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5 Ways to Juice Up J.J. Abrams' 'Alcatraz' (If It's Renewed for Another Season)

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire March 28, 2012 at 4:01PM

"Alcatraz" closed out its 13-episode season this week with a two-hour finale, the ratings for which were actually lower than the week before. Not a great sign for the Fox freshman drama, which hasn't yet been renewed, though fans are trying to rally behind it.
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Alcatraz 4
Spend More Time on the Time-Travelling Girlfriend

Lucy and Hauser had a sweet, tentative romance back in the '60s, which is potentially great dramatic stuff, given that he's spent 50 years looking for her and she's skipped straight to 2012. He is, as she observed, not the same man she fell in love with, both emotionally -- he's controlling, mistrustful and humorless -- and physically, as he's now got a few decades on her. Lucy spent half the season in a coma, but since she's been awake the show's at least hinted at the complexities of their new dynamic. "You feel obligated," fellow '63 Dr. Milton Beauregard (Leon Rippy) observes, and she answers "I feel a lot of things." Where does Lucy live? How did she catch up to the present? I'd love to see more about her adjustment outside of the investigations too. And you know what?

Alcatraz 3
Let Rebecca and Diego Have Lives

Rebecca's a workaholic who jokes about having nothing pressing to get home to, while Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia) is a geek and Alcatraz nerd who naturally leans toward spending all of his time at his super-secret new gig. But that fact makes these characters very difficult to latch onto, beyond Garcia's natural likability. The pair seem like a rough copy of "Fringe" protags Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop) without the romantic chemistry, and while their sibling-like relationship is pleasant enough, it'd benefit from more background about who they are. Rebecca, in particular, runs a little bland, and given she's the one with the dark family history tying her to the '63s, it'd be nice to have a reason to be invested in her, presuming she wasn't offed in the finale (I'd bet on the magic of colloidal silver there).

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Have More Fun

To quote a property with no shortage of supervillains, why so serious? There should be plenty of joy in the central pairing of the driven cop and the obsessive fanboy. Just the fact that Soto gets free range and to see up close, personal and alive the objects of his study should be reason for more geek-out moments. And the "Bullitt"-homage car chase in the finale (Jones even got to wear a Steve McQueen-style turtleneck and holster) was a great time. Alcatraz was an actual place with actual famous prisoners, not Arkham Asylum, but this isn't a show deeply based in reality. Why stick with boring bankrobbers and kidnappers -- why not go weirder? "Fringe" eventually let its freakiness out to play -- if "Alcatraz" returns, it'd be great if it got a chance to do the same.

This article is related to: Television, Alcatraz, J.J. Abrams, Sam Neill, Parminder Nagra, Jorge Garcia, Sarah Jones, Fox






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