You know the secret to a good, hot shave? You have to draw the razor with the grain of the whiskers so everything ends up nice and smooth. When you go against the grain, that’s when you gets nicked.
- E.B. Tiller
Finally, we’re given some hints as to what’s happening with the 63s and why they were able to “jump” (as Hauser calls it) into the future. So far, they’ve caught Jack Sylvane and now Cal Sweeney with a key of some sort, and at the end of the episode they allude to whatever these keys open… it appears to be some secret door in the bowels of Alcatraz. So, with this episode, it’s now apparent that there was some sort of time travel element to the 63s reappearing in the future, although we haven’t been given an explanation or a mechanism for how they pulled it off.
Again, this episode was packed with suspense. From the numerous people gunned down (I still don’t know what kind of gun that was…) in Sweeney’s wake, to the stunt that Hauser and Rebecca pulled to apprehend Sweeney without the police getting involved, there was a lot of action packed into the 43-minute episode. I must say, I really liked this character as the next inmate to turn up: he had a well-developed M.O. as well as an interesting background story. This was a vast improvement over the shapeless, hole-y character of Ernest Cobb in episode 2. Again, the chemistry between the main characters was outstanding, with more head-butting and struggling for the upper hand. However, it’s clear that Hauser is the main in control now, for sure, as he holds something over Rebecca and Doc that they so desperately seek – knowledge. Hauser knows what’s going on, and he’s withholding it from the other two. Why? It’s hard to be sure, but I’m certain this is a question that will be answered soon enough.
My one criticism of this episode is the lack of nervousness that I felt, as a viewer, for Rebecca’s safety. I think this episode could have thrived on the hostage situation that she got herself into with Sweeney, but it was an incredibly short piece of the equation. I would have liked to see more drama squeezed out of this situation, as it would have been with my favorite show, 24 (but then again, it’s nearly impossible to match the drama that Jack Bauer created…), as it would have really impressed the notion that no character was immune to being picked off at any moment. Now, I understand that Rebecca is a key player, and the subplot with her grandfather as one of the 63s essentially renders her untouchable in the show (or at least, this season), but I think throwing a curveball at the audience and forcing us to re-evaluate the safety of the main characters would have been a great move.
Nonetheless, another solid show, and I’m starting to really get some ideas for my upcoming piece about the significance of Alcatraz and what sets it apart from other primetime dramas.