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Pilot

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Alcatraz -- Season 1
#01 "Pilot"#08 "The Ames Bros."
#02 "Ernest Cobb"#09 "Sonny Burnett"
#03 "Kit Nelson"#10 "Clarence Montgomery"
#04 "Cal Sweeney"#11 "Webb Porter"
#05 "Guy Hastings"#12 "Garrett Stillman"
#06 "Paxton Petty"#13 "Tommy Madsen"
#07 "Johnny McKee"
"Pilot"
Pilot
Season
Episode

01
Airdate
January 16, 2012
Running time
44:27
Production code
296790
Directed by
Co-starring
Karina Andrews - Sheila
Daniel Bacon - Medical Examiner
Michael Ching - Ranger Bob
Samuel Patrick Chu - Chet
Jeremy Dangerfield - Old E.B. Tiller
Keith Martin Gordey - Lt. Paul Reeger
Calum Grant - Dad
Richard Gross - Ranger Phil
Greyston Holt - Young Emerson Hauser
Paul Jarrett - Lead Officer
Robert Lawrenson - Barclay Flynn
Djuna Maxfield - Susie
Paul McGillion - Alan Sylvane, Jr.
Sandy Robson - Cell Guard #1
Chad Rook - Luke
Michael Soltis - Uniform Cop
Rhys Williams - Will Peters


"Pilot" is the first episode of season 1, and overall the first produced hour of Alcatraz. It originally aired on January 16, 2012, as part of the two-hour series premiere.

Synopsis

1960

1x01 SylvaneAndTiller
Tiller removes Sylvane's visiting rights.

As inmates are being taken from their cells in a group, deputy warden E.B. Tiller stops Sylvane and orders the guards to search his cell. Tiller plants and "finds" a screwdriver, and orders Sylvane to be taken off the cell block to solitary, thereby denying him a visit by his wife, Sonya Sylvane.

1x01 SylvaneInSolitary
Tiller visits Sylvane in solitary.

While Sylvane is in solitary, E.B. Tiller visits him and teases him about his release. Sylvane demands to know what Tiller told his wife, but Tiller confesses he made a "mistake," and that it was another inmate released that day. He simply suggests him to eat his food, since in Alcatraz "things can always get worse."

1x01 SylvaneAndAShadow
Sylvane and #2002 in the medical ward.

After a month in solitary, Jack Sylvane wakes up in the prisoners' medical ward, where a doctor is taking blood from his arm, despite Jack not being sick. When the doctor leaves the area, an unseen inmate behind a curtain who identifies himself as inmate #2002 mentions a level below the hole (the solitary confinement), and warns Jack that "something terrible's going to happen here."

1x01 AskingForDivorce
Sonya asks Sylvane for divorce.

Once Jack finally receives a visit from Sonya, she tearfully asks him for a divorce, so she could marry his brother, Alan. An enraged Jack denies her request, tosses a chair, and is dragged away by the guards.

1963

1x01 TwoGuardsEmptyPrison
Young Hauser and Officer Paul investigate the empty prison.

On March 20, 1963, a young Emerson Hauser and a SFPD lead officer arrive at Alcatraz Prison by boat for a prisoner transfer. The two find an abandoned dock, and decide to explore the facilities. They discover the entire prison to be deserted, with every cell and office completely abandoned. Paul orders young Hauser to contact the station and tell them "to send everyone." When Hauser is too shocked to do so, Paul attempts to calm him down.

2012

1x01 SylvaneReturns
Sylvane reappears in modern day Alcatraz.

Alcatraz prison is filled with groups of tourists and park rangers. A young tourist hears a distinctive sound coming from one of the cells, and is frightened by a man lying in the room. Her screams alert the park ranger, who believes the man to be transpassing. The man, discovered to be Jack Sylvane, finds that a pocket of the jacket he is wearing contains a ticket back to the mainland and other items. He boards a boat, and looks in a book about the prison inmates, in which he finds his own mugshot, and a page dedicated to Tiller. He discovers that Tiller, now retired from the FBI, has been awarded the Medal of Valor for his service. Enraged, Jack makes his way to the mainland.

