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Alcatraz: Escaping Time and Space


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#751

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Posted Feb 21, 2012 @ 8:00 PM

Another week of wondering why I'm still watching...I wish I liked it as much as I want to. I want to be as interested in Hauser as I've been in other mysterious men of a certain age, I want to feel the pull of the mythology arc so much I think about it when I'm not watching, and I want to get warm fuzzy freindship vibes from Rebecca and Doc. But I'm not. It's just not clicking for me and yet I can't give it up.

#752

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 12:07 AM

Oh well...

My nitpicks: Subway trains, or any kind of passenger trains have emergency exits. There should be a lever to open the door manually and there should be a mechanism to open the window or to break it. Also, there should be a "dead man's switch" for the train operator.

#753

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 1:05 AM

It was full of jocks (remember the team jackets?), which I presumed he equated to the football team that caused his own manhood losing accident in high school.

Those weren't jocks, those were fans going to a Golden State Warriors game. It's pretty typical to take BART from SF over to Oakland for Warriors (or As and Raiders, for that matter) games. He still could have timed it to know when it would be pretty crowded for that reason, though.

#754

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 1:57 AM

A little nitpick, but it bothered me when they called it the subway. The subway is a completely different system. Nobody calls BART the subway.

The sloppy timelines are also bugging me. There is no way they could go from Alcatraz to the tunnel entrance, then take a slow moving cart through the tunnel in any reasonable time. The cart alone would probably take the better part of an hour.

Also it was dumb for the killer to pick the middle of the tube. There are only two ways out of that tube, how did he plan on getting out?

Another issue I have is that it is so easy to cover up these acts of terrorism. Unless they have a MIB flashy device, I don't see how they could cover up these events so neatly.

#755

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 2:57 AM

They really do need to find a way to get Jack and maybe Hoyt onto the team full-time because both actors do good work with what they're given.



I 100% agree with this. Personally I would love both to be on the team, but at the very least I'd settle for Jack. That scene between Jack and Rebecca/Hauser? Where, you know, information was disclosed and elements of the overall story we know were actually heard by people investigating things? I want more scenes like that. I want to see more of Jack and how he fits into the story. I like the Jack character, and I like that fact that the actor is playing Jack as if he's, unlike all the other 63's, actually demoralized by the events of his life. Everything that happened in the past, then he finds himself lost and confused in the present day. Apparently made (influenced?) to commit more crimes, then locked back up with no hope of ever being free. The actor, for me at least, is giving off a good combination of wariness, a bit of fear, with a large amount of despair. Happy character? No. Interesting character? Very much so

(Plus, the scenes with him and Doc would alone be worth the price of admission. I can already imagine Doc trying to explain stuff to Jack and it going...hilariously.)

#756

wingatic

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 7:16 AM

A little nitpick, but it bothered me when they called it the subway. The subway is a completely different system. Nobody calls BART the subway.


One of the showrunners addressed this on Twitter. He said it was a licensing issue. They couldn't use the name BART.

#757

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 7:48 AM

Perhaps it is just me but I am not so interested in the Jack character. His story is sad, but I think Guy Hastings and Cal Sweeney had equally compelling back stories. Heck, the sniper had me feeling sorry for him when the warden placed the other prisoner in the cell with him.

I want to see more of Hauser's researchers. What do they know? How long have they been working with him? Jack knows nothing. Since Lucy was experimenting on the prisoners, Cobb must have known who she was. He needs to be seen again.

I wish bomber guy hadn't been killed by Paxton Petty. He should have been turned into a recurring character.

#758

ganesh

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 9:48 AM

One of the showrunners addressed this on Twitter. He said it was a licensing issue. They couldn't use the name BART.

That's really weird because they used "BART" on The Mentalist recently I swear. When Soto called it the subway I was like wtf? Because I thought the use of "BART" was public domain. I swear it was on the Simpsons too. But whatever, it didn't take me out of the scene. Stuff like that happens.

Going from the rock to what I presume was underneath the middle of the bay took way way shorter than it would have though. They need to move into an office building on the Embarcadero. It's close to the BART and the Bay Bridge.

