Alcatraz “Johnny McKee” Review

Alcatraz returned this week with “Johnny McKee”, another solid installment of this increasingly engrossing show. While I did enjoy McKee as a villain, and I enjoy how every escaped inmate is diverse (Sniper, bomber, robber, etc.), I am starting to question how much longer we can go with individualized crimes. Once we get to the inmate who beats people to death with giant blue spoons, we know we’re in trouble.

Anyway, McKee is our villain this week, and he landed somewhere in the middle as far as engaging villains. He was definitely creepy, but he never really hit the same level of brutality as previous baddies. In fact, I had a hard time feeling all that sympathetic for his first two kills. That jerk at the bar was trying to get his friend to cheat on his fiancee, and the dude at the pool was being a complete douche. Sure, the gassing at the subway was bad, but maybe he just really, really hated Golden State Warriors fans? Plus, if my nuts got blown off by a firecracker, I might have some pent up rage as well.

I think I’ve written enough to earn my weekly Houser rant, so here it goes. I just don’t freaking understand this guy! Who’s writing this dialogue and these behaviors and trying to reconcile them with how human beings act? First of all, the very first scene shows us that Lucy is still in a coma in 2012, and that Houser is still pretty broken up about it. Unfortunately, Houser isn’t broken up enough to read to her. No way, couldn’t be bothered with those touchy-feely, namby-pamby solutions. I don’t want to read her favorite book to her! Sure, we’re in a relationship, but I got more important things to do than trying to help the woman I love! Even though he read to her at the end, it doesn’t make up for being such a punk about it at first.

Not only is he a terrible boyfriend, but he keeps insisting on keeping things from Madsen! She’s trying to discover a little bit more about her grandfather, the secrets of Alcatraz, and why these inmates are reappearing 50 years later, but he’s blocking her at every pass! Wouldn’t it be easier to work with somebody in whom you can fully trust? Wouldn’t it help to build that trust if you, I don’t know, confide in her a little information she’s asking for? She is running out there risking her life to catch these dudes for you, after all.

At least we got to finally talk to Sylvane again! He remains the most emotionally engaging inmate, so it’s always great to see more from him. He did talk a little more about how he was transported to 2012, as well. It was the same stuff we’ve heard before, but it was good for the subject to even be breached.

I really enjoyed the episode, and can’t wait to hear more from the inmates (especially Sylvane) about just how on earth they got here! We’re already seven episodes into this series, so I expect to get a little more development as we head into the second half of our first season.

Random Thoughts:

– I loved seeing Soto playing Starcraft 2 on the giant government issued computers. It’s good for them to reinforce the whole “nerd” angle, lest we forget what with him chasing down all these killers.

– Seriously, are they ever going to stop doing those stupid subtitles every time we flash back to the past? Every freaking time we go back to the 60s we have to see “Alcatraz – Library 1960”. Thanks a lot. You were really losing me there.

– I legitimately laughed out loud when the warden wheeled in from the side of the screen on his rolling chair. ZOOM “Careful McKee, she’s a doctor!” Where’d he come from?!