Prodigal Son Episode 3: Fear Response
Following the exciting news that Prodigal Son has been picked up for a full season at FOX, tonight’s episode seems extra special. Malcolm, as we last saw, is still struggling with what happened to him in his childhood, and this next case seems to strike more than just fear into the profiler. Let’s get started.
The first thing we see this week is a flashback. Jessica Whitly visits Martin in prison, and he assures her everything will be alright. Jessica is much timider than we see in the present-day, but she tells him neither she or the kids will ever revisit him. Well, that’s not true.
One Hell of an Entrance
Cut to the present day, and we see Jessica Whitly leave her car, buzzing the door of what looks to be Malcolm’s apartment. He doesn’t let her in, but that’s partly because he’s in a seemingly gruesome night terror. Jessica, annoyed because he changed the locks, yells from outside at him. As he grows more and more restless, we see the restraints he sleeps in, giving on one side. In a fit of terror, Malcolm nearly flies out of the window, dangling from the other restraint.
His mother, always so self-absorbed, asks if he’s alright before demanding to be buzzed in. She couldn’t care less if you ask me. Nothing about her line of questioning seems to garner real concern, even once inside. Jessica seems more annoyed that he’s visited with his father, but not for his real mental state. I don’t trust this woman; I think she has other motives for why she’s so invested in his care.
Malcolm goes to visit with his long-time counselor, who also instructs him to stop seeing his father. Of course, Malcolm doesn’t hear a word she says and excuses himself early into the session because of a new case.
This week’s murder victim is Professor Holten, found in a park with two particularly strange traits to his death. The first is his pure white eyes, which Edrisa explains usually comes from damage to the optic nerve. Low and behold, things get weirder fast because his brain is also missing! This isn’t what killed him; he went into cardiac arrest. Malcolm makes an initial profile at the scene, saying our killer probably is suffering from a severe mental illness, perhaps having a recent psychiatric break. He is a visionary killer and may be trying to please a higher power.
They find a letter underneath the Professor’s shirt. It has many words scribbled on it, but the others can’t understand what it means. Malcolm thinks it must mean something to the murderer that they don’t understand. Regardless, taking the brain met some need for the murderer as well.
At the precinct, as they discuss the case, Malcolm gets a call from his father (unaware that Gil is watching from beyond the glass). As usual, Malcolm tells his father he has no intention of returning, and Martin reminds him how he runs from fear, represses it as we see by his hand tremors.
Why You Sleep at Night
Jessica, still on her mission to make sure Malcolm doesn’t see his father, confronts Ainsley about lying to her. Much to her surprise, Ainsley is frustrated that she never got to know Martin Whitly. She wants to make her own decision based on what he did. Jessica seems betrayed, asking her if she sleeps at night. Confused, she says yes, and Jessica says she sleeps because she protected her.
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