It’s the season finale this week, folks, and I’m hopeful that we’re going to get some answers about why the ’63s are jumping to the future and Tommy Madsen’s role in the entire debacle. The first hour of this two-hour shindig, however, is all about an inmate who’s as complicated as a chess game — Garrett Stillman.
Present: The episode begins with Lucy watching interviews of the ’63s currently at the super prison. Hauser walks in and makes it clear he doesn’t approve, and then says he has to go meet with Madsen and Soto. Lucy intends to go along, but that’s a non-starter for Mr. Emerson–and she needs Beauregard’s approval beforehand. When she goes to ask for it, the “good” doctor comments it would be bad form to let her out in the world without identifying the potential side effects of the transfusion. Little late for that, eh?
A group of men knock over an armored car, and even force the guards to take off their uniforms before throwing them out. Bit odd, that. The flashback plays over the face of a man looking out the back of the truck.
Flashback: The same man whose face we saw a moment ago sits in the Alcatraz yard playing chess with himself. Warden James walks up and moves one of the knights, engaging the inmate–Garrett Stillman–in conversation about his favorite chess piece. Stillman’s is the bishop, which to him is a piece all about the end game. After an explanation of Stillman’s crimes, James invites him to a parole board hearing tomorrow morning. Which confuses Stillman, since there’s little he can steal there. And then James hands him a pawn. Aroo? Anyone else a bit lost?
Present: Lucy returns to the Superbase, and we’re treated to an explanation of what it was like for her making the “jump” from 1963 to 2012. It’s all rather sad too, since she talks about the disconnect of seeing the people she loves who’ve lived entirely different lives without her. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know she means Hauser. Oh, and then the hit of an armored car robbery comes in … and Lucy and Soto both recognize Stillman’s handiwork. Nice work, team!
Stillman and his co-conspirators stop in an alleyway. The other men get out of the armored truck, along with the cash, and leave Stillman with the uniforms. Stillman drives away a bit in the armored truck … and then we see the van of the co-conspirators blow sky-high. All right, now I’m really curious about what his plan is.
Madsen and Soto investigate the explosion, trying to figure out why Stillman took the guard uniforms and kept the guards alive but torched his accomplices. At a meeting with Bynum Security, the company that owned the armored truck, it’s revealed this isn’t the first car they’ve lost. And there are badge codes impossible to counterfeit on every Bynum uniform, which means Stillman must be planning something big.
At Alcatraz, Lucy and Hauser chat about Madsen having proved her worth; Hauser’s still not really convinced, but Lucy comments that Madsen reminds her of Hauser when he was young. Then one of Hauser’s other team comes in, and reveals they found a hollow space under the lighthouse. It’s a bulkhead, Lucy says, but the floor plans from 1963 don’t show it being there. Except it is.
A conversation with the surviving perp reveals Stillman made up a contest that a Bynum security guard won, then broke in and stole the uniform. He got the guns from some “boss,” who would only work with Stillman. Madsen and Soto theorize it could be another ’63 helping out, but we don’t know for sure.
Flashback: Stillman watches as Simmons, another inmate, has his parole denied because of Assistant Warden Tiller’s interference. After the board leaves, James tells Stillman he wants the thief to steal the board’s recommendation and replace it with a more favorable outcome. In return, Stillman will get the contraband operation Simmons is running. I like that plan.
Present: Stillman enters an Airstream trailer in an industrial lot. He asks the man inside if he got the crew he asked for, and is unsure of the “big score” ahead. But then our manipulator leans forward to assure him … and holy shiz it’s Tommy Madsen! That was unexpected.
Lucy finds Rebecca sifting through Stillman’s box. They chat a bit about Madsen’s grandfather, the guard who came back and why he went after Uncle Ray, and also about Hauser as a young man. Madsen can hardly believe Lucy and Hauser were an item back 50 years ago … to be honest, I can hardly believe it either.
Soto calls them into the other room, where he reveals Simmons–the inmate Stillman helped get parole–is now the billionaire owner of Broadway Mutual. There’s something at Simmons’s company that Stillman wants. The question now is what.
Flashback: Stillman sits in the mess hall with his crew. They chat in voiceover about forging a parole form and the signatures on it, while we see them go through the process of stealing the carbon paper and then forging the form to place the signatures on. It’s all pretty standard with heist bits like that.
Present: Madsen and Soto chat with the head of security at Broadway Mutual. Madsen threatens to subpoena Simmons, but the security head says they have a better chance of getting an audience with God. After they leave, the security chief sends an email asking for an emergency pick-up from a bank.
After Stillman picks up the message, he shoots his computer expert dead and dumps him out of the van. He still hasn’t told his crew the big score … and I get the feeling he won’t be doing that.
Hauser and his other teammate discover the cavity under the lighthouse lies behind a wall. Hauser orders the man to get the team, a sledgehammer, and start swinging to break through. Meanwhile, he meets with Madsen, Soto, and Lucy … who’ve discovered Stillman’s plan was to force Broadway Mutual to move their super secret package from its hiding place ahead of schedule.
