Alcatraz “Paxton Petty” Review

Tonight’s episode of Alcatraz, “Paxton Petty”, opened up with a pretty important opening scene. Not only does it introduce us to our titular inmate, Mr. Paxton Petty, but we also get to see Houser and Lucy meet for the first time. Obviously Houser was much younger, while Lucy looks the exact same, so it will be interesting to hopefully get this explained soon as Lucy is not looking any better in her hospital bed back in 2012.

Anyway, Paxton Petty is a serial bomber who is back in modern day and ready to blow crap up. Upon hearing that the inmate this year would be a bomber, I just knew that something very bad was going to happen at that happy park scene at the beginning of the episode. What I did not expect was for some dude to get his leg blown off and see his bloody stump flying through the air! The violence in Alcatraz has been a very nice surprise thus far. I had no idea that this show was going to be so brutal when I first started reviewing it! That entire park scene was more like a scene out of Saving Private Ryan than a primetime network television show.

I also really enjoyed the flashbacks this week. These scenes can be really hit and miss, with the doctor and warden characters usually coming across very hammy, but I did enjoy seeing a little more of a darker side from Lucy.

One thing I definitely didn’t enjoy this week was Houser. He continues to be the most frustrating part of this show, and by far the weakest character. Not only is his dialogue stilted and lame, but he’s just…stupid. Why wouldn’t he tell Rebecca where he was going, or how he cracked the code of the song verses? It probably could have kept him from stepping on a land mine, or prevented him from having to stand there on the beach all day. There was a small part of me that hoped they would just show up to Sunset Beach and he would be already blown up. They definitely need to work on this character, and fast.

At least we got another interesting scene this week that helped develop the overall mythology of the show. Apparently Petty has no idea how he got to 2012, or that he was being sent there at all. This seems to be different from the first episode of the series, where it seemed that Jack Sylvane knew exactly what he was doing and who sent him there. Also interesting was the big mystery behind why Madsen’s blood is being taken. Hopefully more is developed here soon.

Random Thoughts:

– Again, they have to have those freaking subtitles at the bottom of the screen every time we flash back to Alcatraz? “Alcatraz – 1960”. Yes, we got it!

– Jorge Garcia continues to be good for one good laugh per episode. Picturing Houser in a transparent suit was pretty funny, and his discussion on time travel was very reminiscent of the one he shared with Miles on LOST.

– Lot of good that the bomb squad dude’s helmet did.