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Seriously. That face is going to haunt my nightmares for days to come. For those of you who are catching up, them there’s the Ames brothers, who we covered in the first of two recaps this week – you can read it here if you missed it, or if you want to see more pictures of that guy’s creepy face.
So how’s it goin’? Ready for another marathon recap? I certainly hope so, cuz here comes 26.2 miles of pure Alcatraz fun!*
(*This is not to say that I think marathons are fun, or that running in any format is even remotely enjoyable. Because I don’t. At all.)
The second half of our two-episode bonanza on Monday night, ‘Sonny Burnett,’ featured a dude who likes to work out a lot, a young woman buried alive, and a severed head in a bag…just your typical shenanigans on the new and improved (NOW WITH 52% MORE GORE!!!) Alcatraz.
We start off the episode on yet another dark and stormy night in San Francisco…they sure do know how to make that place look hella gloomy, am I right? Uncle Ray Archer is closing up shop at his bar (appropriately named ‘Ray’s') when Emerson Hauser comes walking through the door.
Looks like Ray asked Hauser to stop by – he wants his niece Rebecca out of this dangerous Alcatraz stuff. Hauser says hey, I ain’t the one keeping her around. Then they glare challengingly at each other for a bit.
Ray wants Rebecca to have a chance at a normal life, which Emerson scoffs at – is this Ray’s idea of a satisfying life, getting a pension and hiding in a bar? Actually, that doesn’t sound half-bad to ME.
Hauser then tosses salt in the wound he just opened by telling him that he’s glad Ray didn’t accept his offer to join the task force, because he doesn’t have the stomach for it…but Rebecca does. Yowch.
Ray implores Hauser – she’s my only family! And then Hauser realizes something…Rebecca has been on the task force for months, so why is this request coming now? Ah ha – Ray must have run into Tommy Madsen! Ray doesn’t confirm nor deny this, so Hauser looks pretty assured that his guess was correct.
Speaking of Tommy Madsen, here he is! Somewhere in the city, he’s sitting in a darkened bedroom, apparently watching somebody sleep…
That somebody is, of course, Tommy’s granddaughter Rebecca. One of them is having some crazy recall dreams of the day Tommy ‘killed’ Becky’s partner – and then Rebecca wakes up, bursting out of the bed with her gun drawn.
But no Tommy.
Sooooo…either he was there earlier and took off before she woke up, or he was never there to begin with – she was dreaming that part, too. Or else he’s got this whole disappearing thing down to a science. I’d believe any of those theories, quite honestly.
For now, we’ll assume Rebecca dreamed the whole event, and that the recall dreams were hers, too. You know, with all this guilt she’s lugging around over her partner’s death, you’d think she’d be a little more cautious about dragging Doc into all of this dangerous stuff. But whatev.
Elsewhere in the city, two rich dudes are arguing as they drive down a highway. An orange muscle car goes streaking past them, a little too obviously not to be meaningful. Moments later, there’s a guy standing right in the middle of the highway.
The rich dude driving veers off the road, narrowly missing the dumb ass straddling the center line. Richie Rich stops the car. Stunned, the two wealthy SOB’s get out of the car to compose themselves and wipe their brow with hundred dollar bills. They don’t see anybody…and then out of the blue, a guy with a shotgun pops up behind them.
The rich passenger dude says the guy can take anything he wants. So the guy says okay, and proceeds to shoot Mr. Rich Passenger Dude right in the gut.
Rich Driver Dude looks like he just pooed himself (understandably). The shotgun guy – must be Sonny Burnett, dontcha know – says that what he’ll be takin’ is Mr. Pierce himself. Mr. Pierce, aka Rich Driver Dude, makes another doodie in his pants.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! On Alcatraz in 1960, we find a much less menacing version of Sonny Burnett, otherwise known as prisoner #2088…will this be another case of a prisoner returning as a much worse baddie? I have a sneaking suspicion it will be…
Burnett has just finished up his requisite 30 days of new-guy-solitary – apparently they don’t just throw you into the yard when you get to Alcatraz; you’ve gotta spend a month being reflective and lonely first.
Speaking of the yard, that’s where we see Sonny next, looking uncomfortable and a little nervous. He sees an approaching gaggle of rough types and calls out to one of them…a Mr. Hicks, who looks like he’s the head thug ’round these parts. (Which probably means this episode takes place either much earlier or much later in 1960 than Johnny McKee’s, since the big boss in HIS day was that Cullen guy that he offed…perhaps Hicks took over when Cullen kicked it.)
