An interesting style change in this episode in two ways, first, stylistically, we only get one title card telling us we are in 1960 (in the gun gallery scene) which is a testament, I think, to trusting the audience to know when we are jumping back and forth to and from; a reward for paying attention the first four episodes (though they kept the very cool sliding and clanging cell bar doors, signaling a jump). Second, we follow the story of a guard this week, who is on some (presumably) nefarious task but is otherwise an honest to good, good guy; which is a first for the 63s thus far. It was a nice change to not feel bad about finding redeeming qualities in the 63 of the Week. Not changed? Uncle Ray is still an insufferable douchabg that I do not like. On to the episode and the curious case of Guy Hastings!
A man finishes dressing and tells his wife he’d like to stay home but it’s a training day. He kisses his wife and daughter goodbye and heads off to work. On the rock. He’s a guard! Twist! He’s Guy Hastings, and he is telling a bunch of new guards that he will be their training officer. He makes it clear that most people will quit this job and that his role is to make sure they survive; also, we’re a team effort because “no man can do it alone.” (Uncle) Ray Archer is the last of the recruits.
Hastings is giving a tour of the Alcatraz Mess Hall which he refers to as the “Gas Chamber” (since it has a series of gas canisters on the ceiling ready to deploy in case of riot or what have you) and alos, the most dangerous room in Alcatraz since the prisoners have fairly unrestrained freedom to roam in here. (Uncle) Ray is all distracted because he is trying to make googly eyes at Tommy Madsen, who, once he sees him, starts yelling no and bashes (Uncle) Ray over the head with his food tray. Which earns Tommy M an all expenses paid trip to the hole. While Tommy is on top of (Uncle) Ray, he whispers that he shouldn’t have come.
Later, in the infirmary, Dr. Beauregard stitches up (Uncle) Ray’s head while Hastings watches. When Warden James shows up, he’s confused as to why he’s been called for a little head booboo. We learn that Tiller brought him along because he thinks its beyond strange that Tommy M would go after a new “screw” who he laid eyes on for all of 15 seconds; clearly they know each other. After Warden muses on “strange” in the context of a prison built on a rock in the middle of the ocean, he asks (Uncle) Ray if he’s still willing to stay on the job and when he says yes, he leaves it Hastings to decide whether they keep (Uncle) Ray on cut him loose. Hastings vouches for (Uncle) Ray and if he’s willing to stay on after taking that kind of beating on day 1, then they should give him a shot. Tiller, who’s concern is that (Uncle) Ray might be there simply to bust Tommy M out, is not happy with this decision.
Sometime later, but not to later, in the gun gallery, Hastings tells (Uncle) Ray that he put himself on the line for him and so, no bullshit, do you know Tommy M? (Uncle) Ray lies so hard, his pants go on fire and as they smolder, he tells Hastings he doesn’t know Tommy M. Hastings wants him to prove it. When we return to the past, (Uncle) Ray is proving his knowledge of how to work the prison cell doors and Hastings has him open all the cells except for cell 112, which you will not be shocked to learn, belongs to Tommy M. Hastings tell (Uncle) Ray that he’s “got a captive audience” and (Uncle) Ray doesn’t need any further hints or encouragement. He walks up to Tommy M and almost immediately begins beating the ever loving shit out of him. Serious beating, to the point where Hastings has to pull (Uncle) Ray off Tommy M … so yeah, I think he sold that performance.
In the 1960 Wrap Up, (Uncle) Ray visits Tommy M in the infirmary where Tommy M is all sorts of messed up. (Uncle) Ray vows that he will not let Tommy M rot in “this” hellhole and that they are in this together. Tommy’s only response is to grab (Uncle) Ray’s arm.
The lesson to learn in this opening scene is to NEVER interrupt a man looking at pictures of his famoily which he pulled out of a wall hidey hole because He.Will.Beat.You! We join Madsen and (Uncle) Ray at Chinese Breakfast where (Uncle) Ray is telling stories Tommy M, and how he knew him his whole life; they were the best of friends. Also, he didn’t (interesting past tense use there (Uncle) Ray ) think he killed his wife (Madsen’s grandma). When Madsen gets called away, (Uncle) Ray looks thoughtful … as if he is lying to his (Pseudo) Niece.
The Lair. Hauser is talking about the return of their first guard, Guy Hastings. Since he was a guard, Hauser is making the jump that he was a good man and for him to attack the National Parks guard, someone must be making him do whatever it is, he has returned to do. He tells Madsen that its their job to figure out the who and what? As (Uncle) Ray walks home, Hastings looks on … with clenched fists. Credits.
