Prodigal Son continues to bring us thought-provoking programming, constantly engaging the viewer and pushing those proverbial envelopes. I have come to look forward to Monday nights because of this series. Murder. Drama. Murder. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, the Whitly’s have their share of “enemies” these days. (Spoilers Ahead)
Malcolm (Tom Payne), Ainsley (Halston Sage) and Jessica (Bellamy Young) try to cling on to some sense of normalcy, so it’s a welcoming sight to see the trio back for their dinners. In a world where chaos seems to follow them, it’s nice to see that mundane part of their lives. Malcolm is fresh from a two-week vacation, where he shut himself away from the world and buried his head in his books.
Ainsley is moving up in the world. Her elevated storytelling has garnered her attention, and instead of chasing after her own stories, she is going to be reporting them from a newsroom desk. The first days bring new beginnings if only she could’ve prepared herself for what was coming her way. Murder, as we know, does not take a vacation.
Jessica, who has come across some potential information about the “girl in the box”, begrudgingly allows Malcolm to come along with her to meet this mystery tipster. It turns out to be too good to be true, and leads them into an active crime scene. This was planned, and Jessica was meant to see it. It doesn’t take long for the team to get down to business. Just another day, right?
Here we go again
Malcolm’s profiling wheels to start turning, he has missed this. At least someone missed him. Edrisa (Keiko Agena) is overjoyed to see him, even considering the circumstances, and is quick to prove him wrong with his initial take. Just as they are trying to make sense of the murder, a call comes into the newsroom. Ainsley’s first day has just taken an unexpected turn, talk about throwing her to the wolves.
The killer, or someone claiming to be the killer, needs to talk to her and only her. Sure. Why not let this psychopath go live on the air? What could go wrong? Sometimes I wonder what these networks are thinking, there is more to life than ratings. People’s lives are at stake, but that doesn’t deter them. He has deemed himself the carousel killer, and he isn’t done yet. Calling out Jessica and her wealth, wanting the money or someone else will die.
With all hands on deck, they need to catch this guy before he strikes again. Meanwhile, Jessica can’t get the dead man’s image out of her mind. She has been through so much and believes she is the one who has directly caused this grief. Jessica is the one who has been trying to rectify her ex-husband’s wrong, going above and beyond in the community. This isn’t her doing, but guilt does something profound to people. So it comes as no surprise that she goes to collect the “ransom”, against all other advice. It’s a wrong she desperately needs to right.
It’s never enough
Martin (Michael Sheen), who of course feels the need to get involved, thanks to his riveting television time, gives Ainsley little, to no room to breathe. This isn’t what she signed up for, but her thoughts and feelings don’t seem to matter in this case. Being bombarded with a live call from her father, who is as insightful as ever, gives them some other direction to go in, but it also enrages the Carousel killer, who demands the money to be brought to a place that only Jessica knows. They are running out of time.
As other leads are being followed, it leads them all to the same place. A park, the one where Jessica had met Martin for the first time. She needs to set things right, and even when doing everything that is expected of her, it’s just another way for the killer to humiliate an already broken woman. Scattering the money to the wind does nothing to save another from dying. Gil (Lou Diamond Phillips) and JT (Frank Harts) have found themselves at the same place, at the same time, tracking another potential suspect, who ends up being the next victim.
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. This was supposed to ensure that no one else died, instead, it has turned into some twisted game, with no winners. Jessica’s actions have shown the killer that she can be trusted. She has been chosen to do something that has been residing in the dark corners of her mind. Her missing purse has shown up, but it isn’t a coincidence. The killer has given her one last task, or a woman loses her life. She must kill Martin Whitly.
Right time, right place
Malcolm cannot shake this case, nor can he shake the potential connections between the victims. They were called “accessories”, to whom though? It’s something that he must find out for himself. He must face his father, even if he doesn’t necessarily want to. They didn’t leave on the best of terms, but it’s always complicated, isn’t it? There’s a piece they are missing, and somehow it all leads back to Martin.
This is where Malcolm and Jessica also come face to face. It’s quite the impromptu family reunion, and it doesn’t take him long to figure out what her true intentions are. Say what you will about Malcolm, but he is brilliant at what he does. Jessica is desperate and terrified, she needs his help. Martin needs to die, or another innocent woman will perish instead. This is when the dots are finally connected. The victims were all people who used to work with Martin in the hospital. This isn’t about his serial killer transgressions, this is about the loss of a patient.
Malcolm does, what he must do, as time has finally run out. Years ago, Martin and Malcolm just so happened to have a conversation about stabbing someone, in a very specific manner, that looks to be fatal, but if done right, the person can walk away, alive and well. They needed to play the game, they needed to make it convincing, and it worked. The killer must see for himself, and that is when he slips up, in the hospital. But the team was ready, they always are. The killer turns out to be a husband in pain, his wife was everything to him, but she died on the table so many years before. But was it worth killing innocent people?
How much more can these characters possibly go through? The Whitly’s have been through hell and back, and they keep pushing forward. There is going to be a point where they break, wholly and completely. The anticipation for said events keeps the viewers on their toes because you never know what road they will lead you down. With Martin, struggling for life, even with all he has done to him, I feel as though if they were to lose him it would be a breaking point of sorts. Even with the truth out there, that he did indeed have every intention of killing Malcolm, but didn’t. They are still family, whether they like it or not.
You can catch a new episode of Prodigal Son on Monday, February 17 on FOX at 9/8c.
Previous reviews for Prodigal Son can be found here.