Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ALCATRAZ Episode 1.06 ("Paxton Petty"): Thoughts & Theories

To start us off, in honor of Valentine’s Day - an appropriately titled song by an artist relevant to this episode: “Prisoner of Love” by Frank Sinatra.

Alone from night to night, you'll find me too weak to break the chains that bind me.
I need no shackles to remind me, I'm just a prisoner of love.
For one command, I stand and wait now from one who's master of my fate now.
I can't escape, for it's too late now. I'm just a prisoner of love.
What's the good of my caring if someone is sharing those arms with me.
Although she has another, I can't find another for I'm not free.
She's in my dreams awake or sleeping, upon my knees to her I'm creeping,
My very life is in her keeping, I'm just a prisoner of love.

The 302/63’s

1. Dr. Lucille Sangupta/Lucy Banerjee
2. Dr. Milton Beauregard 
3. Mrs. Beauregard (questionable)
4. Guy Hastings, guard
5. Ernest Cobb, inmate #2047
6. Tommy Madsen, inmate #2002
7. Kit Nelson, inmate #2046 
8. Paxton Petty, inmate #2223
9. Cal Sweeney, inmate #2112
10. Jack Sylvane, inmate #2024


* I have confirmed that the inmate mugshots and dates on the mugshots are NOT canon, and therefore there are no date discrepancies with regard to Petty's Alcatraz mugshot.

Original thought process:
Paxton Petty’s Alcatraz mug shot indicates his arrival date there as 2/8/60. I’m not sure if that is a continuity/prop error or misleading clue, but it certainly does not match up with other significant dates…

Paxton Petty arrested: 9/3/59
Bombs set off: 2/20/60, 3/6/60, 3/15/60
Paxton Petty transferred to Alcatraz: 9/3/60

In addition, the newspaper in the tomb had a headline about the Zodiac killer, and his crimes took place between 1968-1969. Why on earth would the person responsible for providing Petty with his weapon of choice upon his re-entry also leave a newspaper from a year during which he was frozen in time? 


Young SF police officer Hauser was a rookie around 1960, judging by what was likely his initial bout of nausea upon arrival to Alcatraz with prisoner Petty.  

We have to ponder whether or not Dr. Lucille Sangupta specifically targeted young officer Hauser back in 1960. She was unusually aggressive for a woman of her standing in that era, and he was clearly vulnerable and seemingly very sweet and innocent. Lucille/Lucy is ageless and vanished along with 301 others from Alcatraz in 1963. If she was aware of or responsible for what was going to happen, she may have either warned or tried to recruit Hauser. Did he CHOOSE to stay? Did Lucille give him a pass or enough information to prepare for her return (along with the others) in the future?  

Hauser’s old SFPD uniform is stored in a locked trunk on Alcatraz in current day, along with old photos of him with Dr. Sangupta and his Ben Linus-inspired cache of foreign cash and passports. All signs point to the fact that Hauser must actually live in or near the Batcave...and that he is a frequent international flyer. It is possible that during the years when his beloved Lucille was "missing," he was traversing the globe in search of her. Or simply recruiting a top team of nerds for his secret lair.


Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
-  Coldplay, “Fix You”

The real question is this: WHEN did Dr. Lucille Sangupta make her re-entry into modern society, and begin her life anew as Lucy Banerjee? I have a suspicion that the season finale will shed light on this very question, hopefully highlighting: how she and Emerson Hauser found one another again, his reaction to her agelessness, and how they teamed up and combined resources to start hunting down the other 301 people who vanished in 1963. 

Dr. Sangupta used an anesthetic pill that resembled a mint to sedate inmates, and also appeared to give young Hauser one of the same “mints” for nausea upon his arrival when they first met. That he may have been pre-selected for a specific purpose is becoming more and more likely. It is unclear what effect, if any, the mint had on Hauser. But she definitely needed an outside source, off of the Rock, to help complete her mission or assignment. And, sadly, Hauser's love for Lucille/Lucy may have been and remains unrequited.

Can Lucy die? Can any of the returned 63’s die? Hauser himself may not know, which is why he asked Dr. B to work on Kit Nelson in 2012 New Alcatraz after apparently killing him. We have not seen the status of Nelson since, but perhaps he was revived – which is why Hauser then brought Lucy to Dr. B to "fix her." 

It seems Warden James hired Dr. Sangupta, but perhaps did so off the record - indicating his intentions for her assistance with his 1963 project (insert, as they say in The Muppets, a maniacal laugh here). After all, Doc Soto, the Alcatraz expert, knew nothing about a female doctor stationed on Alcatraz.  


“I wrote a book about Alcatraz, and pretty much everything was wrong.”

