You can teach an old dog new tricks, but it’s still an old dog.
- E.B. Tiller
The penultimate episode (next week is the two-part season finale!) is weak. Really, really weak. The only redeeming moment is the final seconds, when Lucy is finally revived after being in a coma for the better part of 9 episodes (a few months “real time”). Rebecca and Doc also finally discovered that Lucy is, in fact, one of the 63s, and this new-found discovery could provide some answers for them (and us, the audience) as to what is going on in the show. Otherwise, I was far from pleased. This week’s inmate, Webb Porter, suffered from tinnitus, caused by his mother’s attempt to drown him in the tub when he was six years old. First of all, I’m no doctor, but I have some experience in the medical field (as physical therapy is my current career path), and I’m 99% sure that tinnitus cannot be caused by a traumatic experience, as implied in the episode, unless Webb had suffered some sort of brain damage during the incident (which is NOT implied). The show is farfetched enough, let alone incorporating unrealistic things into the only “realistic” portion of the show, the time period prior to the 63s’ disappearances.
However, once again, I’m struck by the thematic elements of this episode. Webb Porter is seeking some sort of retribution against his mother in the form of cutting the hair off his victims (okay, this seemed creepy to me too, almost like a sick hair fetish of his mother’s? *shiver*), binding them, and drowning them in the tub. He developed a fascination for music thanks to Lucy’s therapy to treat his medical condition, and so that is also a part of his murders, as he both meets his victims through musical connections and plays the violin prior to drowning them. Does this sound ridiculous to any of you? Even if you don’t watch the show, haven’t seen the episode, or don’t care at all about what I’m saying, I think you can agree that this is just bizarre. It’s not even creative or clever in the sense of creating a deranged criminal. It’s just weird and stupid. Sorry J.J. Abrams, but I think you’ve LOST it (see what I did there?!).
The only thing that can save the show from being a one-and-done is if it has a strong—and I mean STRONG—season finale this Monday night. Otherwise, viewers can kiss Alcatraz goodbye as a good premise that was botched by its own creator (kind of like The Vow with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams).
Since the finale is coming on Monday night, I’m going to evaluate the series over the weekend with several posts talking about its recurring themes (the best part of the show, sadly), including such topics as:
- Redemption, Revenge, and Retribution
- Levels/Degrees of Crime
- “The Greater Good”