The fall finale for Prodigal Son promised the unexpected, and they certainly delivered. This series has far exceeded any expectations I, myself have had for it. It has easily become one of my favourite series, and I can’t wait to see where the story leads us to next. It’s dark, twisted and oh, so, delightful. (Spoilers Ahead)
‘Tis the season?
Ainsley (Halston Sage) is relishing in the spotlight that her interview has created, she is telling her story, in her own words. Since her father just so happens to be the surgeon, it has stirred up a frenzy of reporters, wanting to get a piece of the next, biggest scoop. Some demons you can’t run from, and it seems like Jessica (Bellamy Young) and Malcolm (Tom Payne) are always paying the ultimate price.
While Malcolm is struggling with his fragmented reality, little pieces of the puzzle are resting just below the surface. It’s not enough to satisfy his desire to know the truth, to know what really went on all those years ago. It’s only a matter of time now before his nightmares come to call. Jessica is holding deep-seated guilt, for not believing in her son, but there is no changing the past. As a family, they will make it through this new hell as well.
Saved by the.. murder?
Just because it’s Christmas time, doesn’t mean that deadly forces aren’t at work. It’s just what Malcolm needed to settle his restless voices. This new case gives him something to focus on, a welcomed reprieve ever since he was taken off the “Junkyard Killer” case. This murder is to be kept quiet though, considering it involves the death of a 42-year veteran of the police force, Turner, one of the good ones.
Malcolm can see beyond the obvious, when it may seem like a murder/suicide, there is much more to the story. The team is inclined to trust in what Malcolm says because, in his own, unconventional way, he is usually right. Now he must prove that this latest murder is a double homicide. Who’s on top of the suspect list? Turner’s old partner, Det. Owen Shannon (Sean Pertwee), a dirty cop with a chip on his shoulder, who just so happens to have a history with Malcolm. Talk about complicated.
Water under the bridge
Gil (Lou Diamond Phillips) and Malcolm team up on this lead, knowing that it could lead them down a dangerous and unpredictable path. It also helps to channel Malcolm’s energy into something other than the Junkyard Killer, especially when the FBI wants him far away from that storyline. Swanson (Meagan Good), the one in the lead, seems to especially have it out for Malcolm. One can’t help but wonder if his chaos almost destroyed her, or if it’s something we least expect. One thing is for sure, the team is loyal to Malcolm, even if Dani (Aurora Perrineau) is being pulled in a different direction.
Shannon is armed and ready for a fight, he was expecting someone to show up, especially with a cop killer on the loose. He may be a disgruntled alcoholic, but he isn’t the killer. Turner and he may have had their differences, but not enough to see the man dead. All their other theories are quickly thrown out the window when it turns out that Turner was gay, so there was no way he was meeting a prostitute for a good time. The plot thickens, and so do the questions. Time for a deep dive through the copious amounts of files.
Right there, all along
Back at the station, emotions are high and the atmosphere holds more tension than usual. With such a high priority case, there isn’t enough time to think about what is going on with the FBI’s, it’s better to stay away from that for now. Jessica finds her way to Gil’s office, which seems to be a reoccurring thing as of late. She wants to find the girl in the box, she is invested and way over her head. Instead of worrying about everyone else, she needs someone to worry about her for a change, so in turn, Gil refuses to help her. Good thing she never listens, finding her own way to get some answers.
Malcolm is burying himself in his work, he has to, otherwise, his past will catch up to blindside him again. He is far from okay and actually confides in Dani. He is broken, and there is nothing that can put him back together again. It adds a real human element to the story, something I think everyone can relate to at least once in their life. It’s still Christmas, which means a much-needed break for festivities at his mother’s house, if only he made it there.
Shannon and Malcolm end up meeting each other on the street, but it’s not just by chance. He had spent his whole career on The Surgeon case, it consumed him, much like it has done to Malcolm. It turns out Shannon was right all along, there was another, and Malcolm graciously confirms this. This brings peace to their tumultuous start, which in turn, brings an unsaid trust between the two. It turns out that Turner had his own, secret place to work on cases. Is it a trap? Or could it be just what this case needs, a solid lead?
At first, one can only think the worst. I mean, it’s dark and the two of them are alone outside a shuttered storage place. Instead of it being some elaborate trap, they get much more than they bargained for. It seems as though Turner was close to something big, and was doing his own digging into The Surgeon and then later, The Junkyard Killer. He was trying to clear his old partner’s name all along. It turns out they were more than just partners in their career, they were also partners in life. This leads them to a list of suspects, which they compare with what the team has compiled. It brings up a name and an address, no time to waste now.
20 years in the making
Everything is connected, and this becomes increasingly clear when two “separate” cases turn into one. Unbeknownst to anyone else, they were always working the Junkyard Killer case. So what do Shannon and Malcolm decide to do? Go into the lion’s den, without anyone knowing where they were. With the chaos, they have seen, and the dangers that have been presented to them, they should’ve known better, unfortunately, it was too little, too late.
John Watkins (Michael Raymond-James), that is the real name of Paul Lazar. He was raised by his grandparents after his junkie mother chose heroin over him. This set everything into motion, and the way he was raised, in a very religious environment, is seen in the way he chooses his victims. Those who are at the cusp, sinners, are the ones who need to be punished. Standing in his childhood home, you’ve never seen Malcolm giddier. It’s a profiler’s dream, after all. The sweet, elderly, blind woman (Marylouise Burke) is welcoming and kind and happens to be the killer’s grandmother.
They were blinded by their discovery to see what was really going on, and the danger they were in. When Malcolm decides to use the facilities, and take an extended look around, he uncovers more horrors to the life John lead. What made him who he was today. Serial Killers aren’t born, they are made, as they keep saying. Malcolm comes back to a very dead Shannon. They were never alone, and the sweet, soft-spoken woman was in on the whole thing.
Cliffhangers are killer
Since this was the fall finale, it’s befitting that it should end on one hell of a cliffhanger. Malcolm has been subdued, and the face of the killer has been revealed. It brings a rush of memories to the surface, which also accompanies him in his unconscious state. Where they are going, no one will ever find them. Things look dire for our dear profiler, but that’s what makes the show so interesting, you never know what will happen next.
Don’t count Jessica out either, she found a way to elevate her message to the world. Giving the media something to chew on, a bracelet that once belonged to a now very, dead girl in the box. With a one million dollar reward attached to her cause, she may get much more than she bargained for. The game is just beginning. And we must wait until the new year to get our answers.
This was the fall finale for Prodigal Son. It will return in early 2020.
You can find previous reviews for Prodigal Son here.