Seems like an odd choice of ball marker, but to each his own.
He’s totally gonna sink that putt, by the way.
Heeeeeeeeey Gasmii! All ready to sit down with a warm cup of
cocoa, curl up by the fire, and immerse yourself in a heartwarming tale of murder and brainwashing? And would you please bring me a cup, because my office is GD freezing.
This week brings us the displaced episode 8 of Alcatraz – Clarence Montgomery. Remember two weeks ago, when that really dumb thing where people watch cars drive in circles and call it a ‘sport’ bumped our show out of its time slot? Well, instead of airing the missed episode the following week, FOX stuck to its original plan of airing episodes 9 and 10 back-to-back, and shifted numero ocho to this week…so I guess this is now officially episode 10. Right? I’m already confused.
In any case…this week’s episode begins at a posh country club event, where a spoiled little rich girl is being bored to tears by the inept flirting of some wealthy douchebag .
Someone please get me the F out of this.
Desperately eyeballing the room, Rich n’ Pretty catches sight of a handsome fella that she actually seems interested in, probably because he’s the only one not falling over himself to talk to her. She follows the guy outside to the veranda (that’s a fancy person word for ‘porch’ or ‘deck’ or ”tang palace’).
The two flirt for a bit before the guy – Clarence Montgomery, we assume – suggests a nice midnight stroll. Not one to miss an opportunity to skank it up, Rich n’ Pretty suggests they should do something a bit more scandalous.
I guess that’s what rich folks do to feel DARING.
Rich n’ Pretty pulls up to a green and gets out of the cart. She looks like she’s all ready to get even MORE daring when Clarence starts talking about how he bought a house for the two of them.
The girl is hella confused, but that doesn’t stop her from putting the moves on Clarence any-damn-how. As they move closer, however, Clarence suddenly starts having brain flashes of dead girls and bloody corpses.
She’s just sleeping, kids.
Next thing you know, Clarence is carrying Rich n’ Pretty’s dead body across the golf course, asking ‘what happened?’ and ‘who did this to you?’ Judging by his mind flashes and bloody shirt, I’m guessing he blacked out and did it his own damn self. (I even had a big theory about him having a split personality, but as that ended up being completely wrong, I won’t get into it.)
Oh, and I should probably mention the fact that Clarence didn’t carry the dead gal back to the clubhouse…no, he moves her to another green and carefully arranges her limbs in a very specific manner. Hm.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! In 1960, Clarence Montgomery is a prisoner on racially segregated Alcatraz – oh yeah, did I mention he’s black? He’s black. He’s also an ace cook, apparently, as the warden has him pulled aside into the kitchen to taste test a concoction he’s just whipped up.
At first Clarence tells the warden that the dish is mighty tasty, but when he’s pressured to tell the truth, he’s able to come up with a few suggestions to enhance the flavor. Warden James tells him that he has a gift, and that he’ll be cooking a big meal for all of the prisoners – black AND white – in two days’ time.
Clarence says that the last time he cooked for white folks, he ended up in prison. But Warden James replies, ‘when you took your chef’s knives to a pretty white girl’s throat, THAT’s when you ended up in here.’ So I guess we can see a pattern here, no?
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! At Alcatraz HQ, we finally get the long-awaited answer to our question, ‘how does the Justice League JUST HAPPEN to keep stumbling upon cases that involve ’63s???’ Well, it looks like this magic trick isn’t so magic after all – it’s just Doc sitting in front of a computer, sifting through new SFPD case files, looking for a match.
Office work is the WORST.
Just then, a new case pops up on the screen – it’s our dead girl from the golf course, and after seeing the way she’s laid out, Doc quickly guesses that this is the work of good ol’ Clarence Montgomery. He heads off to call Madsen.
Across town, Clarence shows up at the apartment of an old guy named Emmet, who was also a prisoner on Alcatraz back in the day…but obviously gone by 1963, as he has most definitely aged 50 years. Emmet is stunned to see Clarence looking so gosh darn youthful, but you know what they say…
Reappeared Alcatraz prisoners don’t crack.
Clarence tells Emmet that he killed a girl, but Emmet is confused – after all, Clarence was innocent when he was on Alcatraz! So why would he start slashing people NOW, 50 years later? Clarence says that it hasn’t been 50 years for him. Obviously.
He also tells Emmet that ‘they’ used to take him out of his cell night after night, taking his blood and messing with his head…that they kept pushing him until something inside of him snapped. He claims to no longer be the man he used to be…that he’s no longer innocent.
So the cronies on Alcatraz did something to make Clarence become a baddie, huh? Perhaps the same thing they did to the other returnees to make them into WORSE criminals than they were before?
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Lucy is interviewing Clarence, who seems to feel a certain kinship to the good doctor, as neither of them are white. Lucy uses this to segue into a discussion about Clarence’s supposed crime – murdering his white girlfriend. By slitting her throat on a golf course. DING DING DING!
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! The Justice League is at the 2012 golf course crime scene, where Doc is giving Madsen and Hauser a rundown on Clarence Montgomery. They know that he moved Rich n’ Pretty’s body – specifically, to the 13th hole, exactly where his dead girlfriend’s corpse was found back in 1958. Looks like we may just have a match, eh?
Madsen heads off to talk with Rich n’ Pretty’s still-alive friend, Blonde n’ Pretty. She tells Madsen that she didn’t see her pal go off with anyone, but that plenty of guys approached her because she was just so darn attractive.
Oh, the difficulties of being pretty…maintaining your looks, being judged by your appearance, people wanting to murder you…
Unfortunately, neither Blonde n’ Pretty nor the A-Hole Club Manager can positively ID Clarence Montgomery, so the team is gonna have to do a little more digging to prove that it was him.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Clarence is getting a close shave while a young Emmet whats-his-name lectures him about what a great opportunity he’s getting, first black chef feeding white dudes at Alcatraz…he thinks it’s gonna do wonders for the civil rights movement, but Clarence isn’t so sure. (By the way, this is when I really started to think he had a split personality, because no one else seemed to be able to see or interact with young Emmet except Clarence. Sigh.)
I am Jack’s incorrect theory.
That dick wipe E.B. Tiller shows up and starts mocking Clarence’s ‘new opportunity.’ He thinks it’s ridiculous that Warden James is trying to rehabilitate a bunch of criminals (especially the black ones, he implies but doesn’t actually say). Tiller throws a few more snide comments out before leaving them with, ‘I look forward to the festivities.’ Jerk.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Madsen and Doc are at the morgue with Nikki, who is pointing out the differences between Rich n’ Pretty’s corpse and Clarence’s girlfriend from 1958. It seems that although a kitchen knife was used in both instances, the cut to Rich n’ Pretty’s neck is clean, made by someone who knows how to handle a knife…whereas the 1958 slash was rough and messy.
There’s another important detail – the cut on this girl’s neck was made by a right-handed person, whereas the 1958 murderer was a lefty. Nikki seems pretty convinced that they’re dealing with two different guys…which lends credibility to Clarence’s innocence in the death of his girlfriend, Ellen, in 1958.
Back at Alcatraz HQ, the gang is mystified…if Clarence Montgomery didn’t kill Rich n’ Pretty, then whoever did sure does know his M.O. Hauser gives the dynamic duo twelve hours to come up with some answers before he turns the case back over to the local police.
Searching for clues, the duo look through Clarence’s box of possessions from his days on Alcatraz. Madsen finds some prescription medication bottles. Penicillin and B6…what could Montgomery possibly have used them for?
I don’t know, but it sounds like a PARTY TO ME!!
They also find some of Clarence’s recipes, specifically one for Annie May’s Smoked Pork Ribs. Nummers. Then Detective Madsen makes the biggest discovery yet – a couple of newspaper articles with the name ‘Emmet Little’ circled in them. Now we’re getting somewhere!
Doc, of course, immediately knows who Emmet is, so the duo heads off to Oakland to pay him a visit. After some idle chatter about how he ended up in a wheelchair (shot in the back by cops), Madsen asks Emmet about Clarence. Emmet plays dumb and says that Clarence has been dead for 50 years…and that back in 1960, Clarence Montgomery was an innocent man.
Given this interesting information to mull over, the duo departs. As they’re heading to the car, Madsen gets a phone call from Nikki – she found a hair from an African American male in Rich n’ Pretty’s corpse (gross), and the hair tested positive for something called Wilson’s disease. Wilson’s disease is a genetic disorder that causes one’s body to retain copper, which in turn causes the patient to not be able to move or think coherently. And back in the ’50s, it was treated with a combination of penicillin and B6. BOO-YA.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in town, a catering van pulls up to a very nice home…and Clarence Montgomery emerges, giving instructions to a cook on how to prepare his food. Next crime scene, perhaps?