Hicks doesn’t want anything to do with the squirrel-y Sonny Burnett, who has come to ask for his protection. Desperate, Burnett throws out an offer – his ‘last job’ was a real estate tycoon whose family paid a $100,000 ransom to get him back. Ah, says Hicks, NOW I know who you are – Shotgun Sonny Burnett! Burnett offers to tell Hicks where he stashed the hundred grand before he got nabbed, in return for protection for his entire stay on the Rock. No dummy, Hicks agrees.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Our Justice League has just shown up at the scene of the earlier crime (Rich Dudes, gut shot, you remember the deal). The dead guy isn’t what really interests the team, however – the discarded Alcatraz prison uniform lying nearby IS.
Of course, Doc knows exactly who prisoner #2088 was/is – Sonny Burnett, notorious kidnapper and shotgun toter. They figure out who the kidnapped rich dude is as well…David Pierce, CFO of Helen Campbell Cosmetics, a multi-million dollar company – and he just happens to be married to Helen Campbell herself.
Doc isn’t sure why Burnett left his uniform behind, since he was always super meticulous when he committed crimes back in the ’50s – he treated it like a business. Also, he never killed anyone back in the day – when he got the ransom, he returned his victims safe and sound. So yeah, our earlier assumption was right…another returnee who seems to have had his bad-o-meter cranked up by whoever’s behind all of this.
Hauser takes a moment to grimace in pain and clutch his side. Madsen reminds him that he recently got shot and should take some down time – he’s only human, after all. But Hauser’s not interested. Once he leaves, Doc makes some cracks about not being sure that Hauser is REALLY human – and all of the viewers out there with theories about aliens snatching the prisoners just wet their pants.
Later, Doc and Madsen head to an incredibly sweet-ass house to talk to Pierce’s wife, Helen, who is played by Wendy Crewson. Who I totally did NOT recognize at first.
Or maybe not. Maybe you’re not a fan of JOY and LAUGHTER and CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT. Just kidding. Anyway, yeah yeah, she played Tim Allen’s ex-wife in those Santa Clause films…and hey, just for shits and giggles, do you remember who ELSE was in those movies? (well, not the first one…)
That’s right, it’s Elizabeth Mitchell, aka Juliet from my fave show of all time (as if you didn’t already know).
Okay, I’m done.
BACK ON ALCATRAZ…Detective Madsen tells Helen that they believe the kidnapper will ask for ransom – which gets Helen’s gears turning. And why is that? Oh, because she just happened to have been kidnapped for ransom herself, back when she was a girl. And whoooooooo do you think her kidnapper was?
Yep. Sonny Burnett.
Over at quasi-Alcatraz, Dr. Beauregard is fixing up Hauser’s bullet wound, curious to know what the hell Hauser put on it (remember the mystery powder from the mystery kit in the previous episode?). But Hauser’s not telling. Doc B has some truly fascinating news…remember when Hauser shot Ernest Cobb (the sniper) in the hand? Well, it just so happens that Cobb healed SUPER fast.
Even more mysterious – ALL of the ’63s seem to be in miraculous good health – ‘straight off God’s factory floor,’ as Doc B says. And not only are they in great shape – any ailments that they USED to have are now gone.
YES!!!! I LOVE when they talk about the bigger mystery!!! Now, does this miraculous good health apply to people like Lucy and Guy Hastings and Doc B himself? We’ll just have to wait and see…
Doc B tells Hauser that the blood of the ’63s contains colloidal silver, a substance which has long been known to have healing properties. Hauser wants to know if that was part of what the good doctor was ‘up to’ on Alcatraz back in the ’60s – but the doc says his job was just to take their blood, that he didn’t know what happened to it after that. Yeah, right.
Doc B then suggests that perhaps Lucy would benefit from a transfusion of this miracle blood – so I guess she doesn’t have it herself?? Unfortunately, none of the currently in-house returnees shares Lucy’s blood type, so now Hauser’s got even MORE reason to nab these suckers.
Hauser heads over to Helen (Campbell) Pierce’s home, where Doc and Madsen are grilling her about her own kidnapping. Helen’s confused as to why they want this information, so Hauser tells her they might be dealing with a copycat.