I can’t wait for the sequel to his Inmates of Alcatraz book: Lack of Conviction – Inmates Inaccurate

Nikki the coroner was sporting a tee of The Sandman, and The Sandman himself (Wesley Dodds) had a girlfriend who was aware of his dual identity. Perhaps we have now been introduced to comic book shop owner by day/civilian investigator by night Soto’s new love interest.



It was a surprise to learn that Dr. Sangupta was unaware of the blood being taken by Dr. B in the Alcatraz infirmary. She obviously had a strong interest in Tommy Madsen, for reasons that have yet to be unveiled. And she trusted him enough to play Petty’s torture tape, to gauge his recognition of the lullaby Petty mumbled after undergoing her “talking cure.” 

Tommy knows about the horrible place beneath Solitary, and I wonder if he will continue to meet with Dr. Sangupta and perhaps reveal what he knows.  

It crossed my mind that the recently returned and off-the-grid Tommy Madsen may have paid a visit to Lucy before she was shot. Whether or not he was programmed to do so or not is unclear, but these two may have more of a history than we've seen. Yet.

“I want to know what happened to me. A week ago I went to sleep a stone’s throw from where we’re standing now. Next thing I know, it’s 2012. And I wake up lying on the floor of a tomb. Tell me how that’s possible.” - Paxton Petty
Guy Hastings remembered specific details about his last night on the Rock before vanishing, but Petty only recalled going to sleep. I have speculated that the “fog” released on Alcatraz that night (see previous post) may have been a type of biochemical agent, and perhaps Hastings simply remembered more because he was awake. 

Once again, we did not see Hauser bring a returned 63er to New Alcatraz.  But we did witness him shooting Petty, without the intent to kill. We should just assume at this point that all who have returned and are captured are then taken to New Alcatraz. Is Hauser purposefully wounding each returning inmate and guard - making them bleed - so that Dr. B has a fresh source and reason to collect samples for testing in New Alcatraz?

This might be a stretch, but…is it mere coincidence that coroner Nikki was sporting a tee featuring The Sandman in the very episode where sand played a major role in the location of Petty’s final landmine? Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream, indeed. Wait...

Dream is the main character in The Sandman comics, a personification of all that is not real...and an escaped prisoner.  The comic book series also features flashbacks and immortal characters. Long story short, ALCATRAZ co-creators/executive producers Bryan Wynbrandt and Steven Lilien and their writing staff are very clearly fans of the comic book and graphic novel genre, and are infusing their show with geeky hints and nods. I strongly approve. 


Where was Deputy Warden Tiller in the 1960 flashbacks? He was not on the dock when Petty arrived - nor did we see him interact with Petty or anyone else in this episode. His absence seems odd, given what I have interpreted as his agoraphobia (I doubt he left the Rock very often, to avoid crowds and social situations). Something tells me that his sister was involved...

Paxton Petty said that Warden James considered him to be important. Looking back at the Warden’s interactions with Ernest Cobb and Kit Nelson, Petty was not the only inmate to be told as much. 


Alcatraz guard Guy Hastings served in the Navy in Korea.  Inmate Tommy Madsen served in the Korean War. Inmate Paxton Petty was part of the 45th Infantry Division in the Korean War. Following the line of thinking that the 302 who vanished in 1963 were cryogenically frozen in time (see previous entry: Crazy Theory of the Week)… 

In the early 1950’s, North Korea was convinced that outbreaks of disease there were due to biological attacks by the United States. American prisoners confirmed the use of biological weapons by the U.S., but the government denied it and were supported by scientists.

Is it out of the realm of possibility that none of this was a coincidence; that the 63’s all wound up on Alcatraz and may have been specifically brought there for experimentation based on previous exposure to certain chemicals? 


The U.S. soldiers used Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra lyrics to communicate the location of landmines, which is not surprising because both artists frequently performed for the troops as part of the USO. 

Yet another record plays! We have now seen two record players in 2012 (Dr. B’s infirmary in New Alcatraz, Lucy’s hospital room) and one in 1960 (at the Warden’s house). I originally offered that the returning inmates had been brainwashed, and that music played a role in their reintegration process. I’m not entirely convinced that I’m wrong. 

When he was about to “work” on Kit Nelson in New Alcatraz after Hauser killed him, Dr. B put on a record. In this episode, Hauser put on a record in Lucy’s hospital room – and although it did not revive her, we must consider that there is something about the music. Also, young Hauser was listening to the same song on the radio in 1960 that Hauser played in 2012 in Lucy’s room (if I’m not mistaken). 

Again, I could be wrong, but I believe the song they used was “These Foolish Things” by Billie Holiday. Lyrically speaking, it plays like a love letter from Hauser to Lucy. 

