward to an episode where they use that tear gas that was installed!] Clarence is later taken out of his cell and beaten by a guard, then brought to a chair, strapped down, injected with something, and made to watch a video about the trial finding him guilty. [and this part makes me sad. I don't do so well with folks being forced to hear lies. :-(] He is electrocuted in an attempt to make him believe the video is true - to force false memories upon him. [boo!!!] Later, in the laundry room, he's confronted by an officer (Tiller) who degrades him yet again. One inmate is nice to him, but Clarence has flashbacks of the video and kills him with a boxcutter, arranging the body in the same position. [Soto didn't know that Clarence killed someone in Alcatraz? This was kept under wraps?] Lucy asks Clarence about the laundry room death, and he keeps maintaining his innocence about the original death. Lucy wants to remove the memories, but he doesn't allow her to do so. [why should he trust her?] The warden tells Milton that he doesn't do anything to the "blood" between when it's removed and when it's returned, but Milton knows better.
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