Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Alcatraz - "The Pilot" & "Ernest Cobb" Pt. 2 - Recaps

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Alcatraz - "The Pilot" & "Ernest Cobb" Pt. 2 - Recaps

On March 21, 1963  three hundred and two inmates, guards, and staff vanished in the night and started to reappear today.

The Tale of Three Jacks:
To me Jack Sylvane is a rather human character. He comes off as extremely emotional and makes me initially challenge said premise that, "The WORST Criminals are coming back." I believe Jack to be a character that has been taken for a ride, and perhaps he wasn't always the criminal he has been made out to be...

Although it's early, if I had to pick another Bad Robot character to parallel him to, it would be Lost's Jack Shephard. Both share the same first name and a last initial, both seem to get upset when they believe their love interests may be with other men. Shephard becomes irate, violent, and stalker-sih toward's his wife Sarah after she wants a divorce, and Jack almost completely ruins his relationship with Kate Austen when he thinks she still cares deeply for James Ford, when in fact she was just following through on a promise.

After confronting his brother, Alan, Sylvane goes to the grave site of his wife, whom remarried and had a son with Alan, (Who was sadly also named Alan). He says, "I forgive you.", which seemingly relates to the situation with Alan, but I am not completely sold that this was all he was referring to...

In Alias CIA Agent Jack Bristow was taken for a ride in the early 1980's when he married a school teacher named Lara, whom was actually a Russian Spy (or criminal) named Irena DeRevko. Alias embellishes a large family saga, in which their daughter, who also becomes a CIA agent, Sydney, has to comes to terms the lies told by her father, and the realization her mother is alive and still an active spy...This is also similar to the situation of Rebecca learning about her grandfather, Tommy Madsen.

When Sylvane's wife came and was finally able to visit him in one of the 1960's flashbacks, it was clear that she spoke with an accent. IMO it seemed like it may have been Russian, Slovakian, or Ukrainian.

Tying these things together almost makes me think that Sylvane's wife and/or brother could lead us to a bigger story line in why Sylvane even went to prison, let alone for him to be provoked to murder, which landed him in Alcatraz. --And what ever may have gone on there! But like with Alias and Fringe, I think we could get into sleeper agent/government soldier kind of experiments and these men where the lab rats...

Ernest Cobb & Mental Illness:
It's with that I could make another reference to another Cobb from a Fringe episode, "Johari Window", in which a scientist named Cobb was apart of an experiment the CIA reveals as "Project Elelphant" which the government lied to Mr. Cobb about the physical scope of the experiment which resulted with the people living in the town to become genetically disfigured.

Ernest Cobb's episode seemed to be a stand alone, at least at a glance. We learn that he kills in 3's for 3 days, and Rebecca discovers that his M.O. relates to Cobb not being told he had a half sister, which he discovered himself when she was 15. So one of the set of the 3 victims always is a teenage girl.

The audience is not given an origin place to where Cobb first appears in modern day, and unlike Sylvane, Cobb seems to have no issues with being in a different time period.

The way Cobb kills, the things he says, "47 stripes in the picket fence"..."47 slots in the picket fence", IMO is reminiscent of a mental disorder, one that deals with counting and/or repeating. There was once a film or a television show, which I can't remember, but the wife of a man was hiding the truth about her husband, and when they found him he was on the floor counting the number of threads of the fringes of a rug and if you disturbed his thought process, he would break down and become violent!

Additionally this is not the only time Bad Robot fans have seen something like this. In LOST we were introduced to an acquaintance of Hugo Reyes at Santa Rosa Mental Health Institution named Leonard Simms ("Numbers"). As we know the numbers in Lost were repeating on a loop, possibly hinting at time loops -multiple time lines, but also reflected a number "assigned" to each of Jacob's Candidates to one day become the Island Protector...Leonard is seen playing connect four when he continuously repeats "4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42" and isn't disturbed until Hurley confronts him...

HURLEY: C'mon, Lenny, give me something. Anything. Where'd you get the numbers? Is that why you're here, Lenny? Is it because of the numbers? Did they do something to you? Because I think they did something to me. I think they turned me into a jinx -- bad news to everyone around me. And when I tell people I think I'm the cause they, they, they look at me like I'm nuts. They don't believe me. But I know, ever since I won the lottery with those numbers.
LENNY: You used those numbers to play the lottery?

HURLEY: Uh, -- yeah.

LENNY: Well, you shouldn't have done that. You've opened the box!

HURLEY: I what?

LENNY: Ah, you shouldn't have used those numbers!

HURLEY: Why not?

LENNY: It doesn't stop! You've got to get away from those numbers! You've got to get far, far away!

