Jim Parrack has had a rocky character history on TV so far this past year. First his vampire girlfriend dumps him before sleeping with his best friend on True Blood. Now he loses his life and his family from 1963 after being included as one of the 46 prison guards that disappeared on Alcatraz. Parrack can't a break character-wise but is a welcome addition to Alcatraz's saga.
This episode marks the first time a prison guard, not an inmate, has made the jump the present day. Instead of the usual killing spree from those who are new to the 21st century former guard Guy Hastings (Parrack) goes looking for answers not a body count. Before adjusting to a 2012 San Francisco Hastings turns to the only living person he knew from his time on the Rock, former fellow guard Ray Archer. Believing his family was all dead and also just been told by some unknown source to find Tommy in the present day Hastings goes after Ray for answers and vengeance.
It was pretty cool to see that the Alcatraz group put just as much effort into finding their first guard as they have been for the last four inmates. With Hastings being the first non-inmate to resurface there are just as many questions as there were answered raised. What I mean by that is Hastings wasn't trying to hide anything so he answers whatever questions he was asked by Ray or Hauser. According to Hastings the reason why he can't account for his whereabouts during the last 50 years is because for him it felt like he was in 1963 yesterday. This is starting to prove the time jump theory Hauser and his group of consultants have about what is happening to what they call the "63's". On a side note its becoming a bit confusing (for me at least) when the show refers to those who disappeared as the "63's" because of the year they disappeared and not because the amount that had gone missing (actually 302 in total).
There were a couple of fun moments in "Guy Hastings" as some of this mystery was being unravelled. Soto explains that the official story was that Guy and eight other guards died in a chemical spill just before the inmates all disappeared. That clarifies some backstory on Hastings and eight more potential guards that resurface in the future, while poking fun at Soto for unintentionally being a fraud. The other humourous moment comes when Hauser picks up the red phone in the Alcatraz basement command center (aka the batcave). As soon as Hauser picks up the red phone there is immediately someone on the other end, just like the 60's Batman TV series, and he rounds up his consulting team. And yes Garcia points out the obvious and refers to the red phone in their batcave as the batphone.
In the end of the episode Hauser was more than willing to take out Hastings with a headshot like he did with Kit Nelson. With Hauser itching to take Hastings' life, rather than take him back to that secret duplicate prison, just makes him as a character all that more confusing. It was revealed in this episode that Hauser needs Rebecca more than she needs him for tracking down Tommy Madsen; so maybe that's why Hauser was willing to kill Hastings to save her. With Hastings alive, and not a threat like the other resurfacing inmates, it should be interesting what Hauser is going to do with him in the present day. Hastings was told he can never contact his daughter in the present day so he may become a guard again seeing how Hauser has himself three inmates already.
"Guy Hastings" opened up may different possibilities for future episodes. First more light is shed on Ray's character, showing he knows more than he is sharing with Rebecca or Hauser. Second, Tommy is properly introduced in the present day, which either means trouble from him sometime soon, or more potential resurfaced inmates that are still unknown in the present day, or both. As a True Blood fan I see the biggest possibility for Alcatraz is Jim Parrack hypothetically returning for multiple episodes down the line. With True Blood being a TV series on a shooting schedule for summer time air dates its more than likely Parrack could return to Alcatraz without it conflicting with either series. I'm not sure how HBO feels about actors being a reoccurring character on another network, but I'm sure FOX wouldn't mind having Bon Temps' Hoyt Fortenberry around.
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.