Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Alcatraz: Returning a Favor

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This episode had its share of unusual moments. For starters, we were still seeing credits nineteen minutes into the show... what's that about?? Second, I was caught a bit off-guard when we flashed back to 1960 but we're in the prison, but elsewhere in San Francisco... was everyone else ready for that? We've also now learned that the experiments that were being done did find some degree of success, which I suppose is comforting. Well, especially now, since the colloidal blood can actually be used to seemingly affect Lucy in a positive way. Speaking of Lucy, it's about freakin' time that Soto and Madsen found out that she's a 63!! I was going to be so upset if that recording was playing and neither of them caught that!! My final overall thought about this episode is a nitpick about Webb Porter's awful violin pretending. How hard is it to find an actor with some musical training? Fake violining kills me every time! I'm not asking every actor to go take lessons, but would a basic knowledge of how the instrument works help make the bowings/fingerings/etc look more realisitic? I say YES. 

Alcatraz "Webb Porter" (S01E11): Madsen is with her autopsy friend when the latter is paged to a scene, so Madsen goes, too. A little blood is found at the scene, and a test reveals that it is "tainted" with colloidal silver, so Hauser tells Madsen and Soto that it's a 63. [you know, since he doesn't share any of the interesting findings with them.] Hauser sends the blood sample to Beauregard to test, and it turns out that it matches Lucy's blood type. Just before this, Soto was out and about and stopped by the hospital to see Lucy... only to learn that she isn't there anymore.

Porter plays the violin, starts a bath, and then drowns a bound and gagged woman. Before that, though, he had cut/ripped out most of her hair, which we later learn he uses to string his violin bows. [GROSS. as a violinist, this grosses me out so much more than when I first understood that bows are made with horsehair!] Porter goes to play the violin for another girl, then attacks her. We then see him at an audition, where he is unable to sight-read. He drowns the second girl. [looks like this guy will get through several killings before he's stopped, eh?] Hauser and Madsen show up at the scene, and Soto learns that violin music was heard at both crime scenes, meaning it was the killer playing it. Hauser thinks he knows who it is, and, CONVENIENTLY, Webb Porter has carved his name into the back of the violin in Alcatraz's music room. Hauser asks around and learns that there's a new violinist stacking chairs at the Philharmonic, so Hauser learns where Porter lives from the Philharmonic, and the group is off. [interesting that Hauser is doing more of the detective work this episode - especially since he seems to still be hurt or something... you know, because he was taking those meds behind closed doors earlier?] Madsen picks the lock and they barge in, finding a red-haired bow in the trash... Porter will soon need more red hair. [isn't this a super-creepy way to find a killer? I think so. AND, Porter's allegedly been living there for MONTHS... how did he pass a background check to get this place??] They cross-reference the donors to the philharmonic with the color of their hair and find two possible redheads. [nope. not believe it. that system cannot rule out haircolors! right??] One checks in on a social network so they head to the home of the other. [well that dates things...] They find her tied up, but she still has her hair. She tells them that Porter went to "perform," so Madsen and Hauser head to the auditorium, chasing Porter and catching him just before he leaps several stories. Hauser brings him to Lucy, then Beauregard begins to draw blood. We see Lucy open her eyes right around the same time that Soto and Madsen find footage of Lucy while digitizing archival recordings of Alcatraz. [spooky, right?]

In 1960, Hauser asks out Lucy and they go to a jazz club. Back at Alcatraz, the warden tells Lucy about Webb Porter, a quirky inmate with a high IQ. He killed five people, including his mother (who tried to drown him as a child). [whoa. the kid deserves to be quirky.] She realizes that he has ringing in his ears and offers to "remove the memory of his mother's trying to drown him." Lucy has him listen to music and recount the night he nearly died. Porter then teaches himself to play the violin - playing the song he "hears" inside. [savant, indeed! violin is hard, yo.] Porter is sent back to the general population, bringing his violin with him. He thanks Lucy. ["maybe one day I'll be able to return the favor" was ridiculous writing, guys. agreed?]
CR: Liane Hentscher/FOX
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

No comments: