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New Alcatraz Teaser Is Unsurprisingly Cryptic

We're only a month or so away from the premiere of J.J. Abrams' latest TV presentation, Fox's Alcatraz. As is to be expected from a show with Abrams' name attached, we don't know much beyond the basic concept: inmates from the notorious Alcatraz prison vanish in the past and begin appearing on the streets of modern-day San Francisco. The latest teaser for the show doesn't really provide any new information, but it does play up the mystery and make me want to watch the show, so I suppose that counts as a victory.

The show's hook kicks off when San Francisco detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) discovers a fingerprint at the scene of a new murder that points toward an extremely unlikely suspect: a man who used to be an inmate at Alcatraz -- and who is supposed to be dead. Both Madsen's grandfather and surrogate uncle were guards at Alcatraz decades ago, so she takes a personal interest in the mystery. She enlists the help of Alcatraz expert Dr. Diego Soto (Lost's Jorge Garcia) and together they begin to realize that there may be more than one inexplicably alive Alcatraz inmate roaming the streets. Moreover, there may be elements of the government that know what's really going on, because she soon finds herself butting heads with an agent named Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill), who doesn't seem to want her digging too deep in this case.

The Lost comparisons are inevitable, between the core mystery that will no doubt hide an elaborate mythology, the elements of time travel, and the fact that it involves, well, an island. Hopefully Abrams and company will have more satisfactory answers for us than that show ultimately provided (and we're not the only ones with that concern). The recent showrunner changes may or may not bode ill for the show, but I've got my fingers crossed for it. Say what you will about its many missteps, but when Lost was cooking on all cylinders there was no show that invited more focused attention and spirited debate. Hopefully Alcatraz will prove worthy of luring us all to the water-cooler on a regular basis.