This week we’ve got a child killer on the loose. The prisoner-of-the-week, Kit Nelson, has the rather creeptastic tendency of killing his victims and then delivering their bodies back home. Fun times, huh?
After the “previously seen” bit where we get told yet again about what happened in 1963, and see Lucy get shot again, the episode opens in the present day on a street in Walnut Creek. A man walks up to a house carrying a flower; he opens the door and begins to turn lights off. Then he goes upstairs to the bedroom of two boys. He slaps his hand over one’s mouth and tells him “Scream, and I’ll kill your brother.” Guess he’s not their dad, huh?
Back to 1960 and the recreation yard, where Kit Nelson is beaten up by the other inmates because he’s a child killer. This isn’t the first time though, because assistant warden E.B. Tiller talks to another guard and we find out they want Nelson dead. Sucks to be him.
Present day, and Doc Soto is drawing their previous adventures into a comic book. Then he hears on the scanner about a missing boy and the flower left in his bed. He rushes to his files, and pulls out the report on Kit Nelson. He finds Hauser and Madsen at Lucy’s bedside, where they’re talking about her chances, and tells them if they don’t find the kid Nelson took by Sunday then the boy’s dead. Apparently Nelson leaves chrysanthemums in the beds of the kids he takes, and then brings their dead bodies back home. Speed is key here, clearly.
Madsen and Soto pull up to the house in Walnut Creek, where they interview the mother and the kidnapped kid’s brother Liam. Kit Nelson’s going by the name Warren now, and he was working at the boys’ house. Liam pretended to be asleep the previous night, but he heard what happened.
Kit is taking Dylan fishing, and reminds him of the rules they agreed on. Back to 1960, and Kit’s in the doctor’s office getting some healing. Tommy Madsen’s behind the curtain still giving blood. Then we get the reveal, and Tommy comments on how bad Kit was beaten up. OK, really hating the closing cell door to mark flashbacks now.
Present day, and Rebecca Madsen and Soto chat with the hardware store manager and he shows them the real Warren. Then we find out someone stole a few kids fishing poles as well as a hardware store uniform. Madsen and Soto rush off to Lafayette Recreationary, which is the only fishing spot around. Meanwhile, Nelson and Dylan get into the lake. Nelson tells the boy to hold him under the water and not let him up. The boy hesitates at first, and then he shoves Nelson underwater. Nelson comes up and, rather ominously, tells the boy it’s his turn. Umm … I think I’ll pass.
Madsen and Soto reach the lake just after Nelson and Dylan have already left. Seems like Nelson takes his victims on fun trips, to things they like to do, right before he kills them. Like one sick final hurrah, Madsen guesses, and it sounds about right. So then we see Dylan and Nelson at a horror movie, and then Nelson tries to force popcorn down the kid’s throat.
Flash back to 1960, and Warden James takes Nelson on a little jaunt down the hall. Kind of a meh thing, to be honest, and these flashbacks are getting hella annoying.
Madsen and Soto are chatting with Dylan’s mom to find out what he likes to do in terms of hobbies, but when she says he never liked fishing Soto realizes he got it wrong. “Cherry pie,” Soto says, and Madsen tells him to wait out front for her. Around the front, the uniformed cops are leaving because the Amber Alert has been cancelled. Hauser shows up and reveals he shut down the Amber Alert because they can’t have photos of a ’63 floating around; his plan is now to catch Nelson when he brings Dylan’s dead body back home. For the greater good, he says.
Soto flips out on him and storms away, and then Madsen berates Hauser for being a dick to the comic book writer. Standard you’re-going-to-die-alone lecture, which is really rather ho-hum in how predictable it is.
Soto’s got himself a theory. Nelson is doing things he likes, and cherry pie is one of those things. He then goes to a bunch of diners to try and find where Nelson’s been, but he strikes out a few times. Until at last he gets lucky, and ends up at the diner with Nelson and Dylan. Madsen calls and Soto tells her where he is.
Flash back to 1960, where Papa Nelson tells Kit that his mother died. And we get to hear the father doesn’t believe it was really scarlet fever that killed Kit’s brother.
Present day, and Soto tries to stall Nelson from leaving. He follows them outside, and says Kit’s real name … this of course makes him freeze. Madsen shows up and immediately pulls her gun. Kit gets her to throw her pistol away, and has her handcuff herself and Soto to a dumpster. He threatens to kill Dylan if he sees headlights, and it’s not until he drives away that Madsen shoots the cuffs off. Soto stares after the car, muttering that he just got that kid killed. Madsen gives a Look in response. Yeah, something tells me you might’ve messed it up Doc.
Soto carries a box of Kit’s possessions into his cell and begins unpacking. He’s trying to do the same thing Madsen did with Ernest Cobb. And he gets a hit, because he pulls out a bunch of name-brand cigarettes. It doesn’t seem like anything to Madsen, but Soto tells her only Machine Gun Kelly or Al Capone could afford that particular type of cigarette. And then they discover back pay from a construction company which built bomb shelters. Nelson of course knew where they all were, and we find him and Dylan playing checkers in one.
1960 again and this time Nelson gets shoved in a closed-in cell. Warden James is in there with him, and asks during his four-match conversation what precisely Nelson did to his brother. On the fourth lit match, Nelson tells of how he strangled his brother to death while their mother was away. He lovingly describes how he killed his brother, and says he knew he had to kill again after that one time was done. The flower was a consolation prize for Nelson’s mother after the murder of his brother. The warden leaves, but throws the matchbox to Nelson and tells him to make them last.
Nelson in the present day stares at the box of matches (aww, he made them last didn’t he?), while Dylan asks for food and a blanket. Dylan slips his shoe off and hurls it at the lightbulb while Nelson lights a cigarette. The bulb shatters and Dylan books it to the surface, where he runs through the woods with Nelson in hot pursuit.
Madsen and Soto show at the woodland bomb shelter and find the door wide open. Meanwhile Nelson chases after Dylan in the woods, but Madsen and Soto hear the boy shouting for help. Madsen then shows and has her gun trained on Nelson. She didn’t shoot before, and despite him not having a weapon, he decides to take his chances. Of course that’s before Hauser shoots him dead.
Afterward, Soto and Madsen are putting a box of files away when Hauser comes in. He talks about arrested development and how we halt at the age we were when a bad trauma occurred. Hauser figures Soto was 11, and tells him that he allows Doc to stay because he needs an expert on Alcatraz. Soto starts to explain, but Madsen stops him. She figures he’s got a cool origin story.
Then Soto goes to Dylan’s house and gives him a comic. The kid then talks about how scared he still is, and we find out Soto was kidnapped as an eleven year old as well. He uses it as a way to get the kid to feel better, but now I’m wondering what happened to Soto. Maybe it plays into the story.
Hauser carts Nelson’s body to the secret Alcatraz prison, where he dumps the corpse onto a table in Dr. Beauregard’s lab. Hauser says he might need the good doctor’s help depending on how things work out. Ominous huh? And the last scene is Beauregard jamming to some classic rock.
Next week, we got us a bank robber!
Did you miss last week’s pilot episode? If so, check out our recap of ‘Alcatraz: Ernest Cobb’.