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Alcatraz – A killing jar for people

We've seen a sniper, a child killer, a bomber, and now we have a returned murderer that kills through poisons and chemicals. Alcatraz sure held a variety of killers!

- Season 1, Episode 7 - "Johnny McKee"

Another episode of Alcatraz and the story of another inmate. This time, a murderer, Johnny McKee, who killed at least 70 people before his incarceration at Alcatraz. Johnny had been bullied throughout his life and took revenge against those that treated him wrong.

When he returned in 2012, he did the same. He killed people who were rude to him. Unfortunately, McKee’s return didn’t add much to the overall story. Like the kidnapper and killer, Kit Nelson, and the bomber, Paxton Petty, as far as we know, McKee returned without a specific mission.

Even in the flashbacks, we gained only a little insight into what was going on. One big difference was we saw the prisoners get to enjoy some entertainment. They were shown the western, Born Reckless, which was a nice offset to the normal torture we’ve seen. To say I was surprised they got a luxury like that is an understatement.

The main clue revealed was that Lucy’s treatment had something to do with dreams. She asked McKee what he dreamed about and he initially said nothing. He eventually cracked when Lucy recounted the humiliation that Victoria Winters put him through and how he got revenge when he burned her face with acid.

He proclaimed that he dreamed about her face. Lucy replied that she could now help him with his memories. In the present day, Jack told Hauser that he does not dream any more. Is that from Lucy’s treatments, the time jump, or possibly both?

Are Lucy’s dreams in her current state what has prevented her methods from working when Beauregard has tried them? While it is not clear yet what dreams have to do with the program, they definitely are pertinant.

In addition to the dreams, Rebecca’s meeting with Sylvane confirmed that the prisoners don’t know why they are jumping forward in time. He also let her in on the secret that her grandfather was in the infirmary often having blood removed. That doesn’t mean anything to her now, but it is a clue.

But even more intriguing is that Hauser continues to keep so many secrets and oddly Rebecca let him get away with it. It is frustrating to watch her not stand up for herself. She should have prevented Hauser from taking Sylvane away before answering all of her questions. Why did he even risk transporting Sylvane to Alcatraz to meet with Rebecca? It would safer to take her to him, wouldn’t it? He clearly wants to keep her away from the new prison and limit what information she gets from the prisoners.

Rebecca still does not know about Beauregard. Now that she has the name, she needs to ask Soto about him. That should shed some light on what’s going on. If she knows who he was and that he is still around, it will lead her to question Hauser’s knowledge of the time jump. And, wonder how Beauregard is still alive?

Odds and Ends

  • The book jacket Beauregard gave Hauser for was The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins. The actually book inside was The Metamorphoses of Ovid. It’s nice to see this more vulnerable side to Hauser, since he is such an ass to most people.
  • Beauregard suggests that Hauser’s voice may reach her; that she needs a reason and love is a reason. Does that mean Lucy and Hauser were romantic?
  • “The Future is Now” — intriguing given the time jump of the prisoners.
  • The poison McKee used at the nightclub was a plant called White margined Nightshade (photo). It is found on Alcatraz and is poisonous.
  • “It’s a killing jar for people.” — Rebecca referring to the subway (This is one of my favorite TV quotes ever.)

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Photo Credit: FOX

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One Response to “Alcatraz – A killing jar for people”

February 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Dr. Beauregard hasn’t aged 50 years, so I assume he got transported to the present the same way that Lucy did. Why and how are different questions entirely.

I agree that Rebecca at some point very soon needs to stand up to Hauser and demand to be filled in on what he knows. It’s ridiculous that she’d continue to work for him just to retrieve the prisoners without knowing the broader scope of what’s happening there.

So did the poisoner go to work at the bar and later at the pool fully intending to poison people there? He had his chemicals with him. Does he assume that he will get bullied wherever he goes? What if everyone was nice to him? Does he still go through with it? Not the strongest motivation for mass murder.

How predictable was it that Hauser would refuse to read to Lucy at the beginning, yet end up doing so at the end of the episode? Very.