Monday night saw the season finale of Alcatraz, but as of this writing, it still hasn’t been determined whether it will actually be a series finale. I, personally, am hoping it will be renewed; Fox has already axed Terra Nova, so maybe they feel there’s room for this strange mix of sci-fi and procedural. And while ratings haven’t been great, they haven’t been terrible, either; perhaps in a different season, tied to a different show (House was on its last season and ratings have been losing steam), it would do even better. Plus, Alcatraz is finally getting its groove.
Thus, I’m going to think positively, and talk about a few things I’d like to see in a second season of Alcatraz, while a second season is still a possibility.
Ok, so Doc isn’t actually a cop, but the growing friendship between Soto and Rebecca* adds a needed bit of sparkle to a show that’s dark and grim more often than not. More of that, please! And keeping it entirely platonic would be a breath of fresh air compared the painful five-season-long should-they-or-shouldn’t-they nonsense of other partner shows that shall remain nameless (they should, by the way, if the writers were competent). That doesn’t mean I want to see Doc and Rebecca stay romance-free; the hints of something more between Doc and the ME who likes comics are flat-out adorable and, again, lighten the mood considerably.
*It should go without saying that Rebecca should stay alive and well.
Take it on the road
One of the most exciting moments of the season finale was the revelation that the 63′s are popping up all over the country, not just the San Francisco area. Since Alcatraz isn’t even actually filming in San Francisco, but rather, Vancouver, they should take a road trip every now and then. After all, The X-Files filmed in Vancouver as well, and they faked locations all over the place. We’ll suspend disbelief if you give us good writing.
Communication is key
By the end of the season we’re starting to feel like everyone’s on the same page. Don’t take two steps backward in the second season! Sam Neill did his ‘mysterious’ schtick enough in the first season; now it’s time for him to be straight with Doc and Rebecca, or at least continue to improve on that front. They’ve earned their place on the team, and now I’d like to feel like they’re just that – a team.
While we’re talking about communication, they’ve got a prison rapidly filling up with guys who have the power of speech. Sure, most of them are vile, but we know of one who’s at least somewhat less so: Jack Sylvane. He’s clearly a fan favorite, so in Season 2 he should be brought out to ‘consult.’ Imagine: how much time they would have saved if they’d just gone to Alcatraz 2 and asked the inmates if they remembered a guy who played violin? Having Doc as an Alcatraz expert is nice and all, but as we’ve seen time and again, not all of Doc’s info is accurate. These guys were there, and as a bonus, they remember it like it was yesterday.
Pick up the pace
Alcatraz really got interesting once the plot started rolling. The only problem is, it took a good six episodes to move along through what could have been covered in half that time. Now that the audience is familiar with the general format, it’s time to mix it up a bit. Again, this improved toward the end of the season, but I don’t want to see the show backtrack.
When you feel like it’s obvious that the crime will be solved by the end of the hour, you start to tune out a bit. If a particularly bad guy takes a few episodes to catch, or gets away altogether, the stakes are raised and the audience is on their toes a little more. Or, perhaps it might take us two episodes to catch a guy because we’re devoting more time to moving the mythology along? I, for one, wouldn’t mind that trade-off.
Those are just a few tweaks I’d like to see in the second season of Alcatraz! What about you? Share your thoughts and ideas with us!