“Alcatraz” is one of the most highly anticipated series of the season — and with good reason, particularly given the pedigree of producer J.J. Abrams and “Lost” alum Jorge Garcia. The show’s two-hour Monday debut set up an intriguing blend of a procedural mystery-of-the-week premise and an overarching mystery.
The show revolves around the idea that when Alcatraz shut down in 1963, its inmates and guards weren’t transferred — they disappeared. Sam Neill plays Emerson Hauser, a fed who was once a guard. He missed the big disappearance and has been looking for answers ever since. As the inmates begin to reappear in 2012, he’s joined by San Francisco Det. Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones), and graphic novel writer and Alcatraz expert Diego Soto (Garcia).
At his side is also Lucy Banerjee (Parminder Nagra). Banerjee, who is shot by a former inmate and enters a coma, is revealed to have a deeper connection to Alcatraz than we thought. A twist at the end of Episode 2 shows Banerjee working in Alcatraz as a psychiatrist.
“She’s one of the keys [to figuring out the mystery], I think, not [the] key,” E.P. Daniel Pyne told critics at the recent press tour. “What we’re hoping to do is balance. It’s not really a serialized show. It’s a show with a great mythology where every week we catch another bad guy and it’s kind of holographic. There’s a world that exists that is — as Rebecca and Hauser and “Doc” move through it, they begin to understand it and put the pieces together… I don’t think it’s ever been done before. I don’t think this kind of storytelling has been done on television before, and it’s really exciting.”
Did you find that the first two episodes of “Alcatraz” delivered what the hype promised? Will you be tuning in for the future episodes? Drop us a line in the comments below and fill us in on what you loved, what you didn’t love, and what questions you’re hoping to have answered.