TV Recap: Prodigal Son (Episode 109) – This Is Normal

Prodigal Son
“Pied-A-Terre” (Episode 109)
November 25, 2019

Last week on Prodigal Son, Malcolm and The Team dug into the case of the Junkyard Killer and inadvertently interrupted his work. On the family side of things, Malcolm learned that “Paul” knows all about Malcolm’s past, making finding the Junkyard Killer very personal for Malcolm. Ainsley’s ambition cost her a relationship with cameraman Jin and Jessica is at wits end, wandering her mansion with a loaded gun. At the end of the episode, Gil informed Malcolm that the FBI was taking over the Junkyard Killer investigation and Malcolm and The Team had been kicked off of it. Ruh Roh!

Catch up on all last week’s action with our deep dive recap and review here.  Now, on to tonight’s all new Prodigal Son … BEWARE OF SPOILERS!!!

Cr: Jojo Whilden/FOX.

We begin tonight in bed with Malcolm. Per usual, he’s chained up and not sleeping well. He’s startled awake but a shadowy figure in his apartment, opening his weapons display case.

“Seventeenth Century Japanese Katana. Very expensive … and sharp.”

Even in this situation, Malcolm is funnier than almost anyone on television. The shadowy figure, blade in hand, saunters to his bedside. We see the face of a bedraggled young woman, she looks semi-dead. She whispers, “Find me.” Is this the Girl in the Box? Malcolm asks who she is but Shadow Girl is more interested in playing a game of “monster under the bed,” stealing his covers and generally tormenting him. Shadow Girl begins to poke the Katana through his mattress as Malcolm whispers to himself over and over that he’s dreaming. His last whisper dies in his throat as the Katana appears one last time … through his chest.

Office of Dr. Gabby. Cut to the morning and Malcolm is back with his therapist, Dr. Gabrielle Le Deux (Charlayne Woodard returning). As he holds a stuff panda bear (adorable), he explains that his dreams are manifesting the central question of his subconscious … what happened after he found the Girl in the Box? What Dr. Gabby refers to as Malcolm’s “missing time.”

Malcolm laments that he’s so close to real answers but roadblock after roadblock is stopping him. Dr. Gabby recounts the last two episodes for us by mentioning that Papa Whitly is in solitary confinement and the FBI has thrown Malcolm off the Junkyard Killer case. Malcolm chastises his brain for being too on the nose with the “literal dagger in my heart” metaphor.

Dr. Gabby gives Malcolm an alternative take on his dream. That the sword in the chest was more about being “penetrated.” She posits that maybe his subconscious is not talking about Papa Whitly but rather, reminding him that he needs to take care of other basic needs … i.e., SEX. She suggests that perhaps Malcolm take his new found free time and try and live a “normal” life for a while.

“Normalcy. Sounds weird. But uh …”

The Isley Brothers’ classic “It’s Your Thing” cues up on the soundtrack as Malcolm hits the streets of New York. Lollipop in his mouth, he’s smiling and nodding at men and women on the street.

Y’all, I am not ready for “Normal Malcolm.”

Eve “runs” into Malcolm and explains that she lives in the neighborhood. They make cute about him being in therapy and she tells him to walk her to her train (doesn’t ask, tells him). And he does.

Cr: Jojo Whilden/FOX.

They walk and talk about how Jessica is doing (“no longer armed, still a little dangerous”) and then Malcolm takes a huge, therapy-approved step forward by asking her out. Eve is smiling wide but also a little shocked. Malcolm’s possible plans include dinner and maybe a trip to the Met or Rhode Island. Smooth, brother. Smooth. Eve is in and tells him to text her the details.

“It’s Your Thing” kicks back in and Malcolm is high-flying, even more so when Gil calls him with a case.

“Murder? Great! Sorry, I don’t mean great as in’Great’. Forget it. I’m on my way.”

Cr: Jojo Whilden/FOX.

Title Card.

Crime Scene. Malcolm catches up with The Team at the apartment of David and Beth Saverstein. David Saverstein is the dead guy in the bed. Malcolm notes how nice the place is and Dani explains that the wife, Beth Saverstein, is a big wig hedge fund trader. Edrisa is there and she lets us know that cause of death was skull being bashed in.

