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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Alcatraz Recap: Choose Your Own Adventure!

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 7:23 AM

Check yourself, Sam Neill. Your badassery is showing.
  • Check yourself, Sam Neill. Your badassery is showing.
Because each episode of Alcatraz has played out a lot like one of Doc Soto's beloved comic books (and we're surprisingly cool with that), it's time to choose your own adventure... episode six style!

1. You are at the park enjoying a leisurely afternoon,, when suddenly your dog breaks free from his leash and darts across the lawn. The park is full of other people with dogs, and busy streets surround the park on all sides. Your dog is your best goddamn friend, and if you don't catch him, something bad will probably happen to him. Do you:

A. Chase the dog.
B. Say "fuck it" and go into a café for a beer.

A. In a panic, you chase after your dog. But holy shit, you step on a land mine, and it blows off half your leg. Well, that sucks -- nobody saw that one coming. You're lying there, bleeding out, when other people in the panicked milieu inadvertently detonate some more land mines, and you realize someone has rigged the park with explosives. But who the fuck would do such a thing? Well, I'll tell you who would do such a thing: This week's old-timey inmate (OTI) from The Rock, Paxton Petty, military land mine specialist/aficionado. Welcome to 2012, Paxton!

2. You are Sam Neill. It is 1960, and you're a novice prison guard at Alcatraz, and you've just finished evacuating the contents of your stomach into the Pacific Ocean on the ferry ride from the mainland to The Rock. You reach your destination and unload your prisoner when you notice Lucy Sengupta, a pretty lady doctor, eyeballing you. Do you:

A. Ask her if she needs a ride back to the mainland.
B. Throw up again.

A. Dr. Sengupta turns down the ride but offers you a peppermint for your nausea. Later she'll let you take her to dinner -- score! And double score: In 2012, when you're a crusty malcontent in your 60s, she'll return to the present day looking just as hot as she did when she disappeared in 1963. She will, however, get shot by an OTI sniper who's also returned from the past and end up in a coma. Bummer! But not to worry -- you're Sam motherfucking Neill, and you're determined to find a way to fix her. You'll even swipe her from her hospital bed and secret her back to be treated by the prison doctor at the Bat Cave. (As for how you'll haul an unconscious woman past hospital security, all the way up to the Wharf, onto a ferry swarming with tourists, and then down into your secret lair... well, you're on your own there.)

3. You are Dr. Sengupta. It's 1960, and you're at Alcatraz watching the warden and the prison doctor dunk Petty repeatedly in a tub of ice water, trying to get him to confess the locations of the bombs he planted in SF. He won't talk, and he's turning blue. Meanwhile, you're a psychiatrist skilled in the latest methods of mental manipulation, and you're pretty sure you could do a better job of getting him to confess. Do you:

A. Make some sort of derisive reference to it being the 20th Century now and tell them you can use modern methods to get Petty to spill.
B. Order some pizza. It's going to be a long night.

A. The men agree to let you try your therapeutic methods, but they're skeptical, and while you're busy warming Petty up with blankets and tea, they're sneering and making snide remarks. Petty says he doesn't trust you and won't talk, so you attach electrodes to his temples and nuke his brain a bit. He still doesn't talk, but he does start singing a random song in Korean. And of course the shit coming out of the scrambled-brain psychopath is important! You need to know what this means. Do you:

C. Take some shrooms in hopes of gaining mental clarity.
D. Ask Tommy Madsen if he knows anything about the song.

D. You sit down with Madsen, and he agrees to help you if you agree to figure out why the prison doctor is keeping him, a totally healthy man, in the infirmary and drawing his blood all the damn time. You figure that's a fair deal, and Tommy tells you the song is a Korean lullaby used as a code to disclose the location of the mines; as in, each line contains a reference to one location where a mine is hidden. You translate the song and crack the code, and it's a good thing you're so damn smart, because your boyfriend Sam Neill will totally be able to use that information 50 years later when Petty comes back and starts planting mines again. Oh, but tough luck for Tommy Madsen -- the prison doctor gets all pissy and secretive when you ask him about it.

4. You are Doc Soto. You and Detective Madsen have just captured Petty and are trying to get him to tell you what he's done with Sam Neill, who is standing on one of the landmines Petty planted on Sunset Beach and not moving lest he blow up. Petty is panicking because he fell asleep one night and then woke up in 2012 (which doesn't explain the nonchalance with which he steals Neill's fancy-pants smartphone, something that didn't even exist a little bit in 1963). Madsen tells you to talk to Petty and keep him calm while she tries to discern Neill's whereabouts, but you have a touch of the social anxiety. Do you:

A. Say "fuck it" and go have some apple pie.
B. Tell Petty one of your 50 theories about why the OTIs are back.

B. You love talking about Alcatraz, so you engage Petty in a metaphorical conversation about time travel using a water bug's limited perception of reality: "When it rains he thinks the twig is moving, but in reality it's only the one percent of the twig he's perceiving that's moving." (Or something to that effect.)

You might be adorable, but Petty calls you out -- you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. You're also beginning to realize most of the shit in your Alcatraz books is wrong. You believed there were no female doctors on Alcatraz... but what about Dr. Sengupta, huh? Please explain that one using another adorable metaphor.

5. You are Sam Neill again. A man from the bomb squad has just blown himself up freeing you from the land mine, where you'd been standing motionless for hours, and you're fucking pissed about it. Do you:

A. Charge toward a handcuffed Petty and tell him, "You've killed a good man, and my legs hurt," and then shoot him in the thigh.

Well, yeah. Of course that's what you do. Because you are decisive as fuck, and you're just now beginning to let your molten badassery bubble up through the cracks of your crusty old lava bed. Let that badassery flow already!

-- Follow Angela Lutz on Twitter at @amlutz, SF Weekly's Exhibitionist blog at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Angela Lutz

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