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Alcatraz recap: Violins Violence

A solid, unsettling lead-in to the upcoming season finale

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Liane Hentscher/FOX


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Last night’s episode of Alcatraz involved a violin-lovin’ serial killer and some of the most disturbing, yet bloodless deaths we’ve seen in this series so far. And although nothing new was unveiled, we seem set up for a plethora of revelations during next week’s season finale.

Most importantly, this episode gave us a lot more of Young Hauser macking on Dr. Lucy Sengupta than we’ve seen before. He dropped some serious moves on her in our first flashback, impressing her by talking about Nietzsche and revealing that he actually studied philosophy at Yale. Cool! I always wondered what career options are open to a philosophy major. I bet the categorical imperative comes in real handy as a prison guard.

Also back in the ’60s, Warden James (who was less creepy than usual this week) introduced Lucy to her latest challenge, a patient by the name of Webb Porter whose ever-present tinnitus has turned him into a total basket case. The constant ringing in his ear is due to the fact that his mother tried to drown him when he was 6 — ever since then he’s had a hard time speaking, concentrating and not killing women.

Jump ahead to present day, where Porter was teasing lovely melodies out of a violin while a terrified woman was tied up in the next room. “I’m sorry, I’m really, really sorry,” Porter offered before dragging the valiantly struggling woman to the bathroom and drowning her. Come on, dude. Not on the first date.

Maybe its just that Silence of the Lambs scene burned into my brain, but for me, classical music makes a murder three times more unsettling. We barely even saw any blood this time, but the end result was just as scary as the gorier deaths.

The next scene found Madsen and Nikki knocking back beers at a pool hall until they learned about the aforementioned dead girl. Even though Nikki had received the phone call, Rebecca decided to come along, presumably just in case the murder was related to one of the ‘63s. Spoiler alert: It was.

Later, back on the Rock, Madsen shared the details of her latest pro bono murder investigation with Hauser. A comment about the “Tainted blood” (OOOOOOH, Tainted Blood!) she found at the scene piqued his interest. Not simply because he’s looking to recapture the ‘63s, but because he’s desperate to find a returned inmate with colloidal silver in his blood, because its magical healing properties could heal Lucy. Unlike past episodes, last night presented an additional challenge for the team — they had no idea of the inmate’s identity going into the chase.

Knowing that a returned inmate with life-saving blood was on the loose, Hauser was even surlier than usual trying to hunt down this one. He yelled at Madsen for showing up late to a crime scene and for wasting time talking to “boring people,” i.e., potential witnesses.

In his defense, Hauser did have some pretty dire words from Dr. Beauregard motivating him. “She’s slipping away from us, I don’t know how much time we have,” Beauregard told him of Lucy’s health.

NEXT: The musical savant and Star Trek V