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! It appears that Clarence was convinced to cook for the inmates after all, as his menu appears above the line in the mess hall.
In the kitchen, Warden James is praising Clarence’s work, telling him that if they were in private, Clarence would ‘see my true intentions with this (rib) bone.’
He’s gonna put it in his butt, isn’t he.
I mean, what else are you going to DO with ribs other than eat them?
Clarence thanks the warden for believing in him, and I gotta say, this is a rather surprising move from the odious Warden James, don’t you agree? He seems to be honestly supporting this guy AND the idea of racial integration. Crazy.
Out in the mess hall, the warden tells the inmates that they should be proud of themselves for coming together, that breaking bread with the enemy is the true mark of the civilized man. Finally realizing what this means – that a black guy cooked their food – the white prisoners suddenly decide they’re not eating any of this barf-tastic crap…the same ‘crap’ they were praising just minutes before, mind you.
The white guys start yelling some pretty awful racist BS, and of course, a big ol’ prison fight breaks out.
The warden leaves Tiller to clean up the mess, so Tiller locks the doors on the prisoners and proceeds to gas them all – but not before a few white inmates beat the buttermilk biscuits out of Clarence Montgomery.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! At the fancy (engagement) party that Clarence is catering, there’s a television displaying photos of the happy couple – but for a moment, Clarence sees something else there instead…more of those disturbing flashes of bloody corpses and slit throats, along with the word ‘GUILTY.’ Uh oh.
Moments later, a woman approaches Clarence, who says almost immediately that it’s a lovely night for a walk. Oh boy.
The ladies LOVE this guy.
Not sure what it is…the aura of mystery, the murder in his eyes – really it could be anything. Whatever it is, teach your daughters to avoid it like the plague, because this is how we next see that girl:
At this new crime scene, the Justice League is confused – why is the previously innocent Clarence now going around killing people? The chief of police shows up and wants to have a private meeting with Hauser as the ‘usual place.’ Wonder what that’s all about. No, seriously, I wonder, because I think I spaced out during that part.
Detective Madsen spots a catering van and makes the highly logical guess that Clarence was a chef at the engagement party, that’s how he gained entrance. Sure enough, when she and Doc grab a copy of last night’s menu, they see this:
Who has ribs as their SECOND course BEFORE the entree??
So yeah, obviously Clarence was in charge of the meal. Looking at this menu reminds me of my wedding food, which was HELLA GOOD, y’all. I know wedding food usually blows, but my hubs and I are major foodies, so ours was CRAY-CRAY good. Trust.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! In 1960, a guard comes to escort Clarance from his cell, who is confused because this isn’t his scheduled work-time. The guard punches him in the gut and marches him out of the ‘colored’ section of the prison and into the white dudes’ area, where he gets all kinds of horrifically racial catcalls.
The guard then takes Clarence into a room we’ve never seen before…a room where Dr. Beauregard awaits with a syringe in his hand. Clarence is strapped into a chair with a rubber mouth guard shoved between his jaws. What the whaaaaaaaaat??
Doc B cues up a little film that he made especially for Clarence…it contains a lot of those gory shots that we saw Clarence flash on earlier (bloody corpses, the word GUILTY, etc etc)…Doc B then sticks Lucy’s electoshock therapy head gear on Clarence’s noggin, tapes his eyes open, and lets loose with the electrical brain re-wiring.
At least they didn’t use those Clockwork Orange eye-opener thingies. Those give me MAJOR WILLIES.
Doc B says ‘if it works in one direction, I don’t see why it can’t work in the reverse.’ So it looks like he’s using Lucy’s method of erasing bad memories – thereby re-establishing a baddie’s innocence – in the exact opposite way…to implant additional terrible memories and thoughts in order to make the baddie significantly worse. Could this be why many of our returnees seem to be more violent than they were in the past?? Methinks it’s likely.
Looks like this is how poor Clarence was turned into a killer against his will. That sucks. It also reminds me of a certain room from a certain show, a room that was run by a certain group. You know where I’m going with this.
