The prisoner-of-the-week this time around is a Korean War vet by the name of Paxton Petty, who has the nasty habit of setting landmines in populated areas. There were four of them in the early 1960s, but only three ever went off. I’m going to try a different tactic with this recap, by the way. First, I’ll detail everything that went on in the present day, and then go into the flashback to 1960.
Hauser turns on a record in Lucy’s hospital room. He’s leaning against the far wall, watching her, when the doctor comes in to check on Lucy. There’s been no change, and the doctor asks Hauser if Lucy ever mentioned a DNR to him. Hauser asks if this means Lucy’s dying. A DNR is a “do not resuscitate” order for those not up on medical parlance. It basically says that if your heart stops, the doctors will not try to revive you.
Next we go to Pine Street Park, where everything is pleasant. Until four explosions from underground rock the park, killing people even as they try to run away. Madsen and Soto arrive on the crime scene later, and Madsen glimpses a man with a backpack (Paxton Petty) on her way to Hauser.
Hauser asks them both what sort of explosive makes a crater like the one they’re in front of. Madsen suggests an IED hidden by the grass. But it’s Soto who of course figures out that it was a landmine. And that means Paxton Petty. Soto explains Petty was a combat engineer in the Korean War until a bunch of schoolchildren in Korea got blown up by a U.S. landmine. Petty was assigned to graveyard detail at the Presidio during the investigation, and was eventually sentenced to 5 years in military jail.
Once he got out, he started setting bombs. Three went off around San Francisco 50 years ago; Petty claimed there was a fourth but it was never found. Soto shows Madsen a photo, and she recognizes the guy with the backpack. She runs him down, but Petty sets a landmine to explode and rolls it toward her. Madsen dives aside as the mine explodes a car. Nice dodging skills.
Madsen and Soto try to figure out where Petty got his bombs. Back in the ’60s, they figured the mines were stolen from the Presidio. It’s not an army base anymore, so they theorize maybe the same guy who sold Cobb his gun is giving Petty the mines. Madsen sees a bomb-squad friend, who shows them the shrapnel inside the mines.
Then our heroes head to the coroner’s office, where Soto flirts with the coroner because she’s wearing a Sandman t-shirt. Once there, Madsen sees the medal that Petty stuffed the mines with.
Back at Alcatraz, Hauser unlocks a chest belonging to Lucy Sangupta (Bannerjee to those folks in the present). He first unearths a stack of old photos, which include him and Lucy on a date. And then opens the file on Petty, which contains the lyrics to a song. Something tells me this’ll show us where Petty’s bombs are.
Madsen and Soto head to a shop, where they find out the shrapnel is from a silver star. Petty wasn’t awarded one, despite the fact he thought he deserved one. Fired off a lot of angry letters from prison apparently. Madsen asks the shopowner where you’d find a silver star if you weren’t awarded one. Soto suggests Craigslist, but the shopowner puts the kibosh on that. Silver star’s the 3rd highest military honor you can get. If it’s not given to the family, the star’s buried with the soldier.
Anyone else guess that Petty’s digging them up? ‘Cause he is. And kills a guard at the Presidio military graveyard when he’s discovered. Madsen and Soto tour the graveyard later, but it doesn’t look like anything’s amiss. And then Madsen figures out the bombs might be located where no one would look: In a mausoleum.
Hauser’s looking over the song and matching the words that signify where Petty placed the bombs, and matches Pine Street. Looks like he’s following the song again. Dun dun duuuuun … I wonder where the next bomb will be.
Madsen and Soto look at the mausoleum, where they realize Petty broke the lock from the inside. This is where he woke up in 2012. I suppose it’s good for peace and quiet, huh? They find the stash, which also has some playground turf and sandstone paint inside. Madsen figures out the next bomb could be at any school playground in the city.
Madsen’s bomb-squad friend tells her the city got a ransom note written in Korean demanding $651,000 and he’ll tell them where the bombs are. Madsen calls Hauser, and he demands to know the color of the paint. Right after, he tells her to cross-reference their location with the word Windward. They hit on Windward Elementary, which happens to be right near Soto’s shop. However, the elementary school is completely clear. Madsen calls Hauser, tells him he’s wrong, and he tells her to stay put because he could still show.
Buuut … Hauser is in fact at Sunset Beach, where he finds Petty digging a hole for a mine. He calls for Petty, who’s shocked Hauser knows him. Hauser, by the way, steps right onto a bomb. Petty pulls a weapon and tells him it’d be a bad idea to move, then demands his gun and his phone. Geez Hauser, could you be more unobservant?
Madsen and Soto are staking out the school, when Petty suddenly shows up and digs up a section of playground turf. Madsen draws her weapon and subdues him, when Petty realizes who she’s working with. She then calls Hauser’s phone, but of course it rings on Petty. He’s only too happy to make a tick-tick-tick noise when she asks where he is. Ruh-roh.