A cigarette that bares a lipstick's traces
An airline ticket to romantic places
Still my heart has wings
These foolish things remind me of you.
A tinkling piano in the next apartment
Those stumblin'words
That told you what my heart meant
A fair ground painted swings
These foolish things remind me of you.
You came, you saw, you conquered me
When you did that to me
I knew somehow this had to be
The winds of March that made my heart a dancer
A telephone that rings but who's to answer?
Oh, how the ghost of you clings
These foolish things remind me of you


ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy, was used for the first time on a human in the late 1930’s. The doctors applied 55 volts at two-tenths of a second (the exact combination that Dr. Sangupta used on Paxton Petty in 1960) to a patient who was awake, resulting in an oral clarity that was previously non-existent in the man.  

Although Dr. Sangupta’s “talking cure” was not as successful with Petty, I have a feeling that we will witness other inmates that fold under such electricity.  It is fascinating to note that Petty referred to his experience as “the royal treatment.”

“Someone’s helping these guys, maybe unfreezing them.” – Doc Soto
Soto would be the first to tell you that Captain America fell from a plane into the ocean and spent decades frozen in a block of ice, in a state of suspended animation.  Captain America was injected with a super soldier serum that replenished itself, a virus-like organism that altered his genetic and biochemical makeup.

Cryogenically preserved tissue and cells have been successfully thawed and used, but not actual bodies or brains…perhaps until now. 


Among Doc Soto’s 50 or so theories about how the 63’s vanished and are reappearing, he mentioned “a quantum thing” to Petty. I am not a time travel expert, but his description reminded me of a theory I offered about LOST before time travel was officially addressed:
In the Dharma Orchid video, Dr. Pierre Chang referred to exotic matter (hypothetical particles) embedded beneath the island. If you combined that exotic matter with negative energy density, you could stabilize a wormhole. The Casimir Effect can produce a mass-negative region of space-time, which is used to stabilize a wormhole and allow faster than light travel.  
Applying this scientific mumbo jumbo to ALCATRAZ…it might be possible that there is similar matter beneath Alcatraz – put in place by Dr. B, the Warden and/or Dr. Sangupta – that created such a wormhole. Thus, the seismic activity that Hauser was anticipating. And what I believe to be located behind the triple locked door to the mysterious dungeon, as well as the horrible place below Solitary that Tommy Madsen referred to. If you stop to think about how 302 people vanished with no trace of foul play, it might make an ounce of sense that they all traveled down the same rabbit hole after being knocked out by chemicals dispersed throughout the island…

My sincere hope is that you're all enjoying the show and speculation as much as I do. In this day and age of DVRs and online streaming, many viewers are choosing to wait rather than watch ALCATRAZ live on Monday nights. As you might suspect, that is having a negative effect on the ratings. While I personally believe that FOX is going to renew the show, all of us - the vast community of fans with many social networks - need to continue spreading the good word if we want ALCATRAZ to see another season. Save. Our. Show. 

As always, I appreciate and encourage comments and constructive feedback, and look forward to reading your thoughts and theories about this episode!



oldrunner262 said...

Love your blog (as I loved your LOST blog as well). Thanks. And keep it up.

maven said...

I've always liked Jorge's character (Hurley and Doc Soto) being the voice of the fan. Telling Petty one of his many theories emphasizes this.

It also might be Lucy's plan to "woo" young Hauser, so that there will be someone on the receiving end of this "experiment" in 2012. Someone was needed to retrieve her from 1963 and bring her into 2012.

lennyg said...

Thanks for the insight. I was thinking Metallica Sandman -sleep with one eye open...now I lay me down to sleep, if I die I pray the lord my soul to keep. (And a Kia commercial just came on singing your cited Sandman version creepy!) The Korrean War connections are fascinating. Interesting, underappreciated and sad history.

Farnsworth said...

“Paxton Petty” -- LOST "ON THE BEACH"

Recap: Alcatraz inmate, ex-Korean War hero Paxton Petty wakes up in a graveyard and resumes his old ways of causing mayhem with his "Bouncing Betty" mines because he didn't get a Silver Star. Moral of the story: blowback is a bouncing Betty bitch.

Soto at once recognizes PP's MO, the chase is afoot, and eventually Hauser shoots PP in the leg, after nearly losing both of his ON THE BEACH.

Funny how a show that is "not at all like LOST" has a big scene ON THE BEACH. Like LOST, "Alcatraz" has so many questions and so few answers. Let US hope "Alcatraz" doesn't leave US hanging like John Locke.

This is the first episode that a '63er has apparently not been sent back on a mission to kill someone. PP's mines are indiscriminate killers. Once again "Doc" Soto is the first to recognize the patter of a returning '63er. Gee, if it wasn't for Doc, there wouldn't be a show. Hmmmmm...