“Probably note the happy ending he was hoping for.”

Cr: Eric Liebowitz/FOX.

Aww, Edrisa is a National treasure, I already want her to have her own spin-off series.

Edrisa says the murder happened after the sex and she’ll be able to run a test to see how long after the sex was done. JT adds the murder weapon was the “candlestick in the bedroom” and Malcolm makes a nice Clue joke about a “wrench in the library.” Dani calls him on it and he defends himself that he’s trying out a new approach (which includes joke making apparently). Dani tells Gil that they haven’t gotten a hold of the wife yet, she’s not picking up her cell.

Initial Profile: This was a crime of passion and crimes of passion are “wildly misunderstood.” Malcolm talks about how difficult it is for the average human to be triggered to such a “specific act with rage” but add in sex and it acts like “psychological gasoline.”

“A long emotional spark and you get, an explosion.”

Cr: Eric Liebowitz/FOX.

Erdrisa makes a funny aside about getting an explosion alright and everyone groans – not me, I laughed out loud. Gil asks Malcolm if the wife could have done it. Perhaps, Malcolm responds, but if Beth did the murder, she walked in on the sex and was not a participant. He explains the room setup indicates this wasn’t “married sex” but rather points to David having an affair.

JT pipes up that married sex can still be hot (Dani’s face is priceless here) and Malcolm defends his position that in a long term relationship, “post coital holding can be drastically reduced.”  Edrisa makes another aside about attending a rad cuddle party once and again, she regrets talking out loud.

Cr: Eric Liebowitz/FOX.

Jessica calls, taking Malcolm out of the room. She’s in a right state with Ainsley’s interview of The Surgeon about to air and the Junkyard Killer on the loose. Malcolm acknowledges how everything that is happening is definitely all about Jessica (eye roll) and says that with the FBI throwing him off of the case, he’s actually doing good things for himself. Things such as seeing Dr. Gabby, eating breakfast (he’s intrigued by this new meal) and asking Eve out on a date. He doesn’t get to finish his though before Jessica begins to hound him for Eve deets and he hangs up on her.

Gil finds Malcolm on the staircase and asks if Malcolm has told his mother about the girl in the box being real. Malcolm says he hasn’t found the right time just yet and Gil guilt trips him that Mama Whitly deserves to know. Any further awkward conversation is avoided by Beth Saverstein entering the apartment.

Gil breaks it to Beth Saverstein (Kristen Connolly) that her husband was killed last night and she’s all, “?!?” Beth says her husband is in the hall with their daughter …

Which is when the real David Saverstein (with daughter) comes into the apartment. Malcolm asks the question on everyone’s mind.

“Wait, if that’s David, then who is the dead guy in the bed?”

Commercials.

We come back from break and Beth and David are explaining that this apartment is just a pied-a-terre (they don’t use that phrase but that’s what they’re explaining). They live full time in Greenwich, Connecticut and Beth uses the place to stay during the week for work. They are both here because of a friend’s engagement party.

Dani is asking the couple if anyone has access to the apartment besides them? As David answers that no one besides the building super, Malcolm observes Beth acting twitchy. She reaches for her purse and then puts her hand back on her knee. She cracks her neck. All little signs that Malcolm picks up on.

Malcolm suggests that Beth take a break, her hubby can handle the rest of the questions. Malcolm and Gil exchange knowing nods and looks.

Cut to Beth in the (giant) bathroom, pulling out cigarettes and a lighter. Malcolm barges in and advises her not to scream. He gets right to it and says Beth A. doesn’t want her husband to know she’s a smoke and B. she knew the victim. She denies it and starts to smoke.

“You’re lying to me. Which is okay. I’m not really a cop. But the people I’m here with, they are.”

Beth drops her eyes and explains that the dead guy, Caleb Hardy, was an occasional sex partner when she was in the city. She goes on. The two of them were part of a larger community of people who explore sexual fantasies together. “Polyamorous adults,” Malcolm helpfully defines.

