Prodigal Son (S01E03) “Fear Response”

News broke this week about Prodigal Son getting picked up for another 9 episodes, which bodes well for this darkly disturbing series. There is something thrilling about the diabolical nature of the story being unwoven. As a viewer, I can’t wait to see where Malcolm’s nightmares take him next. (Spoilers Ahead)

The past cannot be escaped

It becomes increasingly clear that the past doesn’t always stay where it should. There are some ordeals that just won’t stand idle, they force their way into the forefront, consuming every last semblance of sanity. For Malcolm (Tom Payne) there is no peace, only the exhausting fight against his inner demons. His parents certainly did a number on him, despite his mother’s best “efforts”.

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Mommy Dearest trying to fix the unfix-able. (Photo: IMDB)

Jessica (Bellamy Young) is on a mission to help ease her son’s suffering, but instead, she is hindering his healing process. We get a better glimpse into the relationship between Jessica and Martin (Michael Sheen), and there is no denying the fact that she knows more than she’s letting on. How can Malcolm let go, when his own mother is part of the madness. Secrets, won’t stay secret for long.

Another murder, another distraction

Malcolm is saved from his mother’s “onslaught” of love, by another murder. He is proving to be a valuable asset to the team, even if they are still wary of his unsettled nature. Some of my favourite moments are scenes between Malcolm and Edrisa (Keiko Agena), they are kindred spirits who seem to be on the same wavelength, although she’s not as unhinged as he is. The camaraderie is starting to show, and it helps tie the story together.

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Sharing is caring. (Photo: IMDB)

The latest murder brings Malcolm face to face with one of his idols. Dr. Brown (Sakina Jaffery), who has done extensive research into fear and responses that people have when it takes over their minds. Unfortunately, some of her methods are questionable and dangerous, leading to the death of at least one participant and the psychotic break of another, who aims to take his revenge on the good doctor and her colleagues.

Embrace the fear

Sometimes you need to embrace the fear, face it, instead of run from it. It’s something that Malcolm has been struggling with for years. His subconscious is trying to protect him from former trauma and its only a matter of time before he breaks. His mental health is declining, and the people who hold the answers are unwilling to ease his torment. With Martin continuing to abuse his “phone time”, there is no escape from his father. Can they find a way to work together? Or has the possibility of reconciliation been damaged beyond repair? Sure, his father is a killer, but in the end, he is still Malcolm’s father.

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You can’t escape fear. (Photo: IMDB)

With the killer known, they must catch him in the act, and the next target just so happens to be Dr. Brown. Dosing victims with a high concentration of LSD, forcing a psychotic break, is one way to give the dear doctor a taste of her own medicine. She is the cause of her misery, but with Malcolm and JT  (Frank Harts) on the scene, her would-be killer won’t get his just reward, not this time.

Endings are just beginning

There is a disconnect between what is real and what is not, but it’s a fine line that these characters must walk. Malcolm has been trying to balance between two different realities since he was a child. He must find a way to reach into the dark recesses of his mind to find the hidden truth. Experimenting with something his “therapist” told him, he tries to find familiarity in the smell of chloroform, hoping it will unlock something. Well, it does, and it’s something he is unprepared for. His mother knew all along, protecting Martin.

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Still dangerous. (Photo: IMDB)

Jessica gives into her demons and comes face to face with her former husband. There is no love lost between her and Martin. Her intentions are focused on the well being of Malcolm, but she couldn’t stay away from Martin forever. They are connected on a darker level as we are quickly finding out. She is not innocent in all of this.

In the end, despite her greatest efforts to spare her son from a world of “evil”, she has caused much of his decline. Malcolm Bright will do, whatever he wants to do, no matter what anyone else tells him.

A new episode of Prodigal Son airs Monday, October 14 on FOX at 9/8c.

Previous reviews for Prodigal Son can be found here.