#759

Princess Aldrea

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 12:26 PM

Apparently made (influenced?) to commit more crimes, then locked back up with no hope of ever being free.

Wasn't he only in prison for twenty or so years initially? It's still a huge portion of his life but not quite as bad as Hauser never planning on letting him out.

I really love all the names that the inmates have. Jack Sylvane, Kit Nelson, Cal Sweeney, Paxton Petty...Very nice.

What I didn't understand about Johnny McKee is why he had so much collateral damage when going after his bullies. He could have easily just poisoned the asshole who mysteriously got upset that the bartender decided to quote something before making his drink (who gets upset at something like that?) and not his non-involved friends. And even if they laughed or agreed when that guy called him a loser, what about the pool? One guy was slightly rude (though I would say not crossing the line into bullying) and so he murders everyone who happened to be in the pool? I think it would have been more interesting if he just went after those who were rude and not innocent bystanders.

#760

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 12:39 PM

It wouldn't be safe for any of the prisoners to be on the team until they found out for sure whether there was more subconscious programming that might surface. Until they know who's behind it, it's not even safe to trust Lucy and Beauregard, though I suppose Beauregard could be locked up in New Alcatraz as well, and Hauser has his reasons for trusting Lucy.

#761

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 12:45 PM

Maybe not in the field, but Jack seems the most stable and legitimately frustrated about what was going on. Therefore, more willing to open up, as he did already. Basically, "you want to know who stole your life? Then help me, and we'll put a stop to it." Put a webcam in his cell and pump him for information constantly. Anything he could tell them would be useful. Madsen doesn't even know Lucy was from the 60s. Surely, Jack does.

As for McKee, Lucy said in 1960 that the entire football team was there humiliating him. So what I got out of it was, he thought all people who play sports are bullies. The idiot at the bar was rude to him, so he and all his friends are dicks. The one guy threw the towel at him, so all the patrons are mean to the help, etc.

#762

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 1:32 PM

I'm starting to get back to my original theory that Ernest Cobb wasn't programmed to shoot Lucy but with a twist. He did shoot her deliberately but it was because she was trying to treat him and, side of the angels or not, she has been shown to use electroshock therapy on patients, drug them, and pick at their wounds. I can see why some people might resent this and relish the chance to go after her even if killing her would break their pattern.

Edit: Also, Hauser is really bad at prisoner interrogations. "What's in it for me?" "Nothing. Now answer the questions." He could have at least thrown him a bone like Rebecca did. Would giving him some things from his previous cell or a freaking book to read be that much of a hardship? Maybe it's because he's still mad about Tiller but that's really not helpful.

Edited by Princess Aldrea, Feb 22, 2012 @ 1:34 PM.


#763

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 1:37 PM

I'm not entirely convinced Lucy was on the side of the angels to begin with. Her work in memory manipulation would be cutting-edge for its era, "Fringe" science, if you will. She worked in an environment without oversight or much regulation, with subjects in no position to file complaints. Her pyschotherapy was pointed and designed to wound, to make a man vulnerable and emotionally bleed. She did use electroshock and, since she has a psychiatry degree, she would be able to furnish dodgy psychotropic drugs as well. I wouldn't be too thrilled with her after all of that, and I can see why a psychotic like Cobb or even this week's guy would relish a little payback.

#764

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 4:11 PM

Madsen doesn't even know Lucy was from the 60s.


As far as we know, Madsen hasn't yet met 2012Lucy but he knew her in the 1960s. He willingly cooperated with her in exchange for information about why they were taking so much blood from him.

#765

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 4:43 PM

Weecap is up. Please read and grade the episode if you get a chance.

#766

Princess Aldrea

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 5:17 PM

Madsen doesn't even know Lucy was from the 60s.

As far as we know, Madsen hasn't yet met 2012Lucy but he knew her in the 1960s. He willingly cooperated with her in exchange for information about why they were taking so much blood from him.

Judging by the fact that Tommy Madsen would know that Lucy is from the 1960s, I think they meant that Rebecca Madsen doesn't know that Lucy is from the 60s.