“It’s all very curated,” Beth says by way of defense. “Curated by whom,” Malcolm asks, and Beth gives the name, Jasper St. George … which is the most TV name I have ever heard.  Beth explains that Jasper matches partners with compatible interests and arranges access to apartments, such as Beth’s pied-a-terre (Malcolm finally uses the term).

Beth laments that Caleb was a good person who didn’t deserve this end and, in response to Malcolm’s question, guarantees that David has no idea of her “hobby.” Malcolm asks how he can get in touch with Jasper? E-mail is the only method of communication.

The Morgue.  Edrisa is walking The Team through Caleb Hardy’s death. She estimates there were 3-4 strikes to the occipital bone (the back and lower part of the skull).  Malcolm asks about Caleb’s “gonads” and Edrisa says that the sperm left over in his urethra  indicates he was alive at least 30 minutes after sex.

“So, you know, it wasn’t the worst night ever.”

Edrisa, at Gil’s uncomfortable asking, says that Beth Saverstein was not a match for the vaginal secretions found on Caleb’s body.

Between Gil’s discomfort with the phrase “vaginal secretions” and JT being squeamish at Caleb’s removed penis, I’m starting to think that these tough NYPD detectives are nothing but big ole squishy teddy bears.

JT adds that Beth has a work alibi and David was watching football with his fantasy league. Dani enters the morgue and says that attempts to reach Jasper St. George have hit a wall. Gil suggests reaching out to someone in the sex industry and Malcolm says he may know someone! “Of course you do,” snarks JT.

BDSM Shop. JT and Malcolm enter a BDSM, sex shop. Think lots of leather and chains all over the walls and sec toys in the display cases. Malcolm chooses now to ask JT a “normal” question about dating. Namely, what’s the right move for a first date with an “incredible humans rights activist”?

Cr: Phil Caruso/FOX.

JT suggests doing something active. It brings you closer together and introduces friendly competition. By way of example, JT says that he and his wife play pool every Friday night at Amsterdam Billiards. That was very specific information which will surely not come back to bite JT in the butt later.

The conversation is interrupted by the man they came to see entering the shop. It’s Nico the Dom (James Cusati-Moyer returning), from the Pilot episode! The man who’s hand Malcolm chopped off to save his life from a bomb.  As you can imagine, Nico the Dom is NOT pleased to see Malcolm.

Malcolm exposits a bit that he had heard Nico the Dom bought this “fetish shop” with his “settlement money” and Malcolm is always on the hunt for a good “head board restraint.” Again, laughing out loud over here. JT chimes in too.

“You’re a small business owner now? I’m proud of you, man.”

Cr: Phil Caruso/FOX.

Malcolm grabs Nico the Dom’s wrist and marvels over the wonderful state of reattachment surgery. Holding his wrist tightly, Malcolm says they just have some questions. JT asks about Jasper St. George.  Nico the Dom knows of the man and says that you don’t get a hold of Jasper, Jasper gets a hold of you. Also, he never talks to cops.

Nico the Dom lays out some other requirements to meet Jasper such as having money and a “swanky” place. Malcolm has all of those things and asks if he could get an introduction? Nico the Dom knows he’s been beaten.

Fancy Restaurant.  Malcolm is waiting for Jasper St. George. Jasper’s late and Gil (with the rest of The Team, sitting around the restaurant) says that this may just be a test. The Team is on comms with Malcolm. A woman approaches Malcolm and introduces herself as Simone (Mara Davi). She explains that Jasper doesn’t do these things himself, “it would ruin his whole mystery man persona.”

Malcolm drops Beth’s name as a reference and it’s hard to read Simone’s face if this is a burned name or not.  Malcolm explains that he’s looking to explore a side to himself that he’s kept bottled up for too long. He says he’s not looking for anything too crazy. Simone advises him not to close himself off, noting that with out crazy, you’d be left with boring sex.  Simone explains that the only rule in the community is no relationships.

“Lust is easy, love is dangerous.”

She puts down her martini and tells Malcolm it’s time to go. They’re headed to his place to have sex, she has to “sample the product” as it were.  Is Malcolm up for it, she asks?

“I could give it a shot.”

Commercials.

