You knew it was just a matter of time before mysterious numbers were introduced, right? A sniper named Ernest Cobb goes missing from Alcatraz 50 years ago, shows up in 2012 and picks up right where he left off. As he picks out his seemingly random targets, he chants something like "the picket fence has 47 slots... 1, 2, 3, 4..." Back in the day, Ernest was a prisoner at another facility and shot a guard for the sole purpose of getting himself transferred to Alcatraz. He's desperate to have a cell all to himself. When even that affords him too much human interaction, he gets himself sent off to solitary confinement. Peace at last! Except the warden figures out what he's doing and buddies him up with a ceaselessly babbling inmate as punishment.
Over the years, nobody's been able to figure out a pattern to his crimes, but Rebecca Madsen looks at the case for half a minute and realizes there's always a teen girl among his victims. Dr. Soto finds out that Cobb had a sister who would have been a teen the last time he saw her. They figure he's angry because his mother gave him up for adoption but raised the girl. Hauser sends them to track down Cobb before he can kill again. He also sends a young woman named Lucy, who's been working with him on the Alcatraz mystery for some time. Cobb shoots Lucy, nearly killing her. This doesn't fit his "pattern," so Madsen dismisses the act as a clue to his past.
The team eventually catches Cobb and sends him off to the Hole in the Woods. A flashback shows the warden trying to work out what makes Cobb tick. To that end, he introduces him to a doctor. And who should it be but young Lucy, looking exactly the same in 1963 as she does in 2012. Dun dun DUN! There are also scenes where Hauser tries to get info from Jack Sylvane, but he either doesn't know or doesn't want to say. Stay tuned for the full weecap where I'll try to make some sense of things.
We start the week with a blast from the past. Deputy Tiller and two guards lead a skinny guy into the cell block. He's naked except for his glasses and carries his folded uniform over his naughty bits. Tiller says that Warden James wants to see him before he's taken to his cell. He takes a key that looks like the one Jack Sylvane stole from Barclay Flynn and oh my God this is already getting complicated with the names and the plots and we're only 30 seconds into the second episode. Anyway, Tiller opens a heavy metal door that leads to the blustery cold night outside. The warden is having a bit of target practice and not doing well. He commends the naked prisoner for being a far better shot, having killed some sixteen people. James wonders how the prisoner picks his targets, but he has nothing more to say than that it's "a feeling." The prisoner made himself a single-shot gun at the last prison he was in, shot a guard in the leg so he could be transferred to Alcatraz. He wanted a private cell and was willing to go to Alcatraz to get it. James calls the prisoner "Mr. Cobb" and asks for shooting tips. "Drop your shoulder," Cobb says. James tries it and hits his next target with ease. He makes a face like, "Effective advice? Terrifying!"
Present day. The privacy-loving Cobb sets up a nice picnic for himself on a sunny hill in San Francisco. After he enjoys his lunch, he takes a sniper scope from his picnic basket and focuses on an amusement park far below. "There are 47 slats in the picket fence... 1, 2, 3, 4..."
Soto's comic book shop. It is the tidiest comic book shop I've ever seen. He tells his young employee -- the one with whom he was arguing about video games in the last episode -- that he has a new gig with a "task force" that he's not supposed to talk about. He does mention, though, that he'll be working with the FBI and police and also that it's super cool. Madsen comes in to chat with Soto, so the kid scrams. She tells him she's now read his book. She says her grandfather, Tommy Madsen, was in jail for murdering his wife. Would that be her grandmother? Because you can't tell one way or the other with her non-reaction. She wonders why there's so little in the book about Tommy and Soto says it's all he could find. He's a bit weirded out that Madsen was chasing after her own grandpa and didn't even know it, but she's just like the embodiment of, "Eh, whatever." They wonder who's next.
Hilltop. Cobb attaches the scope to a rifle and screws on a silencer. Again with the "One, two, three, four," and so on. He shoots a grown man, then a teen boy and girl. Soon after, Madsen and Soto arrive at the crime scene to investigate. A FunDunkers booth in the amusement park reveals the show's Vancouver bones under its San Francisco skin. Cops tell her that they've got teams checking an area 750 yards away, since it was a sniper. Just because you have a gun that can shoot 750 yards doesn't mean you'd be that far, right? Anyway, Soto is disturbed by the sight of dead bodies and tries to hold it together. They meet up with Hauser and Lucy, already on the scene. Hauser points out a few dead crows lying around. This means something to Soto: "Ernest Cobb, the Wichita Sniper, got his start killing crows for farmers." Historically, he makes three killings in three days, then goes underground. Lucy says Cobb's victims were always random. Madsen scoffs at that, then goes to chat with Soto.