In other words, ‘BRAINS WASHED HERE.’
That’s right, the infamous Room 23 on Lost was a place that the Others (and Dharma before them) used to brainwash their peeps whenever they were in need of a little ‘re-education.’ To do so, they used a film made up of countless flashes of images, some good, some bad…but VERY reminiscent of Doc B’s techniques.
An interesting subject which was talked about but which we never actually saw on Lost: Room 23 is where the Others first took Walt after they kidnapped him. We don’t know what they did to him there, but we DO know that Walt’s mental powers freaked the f*ck out of Ben and the gang.
It was never fully explained, what all Walt could do or why…but when he was upset and scared in Room 23, it caused a bunch of birds to fly into the side of the building and die. Kinda makes you wonder what might happen on Alcatraz Island if a ‘special’ prisoner is strapped into that machine…
And like that – <poof> – they’re gone.
Just food for thought. Onward…
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! (Sort of…it’s really the chanting of ‘GUILTY GUILTY’ from the filmstrip that ushers us back to present day, but same difference.) Madsen and Doc show up at the catering company to ask about Clarence…who just happens to be there working. Seeing cops talking to the manager, Clarence hightails it out of there…Madsen sees him and runs right after him. And somehow keeps up with him, even though he’s super tall and she’s super stunty.
They run for a bit, then Clarence performs a daring roll under a moving semi and vanishes, leaving Madsen behind to wonder where the hell he went.
Commercial break, then we’re back in 1960 on the Rock, where Clarence is working in the laundry room. Tiller the Worm comes to pay him a visit and gloat about the mess hall fight, telling Clarence that ‘you people’ need to realize what you are. He says the ‘you people’ refers to prisoners, not ‘coloreds,’ but he’s a pretty big douche-nozzle so I think we can assume he probably meant it both ways.
I’m the wormy guy.
He tells Clarence that as much as Warden James wants to rehabilitate the prisoners, it just isn’t going to happen, because a ‘dog can’t wear a suit.’ I guess Tiller hasn’t been on the internet lately (which makes sense since it’s 1960).
Dogs can wear ALL KINDS OF SUITS.
When Tiller FINALLY leaves, another guy comes in – a prisoner with a laundry cart. This guy looks super familiar, but it took me a couple of minutes to place him. Did you?
Ernest Cobb’s super talky cell neighbor.
He clearly still likes to talk a mile a minute, and it drives Clarence just as crazy as it did Ernest Cobb – well, maybe a bit more so, since he hauls off and slashes the dude’s throat with a box cutter. After seeing his patented ‘brain flashes of horror,’ that is.
As Clarence tries to position Talky’s body so that it resembles his dead girlfriend’s (just like the gals in 2012), the guards come in and grab him.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Madsen and Doc go to see Nikki, asking her to track down any prescriptions over the past week that could’ve been Clarence’s. I didn’t know a medical examiner could do that. Handy!
She finds 12 recent scrips for Penicillamine – and one belongs to none other than Emmet Little. The duo is off and running, but not before Doc can sort of ask Nikki on a date.
Here’s how it goes: Madsen tells Nikki she owes her a drink. Doc says he does, too. Nikki says, ‘how about tomorrow?’ Doc, confused, asks if she means him and Madsen or just him. Madsen rolls her eyes, says ‘oh my god,’ and leaves the room – which was bar none the funniest moment this show has ever had. I laughed my GD ass off.
She may have just won me over.
So Doc and Nikki have a date. Good for them! I just hope she never spent time in a mental institution…(lostlostlostlost)
Madsen and Doc meet up with Hauser outside of Emmet Little’s place. When they approach his door, Emmet opens fire with a shotgun. Guess we know where Clarence is hiding out, huh.
Emmet, convinced that Clarence was innocent back in 1960, thinks that the cops (and the prison guards, I’m sure) are the reason Clarence has been changed – ‘you did this to him!’ he keeps shouting out. Looks like he’s willing to do just about anything to defend his old friend.
Meanwhile, Hauser sneaks outside, heading to a window of the bedroom where Clarence is hiding. Hauser tells Clarence that he knows he was innocent back in the past…but Clarence tells him he’s not innocent anymore. Hauser tells him that’s why this all has to end.