Malcolm’s Apartment. Malcolm is looking for some guidelines on how far he can go and Gil is all, “shrug.” He tells Malcolm to relax and get as much information as he can. The whole team is right outside in case of any problems. Dani chimes in that she’s enjoying herself.

Simone emerges wearing a leather bustier, garters and stockings. It’s a yummy look on her. She tells Malcolm to take off his jacket just as Jessica calls him on his cell. He ignores it but Simone wants to know who it was. His “realtor” he covers.

Simone starts to back Malcolm towards his bed as he stammers questions about the unconventional screening process and what Jasper’s deal is? Simone offers that this sex test is part of Jasper’s matchmaking decision and refers to him as a “genius when it comes to human desire.” Simone checks out the bed and approves of the handcuffs.

“I love a man who has his own restraints.”

She asks Malcolm if he likes it rough? As Malcolm starts to talk about his high threshold for pain, Simone smacks him so hard, his earwig falls out. She grabs Malcolm, throws him on the bed, and rips open his shirt.  Simone’s face falls as she sees the wire he’s wearing and Gil and The Team are banging on the door.

Sad Sex Trombones.

Some time later, Simone is redressed and Gil and The Team are interviewing her. Simone repeats the same thing we heard before, Jasper only communicates by e-mail but Gil isn’t buying it now. Simone is a cool customer and knows that an arrest for consensual sex isn’t going anywhere. Dani lays it out, telling Simone about Caleb Hardy being murdered. Simone’s face hardens and she says she was the person Caleb had sex with the night he was murdered.

Simone says she did not murder Caleb nor did she love the man. She DID, however, love his body and that she could fuck without consequence. Simone says she left after the sexy times. Malcolm questions if Simone is even upset? “devastated,” she responds but adds that such emotion is not for anyone else to see. Simone is adamant that a “player” did not kill Caleb, they are screened for their “emotional maturity and sexual openess.” Simone screens everyone to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen, and she enforces the rules. Malcolm repeats her earlier line about “lust is easy, love is dangerous.”

Simone gets up to leave, handing over her card if they need her. Gil starts to protest but she shuts him down that she practiced law and knows that if she was bring arrested, she’d already be in handcuffs.

“And not the fun kind.”

I like Simone. More of her, please.

Before she goes, Malcolm asks if there is anyone outside of the community that they should be aware of? Simone offers that Jasper received an anonymous tip about Beth and Caleb “breaking the rules.” Simone assumed it was Beth’s husband that made the complaint and that he wanted the lovers thrown out of the group.

Riverside Park.  David and a mom, Stacy (Jennifer Lim), are sitting on a bench watching their kids play. Malcolm pops on the next bench over and David’s eyes go REAL wide. Malcolm asks about the traffic camera footage that placed David in the City an hour before his alibi football party. Stacy leans over, not knowing what the two men are talking about an introduces herself to Malcolm. Which kid is yours, she cheerfully asks.

“Oh, I don’t have kids. Tricky childhood. I’m not really dad material. Also, I’m wildly dependent on benzos.”

David’s eyes go even WIDER and explains that Stacy is the dean of admissions at the school where the Saversteins are looking to place their daughter. Malcolm asks Stacy about her feeling on sex clubs? Stacy finds this whole exchange delightful and laughs and laughs. Luckily, her child’s bad behavior calls her away from the bench. Alone, Malcolm chastises David for playing the predictable role of “jealous cuckold.”

David gets all panicky and verbal diarrheas the whole story. He had his suspicions about Beth and a lover and he planned to confront her the next time she was staying in the city. He went into the apartment ready to explode but saw Caleb having sex with a woman that wasn’t Beth. He tells Malcolm that he froze at the sight of strangers doing it in his place but then, he just left.  Molly, the daughter, comes up and David sends her back to say bye to her friends. He’s reaching the end of his story and turns back to Malcolm.

“The guy was alive when I left that room. I swear to God.”

Malcolm hopes David is telling the truth, “for her sake,” indicating to Molly.

Malcolm’s Apartment. Later, Malcolm comes home to find his mother and a tailor waiting for him.  She wants to help him get ready for his date.

“Sure. This is normal.”

Commercials.