Helen’s story: she was on her own at 14, hanging out with Sonny Burnett, who always had a lot of money and fancypants muscle cars. It was all good times until Sonny told her that she was his new accomplice – I guess she didn’t know he was a baddie before that moment. Anyway, he wants to use her as his ‘damsel in distress’ to flag down cars. She’s not happy with the situation, but it takes her three months to escape.
Madsen is eager to know where Sonny kept Helen. She suspects that perhaps Helen was actually LIVING WITH Burnett, which sort of pisses Helen off (even though Madsen is probably on the right track). Hauser pulls Pint-Size off to the side to warn her to back off so they don’t lose Helen’s trust. Hauser decides that he’ll be the one to stick around and wait for the ransom call – Doc and Madsen can take off, hoser.
Back at her apartment, Madsen…hey by the way, isn’t it nice to finally see where the hell SOMEONE on this show lives?!? I’m still dying to see where Hauser hangs his hat. The painting on Madsen’s wall is interesting…
Uncle Ray knocks on the door. He tells her that Hauser has people watching him, which leads Rebecca to believe that Hauser must think that Ray has seen Tommy. Ray, meanwhile, has spotted Rebecca’s collection of Tommy Madsen material – so Becky tells him why she’s obsessed with her grandfather: because he could’ve gotten away, that day she and her partner were chasing him – but when her partner fell, Tommy came back deliberately to try to kill him, like it was personal.
She wants to know why he would do something like that, but Ray says he doesn’t know. She thinks there’s something about Alcatraz that makes everyone into a liar – haha. Ray just wants her to remember that Tommy Madsen is a bad guy…which clues Rebecca in to the fact that Ray has indeed been in touch with the re-appeared convict.
We then get a brief glimpse of Sonny Burnett, in what looks like a house or apartment somewhere, aiming a desk lamp at…something. Hmph.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Back in 1960, Hicks is totally P.O.’d at Burnett – he sent a guy on the outside to retrieve Sonny’s hidden money, only there wasn’t any money to be found. D’oh. Burnett is confused, but Hicks doesn’t care – he shivs the guy in the gut a few times and leaves him to bleed out.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Back in 2012, we get to see what Sonny was shining his light on – it’s a tied and gagged David Pierce. Sonny removes the duct tape from Pierce’s mouth, and Pierce proceeds to beg for mercy and offer oodles of cash. Hm, maybe I should kidnap someone…
Commercial break, then we’re back on Alcatraz in 1960 – the infirmary, to be exact, where Burnett is recovering from that whole ‘holes in the abdomen’ thing. When he wakes up, he’s got company – Deputy Warden Tiller wants to know who Helen is, since Sonny kept calling out her name while he was unconscious. And Doc Beauregard wants to gloat – he brought Sonny back from death, after all. That’s right – Sonny Burnett was technically dead for 30 seconds.
Warden James wants Burnett put back into solitary for another 30 days, but Tiller vehemently disagrees – he thinks Burnett needs to adapt. Warden James isn’t happy with Tiller’s unnecessary opinions, and he says that there is no adaptation here on the Rock, only survival…that you come in knowing your place on the food chain. And the warden wants Tiller to remember HIS. Me-OW!
Warden James leaves, giving Tiller a chance to give Sonny one more piece of advice – you’re either the predator or the prey, it’s YOUR choice.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! The ransom call has come in at Helen’s house – Sonny wants $100,000 (of course – we’re all assuming she stole that money, right?) delivered to Berkeley Downs. He instructs them to head for stall 23 (lostlostlostlost) and put the money into the saddlebag that they’ll find in the hay bin.
And what do you know – Berkeley Downs just happens to be the very place that Sonny had kept Helen hidden away back in her youth. Off we go!
Madsen shows up at the stable, carrying a backpack full o’ cash. She thinks it’s an odd place for a ransom drop…and she’s absolutely right about that, since Sonny Burnett is nowhere near the stables – he’s at Helen’s house, berating her for betraying him and informing her that she’s going to find out what it’s like to lose everything.
Helen wants to know where her husband is…Sonny says he’s in the stables, right where he sent the police. Sure enough, Madsen reaches stall 23, finds the promised saddle bag, and opens it up to find -
Yep. David Pierce is pretty darn dead, unless he’s learned the secret to living without a head. This show just keeps going there, you guys!
The gang realizes that this isn’t about the money, and they quickly learn about Sonny’s unpleasant visit with Helen. This leads them to believe that Sonny is enacting some sort of revenge against fair Helen, so they decide to keep an eye on her nearest and dearest, including her daughter in Colorado. Madsen wonders why Sonny has it out for Helen…and what Helen is keeping from them.