Hauser leaves with Madsen and Soto to investigate, but not before Lucy says she’s going to resume her interviews. Hauser is not happy about this … especially because she’s going to talk with Cobb first. But it’s not like she’s given him a choice about it.
Flashback: Stillman handily steals the parole board papers by dressing in a steward’s outfit and walking right into James’s house. Tiller stops him right when he’s leaving, and the actual steward who’s part of the team rats Stillman out immediately. Hrm … that didn’t work too well now did it?
Present: Stillman and the remaining crewmembers climb out of the truck in front of the bank. The bank guard scans Stillman’s badge, and reveals it’s been rendered invalid. Then Stillman draws his gun and knocks the guard out. Welp, guess they’ll have to do this hard way.
Stillman gets away before Hauser and the team show up. They drive the armored car into an underground garage, well before a perimeter can even be set up.
Flashback: Stillman is thrown in solitary because of Tiller catching him in the act. James looks in the envelope, where he thinks the “approved” parole slip is. Except it’s the denied one … Stillman counted on the suspicious Tiller to slip the faked parole form to the board. And the fourth man, Sam, is a well-known snitch. Exactly the type to turn easily. Nice work Stillman. I like it.
Present: The team enters the garage, with Hauser and Madsen splitting up and searching for Stillman and the truck. Soto is told to stay in the car, but he gets out and soon finds a hot-wired escape car. As Madsen finds three armored cars that drive immediately away and gives chase, Soto throws his GPS enabled phone in the back of Stillman’s get-away car. This allows them to track Stillman down.
Flashback: James gives Simmons a small sendoff, including offering him the number of a friend designed to help him get back on his feet. After Simmons gets on the boat, James looks at the key in his hands. A key we soon see …
Present: Stillman looks at the same key James held a moment ago. Then another man, who Stillman calls “Ghost,” comes in and demands the key. Stillman refuses … and is killed for his trouble.
Madsen and Hauser find the dead Stillman, leaving Soto in the car yet again. Soto gets out of the car in time to see Tommy Madsen drive up in an SUV. High beams flare on and Soto’s blinded. D’oh!
Hauser gets a text and they head back to Alcatraz, where our favorite FBI agent fits two keys into the door his other team found behind the way. These keys open a lock, which reveals a third keyhole. Anyone want to bet the key Stillman stole fits in there?
Lucy, meanwhile, is interviewing Cobb. She finds out then that she’s a target for the ’63s. And as long as she’s alive, she’ll remain a target. The better question here is why.
Madsen and Soto quickly discover it was Tommy driving away. Ah-yup, Madsen’s grandfather was the handler for Stillman. And he’s also the one they’re suspecting of killing him. Fun times.
Here’s hoping we get more answers in the second hour, which is called …
Present: The episode opens with Madsen lying on the ground apparently dying from a stab wound, with a flipped-over car behind her.
Then we go back 36 hours, and Madsen chats to her SFPD captain. He tells her about the internal affairs investigation into Will, her partner, at the time of his death by falling. Turns out he was on Broadway Mutual’s payroll. Which of course doesn’t make sense. And then the captain warns Madsen to tread carefully. Anyone surprised?
Joe, the one Stillman called “Ghost” last episode, checks himself into a psychiatric hospital by explaining he’s an inmate from Alcatraz in 1963. Once he’s alone in his room, he pulls out the key and looks at it. Nice and safe now.
Flashback: Joe sits in the cell next to Tommy Madsen, and we’re treated to the reason why Joe’s called “Ghost.” Apparently he died during a botched escape attempted. The Warden filled out a death certificate and everything. That’s when the Warden and his cronies come to take Tommy away; they then strap him down and put his blood back into him. When Tommy asks what they did it, the only answer is “lots.” Anyone else creeped out?
Present: Tommy breaks into a house where a man’s sleeping on the couch. He smacks the man in the head, waking him, and demands to know where the man’s wife is. Their young daughter sees Tommy, but when he turns around she’s gone. After Tommy demands the man text his wife and tell her to come home now, the little girl can be seen running across the lawn.
While Beauregard examines Lucy, our favorite psychiatrist asks about isolating the silver from her blood and that of the inmates. It’s here Beauregard reveals he had no knowledge of the silver going into blood; he always assumed Lucy knew
The entire team heads to a police precinct where the little girl was brought in. She hasn’t spoken a word though–poor kid was too traumatized. Madsen and Soto ingeniously get her to talk through leaving the eyes off a picture of a cat. This allows them to confirm that Tommy indeed is at the girl’s house.what with how close she was to the Warden. Lucy finds Hauser next, where he watches the video of Cobb telling Lucy she’s a target. His idea is to protect her, but our Lucy shoots that down right away. And then they get a call about having a lead on Tommy Madsen.
Flashback: Tommy wakes up in the Nob Hill section of San Francisco. James enters the room with breakfast in tow, and reveals Tommy should be a nickel with the amount of silver coursing through his veins now. And then the warden declares they should take a walk.