Madsen locks Petty back in a cell at Alcatraz, where he tells her Hauser is dead. He demands to know what happened. Last week he fell asleep a stone’s throw from the cell he’s in now, and this week he suddenly wakes up in a mausoleum in the year 2012. Madsen tells Soto to pick a theory and keep Petty talking while she tries to figure out where Hauser is. She finds the case file from 1960 and realizes the Petty bombs was Hauser’s case when he was SFPD.
Soto, meanwhile, explains the time shift to Petty by using an analogy of water bugs and two dimensions. Makes zero sense to me, personally. Madsen at last figures out Hauser went to Sunset Beach, and goes back to the cell. Soto figures out the $651,000 is 50 years of back pay Petty feels he’s owed. He demands to know who Soto is, so Doc tells him that he wrote a few books about Alcatraz. Basically everything is wrong though. Petty then of course wants to know if he’s in them, but Soto says no. Petty declares that he was important–the Warden said so himself–he was given the royal treatment by everyone. Including the lady headshrinker. “There were no women doctors at Alcatraz,” Soto says. Oh how wrong you are, Diego.
Madsen and Soto find Hauser at Sunset Beach, still standing on the landmine. They call in the bomb squad and Tanner–Madsen’s friend–shows to defuse the bomb. Petty, however, is confident Hauser will die in a fiery explosion. Madsen stands with Hauser while Tanner clears away the sand around the mine; she confirms that Hauser’s suggestion helped them catch Petty. Yay, teamwork!
Tanner pulls Madsen aside and tells her the landmine was modified in a way that makes it harder to defuse. He’s confident though, despite the fact Petty made the bomb a loop so it’ll detonate no matter what. Madsen helps Hauser bolt off the landmine, and just when you think Tanner’s beaten the mine … it blows up literally in his face. Yeah that puts a damper on your day.
Hauser stalks over to Petty and shoots him in the leg. While Petty’s screaming in pain, Hauser tells him the twin tree bomb went off 20 years ago and didn’t take a soul with it. Petty can’t believe it. He says he placed the bomb on Mount Sutro at the trail everyone takes to the top. That land’s been owned by the state for 50 years, Hauser says, and thanks Petty for telling him where to dig.
Back at the hospital, Hauser unhooks Lucy from the machines and carries her out. He shows up at the secret Alcatraz with her in his arms, and sets her on Beauregard’s table. He tells the good doctor “You know her methods. Fix her.” Creeepy.
A young Officer Emerson Hauser of the San Francisco Police Department is part of the detail transporting Paxton Petty to Alcatraz. When first we join the two-man crew, Hauser is bent over the side vomiting. They’re met at Alcatraz by Warden James, Doctor Sangupta, and others for the hand-off. As the Alcatraz welcome party walks away, Hauser offers Lucy a ride back to the mainland. She refuses, but offers him a peppermint for his nausea as a going-away gift (as it were).
Dr. Beauregard is given first whack at getting Petty to give up the location of the fourth explosive. He has an assistant repeatedly dunk the inmate under ice-cold water, but it’s woefully ineffective. Why do I get the feeling Petty’s been trained to resist this kind of torture? When Beauregard fails, Lucy’s given the next attempt.
Lucy gives Petty a mug of tea and a plate of “pills.” Petty drinks the tea greedily, telling Warden James and Beauregard that this is how you treat a person when you want something from them. He’s heard about the mind games in the prison though, and refuses to take the pills. Except the pills were mints. And Lucy drugged his tea. Good girl!
Lucy then runs through a bit of Petty’s history. Joined the marines at age 18, never awarded a silver star despite clearing several frozen mine fields by himself. And then he set those mines to kill the “little soldiers”–children. Lucy places some equipment on Petty’s head and gives him a minor electric shock. This sparks him to sing in what sounds like Korean.
Lucy brings Tommy Madsen into her office, where she plays the song for him. Turns out Tommy served in the Korean War too. Before he helps her though, he asks her why a perfectly healthy man like him would spend all his time in the infirmary instead of on work detail. And why the heck they want all his blood. Hmm … good question, Tommy boy. If she wants to know what the song is, Tommy says, she needs to find out why he’s in there all the time. Tommy explains that one word in each line of the song determines where the mines were located. The Korean lullaby Petty sang tells where his mines were. Jinkies, we got ourselves a clue.
Lucy circles key words in the lyrics of the song that signify where the bombs were. Warden James comes in, and is ecstatic Lucy broke the code. The last one is “twin trees,” but no one knows what it means. Lucy did however make a call to the SFPD on behalf of Warden James, who then calls Beauregard in and orders him to compliment Lucy. James leaves, but Lucy stops Beauregard and asks about Tommy Madsen spending so much time in the infirmary. Beauregard tells her, in no certain terms, to butt out. Oooo … intrigue.
Lucy shows up at the San Francisco PD and asks Hauser if he found the twin tree yet. He hasn’t, so she says she’s there to help. And thought it could start by him asking her to dinner. Awww … Hauser and Lucy as a couple. They’re kind of cute if you think about it.
Next week: A prisoner of the week who kills people using cyanide. And he might place it in the city water supply.
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Alcatraz: Guy Hastings’ recap.