Nikki the medical examiner shows up, which I believe is a sign that they’re going to start using this gal on a more regular basis. As long as it doesn’t turn into CSI: Alcatraz, I’m fine with that, especially if she gets involved with
Nikki tells the gang that David’s been dead for several hours now, so they now know that there was never any hope of saving him. She’s also figured out that his head was chopped off by a power saw. NASTY, YO.
Hauser instructs the dynamic duo that he wants Sonny Burnett taken alive (and we know exactly why).
Madsen and Hauser head to Helen’s pad, in an attempt to figure out why Sonny’s got it out for her. She’s all freaked out about Sonny’s lack of aging, by the way – and wouldn’t you be? After some cajoling, Helen finally tells the whole story – she did indeed steal that $100,000 from Burnett while he was in jail. See, before he was nabbed, Sonny told Helen about burying his loot in a certain field – it took the gal two full weeks to find the buried treasure, but she figured it was the least she deserved for what she had been through.
Detective Madsen heads back to Alcatraz HQ, where Doc has been a busy boy – he’s got ALL KINDS of helpful information to dish out!
By checking stolen vehicle reports against the tire tracks from the scene of David Pierce’s kidnapping, Doc has found two possible Sonny-mobiles. He’s got the DMV addresses for both vehicles, so the duo heads out to investigate.
At a dilapidated house that we’ll assume belongs to one of those addresses, Sonny Burnett shows up with a bunch of groceries and then calls a town car service to come pick him up.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! In 1960, Sonny Burnett has become quite the workout fiend, doing crazy push-ups, pull-ups, and boxing the walls of his cell until his knuckles bleed.
Once he gets out to the yard, we see why he’s been muscling up – he picks out a henchman of Hicks’ and administers a beating even worse than the one he gave to the wall. He’s clearly trying to make a point to Hicks – that he’s a predator now – but Hicks is just pissed off.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Doc and Madsen show up at the very same crappy house that we recently saw Sonny Burnett at – only it looks like his town car beat them to it, because he ain’t home. But you know who is? The other 3/4 of David Pierce’s corpse – yay!
Madsen finds another item of interest – it’s an article about Helen and her daughter, Danielle – and there’s a flight number scrawled across the page. Uh oh – looks like Sonny’s on his way to pick up the unsuspecting daughter at the airport – and he even has a town car! What a smarty.
Sure enough, when Danielle gets off her plane, Sonny Burnett is waiting with a name card, pretending to be her driver. Yep. Definitely uh oh.
Sonny must have stashed Danielle away somewhere during the commercial break, because now he’s hanging out at a hardware store, perusing the wares. A nerdy clerk greets him like an old friend, as he’s the one who sold Sonny that power saw a few days ago.
Today Sonny’s got a slightly different shopping list – a shovel, a flashlight, and a bunch of plywood cut to the clerk’s height. Because that’s not weird at all.
I think I can see exactly where this is going.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Tiller pays a visit to 1960 Sonny Burnett’s cell. He comes bearing (surprising) gifts, as well…a gigantic meal that I’m pretty sure isn’t the standard prison fare.
Apparently, Tiller is pleased with Burnett’s recent ‘adaptation,’ even more so because it was the result of HIS advice. Lot of pompous d-bags on this show, ain’t there? Anywho, I guess Tiller is all for Sonny turning into a predator, and he’s doing what he can to help him along his path.
Tiller then suggests that if Sonny REALLY wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do a little more than rough up some prison yard lackey. Sonny is incredulous – ‘you want me to kill him??’ Sure looks like it, hoss. That Tiller is a twisted little slimy bastard.
Left by himself, Sonny toughens himself up further by putting out cigarettes on his skin. Delightful.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! The Justice League has discovered Danielle’s disappearance. They’re amazed at how ahead of the game Sonny seems to be, but since he hasn’t made contact with Helen about Danielle yet, they think she’s probably still alive.
Doc and Madsen catch a break when they track down the serial number on Sonny’s power saw, and they head off to the hardware store to interview that weaselly clerk that is, sadly, sporting the exact same hairdo that I myself currently have.
From the clerk’s info, the dynamic duo guesses that Sonny must be planning on burying Danielle…and where could he want to bury her? Why, in the exact same place that he had once hidden $100,000, of course. That great big ol’ field that Helen spent a full two weeks searching. Hope Danielle has a good amount of air down there.