The Alcatraz Three are checking out Hastings Alcatraz apartment. We learn that Hastings was a Navy guy who served in Korea and came to work at Alcatraz in 1957 and that he “died” in ’63, via a mysterious chemical spill. They find his hidey hole and determine he has a gun. As a starting point, they go to speak to his daughter Annie. At Annie’s house, Dr. Diego and Madsen go into the interview as a book writer and his assistant. Annie is all grown up and has grandchildren of her own, and, has nothing but good memories of her dad. And Alcatraz. She says it was an amazing place to grow up, in fact, they never had to lock their doors at night. I bet. He died when she was 8; all she knows is that she left for school one day and when she got back, her mother was waiting for her and she never got to see her dad again. She was told that there was a chemical spill and they just received a box of his things. Dr. Diego asks to take the box with them, in his awkward Dr. Diego kind of way and Annie is nothing but pleasant. Elsewhere, (Uncle) Ray takes some garbage outside at the bar and is greeted with a cocked gun to the side of his head. When he turns around, he is surprised to see an un-aged Guy Hastings, that is, until Hastings cold clocks him with the gun and then, well then (Uncle) Ray didn’t see anything.
At the Lair, Hastings’ box o’ memories are full of service medals and other such, good guy stuff. As they examine its contents, Madsen gets call from (Uncle) Ray’s cell phone but its his bartender on the line saying that (Uncle) Ray went out but never came back. Upon hearing (Uncle) Ray is missing, Hauser says he’ll go with Madsen to investigate which activates her spidey senses. Just then, Dr. Diego finds a picture of Hastings and (Uncle) Ray in uniform and determines that they appeared friendly. At this own apartment, (Uncle) Ray comes to on his couch while Hastings looks through his stuff. He is looking for Tommy M and doesn’t buy (Uncle) Ray’s (continued) assertion that he doesn’t know much of anything about him. This lie blows up when Hastings finds a picture of (Uncle) Ray and Tommy M so then (Uncle) Ray switches his story to Tommy M died back in ’64. Hastings says “pssh” and compromises, if you can’t take me to Tommy M, take me to his son. At the bar, Mr. Bartender recognizes Hastings from weirdly standing across the street earlier in the day (apparently, San Francisco doesn’t push the whole, “if you see something, say something” like NYC does). The Alcatraz Three head to (Uncle) Ray’s apartment which as now been thoroughly sacked? That seems unnecessary seeming as (Uncle) Ray was being cooperative with Guy. Madsen finds a watch she gave (Uncle) Ray when she was 13, which he has worn every day since. They take this as a sign that he left the apartment alive and then Hauser finds the (Uncle) Ray/ Tommy M picture and they conclude that Hastings is actually after Tommy M, not (Uncle) Ray. Unfortunately, no one knows why “they” are after anybody at all?
The Lair. Hauser picks up the red phone which connects him directly to
his counterpart in the USSR the Inner Lair Geeks and he summons “everyone” to the “room.” It seems that Madsen and Dr. Diego are not included in “everyone.” After he leaves, Dr. Diego and Madsen ponder what happens in the Inner Lair and also, they go over (Uncle) Ray’s logs. Here, they find out about the first day fight and lots of questions, questions, questions follow. They decide their next move is that Hastings is going to have (Uncle) Ray take him to where Tommy M grew up? Sure. Makes no sense but lets go with that. They set about trying to figure out which house in all of San Francisco the porch they have a picture of, belongs to. They enlist the help of Dr. Diego’s stock boy who also dabbles as a computer-photo-re-creator-majig to do this. Again, sure. Let’s go with that. Meanwhile, at a cemetery, Hastings learns that Tommy M’s son is dead. He mentions “they” told him to look for Tommy and (Uncle) Ray had to know what “they” were doing with Tommy, what with all the blood and weeks spent in the infirmary. (Uncle) Ray plays or is dumb to what he’s talking about as are we. Its then that Hastings reads Tommy’s son’s headstone and learns that there is a grandchild out there. When Hastings starts making noose about finding Madsen, (Uncle) Ray is all um, yeah sure, I can take you to Tommy M himself, let’s go.
