Alcatraz “Kit Nelson” Review

Alcatraz returned tonight for its very first “Non-pilot” episode of the series: “Kit Nelson”. Ok, technically the second half of last week’s two-hour series premiere wasn’t the “Pilot”, but it was still part of the premiere event that sets up the conceit of the show. I was almost more excited for this episode, as the second episode of a series is usually a good indicator of what type of TV show this is going to be. After establishing all of the characters, relationships, and backstories in episode one, the second episode shows us where they’re going to go with it.

Well, one thing has definitely been maintained since the premiere: This show is freakin’ brutal! The series was set up as the world’s most dangerous criminals being released in modern time, and that certainly seems to be the case! After the incredibly creepy opening scene of the titular Kit Nelson abducting a child in his bedroom, we see the guy get the crap beat out of him in the Alcatraz yard. Then for the rest of his flashbacks, he had all kinds of bloody cuts and bruises all over his face! I’m glad they’re not trying to shy away from the brutality of these inmates.

Speaking of inmates, I was pretty surprised we didn’t get ANY scenes this week of the two 63s from last week. In fact, we got barely any development on the overarching story of the show. It was a straight up chase-the-bad-guy episode from start to finish.

One of my biggest complaints from last week’s premiere was how easily Diego Soto seemed to take to becoming a crime fighter. This episode looks to change that, as he’s definitely having some conflicting feelings about his new lifestyle, and he’s starting to realize that he’s not made for this type of thing. He even freaks out on Hauser for calling off an Amber Alert prematurely. I find it very difficult to buy Hurley getting all upset like this, but at least they’re attempting to address this problem.

Overall I found this episode enjoyable, but not altogether fulfilling. I hope future episodes will pay a little more attention to the overall mystery of Alcatraz. How are these guys getting here? Who’s sending them? Why are they coming now? I hope we get more answers soon!

Random Thoughts:

– I know that the marketing of every TV show will try to make you think that their TV show is the greatest thing you’ve ever seen, which is why I think it’s so funny that the ads for this show say the following: “Critics call it ‘great!'” Really? Is that the highest praise they could find? Usually they’ll find some TV critic who says “This is the greatest television program ever!”

– How did Hauser know that Diego and Rebecca were going to the bomb shelter in the middle of the forest? They never told him. They didn’t even see him since before the diner scene. Does she have a GPS locator on her car or something?

– As if there weren’t enough people comparing this show to LOST, this episode concluded with Jorge Garcia searching for a metal hatch in the middle of a forest with pouring rain. Talk about deja vu.