My lovely lady, who's so good at putting her finger on problems, pinned down something about Alcatraz
that's been gnawing at me. We discussed it, expanded on the idea, and I think we've found the major flaw in this show.
We essentially have three groups in the show. Our team in the present. The criminal '63s. The warden and his staff in the past. All the problems tie to that third group.
The Warden and his people have two issues. The first one is that they know what's going on with all these medical procedures (some of them, anyway), but the writers can't have them talk about it because that kills the main mystery of the show. In this sense, it's the same flaw as The Event
--you've chosen to make the source of the mystery one of the main elements of your show, but you don't want to reveal said mystery. So the characters are always having awkward conversations that try to talk around things, even when it's just two of them alone in a room.
The second issue ties to the middle group of characters, the prisoners. The warden and his flunkies seem to range from harsh to openly cruel. This, combined with issue #1, kind of makes then the bad guys in the past. So, by default, the prisoners are the good guys. This also goes with how they keep filming the flashbacks, with each inmate the hero of his own story.
Not a problem in and of itself. When they end up in the present, though, our team are the heroes and the good guys, so now the inmates are the bad guys, both by action and by default.
So in every episode, we keep getting conflicting messages about who we're supposed to be rooting for.