Alcatraz -- Season 1
#01 "Pilot"#08 "The Ames Bros."
#02 "Ernest Cobb"#09 "Sonny Burnett"
#03 "Kit Nelson"#10 "Clarence Montgomery"
#04 "Cal Sweeney"#11 "Webb Porter"
#05 "Guy Hastings"#12 "Garrett Stillman"
#06 "Paxton Petty"#13 "Tommy Madsen"
#07 "Johnny McKee"
"Ernest Cobb"

January 16, 2012
Running time
Production code
Written by
Directed by
Lauren Attadia - Girlfriend of Shooter Man
Natalie Charles as Nurse #2
Samuel Patrick Chu - Chet
Demord Dann - EMT
Darren Dolynski - Gun Store Owner
Kerry Van Der Griend - Guard #2
Christopher Logan - Observation Room Tech
Alan MacFarlane - Guard #3
Scott E. Miller - Officer Hopper
Peter-John Prinsloo - Uniformed Cop #2

"Ernest Cobb" is the second episode of season 1, and overall the second produced hour of Alcatraz. It originally aired on January 16, 2012, as part of the two-hour series premiere.



Cobb Arrives on Alcatraz

A nude Ernest Cobb is led through the main cell house of Alcatraz by E.B. Tiller, who takes him to a shooting range outside, where Warden Edwin James is practicing with a rifle. James is attempting to accomplish Cobb's 500-yard shot. When Cobb is asked how he chooses his targets, he replies it is "a feeling." James recounts how Cobb shot a guard at the McNiel correctional facility, while Cobb says that he was merely seeking a transfer, since Alcatraz has private cells. After advising James to drop his shoulder when sniping, Cobb is taken away to his private cell.

In his private cell, Cobb attempts to block out the chatter of the inmate in his neighboring cell. Moments before he snaps, Cobb witnesses Jack Sylvane's breakdown when his wife asks him for a divorce. Cobb is told that this behavior will send Sylvane to "the Hole", the Prison's solitary confinement, and is intrigued by the idea.

At the mess hall, Cobb is taken to James, who is eating dinner by himself. After Cobb notes that he eats alone, James pulls out a letter sent by Cobb, in which he requests a placement in solitary, or on a cellblock where inmates are not allowed to interact with one another. While James praises Cobb's writing, he denies the requests, and dismisses Cobb's begging.

During the Daily Routine, in which the inmates are required to stand up during the morning counting, Cobb refuses to obey to the guard's demands, and is beaten by him. He is taken to solitary in Block D by Tiller, where he enjoys the silence and the loneliness he was looking for.

He is soon visited by James, who praises him for his decision of breaking the smallest rule that would result in sending him to solitary confinement. Mentioning that he does not like being manipulated, and in an attempt to display his power in prison, he installs Cobb's former neighbor in the same cell. Cobb desperately screams in protest.

At the infirmary, Cobb is straight-jacketed in bed. James' punishment drove Cobb into insanity, and the warden, appearing slightly remorseful of his actions, introduces Cobb to someone important who will be able to help him. He summons Dr. Lucille Sengupta, who announces that she is there to help him.


Ernest Cobb has a picnic lunch on a hill overlooking an amusement park in San Francisco. He then removes a high-powered scope from his picnic basket, and looks at two couples in the park. He smiles to himself after spotting a teenage girl.

At Doc's Comics and Collectibles, Diego Soto cannot resist hinting at his his new position in the Alcatraz Task Force to Chet, who sounds the "hot chick" alert at Rebecca Madsen enters. After reading his book, she noticed that the page regarding her grandfather, Tommy Madsen, was shorter than the rest. Doc explains there was not a lot of information regarding Madsen. Rebecca reveals that three months ago, her grandfather killed her partner. Diego is stunned.

Back on the hill, Cobb assembles a Winchester model 70 rifle, and shoots three innocent people, two of whom were teenage lovers, killing all three of them. At the crime scene, Doc recognizes the dead crows as Cobb's trademark back in the 1950's. Cobb would commit three shootings in three days, during which he would shoot his victims through the left ventricle. Cobb would then retreat underground. Doc is visibly uncomfortable at the murder scene, and is given a small pep-talk from Rebecca.

Rebecca notes that Cobb probably used an older rifle, as opposed to a more modern sniping weapon with greater range. She and Doc arrive at the hill occupied by Cobb, where they find a shell casing. Simulating Cobb's positioning, Rebecca finds that the hill provides a clear view of Alcatraz.

At the New Alcatraz, Lucy interrogates Sylvane about his connection to Cobb, and his whereabouts since his disappearance in 1963. Noticing the security cameras, he demands to know who is watching him. Hauser, in a separate room, observes the interrogation. Sylvane claims he does not remember where he has been all these years, and does not know how or why he woke up in 2012. Lucy questions him about the key he retrieved from Barclay Flynn, and Sylvane insists he has no knowledge of it. Sylvanes hands rest on lie detectors, which inform Hauser that Sylvane is not lying.