When you think about how Cobb was saying 47 stripes and 47 slots, you immediately can't help to tie it into his checkered or gingham pick-nick blanket and his plaid lawn chair...but also you might think of rows and isles (not unlike the connect 4 game) -but also a 47x47 squared object! --It's curious since the number 47 is an Alias reference that refers to the works of character Milo Rambaldi. An item such as 'The Cube' (<---Immortality). Boxes are a Bad Robot theme in general and we also have a key that Sylvane takes from Barker Flynn which surely opens some 'mystery box'.

One other Bad Robot character has a similar disorder! Fringe's Walter Bishop's acquaintance from St. Clares Mental Institution, Dashiell Kim, whom was a scientist that went mad and killed his wife, because he couldn't solve 'the equation'! It is later revealed he was experimented on via scientific-experiment-terrorist group ZFT by using either hullucinations or some other mass delusion to force Kim, like the abducted boy in the same episode, Ben Stockton ("The Equation" ).

"None of it was real. She hurt me. She put me in a dungeon. She filled my mind with images of the people I loved... and then tortured them ripping them apart all the while trying to suck the answers she wanted out of my head. But I couldn't - I couldn't give her what she wanted."

Dashiell Kim is an astrophysicist who was abducted for a week, then had a psychotic break when he returned and killed his wife with a tire iron. He is institutionalized at St. Claire's Hospital, where he was at the same time as Doctor Walter Bishop, and is classified as criminally insane with knowledge of state secrets. During his abduction, he was subjected to treatments designed to extract from his brain the solution to an equation he had been obsessed with. This equation is equivalent to the musical piece composed by Ben Stockton in The Equation.
Dashiell Kim is the head of the Astrophysics Department at the University of Massachusetts, before he went missing in May 2006.
He had a sideline consulting the defense contract for JP

Looking back at Mr. Cobb, and once again thinking about creating sleeper agents, it's unknown if Cobb had this disorder prior to going to prison or Alcatraz, but curiously, his red and white pick nick blanket is similar, if not the same, as Edwin James' table clothe where he is seen eating on in a flashback scene...Perhaps it's a type of trigger???

But all of the pick-nick-picket-fence-ideas come down to Cobb's idea of a broken and/or not perfect family, and makes me think that family of all the inmates may be seemingly important to their identity, which is way Rebecca's story with her grandfather, inmate Tommy Madsen, should be front and center.

The Man Behind the Curtain!
Bad Robot likes to reuse many pop culture references. Both Lost and Fringe harbor references to "The Wizard of Oz" and I think maybe Alcatraz will do the same.

Tommy Madsen, Rebecca's grandfather, is revealed to be the man who killed her partner, but we also see him conversing with Jack Sylvane while blood is being taken from them in a medical room of Alcatraz during a flashback, only Tommy is shown to us in sillotte from behind a curtain...(and Jack says, he doesn't trust him)

Thinking about a man behind the curtain, leads me to think of Lost's Benjamin Linus...He lied about who he was to the 815-ers, saying he was Henry Gale who crashed on the Island with his balloon. This reference to "The Wizard of Oz" refers to the wizard himself, whom in some ways was a fraud and a coward, but in other ways his perhaps unethical dealings was the only way to maintain order and to help protect Oz. We come to learn Ben was protecting the Island from Charles Widmore, and as we've seen from Widmore's missionaries, such as Martin Keamy, Ben was right to be very concerned.

We already know Rebecca believed Tommy to be a guard, instead of the reveal he was an inmate.

Additionally Ernest Cobb's story, with country farming and longing for the perfect family, seems remincent of Dorothy's Kansas, pick-nick basket, gingham shirts, and all! To wake up in a place where the culture and by extension the technology is so different, surely would be like stepping into another world...Perhaps Barker Flynn's key will lead us to Emerald City and back to Tommy Madsen.

One other thing that makes me think that Tommy could be more of the ring leader behind or apart of Alcatraz inmates, guards, and staff showing up in modern day, is the death of E.B. Tiller. It appears there are characters who did not 'time travel', who were apart of Alcatraz's past such as E.B. Tiller and Emerson Hauser. Jack Sylvane looks at Soto's book while on the ferry. He turns to a page in which we see Tiller was given an award for valor (a strong mind/courage) on behalf of the FBI for his service in Alcatraz. It's strange that someone with a strong mind would be taken down so easily by someone like Sylvane. It prompts me to believe that Tiller didn't expect Sylvane or anyone else's arrival. He didn't know or believe that they were coming back.--But stranger still is that when Rebecca questions Hauser (who is an FBI Agent) about Tiller, Hauser comments, "E.B. Tiller was a friend of mine.", but clearly Hauser did know and prepare for the criminals to return. It puts the spot light back on Tommy Madsen and perhaps Edwin James.