Clarence nods and heads out to the living room, where Emmet is still facing the front door, shotgun in hand. Clarence admits to Emmet that he did indeed kill those two women recently, that he can’t stop himself. Then he begs Emmet to help him – he can’t go back to prison. ‘Help me please, Emmet. Help me.’ So Emmet does.
Afterward, the Justice League watches sadly as Clarence’s corpse is zipped into a body bag, and Emmet Little is loaded into a squad car. Sad music plays – what a bummer. A great example of people getting screwed by the system – and the Man. It’s really depressing me.
Thankfully, we’ve got other things to wrap up – such as Hauser’s secret meeting with the chief of police. It appears that the coppers aren’t too pleased with having to turn over so many cases to Hauser’s task force. In an attempt to make amends, Hauser gives the chief an envelope…and tells him ‘this is a cold case you just solved.’
Now leave me alone, I’m busy being ornery.
The mugshot and fingerprints inside the envelope belong to the man who REALLY killed Ellen Casey (aka Clarence’s girlfriend) all those years ago. The chief wastes no time in finding that guy, arresting him, and hosting a big press conference to pat himself on the back for his heroic actions – and for clearing Clarence Montgomery’s name. Well, at least we got THAT happy thought.
At Alcatraz HQ, Madsen and Doc watch the press conference and wonder what happened to turn Clarence into a cold-blooded killer. Doc says there were a lot of weird experiments performed in the prison system back in the day…things like syphilis, LSD, and a CIA experiment called MK-ULTRA that involved taking blood out of people’s bodies, mixing it with radioactive chemicals, and putting it back in.
(This was a real-life thing, y’all. I mean, I don’t know if they did exactly that, but the CIA did some pretty crazy stuff in MK-ULTRA. It’s pretty interesting stuff – if you wanna read more about it, you can find the wikipedia page here.)
This whole ‘taking out the blood and putting it back in’ thing sounds rather familiar, does it not? Could this be what was going on in the infirmary on Alcatraz? I’m betting it’s at least something similar.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Back in 1960, Lucy is interviewing Clarence about the death of William Gent, aka Talky McTalkerstein. She wants Clarence to look at photos of Gent and Ellen’s bodies, which really upsets him and causes him to experience a bunch of those brain flashes. Whenever that happens he slices somebody, but I guess we can rest easy knowing that Lucy is alive and well – sorta – in 2012.
You can’t kill me, it’d break the television space-time continuum.
Lucy then tells him that trauma is a road block inside our psyche, preventing us from moving forward. She thinks he’s stuck at the moment when he killed Ellen Casey – only Clarence still claims to be innocent of that crime, even though he readily admits to murdering Talky.
Lucy wants to help Clarence by taking away the bad memories…but Clarence tells her she can’t. ‘You can’t stop it now…no one can.’
Over in Doc B’s office, the devilish doctor is having a serious convo with the warden, who tells the doc that he turned Lucy’s methods ‘into madness’ by using them to turn Clarence Montgomery into a murderer. But apparently the warden ASKED Dr. Beauregard if it could be done – what did he expect the doc would do?
In return for having successfully performed this experiment on poor Clarence, Dr. B wants some information…he asks the warden what he does with all that blood that the he takes from the inmates. He wants to know what the warden ‘does to it’ before the doctor puts it back in. But Warden James claims he doesn’t do anything to the blood – ‘what kind of warden would I be if I kept secrets from my staff?’
Doc B looks skeptical, and god knows WE are, too! There’s no WAY nothing’s being done to that blood…well, unless there’s something being taken OUT of it. But I’m leaning toward something put in.
THAT is THAT, friends. Thoughts?? VERY interesting that Doc B seems to be clueless about what the warden is up to – it’s a nice twist that he doesn’t know anything about the blood that he’s taking out of his patients. But he certainly DOES know about these ‘brainwashing’ experiments…think he’s told Hauser about them yet? And when will Madsen and Doc ever find out about quasi-Alcatraz? And how the hell does Doc know EVERYTHING about Alcatraz, but somehow missed the fact that there was an extremely rare lady doctor on the island for several years???
Eager to hear your thoughts as always! I thought this was a really great episode, how about you?
See you guys next week!
To catch up with past Alcatraz recaps, click here!
To get the funniest quotes from TVgasm recaps as they’re posted, follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page! You can post your favorite lines right back at us. Thanks for being here!