Three months earlier, detective Rebecca Madsen and her partner were chasing an unknown man on rooftops. Just before Rebecca's partner falls to his death, she gets a good look at the face of the man they were trying to catch.

1x01 DeadTiller
The murdered E.B. Tiller in his house.

Waking her from her daydreaming, Rebecca's supervisor tells her she must find a new partner. Rebecca is called away to a homicide crime scene, where she finds the elderly victim, E.B. Tiller, who was stabbed to death. Her investigation is cut short by the arrival of government agent Emerson Hauser, who declares that the Federal government is assuming jurisdiction. Rebecca asks Jimmy Dickens to run Hauser's name through the system, and sneaks a framed photograph of a younger Tiller from the bookcase. Back at her office, she scans the entire framed photo and finds a fingerprint. A search of the fingerprint database returns the name of Jack Sylvane, whose file is restricted. An Internet search for both Sylvane and Tiller reveals that were both connected to Alcatraz Prison, and that a link between them is Dr. Diego Soto.

1x01 DiegoRebeccaStore
Doc recounts Jack Sylvane's criminal history to Rebecca.

Rebecca locates Soto at Doc's Comics and Collectibles. She asks for his help on a case, and shows him a copy of the photo she took from Tiller's residence. Doc explains that one man in the photo, warden Edwin James, is dead but that E.B. Tiller, his deputy, is still alive. When asked, he tells Rebecca about Jack Sylvane's criminal background, which had him sent for prison after robbing a convenience store which coincidentally sold stamps, making it a government location. In Leavenworth prison, Jack murdered a fellow prisoner in self-defence, and was sent to Alcatraz. Rebecca tells Doc that Tiller was murdered the previous night, and that Sylvane's fingerprint showed up at the scene. Doc responds that Sylvane died more than thirty years ago.

1x01 SylvaneKey
Sylvane uses the key found inside his jacket pocket.

Meanwhile, Sylvane purchases a day at a local gym, already in possession of a key to a locker. In the locker room, Sylvane retrieves a handgun and a change of clothing, with the attendant surprisingly approaching Sylvane and seeing the handgun. Sylvane attacks the attendant and flees.

1x01 SylvaneDeathCertificate
Doc presents Rebecca with Sylvane's fake death certificate.

Rebecca and Doc go to a bar owned by Ray Archer, her surrogate uncle, who is not surprised to discover that Tiller was murdered. Ray, a former Alcatraz guard, was a friend of Rebecca's grandfather Tommy Madsen, who Rebecca believes was also a guard at Alcatraz; Ray and Doc exchange a glance. Once Ray is gone, Doc presents Rebecca with Sylvane's fabricated transfer documents and death certificate, signed by former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Ray tells Rebecca that since Tiller joined the FBI, his murder is a Federal matter, and that she should back off. Doc tells Rebecca that he almost never does what his parents tell him to do, and they both agree to travel to Alcatraz Island the next morning. Doc reveals that during his research of Alcatraz, he came across a room containing lost inmate files.

1x01 TheBatcave
Doc and Rebecca wake up in the Underground Base.

The following day, as Doc and Rebecca are examining boxes in the storage room on the island, they are gassed and lose consciousness. When they awake, they find Emerson Hauser and Lucy Banerjee discussing their capture. Rebecca and Doc learn that they are in a room below the old prison. Hauser and Lucy show surveillance footage to Rebecca and Doc of Jack Sylvane just before Tiller's murder. Sylvane looks just as he did in 1963, and is currently 85 years young. Lucy receives a telephone call that local media found an Alcatraz uniform near a crime scene. As Hauser is leaving, Rebecca convinces him to let Doc and her accompany him.

1x01 SoftBlackBagKey
Sylvane retrieves an old key from the soft, black bag.