As Doc and Rebecca locate Cobb's inmate files, Doc notes that Cobb spent more time in solitary than any other inmate in Alcatraz history. Hauser and Lucy update Rebecca and Doc that the shell casing is a match to the kind of weapon Cobb is known to prefer, which sends them to Whitten, a gun store owner familiar to Rebecca from previous cases. Whitten at first denies seeing Cobb, yet after hearing about the shootings, he admits that he sold an old-fashioned Winchester to a man who paid with a prepaid credit card. After inspecting security camera footage from the store, Doc and Rebecca notice a distinctive hotel room key in Cobb's possession. in his hotel room, Cobb assembles a rifle while sitting on his bed.

When Rebecca, Doc and Lucy arrive at the hotel, Doc questions Lucy about her knowledge of the 63's, and how she can easily accept their return. She admits that whatever she feels does not change the fact that it is happening. As they enter Cobb's rented room, Lucy opens the window curtain to discover the message "I Can See You" written on the window, beneath an image of a bulls-eye target. Just as Rebecca warns Lucy to get down, she is shot through the chest by Cobb. As paramedics and Hauser arrive at the shooting scene, Lucy is loaded into an ambulance, and Rebecca is ordered by him to locate Cobb. She then demands to know if the 63's know that the task force is chasing them, but Hauser does not reveal any more information.

At the hospital's washroom, Rebecca washes Lucy's blood off of her, losing her composure in the process. Doc informs Hauser that Lucy survived the surgery, but has fallen into a possibly temporary coma. A motivated Hauser makes his way to New Alcatraz, where he confronts Sylvane with a photo of Lucy. He asks him if Lucy was his target, but Sylvane reiterates that he has no knowledge of Cobb's doings. Hauser then threatens him that perhaps "Dr. Beauregard" could jog his memory.

Doc and Rebecca note that every shooting by Cobb had one female victim who is approximately 16 years old. Doc mentions that Cobb grew up in an orphanage, and at one point looked for his birth mother who rejected him. In Cobb's Alcatraz files, Doc finds a letter sent to him by Eloise, his 16 year old half sister. She witnessed Cobb's visit to her mother's house, and after his rejection, she hoped they could stay in touch. Apparently, Cobb never received the letter, and held a grudge against his half-sibling who received all the love and attention he did not. His shootings of 16 year old girls are simply an act of revenge.

Rebecca sets herself in Cobb's cell with his box of personal belongings. Assembling a magazine and eyeglasses, Rebecca creates a telescope, much like Cobb did during his imprisonment in Alcatraz. This easy access to seeing the citizens of San Francisco is what has kept Cobb in the city.

Atop a building, Cobb is setting up another picnic, and resumes his shooting spree in a populated shopping center. Hearing of the shooting, Rebecca and Doc use computer models in search of the tallest building in San Francisco back in the 1960's, which Cobb viewed on a daily basis. They narrow it down to two neighboring buildings, which provide an easy vantage point for a sniper.

Rebecca and Hauser investigate one of the buildings, and Cobb is discovered in his sniping position, moments before shooting. As Rebecca engages Cobb in a conversation by revealing the truth about his half-sister, Hauser positions himself behind Cobb. The two tackle Cobb down to the ground, and Hauser shocks Rebecca by suddenly putting a bullet through Cobb's right hand, stating "No more shooting."

Back at the hospital, Doc and Rebecca watch Lucy on life support. Doc confesses that he might not be cut out for being a member of the Task Force. Rebecca reassures him that although he thinks he will not be good at it, she thinks he already is. Meanwhile, at the New Alcatraz, Hauser leads Cobb through the main cell area, with he and Sylvane exchanging glances. After locking him in his cell, Hauser warns him that he could have killed him earlier, and now that Cobb is in the new facility, he is going to wish he had.

People Hauser ShotEdit

  • Ernest Cobb in his shooting hand.


  • During his picnic, Cobb uses the same tablecloth used by Edwin James during dinner.
  • JLA Secret Files & Origins #2 (vol. 1; DC Comics) is on display at the counter in Diego Soto's shop.
  • Just before Cobb begins his shooting at the mall, an advertisement for "Kelvin Fish Cannery" can be seen painted on the side of the wall. Kelvin was the name of J.J. Abrams' grandfather, and is usually referenced in many of his works (such as Star Trek, LOST, Fringe, Mission Impossible III, as well as the pilot of Alcatraz).


Recurring themesEdit

  • Cobb visited his birth mother, who did not want to see him. Cobb took a glimpse of his half-sister, which triggered his hatred to 16 year old girls. (Family)
  • Cobb is imprisoned in Alcatraz. After mysteriously disappearing in 1963 and reappearing in 2012, he is imprisoned yet again in a newly built prison. (Imprisonment)
  • Cobb targets 16 year old girls, avenging the attention and love his half-sister received instead of him. (Revenge)
  • Cobb is in constant pursuit of solitary confinement. (Solitary)
    • He shoots a guard in order to be sent to Alcatraz, and disobeys the Alcatraz morning routine to be transferred to a private cell.

Cultural referencesEdit

  • Call of Duty: At the gun store, Doc refers to it as Call of Duty: Urban Warfare. (Games)
  • Lost: There are references of the numbers. (Movies and TV)
    • Before being captured for the first time, Cobb caused incidents in 8 cities.
    • In the hotel, Cobb was supposed to be in the room 123.
    • While investigating Cobb's victims, Rebecca says that there is always a girl between 15 and 16 years.

Literary techniquesEdit


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