The Inner Lair. Kind of a throwaway scene other than to show that the Inner Lair Geeks are still there, working, they bandy about what the Tommy M connection is and why is he so important. They come down two options for why “they” would be looking for him, he’s either unaccounted for or he’s “lost”? In the Outer Lair, by looking through old census information (I guess? Or really specific property records?), Dr. Diego and Madsen realize that (Uncle) Ray and Tommy M were not merely best friends growing up, they were brothers. TWIST! (Uncle) Ray is Madsen’s real uncle. Finkle is Einhorn. Einhorn is FINKLE! Dr. Diego joins the obvious squad and declares that (Uncle) Ray changed his name so that he could go to work on the Rock, since they never would have hired him with the same last name as a prisoner.
At the childhood home of (Uncle) Ray and Tommy M, Hastings thinks that (Uncle) Ray is bullshitting him but (Uncle) Ray reasserts that if Tommy is looking for (Uncle) Ray, this will be a place he comes. En route, Madsen and Dr. Diego get a call from Hauser who is wondering why they are headed over there, oh, yeah, BTW, I am totally tracking your movements. Someone needs to take Hauser to one of those Trust Building Camps that you did in like high school. Back at the house, we learn a little more on the disappearance when Hastings tells (Uncle) Ray he hasn’t been anywhere the last 50 years. He (not really at all) explains that he took Annie to the boat dock like a normal day and kissed her goodbye. That night, he was doing duty on the north tower and it was really foggy. The next morning, he woke up in the infirmary and was told that there had been an accident and his family was dead. Also, that he was sick and contaminated and he couldn’t leave. And then … it wasn’t 1963 anymore. Ok, thanks for clarifying boss! At the end of the story, Madsen makes her entrance and is quickly taken hostage (which is like her MO). She tries convincing Hastings that (a) he’s a good guy and doesn’t want to hurt anyone and (b) your daughter is totally alive, I talked to her yesterday, and “they” have been lying to you. He not quite a believer which is a shame because then Hauser enters guns a blazing and matter of fact-ly tells him he will shoot him in the head on the count of three. Before he finishes counting, Madsen makes a move to escape his hold, draws her backup weapon and shoots Hastings in the leg. Threat neutralized!
Wrap Ups. Hastings is now ready to believe Madsen and Hauser even drives him by Annie’s house where she and her children and grandchildren are conveniently outside for him to see. When Hauser tells him that no, dumbass, you cannot go talk to them, he asks why Hauser even brought him here. Hauser explains that he’s a casualty in “this,” and that he doesn’t deserve what happened. Guy realizes he’s nevee going to see them again. And he has a Sad.
Outside the bar, Madsen watches (Uncle) Ray for a bit and then heads to the Lair. In the Hall of 63s, Madsen confronts Hauser that he originally asked (Uncle) Ray to work for him, which explains why (Uncle) Ray didn’t have a freak out about un-aged Hastings (though he was a bit surprised I think). The value, of course, being the ties to Tommy M. Hauser says that (Uncle) Ray turned him down 16 years ago so that he could raise Madsen. She confirms for everyone that Hauser got what he wanted in her coming to work with him since she too has connections to Tommy M (though, besides blood, I imagine they are much less valuable than (Uncle) Ray’s intimate knowledge of Tommy M, amiright?). Also, she realizes that Hauser is desperate to get a hold of Tommy and so, he needs her a lot more than she needs him. Just so he knows who has the power in this relationship. For his part, Tommy M makes his first appearance in the present since the pilot, when he shows up at (Uncle) Ray’s bar after closing. (Uncle) Ray’ seems to have had a change of heart about brother Tommy since the Alcatraz days and apparently told him to never “come back here.” What, whazaaa? How long has (Uncle) Ray been seeing dead people? Tommy reminisces that there was a time when (Uncle) Ray would have done anything for Tommy. (Uncle) Ray clarifies that was Rebecca and by the way, you’re no one’s grandfather Tommy, so get off it. He tells Tommy to leave his bar which Tommy does, but not before telling (Uncle) Ray that “this” isn’t over. (Uncle) Ray warns Tommy that since he puts Madsen in harms way every time he comes near, if (Uncle) Ray sees him again, he’ll kill him. Well, that is no way to get repeat customers (Uncle) Ray.
So, questions, questions, questions. First, who is “they” and what is “this”. Enough with the pronouns, I want answers show!!!! Really, I am enjoying the mystery but I can see where too much of this without progress and my eyes will start to wander. What is the Tommy connection and why were they drawing so much blood? Was it to feed the smoke monster below the prison? That’s my new current theory. Also, how did the transport the 63s into the future; I am more curious in this simply for background as I don’t think the actually method of transportation will be terribly important to the core mythology. It’ll probably be some kind of cryostasis. Or something like that. Anyway, here’s hoping to more answers next week.