At the gym, the attendant gives the Alcatraz Task Force the licence plate of the cab Sylvane escaped in. They are able to track to it to the address of a man named Barclay Flynn. Meanwhile, Sylvane arrives at Flynn's residence, but is soon stopped by two police offers who order him to surrender. Sylvane shoots both officers, and faces Flynn inside his house. While Flynn presents him with money to save his life, Sylvane demands the soft black bag located inside the safe. After verifying that the bag contains an old Alcatraz key , Jack shoots and kills Flynn.

1x01 FamilyReunion
Sylvane reunites with his brother and his nephew.

At the crime scene, Hauser hypothesizes that Sylvane is acting as if he is on a mission. Doc reveals that after his apparent death, Sylvane's wife married his brother, Alan Sylvane, which may be the next victim. Rebecca and Doc decide to investigate on their own. Sylvane arrives at Alan's house, and is welcomed by his son, Alan Sylvane, Jr.. Jack is invited inside, where photos of his ex-wife and her new family fill the house. Jack learns that Sonya died in 2008, and is soon confronted by his brother, who does not understand how Jack looks like he did years ago. Minutes later, Rebecca and Doc discover a bound and gagged Alan, Jr., who tells them that Jack left to visit his wife's grave, along with his brother.

1x01 SylvaneAtGunPoint
Rebecca holds Sylvane at gun point at the cemetery.

At the cemetery, Jack forgives his deceased wife, but is soon confronted by Rebecca, who holds him at gun point. Jack confesses to killing Tiller out of hatred, but that Flynn's murder was due to what "they" told him to do. Sylvane does not tell her who "they" are, but rather asks her to shoot him. Pulling out his own gun, Sylvane is shot by Hauser's snipers, and is taken into custody. Sylvane scolds Rebecca for not killing him.

1x01 RoomFullOfFaces
Hauser brings Rebecca and Doc to the Census room.

At the Underground Base, Hauser tells Rebecca and Doc that Sylvane is in prison under a name identity, sentenced for life, and that his brother "won't be a problem." Rebecca is still interested in Flynn's involvement, but Hauser says that though no ties were found between him and Sylvane, he may be connected to the next victim, since, according to Lucy, Sylvane was just the beginning. Hauser admits to have been waiting for the latest events for "a very, very long time," and reveals a hidden census room that documents "the 63's": the 256 prisoners and 46 guards who disappeared from Alcatraz on March 20, 1963. The closing of Alcatraz and transferal of the prisoners were a cover story.

1x01 SeeingGrandfather
Rebecca learns the truth about her grandfather.

Rebecca notices the mugshot of her grandfather, Thomas Madsen, whom she thought was a guard, but in reality was a prisoner - inmate #2002. Hauser offers her a spot on his Task Force, but she insists on including Doc as her partner.

Second Alcatraz Prison
Hauser introduced Sylvane to the rebuilt Alcatraz prison.

At a later time, Hauser and Sylvane travel to an undisclosed location in a forest. While Sylvane suddenly remembers Hauser from somewhere, he is led into a hidden location - a newly built version of the old Alcatraz. Hauser head-butts Sylvane, announcing that Tiller was his friend, and watches on as Sylvane is dragged into his prison cell by the guards. Before leaving, Hauser asks Jack to not worry, since he "won't be lonesome long."

Trivia

  • The episode was first screened at the San Diego Comic-Con 2011 on July 20th, 2011. [1]
  • A poster reading "NO THE NUMBER'S DON'T ADD UP; START TALKING; BREAK THE STIGMAS OF MENTAL ILLNESS" appear both in Diego Soto's shop and at the gym.
  • Doc mentions that the guards' families lived on the island, though there is no mention of their fates following the mass disappearance.

Production Notes

Bloopers/Continuity errors

  • As the two guards arrive in Alcatraz (1960), the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge is lit up in the background. However, lights weren't added to the suspension cables until 1986.
  • Jack Sylvane is shot at the cemetery, but has no sign of wounds when he arrives at the Second Alcatraz Prison.

People Hauser Shot

  • Jack Sylvane shot in the leg by Hauser's men.

Analysis

Recurring themes

Cultural references

Literary techniques

References

  1. Comic-Con 2011: The TV Lineup by Leslie Goldberg - The Hollywood Reporter (2011-07-13)

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