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Review: ALCATRAZ 1.4 - Cal Sweeney

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Four episodes in and Alcatraz is not showing any signs of improvement, last weeks "Kit Nelson" was a slight improvement but could have been a lot better. After watching "Cal Sweeney" I just thought what was the point? Following last week's episode my wife has given up on the show deciding that it will be boring. Me, well I'm going to stick with it a little longer because although this episode was not that great it still left us with that little Lost style mystery in the end which will hopefully be explained in the next, well rest of the season.

Cal Sweeney returned to the modern day, a bank robber who seemed to have a Sawyer edge to him, easy on the eye tricking uglier looking women into opening up safety deposit boxes for him. He seemed to have no qualms about killing anyone who had anything to do with those safety deposit boxes either. That was weird as during the flashback to 1960 Alcatraz he didn't come across and was not a murderer, so what has happened to him in the last 42 years? Ok, he got double crossed by his cell mate but surely that's not enough to turn someone to murder.

I'm not convinced that Sam Neil's Emerson Hauser is quite convincing enough as what looks like the bad guy role, that's not to say that he is a bad guy he may well be a good guy but he clearly knows what is going on, that has been pretty clear from the start. In this episode we were offered a little more insight into his team, a bunch of computer techs who sit behind a door just off the main office from where Rebecca and Doc sit, how has he managed to keep them secret from them up to now? Do they just live in there or something? Doc and Rebecca are going to be pretty pissed when they realise there are a bunch of guys who don't really seem to do much and never put their life in danger, yet they know more about what's going on than they do.

We are still no further on with Rebecca or Doc's characters, I'm yet to be convinced that she is a hero in any sort of way, brave yes but you think that after Hauser and his goons gassed her and Doc, and the fact he blatantly refuses to tell them anything that she would be a little more pushing on the subject, would you have given him that package as quick? No, of course you wouldn't it clearly meant something to him and the secret guys behind the door, I would have held onto it until he told me at least a little and that I was convinced that what he was telling me was the truth.

So, is it cloning or time travelling then? Hauser told his tech guys that Sweeney "jumped" that would suggest that he travelled through time, at least in any other show or movie that I have seen, he certainly wasn't referring to Sweeney jumping off a roof. I'm not so sure that "Cal Sweeney" would have convinced anyone on the fence about Alcatraz that it is worth an hour of their time every Monday night, or would the last five to ten minutes have been enough to save those few viewers and have them tune in again next week?

Sweeney was on the look out for a Key, that was his mission with looking through the safety deposit boxes, I'm presuming he was looking for the box of the guy who double crossed him in Alcatraz all those years earlier. If the people who sent him to the modern day are clever enough to do that, why didn't they just send him to the right bank in the first place? Anyway Sweeney got the key he or maybe Hauser has been after, they just need to know now what door on Alcatraz it opens, now although the laser technology used to cut the keys wasn't available in 1960 the key was still in use then, it opened a secretive door deep within the prison, kind of like the hatch in Lost. Is that enough to make you watch on Monday?

So far Alcatraz has failed to set the screen alight with any sort of suggestion that it could be the new Lost, it's certainly not as good as Person of Interest and up to know I really can not see audiences being so engrossed, the problem they have is trying to live up to Lost and that will be no easy task for J.J Abrams and Co.
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