Edited by Princess Aldrea, Feb 22, 2012 @ 5:17 PM.


#767

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 7:52 PM

Judging by the fact that Tommy Madsen would know that Lucy is from the 1960s, I think they meant that Rebecca Madsen doesn't know that Lucy is from the 60s.

I meant Rebecca, the so-called babydyke Madsen. I was speaking within the context of the scene with her and Jack talking. Had then continued the conversation when it turned to Tommy, she may have furthered the questioning about Jack and Tommy's conversation in 1960, which may have led to the reveal about Lucy. This would have actually been more interesting, since Madsen could point out that Hauser is deliberately keeping information from them.

#768

Princess Aldrea

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 8:27 PM

the so-called babydyke Madsen

I hate that nickname.

Lucy is going by a different name now then she was then, though, so maybe the connection wouldn't have been mentioned. And at any rate, once Tommy was mentioned, Hauser quickly shut the conversation down.

Edited by Princess Aldrea, Feb 22, 2012 @ 8:28 PM.


#769

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 4:02 PM

I've been thinking about the pilot again and Tiller's treatment of Jack.

Now, I know that they had to quickly explain who he was and why Jack killed him but a few episodes in it's confusing me. They did a great job of showing Tiller as a sadist in only a few minutes. He likely planted a screwdriver in Jack's room to force him to miss visit day and then forced him to spend days or weeks in solitary confinement with only moldy or rotten food to eat. Then he pretends he's going to release him (or perhaps really was going to release him until Jack dared ask what he told Sonya about why he wasn't at visit day) and then he just left him there.

I want to know why Tiller was such a dick to Jack with no clear cause when he wasn't shown to be like that with the others.

Off on the top of my head, the only other inmate we've seen that Tiller really interacted with was Cal Sweeney and there was a clear reason for that. Tiller hated that there was a black market trade at all and that it gave one of the inmates a great deal of power but the Warden wouldn't let him try to shut it down so he at least wanted a large cut. He took Cal's possession to remind him who was in charge and to try to force his hand. He didnít attack Cal himself until Cal confronted him about it in private.

I donít recall Ernest Cobb having much to do with Tiller. The Warden was the one involved there and he did sort of torture Ernest by putting him in solitary with a loquacious person but even that was for a reason. He denied Ernestís request for solitary and so when Ernest manipulated the system to get what he wanted, the Warden didnít want what was supposed to be a punishment turn into a reward and he didnít want to get played.

Kit Nelson was allowed to be abused by the other prisoners but his was the most heinous crime weíve seen so far (though not the one with the biggest body count) and I think itís not very unusual that something like that would happen (though maybe not so blatantly). Then the Warden wheeled a heavily injured man far away from his cell and made him walk back as well as torturing him by leaving him in the dark but that was to get answers. The Warden was over-identifying with Kitís father as a parent himself and was expressing his particular horror at the kinds of crimes Kit got up to.

Paxton Petty didnít seem to have any abuse separate from the necessary questioning to try to find out where the final bomb was and that was just a safety issue. If it hadnít been for the fact that Paxton picked a lousy spot, a lot of people might have gotten hurt or died.

All Johnny McKee seemed to go through was Lucy revealing the embarrassing and traumatic story of his date with Virginia and the Warden threatening not to let Lucy help him but that made sense because she couldnít help and thus was wasting her time if he wouldnít be honest. Did he get off easy or what?

So even if you take into account sadism on the part of the guards and the ones in power, I still donít understand what Tillerís deal with Jack was. Are we going to find out there was a reason that he was targeting Jack in particular? I canít imagine Tiller was that bad with everyone but could it be that he was pretty bad with more of them but they havenít seen fit to show it in favor of exploring the Wardenís sadism?

With all of the others, all of the others, there is at least a reason for their treatment even if it may not justify what happens to them. Just what was going on with Tiller and the guy who robbed a freaking grocery story and then killed someone in self-defense?

Edited by Princess Aldrea, Feb 23, 2012 @ 5:03 PM.


