Alcatraz: Sonny Burnett

Posted by: Andrew Burns  //  March 6, 2012 @ 11:16am

Filed under: TV Recaps/Reviews 

Part two of the Monday night double header continues with the night's second episode; "Sonny Burnett". The body count continues to rise as Alcatraz uses the two hour prime time slot to extend the blood trail from the previous episode.

Just like the cool, calm, bank robbing Cal Sweeney from the 4th episode Sonny Burnett too had no history of murder or violent attacks before being sentenced to the Rock in '59. However also just like Sweeney, Sonny's MO changes once he appears in the present day and his revenge leads to some serious bloodshed. The revenge being on Helen his former partner in crime/girlfriend, who sold him out giving him his one-way ticket to Alcatraz, Sonny decides to make her suffer instead of trying to kill her and goes after her family. Meanwhile, between tracking Sonny down, both Hauser and Rebecca separately confront Ray about if he has saw Tommy.

Even with the episode shuffle "Sonny Burnett" follows the show's continuity from the previous "The Ames Brothers" episode with Hauser still in minor pain from being shot. Hauser going to see Dr. Beauregard about his recent GSW reveals a little bit more about the inmate's health mystery. According to the doc all the reappeared inmates that the taskforce has captured alive have been unnaturally healthy. So much so that some that had diseases are now infection free and fitter than ever. After discovering something in the inmate's blood the doc purposes if an inmate with the same blood type as Lucy's had that same stuff it in their system it could help her. Dr. Beauregard isn't giving up any secrets about what they were doing to Tommy yet all the flashbacks seen are starting to point to Tommy's blood that might be the cure Lucy needs to snap her out of her coma.

Enough of this mystery talk and on to the episode's guest star. Theo Rossi plays a very transformative Sonny Burnett over the course of the episode. Like all other previous episodes Alcatraz balances the present day inmate problems with some 1960's flashback backstory. The flashback stuff with Sonny and both the Warden and Tiller are what stands out for me in this episode. The first flashback shows Sonny being released into the wild as the Rock's newest resident as he quickly finds himself in the infirmary with little to no pulse after making the wrong deal with a fellow convict. When Sonny realizes Helen betrayed him its like a switch is flipped in him. From that point on Rossi does a great job showing Sonny gradually evolve from the timid newbie to the new brutal force to be reckoned with on the Rock.

All of the stuff with Madsen, Soto, and Hauser tracking down Sonny in present day was excellent but I have to admit I was a little disappointed after being teased in the episode's opening few scenes. In the beginning of "Sonny Burnett" Ray has a meeting with Hauser about getting Rebecca off of the taskforce but the subject quickly turns to Tommy. The meeting doesn't go as Ray planned and Hauser now has him under constant surveillance, believing Tommy may revisit him. Then Ray and Rebecca have their own little powwow that also turns the topic on to Tommy. Rebecca catches Ray in a lie and now she knows he has seen Tommy since he came back. All of that Tommy talk started to get interesting, not to mention Sarah Jones' Rebecca looked to get the main character focus she deserves, then the episode switches gears and dives into Sonny's story-line. Again there wasn't anything wrong with Sonny's present day stuff, but I've been waiting for some extra attention on Rebecca; seeing how she is the series' lead character after all.

Tags: Alcatraz, Sarah Jones, Jorge Garcia, Sam Neill, Parminder Nagra, Jonny Coyne, Jason Butler Harner, Leon Rippy, Robert Foster, Theo Rossi

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Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.

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