Prodigal Son (E01E20) “Like Father…”

So we have reached the end of the Prodigal Son journey, for now. This was the season finale and there are so many possibilities left for the show. Questions have been answered. The body count continues to rise, and the Whitly’s, like always, are front and center. (Spoilers Ahead)

Losing Grip of Reality

Malcolm’s (Tom Payne) stay in jail is short-lived, thanks to Jessica (Bellamy Young) and her connections. It helps to have a copious amount of money as well. This causes a strain with Malcolm and the rest of the team. They don’t want him to be the bad guy, but all the evidence points in his direction. This emotional mayhem hasn’t been easy on Malcolm, his time to mourn Eve will have to wait. There is a crime to be solved (whether he is welcome or not).

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All in their head. (Photo: IMDB) (Prodigal Son (S01E20))

Martin (Michael Sheen), on the other hand, finds himself walking right into one of Nicholas’s (Dermot Mulroney) well-laid traps. Conveniently, his door has been left ajar for him to answer the phone on the other side of his door. Nicholas isn’t impressed with Martin’s behavior, and he must pay for going back on his word. In this case, Nicholas holds all the power. Surely they won’t turn a blind eye to an attempted escape. It turns out they don’t and turn Martin loose in “general population”.

Eye on the prize

Malcolm under house arrest is almost laughable. Even with Gil’s pleas for him to stay put, we all know that it’s not in his nature to do so. The clock is ticking, and he needs to clear his name. As always, he has a solution and an answer for everything, including evading his ankle monitor, which he expertly transfers onto his mother’s assistant. The case isn’t going to solve itself.

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Edrisa will always have Malcolm’s back. (Photo: IMDB) (Prodigal Son (S01E20))

Dani (Aurora Perrineau), JT (Frank Harts) and Gil (Lou Diamond Phillips) try to do what Malcolm does, profile. In the morgue they argue the case, with Edrisa looking on, itching to say more. They are both wrong and right about the matter. Why would Malcolm smother the victim? Surely he would add more pizzazz to it. Edrisa (Keiko Agena) is clearly on his side, even with the evidence mounting against him. As the morgue empties, Edrisa is not alone. Malcolm has been there, hiding in the shadows the whole time. He needs to move swiftly, and at least one person has his back. Onward to his next lead, the devil himself.

One step forward, two steps back

Nicolas Endicott doesn’t like to get his hands dirty, that’s what his many minions are for. Everett Sterling (Brian Stokes Mitchell), his father’s doting lawyer, used to be a very different man. He was swept up in the lucrative game of defending the guilty. Money talks, and it also corrupts. The moment we finally see a shred of human decency in Sterling, is also his last. It looks as though Endicott is tying up some loose ends, putting Malcolm directly in line with another murder scene.

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He’s been here the whole time. Honest! (Photo: IMDB) (Prodigal Son (S01E20))

Where will he get answers now? Daddy dearest holds the key. That has to wait though, soon the PD will be hot on his tail, he needs to feign innocence, which they see right through. Ainsley (Halston Sage) and Jessica are at the ready to defend him, but when the team confronts him on the latest slaying, he admits to being there. He doesn’t want to hide, he wants to be taken back to the station with him. Everything Malcolm does is calculated.

The team wants to believe in his innocence, especially Gil. When Malcolm reveals that he didn’t even get close to Eddie, the lists of suspects jump up significantly. It could be anyone who had access to the room, and it gives a small glimmer of hope in Malcolm’s defense. This gives him a chance at redemption as there is no reason for them to keep him there for further questioning.

Enter the demons

Ainsley, who seems to have some powerful connections herself, is able to get visitation at the prison where their father is being kept. Malcolm needs to clear his name, or he will end up in the same place. Daddy dearest seems to be beaten down, with a bounty on his head, he has been more paranoid than usual (and that’s saying something!).

