In this ‘Doc’ Soto-centric episode, we learn about an unpleasant time in the life of Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia), as he reacts strongly to the Alcatraz time-jumping psychopath-of-the-week: the titular ‘Kit Nelson’.
Arguably the creepiest former inmate the Alcatraz task force has had to chase down, Kit Nelson (Michael Eklund), has the repugnant habit of kidnapping 11 year-old boys and returning to their homes 48 hours later, to deliver his victim’s bodies. The episode begins in the present with Nelson entering a house and silently stealing away with a young child named Dylan – leaving his signature chrysanthemum in the boy’s bed.
Soto overhears the disappearance of the boy via his police scanner – taking note of the chrysanthemum – and immediately comes to the conclusion that Nelson is behind the abduction. Soto brings his findings to Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) and Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones), who are discussing the near fatal injuries Lucy Banjeree (Parminder Nagra) suffered at the hands of sharp shooting escapee Ernest Cobb.
As is the format on Alcatraz, the episode jumps back and forth in time, giving viewers a glimpse at the inmate’s life on the island prison. Being a child killer, and therefore on the lowest rung in the prison pecking order, Nelson had a pretty tough go of it, as we see from a brutal beating delivered to him in the yard, while the guards and Deputy Warden E.B. Tiller (Jason Butler Harner) casually look on.
Throughout the episode’s flashbacks, we learn that Nelson is unanimously hated – inside the prison and out – after his father pays him a visit in search of a long overdue confession regarding the suspicious death of Nelson’s younger brother. The scene only half works; on one hand it gives the audience more fuel to root for Nelson’s eventual apprehension, but fails in how it ridiculously spells out the connections Soto has made regarding Nelson’s whereabouts with his young captive.
Of course Nelson’s younger brother had a lust for life, which, apparently, included a love for cherry pie. As luck would have it, Soto has been checking out all the local diners that serve cherry pie when who should walk into the very establishment readying Doc’s second slice? Why Kit Nelson and Dylan, of course.
After informing Madsen of his whereabouts, Soto unwisely confronts Nelson, leading to a brief standoff that results in Soto and Madsen handcuffed to a dumpster while the former inmate flees with the boy in a reasonably priced sedan. The incident leaves Soto despondent, believing he’s sent the boy to his doom. However, a quick check of Nelson’s prison belongings lead Soto and Madsen to the kidnapper’s former employer: a construction company that specializes in bomb shelters.
We jump back one final time as Chief Warden Edwin James (Jonny Coyne) coaxes a confession out of Nelson for the murder of his brother, after threatening him with the prospect of spending the remainder of his life sentence in solitary confinement. Nelson relents, and owns up to the murder that engaged his bloodlust, for which the warden rewards him by reneging on the deal and leaving Nelson in his new, windowless cell.
Back in the present, Dylan escapes the bomb shelter after a well-placed shoe toss takes out the bunker’s single light source. Soto and Madsen arrive as Nelson grabs Dylan, but before the killer can make good on his threat to kill the boy, Hauser emerges from the foliage and shoots him in the head.
Save for some much-needed backstory on Dr. Soto – which, it turns out, is that he, too, was kidnapped at the age of 11 – ‘Kit Nelson’ offers little insight into the overall mystery of Alcatraz, but does create more questions. With Nelson being offered up to the still living, former prison doc, Dr. Beauregard (Leon Rippy), as what looks to be a donor for Lucy, perhaps the apprehension and re-incarceration of the out-of-time inmates is not the only endgame for Emerson Hauser.
Alcatraz airs Monday nights @9pm on FOX.