Guard numero uno comes into the present day this week. Guess this switches the format to “guard-of-the-week” eh? Fun little trivia point: the actor who plays Hastings also played Hoyt on ‘True Blood’. Also, are we doing “previously on Alcatraz” before every episode? ‘Cause this is getting annoying.
The episode opens with Guy Hastings standing in a rundown room on Alcatraz island. I’m guessing this was his quarters back in the 60s, because he goes right to a secret compartment in a baseboard and pulls out family photos. A park ranger shows up and Hastings beats the tar out of him before scooping up the photos, stealing a gun and heading on down the road as it were.
Flashback: Hastings is sitting in a chair at the base of the bed, and watches his wife wake up for the day. Mrs. Hastings asks her husband to call in sick, but today’s training day. We meet their daughter, and Hastings heads out to the prison. He looks over the training officers, and when they sound off the last one is Ray Archer! Hey, nice connection.
In the present day, Older Ray and Rebecca are having breakfast, and he tells her a little about her grandfather Tommy Madsen. Tommy was accused of killing his wife, and Ray says at first he didn’t believe Tommy did it, but then he did. Hauser calls Madsen in, and shows her and Soto video of Hastings out on the Rock. We find out that the guards were good men, and the only reason Hastings would’ve attacked a ranger is because someone put him up to it.
In the next scene, Ray Archer is walking down the street, while Hastings ominously watches him from across the way. Creepy much?
Hauser and our heroes go over to Hastings’s apartment on the Rock. Soto then tells us the official line: that Hastings and 8 other guards died in a chemical spill in 1963. And then they find blood over on a wall, and realize Hastings has a gun. A quick look at another wall allows them to make the logic leap that Hastings’ daughter Annie is still alive. So Soto and Madsen go to Annie’s house, and convince her to give up a box of her dad’s possessions. Anyone else think that was a little too easy?
Flashback: Hastings explains the mess hall to the trainees, and young Ray looks around. He catches sight of Tommy Madsen, who flips out and starts whaling on him. Then Tommy grabs his buddy and tells him he shouldn’t have come right before Hastings knocks him off.
Back in the present, Ray is taken captive by Hastings outside the bar he owns. Something tells me Ray has a lot more to do with what happened on Alcatraz. Or at least he’s run afoul of the people who are in control of it. Either way, this is not good.
Flashback: Back in 1960, Doctor Beauregard patches up young Ray while Hastings looks on. Warden James and Deputy Warden Tiller show up, and Tiller suggests Madsen and Ray know each other. Otherwise why would Madsen flip out on him? Hastings, however, goes to bat for Ray and convinces James to let him stay.
Present day and Madsen gets a call that Ray’s been taken captive. She heads out, accompanied by Hauser, after Soto finds a photo of Hastings and Ray together. Meanwhile Hastings is searching through Ray’s apartment when the older man comes to. Hastings demands to know where Tommy Madsen is, but Ray tells him he doesn’t know. Apparently Hastings really wants to know where Tommy Madsen is for some reason.
Madsen and Hauser first head to the bar, where the bartender says he saw Hastings across the street. Then they book it to Ray’s apartment, where they realize Hastings is on the hunt for Tommy Madsen. Which makes Inspector Madsen wonder what the people who took the 63s want with her grandfather. Here’s a thought: He figured out what they were doing, and knows of a way to throw a wrench in the works. Anyone else have a similar thought?
Flashback: In the past again, where Hastings and Ray are buddy-buddy, Hastings asks Ray if he knows Tommy, and of course Ray says he doesn’t. Then he gets lectured about how respect is the only currency on the Rock, and if he doesn’t know Tommy Madsen then he needs to prove it.
Hauser and Madsen come back to Alcatraz in the present, and Hauser jumps on the phone and tells everyone to get into the room. He needs to talk to them all now. Then Soto and Madsen figure out the way to find Ray is to go where the picture of he and Tommy as young men was taken in front of.
Ray took Hastings to where Rebecca Madsen’s parents are buried, and we get a little bit of a window into why Hastings is seeking out Tommy. Turns out that yes, the higher-ups who were doing things to the inmates way back when don’t like Mr. Tommy.
Hauser meanwhile has a chat with his brain trust to figure out a connection to Tommy Madsen. Together they theorize that he’s either unaccounted for, or lost. Apparently lost is a bad thing, which shouldn’t surprise me because this is a J.J. Abrams show after all. Madsen and Soto find a bombshell of their own while searching for the address Ray and Tommy were in front of. Ray’s last name? Is actually Madsen. So he wasn’t Tommy’s friend … he was Tommy’s brother. Holy monkeys!
Flashback: Back in the past, Hastings has Ray open all the cell doors except for 112, which happens to be Tommy’s cell. This means of course Ray’s got to kick the crap out of his brother. So he goes at it with gusto, slamming Tommy’s head into the bars and whaling on him until Hastings yanks him off.
Present day, and Ray’s taken Hastings to where he and Tommy grew up. Rebecca Madsen and Soto are on their way when Hauser calls and demands to know where they are. And of course Soto asks Madsen what she plans to do if Tommy’s there when she gets there.
Ray’s handcuffed to a heater, so to make conversation he asks Hastings where he went for 50 years. Hastings says he didn’t go anywhere. He talks about taking Annie to the ferry for school, and then that night the fog took all the stars away. He and the other guards woke up in an infirmary, where they were told all their families were dead. And they couldn’t leave. The next thing Hastings knew, it wasn’t 1963 anymore. Ooo … nice little hints there, Abrams.
Madsen comes in, gun drawn, but Ray’s shouted warning can’t prevent Hastings from getting the drop on her. He turns the gun around on her; Madsen tries to tell Hastings that his daughter is still alive. Except he doesn’t believe her, and then Hauser comes in barking that he’s going to shoot Hastings in the head if he doesn’t let Madsen go. So after a brief struggle, Madsen shoots Hastings in the leg to prevent that from happening.
Flashback: Back in the past, Ray talks to Tommy in his infirmary bed. He’s not going to let his brother rot in Alcatraz alone. However, Hastings hears all this. And this is not a good thing, methinks.
Hastings in the present wonders of course if Annie really is still alive, and Madsen confirms that yes she is. With great memories of her daddy, she says. Hauser takes Hastings to see Annie and her family. He can’t talk to them though, but Hauser tells him the reason he’s allowed to see from a distance is because Hastings doesn’t deserve what happened to him.
Madsen goes back to the batcave under Alcatraz after seeing Ray safely to the bar. There she finds Hauser, who she confronts about wanting her on the team for her connection to Tommy. Hauser offered the job to Ray, but he turned the offer down 16 years ago to raise Rebecca. Ooo … big secret. Kind of early in the season though, but that’s just me.
Tommy shows up at the bar while Ray’s closing down. A tense conversation ensues, which ends with Ray threatening Tommy to stay away from Rebecca. Turns out she’s in danger every time he’s near. Now I’m curious.
Next week: A guy carries around a backpack full of mines.
If you missed the previous episode, be sure to read our ‘Alcatraz: Cal Sweeney’ recap.