Other Thoughts (Dharma Stations, Forever Young, and Immortality:
Although the inside of the reconstructed Alcatraz prison that Emerson Hauser returns the inmates too, looks much like a scanner-room prior to entering the sub floor of SD-6's Credit Dauphene building, The whole APO building (Alias), and another scanner room seen before entering the Liberty Island Bridge Area of Fringe's season 4 timeline, the outside of the building looks VERY much like LOST's 2004/2007 aged version of Dharma Initiative Dharma Stations.

The one that really comes to mind is The Hydra Station. In Lost it is this station is where Ben not only returns the favor of being tortured by the 815-ers, by having both former criminals Kate Austen and James "Sawyer" Ford do manual labor of help building a runway, but also put them both behind bars, as the Hydra was originally a zoological station where animals were experimented on. (Genetically modified Polar Bears, super ape named Joop, and the Hurley Bird). Additionally Jack Shepard is taken too, but kept in a sub basement former aquarium, to be black-mailed by Ben via torturing Kate and James, in order for Ben to get his tumor removed, as Jack was a spinal surgeon.We learn later that the station also harbors a brain washing room known as room 23, which seemingly The Others used on humans, and can only be presumed that either Dharma did human-animal experimentation, or that the brainwashing room was originally meant for animals....this is where Walt was also taken to be examined.

But I also might consider thinking about the Orchid Station too. For those who may not know, J.J. Abrams wrote the screenplay for the film, "Forever Young"...(WARNING! MOVIE SPOILERS AHEAD!)

From Wikipedia:
Forever Young is a 1992 film with elements of romance, drama and science fiction, directed by Steve Miner, starring Mel Gibson, Elijah Wood and Jamie Lee Curtis. The screenplay was written by J.J. Abrams from an original story, "The Rest of Daniel". The original music score is composed by Jerry Goldsmith. The film is marketed with the tagline "Time waits for no man, but true love waits forever."
In 1939, Captain Daniel McCormick (Mel Gibson) is a reckless test pilot. After a successful run in a prototype North American B-25 Mitchell, McCormick is greeted by his longtime friend, Harry Finley (George Wendt), who confides that his latest experiment, "Project B", has succeeded in doing the impossible. The machine, built by Finley and his team of scientists, is a prototype chamber for cryonic freezing. When McCormick's girlfriend, Helen (Isabel Glasser) goes into a coma from an accident and the doctors doubt she will ever recover, McCormick insists he be put in suspended animation for one year, so he will not have to watch Helen die.
 Fifty-three years later, two boys playing inside an abandoned military storage warehouse stumble onto the chamber (which they initially think is an old water heater). Twisting the dials, they accidentally activate the reversal process. During the confusion, McCormick's sleeping form reflexively grabs one boy's coat. They flee in terror, and shortly after, McCormick awakens in 1992. After appropriating shorts and a shirt from a clothesline, he first approaches the military about his experiences. When they dismiss him as crazed, McCormick becomes more determined to learn what happened to Finley, Helen, and the world that has seemingly evolved overnight around him.
His search leads him to Nat Cooper (Elijah Wood), one of the two boys who opened the chamber, and owner of the aforementioned jacket. Though the boys are initially terrified, McCormick is able to calm Cooper and his friend with the truth of his story. This bond is strengthened when Nat's mother, Claire (Jamie Lee Curtis) offers McCormick a place to stay, until he can discover what to do with his search. Nonetheless, McCormick's time is running out, as his body starts to age rapidly, due to the years he spent in stasis...

Many Bad Robot works feature cryogenics or cryogenic chambers...Fringe has a key Shapeshifter take a scientist's cryo-preserved head as his own. Lost's Orchid station in conjunction with a dynamic with the Swan Station (electromagnetic pocket) may be a cryogenic chamber of 'time' (preservation and manifestation of timelines), considering the lowest level of the Orchid features a chamber which is frozen and contains a wheel with "exotic matter"...

But exploring immortality and 501 ways to not age and/or be preserved in time (life extension-time travel, bleed throughs, astral projection, astral planes, electromagnetic water personified pocket (<--smoke monster), syruem, shape-shifters/genetic modification, and multiple time lines created trough black holes wchich create multiple versions of people and events) are other usual trade marks of Bad Robot works.

I currently think that cryogenics or cryogenic suspension should not be ruled out as a possible time traveling/preservation method! In "The Pilot" there was an add on a building for something named KELVIN. Kelvin is another Bad Robot name that shows up in just about every work. (Kelvin Hall-Felicity, USS Kelvin-Star Trek, Kelvin Genetics-Fringe, Kelvin "Joe" Inman-Lost, Kelvin gas station-Super 8, James Kelvin-Undercovers, and Paul Kelvin-Alias.) Cryogenics deal with lower scale temperatures sometimes referred to as Kelvin (SI Units).

Well that's all for now, until "Kit Nelson",
See you on the other side!

Sign Up for the SpoilerTV Newsletter where we talk all things TV!


SpoilerTV Available Ad-Free!

Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premmium member!
Latest News