Prodigal Son (S01E17) “Stranger Beside You”

Prodigal Son is actively messing with people’s minds and emotions, making it a brilliant series to watch. The twists are intense, and you never know what’s going to happen next. Will we get answers? Or will those questions come back to haunt us? (Spoilers Ahead)

Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Malcolm (Tom Payne) having good dreams? Now that is completely out of place, considering his fragile psyche is relentless. Eve (Molly Griggs) seems to have a big part of this new progression, although something isn’t quite right. It never is though, is it? Everyone has secrets, and that little voice in the back of Malcolm’s mind doesn’t give him a moment of rest. Can he trust in Eve, and enjoy this reprieve of happiness? That’s not how he operates.

There are so many things out of Malcolm’s control, maybe that’s why he is so in tune with crime scenes and their grisly discoveries. It gives him something else to focus on, while the demon’s dance in his head, poking and prodding. Gil (Lou Diamond Phillips) calls him in for another case, at exactly the right time. This is the distraction he needs. The one we all need.

Influence is Everything

What you see on the outside, doesn’t necessarily match what is going on inside. Some people will do anything to maintain that charade, especially to the rest of the world. Their latest case, a murdered husband, Ezra, of an “influencer”, Alessa, has them all mystified. The answer isn’t always right there, but Malcolm is good at drawing out those truths.

prodigalsons01e17 1024x649 - Prodigal Son (S01E17) “Stranger Beside You”
Edrisa, a breath of fresh air. (Prodigal Son S01E17) (Photo: IMDB)

With a baby involved, it complicates matters. The couples doting nanny, Christine (Evelyn Giovine), doesn’t register in their sights, at first, but that soon comes to haunt them. Edrisa (Keiko Agena) is the belle of the crime scene, doing her best to get closer to Malcolm, including “saving his life” when the victims cork, unceremoniously, pops.

The devil is in the details

Although the case is in the forefront, Malcolm can’t shake the uneasy feeling he’s been getting. Asking Dani (Aurora Perrineau) to do a background check on Eve, rubs her the wrong way. It’s not her place to help him destroy his life and his chance at love. Although JT (Frank Harts), unexpectantly, confides in Malcolm that he has done the same thing. It almost destroyed his current relationship though, so he gives him some much-needed advice, be honest. JT may be gruff on the exterior, but he has warmed up to Malcolm and his many plights. The moment is brief, but not fleeting.

Ainsley (Halston Sage), on the other hand, is up to the challenge to figure out who Eve is, and what she could be hiding. She does possess her own particular, set of skills. If the truth is what he want’s, then that is what he is going to get. While Malcolm continues to get lost in the investigation, he is on edge and second-guessing himself. We know that Malcolm is rarely wrong about these things.

Not as it seems

Christine, the nanny, has a checkered past that brings her right to the head of the suspect list. She fits the profile, but (there’s always a but), there is something they are missing. The angle of the hurt wife over a cheating husband is explored, but it’s so much more than that. The writers have a way of creating these questionable dynamics, leading us to an outcome we never saw coming.

prodigalsons01e171 1024x681 - Prodigal Son (S01E17) “Stranger Beside You”
All work and no play. (Prodigal Son S01E17) (Photo: IMDB)

While the truth starts to unfold, Malcolm makes an impromptu visit to his father. He needs to stay within the parameters of their agreement, or Jessica (Bellamy Young) will lose it all. Whether Malcolm wants to admit it or not, his visits with Martin (Michael Sheen) can be rather productive. They work well together, and Martin sees things that others do not. It usually leads to a breakthrough, and this is no different. The case stalls the awkward “love” talk, where maybe being human isn’t so bad.

All about Eve

Jessica has been working closely with Eve, trying to uncover the truth behind the “Girl in the box”, if only she had known how close she was to the whole ordeal. Ainsley interrupts their meeting, letting Eve know that she’s done some digging. The truth, so close to being exposed, and soon all the cards will be on the table.

Suspicions were there from the start. She showed up at the most inopportune time. We get the full scope of the situation when Malcolm joins his family. Eve is her real name, and she really does work as a lawyer, but she has been hiding something from them all. Sophie is her sister, and the person she suspects is “the girl in the box”. She had been using their influence and connection to the Surgeon to get information.

prodigalsons01e172 1024x681 - Prodigal Son (S01E17) “Stranger Beside You”
The truth hurts. (Prodigal Son S01E17) (Photo: IMDB)

This completely breaks Malcolm, who has real feelings for Eve. There was a method behind her madness, but, can the truth really set them free? Instead of lamenting in his emotional turmoil, Malcolm does the only thing he can do. There’s a case to solve. That, he has control over.

Lights, Camera, Action

The truth is often hiding in plain sight, even if one doesn’t want to admit it. There is obviously something tormenting Malcolm, more than usual, and it doesn’t take long for Dani to pick up on it. She has always been perceptive when it comes to Malcolm, certainly an anchor in the storm for him.

Who is the killer? Could it be a grieving mother or a jealous nanny? It’s neither in this case. The abusive ex-husband of Christine is front and center, and the complexities become all too real. Alessa was never able to have a child on her own, so she and Ezra turned to the black market for a surrogate. And like any other questionable dealing, it snowballed in the worse way possible.

Malcolm has become accustomed to getting himself into danger, it seems to follow him. Now that the pieces have come together, he does anything to protect the innocent. His motives aren’t normal, but they are effective. When talking fails him, brute force will also do. There have been so many close calls, but well-timed moments save him, every single time.


All good things must come to an end, or so they say. With another case solved, intact with a happy ending, it’s time for Malcolm to face his own nightmare. Not without another heart to heart with JT. We need more of these moments in this show, it breaks up the darkness and shows us a bit of life. The ever perceptive Malcolm pinpoints one of JT’s secrets, there is a baby on the way in his life as well. Secrets people, secrets.

prodigalsons01e175 1024x649 - Prodigal Son (S01E17) “Stranger Beside You”
The truth can’t stay buried forever. (Prodigal Son S01E17) (Photo: IMDB)

Eve, returns her things, hoping to avoid Malcolm, but it doesn’t work that way. He’s no longer angry, just hurt. Why did she lie? He could help her. He could identify the woman. They don’t do normal, that wasn’t for them, but he can help her do this. Find the closure she has needed, all these years.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the photo of Sophie matches the girl in the box.

She’s dead and isn’t coming back.

Closing Thoughts

This episode had a lot to unpack, but it was well worth the watch. We have left on a bizarre cliffhanger last episode, and finally, we get some much-needed answers. This may change everything, but it may not be such a bad thing. Doors need to be closed for other ones to open.

You can catch a new episode of Prodigal Son, Monday, March 30 on FOX at 9/8c.

Previous reviews for Prodigal Son can be found here.