Prodigal Son (S01E11) “Alone Time”

After an excruciatingly long wait, Prodigal Son is back. Leaving viewers with a cliffhanger, there is little pause for reflection as the new episode unfolds. Will Malcolm make it out of this alive? We know he will, but what will it do to his already crumbling psyche? (Spoilers Ahead)

Into the darkness

Emotions are running high, and loyalties are cemented. Gil (Lou Diamond Phillps) and the rest of the team,  cannot deny the impact Malcolm (Tom Payne) has had on them. He has been spending his life hiding in the shadows, playing with his demons and deep-diving into depraved killer’s minds. This time is different though, his life is on the line, and they will do everything in their power to find him, preferably alive.

With the FBI taking point on this case, including Malcolm’s disappearance, it’s hard not to step on each other’s toes. Sometimes you have to play nice in order to get somewhere, good thing Dani (Aurora Perrineau) and JT (Frank Harts) are thorough with their research. Leading them to where it all began (or have they?). The infamous camping trip, the cabin in the woods, it all seems likely, but there is so much more going on. Maybe Special Agent Swanson (Meagan Goode) can leave her issues at the door, for now.

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The Doctor is in. (Photo: IMDB)

Gil does his due diligence to get more information, and to let Jessica (Bellamy Young) know what has happened to her son. She was never privy to that other world, but there is one person who has that inside knowledge. Martin (Michael Sheen). Solitary Confinement is over, and it has done a number on him, it doesn’t stop him from getting into Gil’s head though. Malcolm is in trouble, he’s a survivor, and time is running out. It’s rather endearing to see how much Malcolm means to Gil, he would do anything for him. New information leads them to an unexpected place.

Home is where the heart is

Malcolm has been doing what he does best, using his mind to try and get out of his dire situation. He is obsessed with getting answers, but Watkins ( Michael Raymond-James) isn’t going to give them up that easily. His memories are just there, below the tumultuous surface. He is the center of some twisted origin story, and Watkins wants Malcolm to “evolve” through a series of “trials”. First off? Stabbing Malcolm and leaving him to die, after all, that’s what Malcolm did to Watkins all those years ago.

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“One of us.” (Photo: IMDB)

While Malcolm struggles for composure, Jessica is losing her grip. Ainsley (Halston Sage) is her saving grace, although it is less than ideal when they first come together, their common bond and determination to find Malcolm overshadow what is unsaid. With Ainsley’s keen eye, it brings back some faded memories. Mr. Boots, her imaginary friend, seems to be quite real. John Watkins had infiltrated the family long ago, knowing that it was the one weakness Martin had. He would do anything for his family. A fatal flaw in his design? The danger is closer than it appears, right under their very feet.

We know Malcolm though, he has a spark inside of him, after all, he is his father’s son. When the threat turns to his family, Malcolm cannot be idle anymore. He’s been right there under their noses the whole time. Cue Watkins running around the Whitly house like an ax-wielding maniac. It was a shocking twist to an “edge of your seat” type episode. By channeling his father, Malcolm is able to release himself from his restraints (hammer time anyone?).

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Time has run out. (Photo: IMDB)

Family is everything, and this cements their bonds even more. They might not always see eye to eye, but that doesn’t change their loyalty. Time to put another body in the box, but this time, he is very much alive. Malcolm made a choice, he ignored that dark voice in the back of his head, and instead of enacting his “revenge”, he showed mercy. Nothing like his father, and yet, the same.

Final thoughts:

Malcolm may be alive, but he is certainly not okay. There has been a severe psychological shift and we are sure to see the ramifications of that in the upcoming episodes. The cast continues to bring us solid performances, ones that give chills. I commend the writers for their amazing winter premiere, that’s how you bring viewers back into a show. Prodigal Son continues to be a dark and addictive series.

A new episode of Prodigal Son airs on Monday, January 27 on FOX at 9/8c.

You can find previous reviews for Prodigal Son here.