Using the LOJACK system on the stolen town car, the team is able to pinpoint exactly which field Sonny has set up base in. They arrive just in time to see Sonny speed off, so they quickly pursue him – it’s a gigantic field, and there’s no way they’ll find Danielle without Sonny’s help. Or by looking for evidence of a recent burial. Whatev.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! In the Alcatraz yard, it’s time for Sonny Burnett to take care of that Hicks guy once and for all. They engage in a knock-down, drag-out fight that includes some pretty nasty bone-crunching sounds. But regardless of how many of Hicks’ bones Sonny breaks, it is absolutely NOTHING compared to how he finishes the fight.
I thought the head in the bag was gross, and Dandruff getting his head caved in by Sonny Ames was disgusting, but I was completely unprepared for those bloody eye sockets. I’m get the super-willies whenever there’s eyeballs involved – for God’s sake, I can’t even use contact lenses – so you can imagine the night terrors I experienced after seeing THAT shot. Ugh.
By the by, Tiller has been watching the entire fight, keeping the guards from intervening. When Warden James shows up and marvels at Sonny’s transformation, Tiller tells him, ‘you’d be surprised what a man’s capable of if he’s pushed too far.’ And yes, it certainly comes off like a warning – Warden James better watch his back. Looks like these two are gearing up for a big time showdown.
CLANK-RATTLE-SLAM! Sonny’s on the run, but unfortunately for him, the cops have got a heck of a barricade set up on the road. He guns it, but the cops open fire – it’s like 20 cops firing a crazy amount of lead at that town car, but amazingly, they pull Sonny from the car alive and well. Nine lives, I guess.
Hauser wants Sonny for his collection (and his blood), so he squares off with the local cops, who are none too pleased to hand Burnett over to the feds. And Sonny isn’t in a very helpful mood himself – he tells the gang that they’ll never find poor Danielle.
Lucky for the team, there are about a zillion cops and emergency workers nearby, who all get to work searching the field while the Justice League keeps their shiny loafers clean by the side of the road. Turds.
The peons manage to find Danielle’s coffin and rescue her, none the worse for the wear.
Helen Campbell is super thankful to the team for saving her daughter and taking Sonny away forever. Now she can go marry Judge Reinhold and his Oscar Meyer wiener whistle.
Detective Madsen takes a moment to tell Doc about Hauser’s surveillance of Uncle Ray, and how happy she is about it – she wants to catch that f*cker Tommy Madsen just as badly, after all. But Doc warns her that once all this Alcatraz stuff is over, the three of them – Doc, Madsen, and Hauser – will have to live with all that they’ve done.
This kinda confuses me – have any of them done anything all that bad?? I mean, they’ve offed some severely messed up baddies, but wouldn’t Madsen and Hauser do that in the line of duty as cops/feds anyway? Maybe Doc’s just warning Madsen not to gouge Tommy’s eyes out with her bare hands when they finally find him.
Later at quasi-Alcatraz, Dr. B has some bad news for Hauser…Sonny Burnett DOES have the same blood type as Lucy (convenient), but his blood is mysteriously free of the colloidal silver that made the other prisoners so special. How could this be? Well, Dr. B tells Hauser that not all of the Alcatraz inmates were taken an interest in back in the day…
Hrm. Well, since we’ve seen both Tommy Madsen and Jack Sylvane giving up quarts of their blood back in 1960, we’ll definitely assume they’re two of the ‘special’ ones…and Dr. B clued us in that Ernest Cobb is, as well. Who else??
We close our episode with a quick shot of Detective Madsen’s apartment, where she lies fast asleep in bed. Suddenly, there’s a face in the window – Grandpa Peeping Tommy’s here, checking in on his girl. Creepy.
Okay, guys…we’ve gotten a bunch of extra info on the larger Alcatraz mystery over the last few episodes…anyone have any thoughts/theories? Was Tiller somehow responsible for the disappearances, as his way of taking down Warden James? Is Warden James back? Was HE behind the disappearances, and is he the one who’s controlling the prisoners now – for instance, sending Sylvane to kill Tiller? All these new questions…it’s like we’re trying to unravel a big cable knit sweater, that someone keeps knitting…and knitting…and knitting.
And I leave you with that. See you cats next week!
(If you wanna catch up with all the Alcatraz recaps, you can find them all here.)