Present: Madsen sits in the living room, waiting for the wife to come home. When she enters and calls for her husband, Tommy appears with his gun. Michael, the husband, shows up on the stairs with his own weapon. Gunfire is exchanged … but we don’t know who’s hit.
Madsen gets the address out of the little girl with the drawing of a house, and the entire team rushes over. They find Michael bleeding on the stairs. He tells them it’s been only 10 minutes since Tommy left. And next we see the woman stitching Tommy up. She comments he needs to see a doctor, but he’s very assured it’ll heal.
Hauser meets with a general on a private jet. He asks for a face-to-face with Simmons so he can figure out what the hell Tommy wants with the billionaire. That’s not doable, unfortunately, and then the general hands over a passport for Lucy to head to Paraguay. Hauser doesn’t like the idea, and also says he needs to go with Lucy … just to get her settled. Yeah, sure. Except he’s ordered to brief the team. Whoops. Guess Hauser’s disapproval don’t mean much.
Lucy, Madsen, and Soto try to figure out the connections between all the actors currently on the field. However it’s not until Hauser comes in that they get an explanation about the keys and the door on Alcatraz. Also the thought that Tommy is working for Warden James … and our good friend the Warden is somehow behind all this.
Right when Hauser reveals he has to take Lucy somewhere safe, the aforementioned woman enters and tells them Georgia Bradley, the psychiatrist who Tommy kidnapped, has just used her retinal scan at her workplace. Which is owned by Broadway Mutual. Ooo wee oooo.
Flashback: Madsen and James sit at an Italian restaurant eating cannoli and drinking red wine. James asks Madsen to name his price for one perfect day … and then Tommy looks past him at a family sitting together. Interesting.
Present: Tommy shoves Georgia into a chair in one of the rooms. He rifles through the drawers, until Ghost shows up. Tommy asks where the key is, and Ghost bolts.
Lucy gets the bad news that the silver can’t be separated from her blood. Beauregard asks if she plans to go with Hauser, but she’s not so sure. There’s a part of the man she fell in love with missing. It’s all a bit sad, really.
Flashback: Tommy and the Warden stand outside a house where Tommy’s son is playing. Tommy tries to talk to the boy, but Van doesn’t respond. Instead he bolts up into the house, which makes Tommy walk back to the Warden and tell him he knows what he wants now.
Present: Tommy chases Ghost to the end of a hallway. He demands the key, but Ghost tries to lie and say he doesn’t have it. Ghost is so terrified of Simmons that, despite Tommy’s promises, the ’63 leaps through the picture window behind him.
Madsen and Hauser show up; Hauser orders the hospital sealed while Madsen bolts up the stairs to search for Tommy. She finds Georgia up in the hallway, where the doctor tells her Tommy went down the chute into the garage. Tommy steals a car downstairs and drives away. Madsen commandeers a car from a civilian–despite all the cop cars–and gives chase.
Flashback: Ray meets with Tommy, and we find out Tommy drew up adoption papers in his brother’s name so he can take Van. Ray’s termination papers are also in the envelope … and to convince him to go, Tommy says he killed his own wife. Then he orders Ray to leave.
Present: While Madsen chases Tommy, Soto figures out Joe Limerick hid the third key in the cuff of his pants. Easy to overlook, that. He refuses to give the key to Hauser until they find Madsen though. Then they can all look at it together. Hauser pulls his gun, and it almost looks like he’s going to shoot … but then Lucy stops him.
Tommy flips his car, which allows Madsen to catch up with him. While she has her gun on him, Tommy explains Simmons broke a promise to the Warden. And that’s why all this is happening now … and why Tommy is going after him. Madsen orders Tommy to turn around, and Tommy teases her with knowledge of how her parents really died. Then he spins around and stabs her in the side, which is how we saw her at the beginning of the episode.
Madsen’s brought into the ER, while outside Lucy and Hauser argue over her leaving. Ray comes in then and kicks Hauser and Lucy out. Soto hands over the key just as they leave–seeing Madsen safe is worth more than the secret.
Hauser and Lucy open up the door and uncover a strange room with a map full of lights marked with inmate numbers. They realize it’s tracking the silver in the blood … and they’re coming back all over the place.
Flashback: Madsen is led into the same room back in 1960. The doctor who came up with the idea talks with James, who then explains that Tommy is going to be their advance man in the future. Huh.
Present: Hauser and Lucy hear a noise, and it turns out it’s the doctor we saw a moment ago. At first he thinks it’s Madsen, but then Hauser introduces himself. Then at last he asks what year it is … and when he’s told it’s 2012 he starts cackling like mad.
Soto and Ray wait at the hospital for Madsen, but she flatlines on the operating table. The very last scene of the season is a picture of her apparently dead face. I really hope that’s not what happens here.
So what’d you think of this episode or the season as a whole?
If you missed the previous episode be sure to read our ‘Alcatraz: Webb Porter’ recap to catch up.