#770

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 5:00 PM

You know, you're right. The Tiller vs. Jack aspect of the pilot was the most intriguing part about that episode for me and they just end up dropping it or at least seemed to. The official synopsis for it called Tiller Jack's "nemesis" making me hope that there is more to the story we will see eventually. Or maybe it was all explained in scenes that were later cut out. The Warden originally made an appearance and there was Rebecca's fiance, so it's possible.

#771

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 11:15 PM

You know what would make this show infinitely more interesting? If they added the actor who plays Jack as a main cast member. In the few scenes he has been in, I found him captivating. The actor has a very expressive face and is very good. Use him!

#772

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 11:47 PM

You're preaching to the choir but with the way things are looking, the show might get canceled before they can add any new regulars.

Just saw on IMDb that Greg Ellis will be playing the convict (or guard) in episode 12 Garrett Stillman. I really really hope they let him keep his accent.

#773

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 11:57 PM

You're preaching to the choir but with the way things are looking, the show might get canceled before they can add any new regulars.

Is it getting terrible ratings? I don't usually follow.

I do think canceling it would be a shame, because it's got such potential and it's such an interesting concept, but I also totally agree that it needs to vastly improve and start tapping that potential. (Between this show and OUaT, I feel like this television year has been full of high-concept shows that have so much potential and such interesting premises, yet that can't seem to consistently put it all together in the execution.)

Edited by stealinghome, Feb 23, 2012 @ 11:59 PM.


#774

Princess Aldrea

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 12:20 AM

I really hope this show isn't cancelled. It has its problems but I find it fascinating.

I have also decided that, until I hear otherwise, Guy Hastings was put in witness protection. It really seems like the kindest and most sensible way of handling that.

Edited by Princess Aldrea, Feb 25, 2012 @ 11:11 AM.


#775

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 5:58 AM

All right, let's drop the "babydyke" stuff. Even if you don't mean to be offensive, it's coming off that way.

Edited by TWoP Tennison, Feb 24, 2012 @ 5:58 AM.


#776

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 10:14 AM

You're preaching to the choir but with the way things are looking, the show might get canceled before they can add any new regulars

Is it getting terrible ratings? I don't usually follow.


Yes, the ratings are not good and dropping. If the pace of decline continues, soon they'll be in Fringe territory.

I'm actually not that surprised. I think the show is not constructed (purposely or not) to grab a broad audience.

#777

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 2:14 PM

I really love all the names that the inmates have. Jack Sylvane, Kit Nelson, Cal Sweeney, Paxton Petty...Very nice.

It's certainly better than the obligatory nicknames assigned to assorted Mafiosi when they're in the news.

#778

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 4:28 PM

I'm not seeing that the audience for House is sticking around for this show, so I'm not surprised the ratings aren't good. I think TPTB were too cautious in making these episodes so standalone; we've kind have been treading water. They missed a good opportunity to have Jack offer Madsen some good information, whether about knowing Lucy, or even knowing Hauser back in 1960. Prior to that, we had the Tommy reveal and a nice flashback with Hauser and Lucy. That was pretty much over 3+ hours of show, and really, it's not enough.

I'm hoping there will be an uptick in pacing, and just something different coming up to close the season out and maybe get some more viewers to come back who might have gotten bored with the show after E4 or so.

#779

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 11:04 PM

Yeah, I have to say that as a Bay Area resident, I found calling BART the subway annoying, especially when San Francisco MUNI has a subway system itself, which shares its downtown stations with BART. In fact. they filmed in the Embardacero Station, with BART signage and a BART train speeding by. Of course, to add insult to injury, it's the TRANSBAY tube, not the East Bay Tube.

#780

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 11:48 AM

One of the showrunners addressed this on Twitter. He said it was a licensing issue. They couldn't use the name BART.

That's really weird because they used "BART" on The Mentalist recently I swear.

One possible reason for BART not allowing the use in this episode might be that they didn't want a depiction of a poison gas attack on a train.

Of course, to add insult to injury, it's the TRANSBAY tube, not the East Bay Tube.

Heh, that bugged me too. But the thing that really got to me was the system map. It superficially looked like the BART map as far as station locations, but it misspelled San Francisco twice!