Even though Alcatraz seems content to keep its viewers in the dark regarding much of what is happening behind the scenes with Sam Neill’s Emerson Hauser, it’s refreshing to find out that even the show’s two main protagonists are equally perturbed. In fact, Madsen and Soto are so in the dark that they’ve taken to naming Hauser’s little round-table of geeks. There’s dandruff guy, two shirts, glasses and the whistler.
While they may not be the most original monikers, it does prove helpful in identifying the helper geek (dandruff guy?) who gets murdered by Pinky Ames (Graham Sheilds) to set off the events of ‘The Ames Bros.’
Back in the ’60s, Herman and Pinky were known for being two of the most violent inmates serving time, but they apparently were also two of the most capable – stealing nearly everything they wanted with relative ease, and convincing Officer Donovan (the great Frank Whaley) to join their search for the hidden loot. In a move that would make Clint Eastwood envious, the twins fashion two keys, identical to one they swiped from the warden’s jacket, with a melted down spoon and some hastily fashioned molds. Granted, some unfortunate soul has to lose his pinky finger to make sure the guards don’t get wise, but it seems like a small price to pay when dealing with the Ames bros.
Returning to the present, it doesn’t take long for Madsen (Sarah Jones) to figure out that Soto’s missing, and soon she stumbles upon the dead think tank guy, and the chase is on. Before she can locate the twins, Madsen bumps into Officer Donovan, who is parading around the island as a park ranger. The two share a brief John McClane/Hans Gruber partnership before Madsen finally gets wise and tries to arrest Donovan. Unfortunately, the Ames bros. and Hauser show up and a firefight ensues. In the hail of gunfire, Hauser is injured and Herman is fatally shot in the neck.
The episode briefly moves back in time to show the twins finding where the gold is located, then stymied by having copied the wrong key. After the brothers are taken away, a young Ray Archer is invited to dine with Warden James (Jonny Coyne) as reward for his role in sniffing out the boys’ plan. Archer takes this information back to his brother Tommy Madsen (David Hoflin), who is still in the infirmary where his blood is mysteriously being taken.
In the present, Madsen manages to divert Donovan and the captive Soto toward the injured Hauser, while Pinky chases her down toward the cellblock. The enraged Pinky doesn’t fare too well, as Madsen crushes him with a steel bed frame dropped from the second story walkway. Donovan, however, makes it all the way to where the twins almost got ahold of the gold. A quick explosion later and Donovan is rewarded for his efforts with nothing but an empty room, and Madsen pointing her gun at him.
In questioning Donovan, Hauser reveals he doesn’t know what the keys unlock, and questions if it is Warden James returned from the past to collect the gold. The episode ends in the past with James entering the room to look over a large pile of gold bricks, and the audience wondering if that’s what Alcatraz boils down to.
Alcatraz airs Monday nights @9pm on FOX.