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Father knows best. (Photo: IMDB) (Prodigal Son (S01E20))

As for the files? The one that Endicott is so fearful of? They never existed. It was a ruse, to make it seem as though they had an edge over Nicholas. Does that mean he lied about letting Sophie go as well? He assures them that she is alive, but in hiding. Martin makes a big show about saying goodbye to his children for the last time, and it’s Ainsley who stands up, giving him exactly what he needs. Hope.

His advice to them is to kill Nicholas. That’s the only way to stop him.

On the run, again.

Gil, who has been waiting for Malcolm’s return home, is giving him the chance to run. He has always had his back, and in times like these, it’s good to see where his loyalties lay. He knows that Malcolm is innocent. What about Jessica? Who is having dinner with the enemy right at that moment? Gil will take care of that as well. He’s always been their one saving grace, in times of insanity.

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The Girl In The Box meets The Boy In The Basement. (Photo: Screen Capture) (Prodigal Son (S01E20))

On a whim, Malcolm listens to Eve’s message, one last time. That’s when he hears it, something he missed all those times before. He’s out the door and using his connections (Dani) to track where the last call came from. Leading him to a small veterinarian practice seemingly in the middle of nowhere. This is where we come face to face with Sophie (Anna Eilinsfeld), who is very much alive and well. His know-how also leads him to the information that Sophie was the one who killed Eddie. She has just been reunited with her long lost sister, and he stole that from her.

All good things must come to an end

Even with Malcolm’s livelihood at stake, he can’t throw Sophie under the bus. He leaves her in peace, feeling as though he owes her for not saving her all those years ago. Perhaps her “ghost” can rest now. It’s Gil who has found himself at the helm of trouble now, confronting Nicholas, who has boldly decided to dispose of Gil by getting one of his hired goons to stab him.

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The wicked don’t always prosper. (Photo:IMDB) (Prodigal Son (S01E20))

This is the action fans live for. The uncertainty of the situation, the heightened reality that this is a finale, and no one is safe. Good thing Jessica is there, as we have come to learn, she can hold her own. She renders Nicholas unconscious, saving Gil from being disposed of. Could this put Nicholas behind bars for good? If only that were the case. He has so many moving parts that it would be hard to convict him, even with testimony.

It runs in the family

With Gil fighting for his life, it leaves everyone struggling with the truth of the matter. They can finally see the full extent of Endicott’s power, and Dani finally believes Malcolm. They share a tender, emotional moment. Adding to the seriousness of the situation. As doctors work diligently to save Gil’s life, is it too little too late?

An urgent text from Ainsley sends Malcolm back to his mother’s house. Where Nicholas is waiting, it’s time for a “family meeting”. He has backed them into a corner, giving them no other options. It’s now or never, and when Malcolm produces a gun, you can’t help but think this is it. He’s going to become his father. Instead, it’s Ainsley who steps up to the plate, slitting Endicott’s throat and stabbing him until he draws his last breath.

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Ainsley really is, her fathers daughter. (Photo: Screen Capture) (Prodigal Son (S01E20))

It’s as though Ainsley wasn’t even part of her body. And an aptly timed phone call brings the whole chilling ordeal to a close. Daddy dearest will be okay, inciting a riot and regaining control of the situation. He followed Ainsley’s advice, and it seems, that she followed his.

My girl.”

Closing Thoughts

What can I say about this finale, that hasn’t already been said? They have been building up the girl in the box storyline since the beginning. The original demon that started Malcolm down his tumultuous path. To finally meet her face-to-face, brings his origin story full circle. We finally get answers, closure, and yet it doesn’t feel like enough. With the fate of Gil up in the air and the fact that Ainsley has been quieting her own darkness, we need a second season to explore these possibilities. The cast is spectacular and the creators deserve to continue this story. We need more! It’s not over yet. 

This was the SEASON ONE finale for Prodigal Son. Renewal is undetermined, but we are hopeful.

You can find previous reviews for Prodigal Son here.