‘Alcatraz’ Season 1, Episode 6: ‘Paxton Petty’ Recap

Published 2 years ago by

Jorge Garcia and Sarah Jones Alcatraz Paxton Petty Alcatraz Season 1, Episode 6: Paxton Petty Recap

After two weeks of quality episodes that shed some much needed light on Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and her extended family – particularly Alcatraz prisoner Tommy Madsen, her grandfather – it wasn’t too surprising to find out that this weeks episode, ‘Paxton Petty,’ would turn the series’ attention elsewhere. The fact that it dropped some information on the mysterious Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill), however, did come as something of a pleasant surprise.

In a nice change of pace, the episode opens up with what should be the backstory of the inmate of the week, but instead uses Petty’s arrival on the island to show us the nauseous Officer Hauser casually hitting on the lovely Dr. Sengupta. It’s a side of Hauser we have yet to see, and the exchange between them illustrates what a strong and competent woman Lucille was back in 1960. A fact that is further evidenced by the way she interacts with Warden James (Jonny Coyne) and especially her rather strained relationship with Dr. Beauregard (Leon Rippy).

Petty (James Pizzinato) is a disgraced war veteran who likes to bury landmines in populated areas and then survey the damage afterwards. The initial round of explosions happens in a public park and features some pretty gruesome injuries – especially for a network television show. The display of violence and Petty’s eagerness to watch puts him easily near the top in terms of villains the Alcatraz crew has faced.

After the park incident, Soto and Hauser prove to be immediately on the same page in terms of identifying the perpetrator, and, like in the ‘Cal Sweeney’ episode, the pair is developing a nice sense of subdued comedic timing. The moments between the show’s core characters is almost enough to excuse some of the sloppier procedural elements, such as Madsen giving chase after recognizing Petty, but failing to hail any of the dozens of police officers at the scene of the crime – allowing him time and room to roll a landmine in her direction, and secure the killer’s escape.

Even though the show has established a need to keep a lid on the identity of the returned inmates, this may have been too much to overlook.

As with the beginning of the episode, the 1960 elements really tell the story of Lucy, using Petty as a catalyst for her confrontation with Dr. Beauregard, and a brief meeting with Tommy Madsen (David Hoflin), in which he describes the bizarre exsanguinations he’s being subjected to at the hands of Beauregard.

Leon Rippy and Jonny Coyne Alcatraz Paxton Petty Alcatraz Season 1, Episode 6: Paxton Petty Recap

As ‘Paxton Petty’ progresses, we begin to realize that, yes, Petty will be apprehended, eventually; but on the way there, we’re going to pick up some nice character bits regarding the somewhat prickly Hauser. Thanks to the episode, we now largely understand his concern for Lucy and the determination with which he undertakes her recovery. Secondly, we see a moment of genuine concern for Hauser from Madsen, which goes a long way in convincing the audience that this is an actual team, which is capable of working together toward a common goal.

Perhaps more importantly, though, for once, it appears that the returned inmate is also in search of some answers regarding his reappearance. Petty’s disclosure that his last memory was of the ’60s, and that he simply woke up in the present, once more raises all sorts of questions that Alcatraz is slowly beginning to answer. Hopefully, more inmates will make similar inquiries into their apparent time-jumps, as it helps to make the weekly characters feel less disposable.

Alcatraz is sometimes wildly inconsistent in its balance of providing character building moments and telling the procedural elements of its story in a way that isn’t overly problematic. Here we have an episode that is strong in the character department, but fails to tell a convincing procedural story. Perhaps this is an indication that the series will be making a shift toward focusing more stories on the characters’ involvement in the larger mystery, and less on the bad guy of the week.

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Alcatraz airs Monday nights @9pm on FOX.

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  1. Sad to say it but I’m bored already. :/

  2. I really enjoyed this episode, i like they way they weave in and out from pst to present and vice versa. The story lines are getting better and better with every week. The character developement is coming along although a bit slowly but still interesting enough to keep my watching week to week.

  3. Person of Interest does a better job of weaving a procedural drama with deeper implications between characters. I am surprised Screen Rant keeps mentioning this soon-to-be-dead show and never does a review on POI which is one of the top shows of the year on CBS.

    • There are a number of shows I’m surprised they never review; Once Upon a Time (excellent show btw), Grimm, Lost Girl, Being Human and Merlin, to name a few.

      Maybe what qualifies as review worthy to SR could boil down to something as simple as someone on the team willing to watch and review it?