Hauser could have been PP's intended target, but PP says he has no idea why he came back. Hauser steps in it big time when he sets foot on his Dooms Day bomb ON THE BEACH. She-Steve and Doc have to figure out the buried clues before the buried bomb sends Hauser to the Big House in the Sky. Perhaps PP's mission was to send US a message:

"On the Beach" was a story set in a future 1964, in the months following World War III. The conflict has devastated the northern hemisphere, polluting the atmosphere with nuclear fallout and killing all life. While the bombs were confined to the northern hemisphere, air currents are slowly carrying the fallout south. The only areas still habitable are in the far southern hemisphere, like Australia. Curiously, LOST also centered on Australia and the US.

Bombs Away in a Mad, Mad World: Two WindWards and Two Trees (VV) make WWW 3.

Lisa said...

Thanks so much JO! btw - didn't Hauser say "you know her tactics (or something similar) - fix her..." or did I imagine it. Which really means that whoever she really is or is working for - it's Lucy's "science" that is responsible for bringing the 63's back. Could be I'm just repeating someone else here - just unclearing the fog in my brain.

darq said...

Great stuff as usual!

Jo, where did you see a Paxton Petty Alcatraz mugshot? I only saw the two SFPD mugshots of Petty, one on Doc's tablet and the other in Hauser's file. I would love to see the mugshot if you could link it....

I'm beginning to think the time discrepancies are not a mistake and part of a pattern. Maybe someone (Lucy or Tommy Madsen) has gone from 2012 to 1960 and changed the past. All the documents on Alcatraz seem to have kept their original dates or timestamps if you will, but off the island so many things have changed. The bombing articles you point out, Van Madsen's birth date on the tombstone, Sweeney recognizing a car model that did not exist when he was incarcerated.... etc.

darq said...

OH I found the mugshot on Fox/ Alcatraz. Odd I haven't looked there since the premiere I think. Ooooops!

Also I forgot to mention another continuity error...

young Emerson Hauser has been seen a few times wearing the SFPD badge# 9726, but when Hauser opens his steamer trunk his old jacket has badge# 9021.

Photo evidence:



Zort70 said...

Thanks Jo, lots of good stuff as always.

To me Lucy is too modern for the 1960's my own view is that she started off in the present day and has gone back somehow.

Whether this is by some mental time travel mechanism (shakes fist at Daniel Faraday) or physical I'm not sure.

By the way didn't she say the sedative was in the tea not the mints ?

Zort70 said...

After submitting that comment about Mental Time travel and reading the word Quantum again I suddenly thought "Sam Beckett" !

What if Lucy's body in the 60's is inhabited by another mind.

Also what if the returning prisoners and guards are bodies only and their minds are from elsewhere (or elsewhen !)

Perhaps Hausers insistance in shooting / hurting them is a marker to say I have seen this physical body so if another version turns up I know it is not the one I shot ?

It may be Scifi overload on my part but I kind of like that theory.

sportsattitudes said...

I had gotten the impression that, aside from the obvious imperative to get America's most evil prisoners off the street before they could hurt more folks, there also was an equal sense of urgency to gather them up before anyone even knew of their existence...and started to question why these folks hadn't aged since the early sixties. In the last couple of eps, we have seen prisoners literally "left behind" as the team wraps up another case. Jo, I was glad you took note of this. I can't fathom why we're not seeing New Alcatraz anymore...but especially can't understand why there isn't at least one ending shot/sense of urgency shown rushing the returnees away from the scene of their capture asap. Only criticism I'm carrying around but it is a biggie for me. Love the speculation from you and the readers about the details and meanings as always!

Ashley Stuart said...

I have to agree with Zort70 about Lucy//Lucille being from some sort of version of the future. I've thought the same possibility myself. To me, it makes sense ((right now, anyway)).

I'm no expert on anything AT ALL. && have the time I read//watch something, it takes a while to set in. That's why I really enjoy this blog. You guys ALL catch things that I don't think I EVER would ... even if I watched each episode 20 times. That being said, the only thing I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around is the fact that I can't figure out what the deal is with Lucy//Lucille. At this exact moment, it's the only thing driving me bananas. In the beginning, I totally thought she was behind a lot of it ... especially with her discussion at the Warden's dinner party. But after this episode && her questioning Dr. B about Madsen in the infirmary all the time, I'm beginning to wonder if she knows anything at all. Anybody got any thoughts??

Just Thinking said...

Hi Jo-thanks for leading us into the fray again.

Hmm- Lucy- well- it looked like her reason for talking to Madsen was that he was in the same section of the Army in Korea as Petty, and she hoped he would know about the song- which he did.

So it does seem that she didn't know much about the secret experiments in the beginning, but by the end it was her "methods" that were used. So along the way she was recruited it looks like. Zort- yeah- she said the anesthetic was in the tea, and that what Petty thought was a pill and which he didn't take- was just a mint.

I wonder if Sam Neill would have taken this part if he had known he was going to have to carry around so many people?