This week's criminal for "Alcatraz" is Cal Sweeney (Eric Johnson), a bank robber of the 1950s. He would seduce tellers to gain access to a bank's safety deposit boxes and rob them. If nothing goes wrong, no one gets hurt. But unfortunately something goes wrong.
Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Diego (Jorge Garcia) show up and Diego confirms that Sweeney is their criminal. They also confirm that another robbery a few days before is also the work of Sweeney. The investigation this week is centered more on present day than examining Sweeney's past.
Finding clues at the two previous crime scenes lead them to a flower shop, which leads them to Sweeney's next target. Sweeney is already at the next bank, and while he tries to incapacitate the next teller, she manages to set off an alarm. When Sweeney tries to exit the bank, the guard stops him, so he takes the guard's gun and takes the bank hostage.
Madsen and Diego arrive after the police, and once they see Sweeney is in the middle of things, they call in Hauser (Sam Neill). Hauser tells them they have to get Sweeney out of the bank before the secret is blown. Hauser goes to talk with the officers in charge to keep them busy while Madsen handles Sweeney.
Taking Diego's advice, she goes to the next building and enters the vents, which lead into the bank building. She comes out in the bank, and is confronted by Sweeney. She explains to him that she is there to get him out, and clues him in on the plan.
Shots fire, and the police enter the bank. They don't see the suspect, so they start leading hostages out. One of the hostages we see is Madsen. She and the officer get into a squad car and drive off. Diego and Hauser follow.
Sweeney tells Madsen to pull over so he can escape and she refused. She notices he isn't buckled in, and crashes the car, knocking him unconscious. She takes the bag her stole from the latest bank and exits the car.
Later on the Rock, she and Diego are talking, and Hauser comes up asking for what she took from Sweeney. Give gives it to him in exchange for answers. He tells her yes, but once he has the item, he tells her later.
He goes to his room of nerds, and has them analyze the key, along with the one removed from Sylvane in the pilot. They determine the keys are laser etched, and tell Hauser the technology to do that didn't exist in 1963.
Sweeney's flashback was a little more interesting than the last couple. Sweeney is running a business where he provides contraband to other inmates. He is in the process of training an apprentice, Harlan (Steven Grayhm).
A personal effect is taken from Sweeney's cell, and he is led to believe Tiller (Jason Butler Harner) took it. He confronts Tiller and ends up with a beating and 30 days in the hole for his trouble. Before he is taken away, Harlan returns his property. Sweeney was set up so Harlan could take over his business.
At the end of the episode, Warden James (Jonny Coyne) takes Harlan into a secluded part of the prison. James tells Harlan that his scheme has been noticed, and he is being taken to meet him. The Warden takes out the two laser etched keys we saw earlier, then uses another to open a metal door. Harlan is then escorted in.
I like that this episode wasn't a carbon copy of the previous ones. Rescuing Sweeney from the police to save the secret was a nice angle to take. I am glad they know how to change things up a bit.
Also, it looks like Hauser doesn't know as much as we thought he might. He doesn't know what the keys are for. But if he has had 50 years on Alcatraz, wouldn't you think he'd have come across that door before?
This episode kept me interested, and I want to know more. I guess you can't ask for more than that.
It was a refreshing change that they couldn't use Sweeney's personal effects to figure him out, and that modern police work did the trick.
I also loved the fact that they showed Sweeney a bit ignorant with seat belts. Given how you couldn't really tell the criminals were from the past by their actions, they handled this well.
We also got a really nice piece of the puzzle, what with the laser-cut keys that were being used by the warden in 1960. Time travel goes both ways?
WHAT DIDN'T WORK
I didn't get the point of Sweeney going to the homes of box owners and quizzing them about their possessions and then killing them. I thought maybe he was looking for a necklace, but when it was revealed his silver box was empty, I was left puzzled.
Diego is also an expert in turn of the 20th century architecture? Knowing about the vents was pushing my suspension of disbelief. I just know their use of Diego is only going to get worse.
GIVING CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
"Alcatraz" stars Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia, Jonny Coyne, Parminder Nagra, Jason Butler Harner and Sam Neill.
"Cal Sweeney" was written by Robert Hull, directed by Brad Anderson and guest starred Geri Jewell, Eric Johnson, Steven Grayhm, Leon Rippy and Anna Galvin.
"Alcatraz" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
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