'Escape at Dannemora' episode two could be the ultimate reveal about Richard Matt's dark criminal history
Richard Matt, in the pilot, is a connoisseur of the arts. Is this the same man who has been imprisoned for murder? How could a man of such gravity and aura be a murderer, right?
Ben Stiller might be known for his comedic genius, but what the world could never in their wildest dreams have anticipated was the concept of his latest creations, 'Escape at Dannemora', which premiered last Sunday, November 18, on Showtime. The story revolves around a crafty, dark prison break — based on the real-life incident of the infamous Clinton Correctional Facility escape that took place on June 6, 2015.
Starring Benicio del Toro, Paul Dano, Patricia Arquette, David Morse, Eric Lange, and Bonnie Hunt, the prison drama has so far shown the typical lives inmates lead at the Clinton Correctional Facility, with del Toro playing the role of Richard Matt and Dano portraying David Sweat — the two inmates who had managed to escape from the facility.
The pilot showed an interesting autopilot mode in which the correctional facility seems to run on, with prisoners going about their lives on a daily routine basis — cells piled on top of one another, felons keeping it down, associating with their own cliques, but what struck out the most was del Toro's character, Richard Matt, and his hold on the rest of the inmates.
It is obvious that among the felons, and with Dano's Sweat as his sidekick, Matt sort of runs the place and is held in high regard for the same. What's even more surprising is that the man is also a dedicated painter with exemplary skills — a connoisseur of the arts, if you will — as was clear from the one scene where he gifted corrections officer Gene Palmer (Morse) a portrait of Palmer’s girlfriend as an anniversary gift.
Thus it is established exactly why Palmer is his go-to guy and does pretty much whatever the intimidating Matt, who doesn't shy away from threatening people, says.
Side by side, Matt has also taken Sweat under his wing, especially cautioning him about people catching a whiff of Sweat's relationship with the married Mitchell (Arquette) and then proceeding to give him drawing lessons and imparting philosophical wisdom on the concept of art. And this seems to work exceptionally well for Matt because Sweat lives in the cell right next to his.
By the end of the first episode, the inception of the idea of a prison escape has already taken place in Matt's mind, and who does he hatch it with? His buddy Palmer. But if one tallies the original incident with the portrayal of Richard Matt in the pilot, it is almost discernable that this is the exact same man who had been imprisoned for murder. How could a man of such gravity and aura be a murderer, right?
And that brings us to the conclusion that a prospective gradual disclosure of Matt and his heinous criminal nature could happen in the upcoming episode. Primarily because of the meticulous way he and Sweat had managed to escape — which was only discovered originally "during a 5:17 a.m. bed check at the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility", describes the incident's official Wikipedia page.
"Matt was serving 25 years to life and Sweat was serving life without parole, both for murder. Nearly three weeks later, Matt was found at Malone, New York, where he was shot and killed. Two days after that, Sweat was shot and taken into custody," it adds, also noting that "the manhunt and investigation were said to cost about $23 million."
Also to be noted, the murder Matt was in for wasn't a simple one. Back in December 3, 1997, he and his accomplice Lee Bates kidnapped Matt's former 72-year-old boss, William Rickerson, before forcing him into the trunk of Bates' car, purely because they wanted to know the location of a large sum of money that the two believed Rickerson had access to.
As the two criminals drove around for 24 hours with the old man in their trunk, they stopped periodically to beat him up and finally, Matt broke Rickerson's neck with his bare hands, dismembered his body and threw the parts into a river before fleeing to New York.
Yet all the pilot has done so far is glorify this sinister inmate to some Godlike levels, matching those of Morgan Freeman's character in the masterpiece, 'The Shawshank Redemption'. Which just makes us more convinced that the upcoming episode two could probably display the darker, more evil side of Matt, and explore his criminal past more. To find out how the art connoisseur turned into a criminal, stay tuned for the next episode on November 25.