Alcatraz – S01E06 – “Paxton Petty”
This latest episode of Alcatraz opens with a horrific scene of a busy park turning into a war zone. Paxton Petty was a jilted military veteran who played out his grievances via planting mines in public locations. Now he’s back and ready to finish what he started while the audience and our heroes continues to learn more about what happened back in the 1960s. Again, another solid episode that is as interesting as it is annoying.
Score: 3 of 5
I’m still trying to figure out what it is that makes this show so dull when it has every right to be awesome. I think it has to do mostly with the actress who plays Rebecca and the style in which it is shot. She’s not a plank, just kind of walks around with a drooped “I’m a quarter from pissed off” look on her face. The show itself is dark and rainy with too many long shots. Normally I hate the hand-cam shaky stuff but Alcatraz needs more cutting, more sense of movement, and a lot more sun, this is freaking San Francisco people, it looks like Vancouver…
Back to “Paxton Petty”, the episode starts out with a bunch of mines going off at the same time in a park. Whoever wrote this scene knows nothing of land mines. The park has been busy for hours until someone just happens to step on one which causes a panic and all the others get set off in the rush to get away from the scene? No. One of those should have been stepped on and gone off way earlier in the day and while a few more might get tripped in the panic, the park wouldn’t be full enough to set them all off. Hey, my dad was a Marine, I think about these things.
Don’t get me started on the Silver Star stuff.
Putting all that aside, it was interesting to see the relationship between Hauser and Banerjee started all the way back in 1960. It definitely puts everything that has been happening since in a different context. Hauser’s character development is more consistent with the “Kit Nelson” episode and this whole sub plot makes things a lot more interesting.
We’ve also been given a closer look at Banerjee’s work style and I’m actually impressed that they didn’t give her a ‘modern slate’, like she’s ahead of the times, as some of these time-travel-flashback shows tend to do. She’s modern for what was modern at the time. And Soto didn’t know about Banerjee’s work on Alcatraz? That makes the first few episodes make more sense since he didn’t immediately recognize her or her name. Why was she kept secret? Could it be because of what I mentioned in my overview of a female psychologist not likely to be found on Alcatraz?
Also, is that a love interest for Soto that I spy? Interesting.
Unfortunately these enticing bits of development don’t distract from the fact that there are two major problems with this episode. For one, the doctor does know about the blood, or at least enough to know to keep his mouth shut, so, again, what has he told Hauser? What has he kept secret? The Doctor has to know something! This possible plot hole is getting more and more annoying.
Secondly, why did the bomb tech try to dismantle the mine? Why didn’t he just send a robot in to blow it up? Seriously? They had enough time to get all the way into cover, he could have backed off as well and been far enough away had it gone off before they could send the robot in. His death was a waste and only an excuse for Hauser to shoot Paxton, though I’m sure the audience figured Hauser already had enough of one without the guy dying.
I was so tempted to give this episode higher marks but that was just too much.
Alcatraz continues to suffer in the ratings, again dropping from the previous episode. At this rate, I don’t think we’ll ever find all the answers because the show won’t last long enough to give them to us.