We come back from break as Malcolm steps up on to the tailor’s platform. The tailor begins to chalk off a suit as Jessica spins ideas on places Malcolm can take Eve for their date. Malcolm says they are keeping it “normal” and Jessica scoffs, rich people don’t do normal.

As the tailor reaches up to Malcolm’s shoulder, Malcolm sees the Shadow Girl from the opening scene; she grabs him around the mouth. Malcolm startles and Jessica flinches as she notices his hand begin to twitch.  Jessica sends “Vincenzo” the tailor out of the room and asks her son to tell her what’s wrong.

Malcolm, now would be the perfect time to tell her about the Girl in the Box … but Malcolm doesn’t listen to me. He tells Mama Whitly that now is not the time to get into things.

Amsterdam Billiards.  A very over dressed Malcolm and Eve pop into JT’s billiard spot. He can not even believe what he’s seeing and whispers a mild threat to Malcolm.

“Shooting pool was an example, not an invitation.”

Malcolm is all smiles and introduces Eve to JT.  Tally (Carra Patterson), JT’s wife comes over and knows exactly who Malcolm is – she can tell from the expensive suit.  Tally compliments Eve on how pretty she is and hands her JT’s beer. She sends JT to the bar to get more drinks and Frank Harts is killing it here with his frowny face cranked to 11.

Cr: Jojo Whilden/FOX.

Tally has clearly heard all sorts of stories from her husband about Malcolm and asks how he gets in the head of the killers? Malcolm credits his training … at Quantico, he adds hastily to the end. JT comes back and targets Malcolm as someone that he is going to make some cash off tonight.

Sometime later, Malcolm takes a total whiff at hitting a pool shot and everyone politely chuckles at how un-athletic he is.

“Next time we should play squash. I am very good at squash.”

Luckily for Team Malcolm, Eve is VERY good at pool and sinks two balls with one shot. Tally wants to know more about Malcolm’s profiler skills and asks Malcolm to do one of them. “Do me,” Eve offers (I smile because I am 12 years old at heart). Malcolm warns Eve that she does not want him to profile her.

“I think I can handle it.”

Cr: Jojo Whilden/FOX.

Malcolm begins his assessment and all is going well at first. He’s in full work mode and being clinical with his terms. He compliments her looks and charm and intelligence and guesses her ease of blending between social classes. Also, she’s from somewhere in the Carolinas. Raised middle class. But, being social didn’t bring her to New York. Things start to get more serious as Malcolm turns his eye deeper inside Eve. He says that something deeply personal drove her to New York and her work with human trafficking.

Eve breaks the tension to say it was a Saab that brought her to New York.

Malcolm doesn’t break stride, he’s deadly serious. Eve asked for this after all. He notes the faded half a heart tattoo on her wrist and guesses that since she got it as a teen, an adult must have been with her. That fact makes the tattoo of special significance.  He comments that tattoo isn’t broken, it’s split and he ponders who has the other half.

Eve’s eyes begin to fill with tears as Malcolm guesses a mother or a sister. JT senses the change in the atmosphere and offers a warning, “Bright.” Malcolm isn’t done yet and finishes his thought that whomever had the other half of the tattoo heart is gone and THAT was what motivated her to begin to help other women.

“And no matter how many people you save, you can’t save the other half of that heart.”

The camera is tight on Malcolm’s face and Eve’s face in turn. It’s like an inch away, kind of closeup.

Cr: Jojo Whilden/FOX.

Eve walks away from the table and Tally apologizes to Malcolm for starting the whole thing. Malcolm shrugs it off and says that JT was right when he said Malcolm’s gift isn’t a parlor trick. All awkwardness is saved when JT gets a text, Dani has found Jasper. Time to bounce.

Commercials.

Jasper’s Apartment. The Team is riding the elevator to Jasper’s floor as Dani explains that they tracked down the apartment using Jasper’s IP address. The apartment is in the name of a trust. The doors open and we see blood on the floor.  Everyone’s gun comes out as The Team moves into Jasper’s darkened apartment.

A dead body is sprawled in the middle of the posh living room. There is a wheelchair in the room near a computer and a ton of medication on a nearby table.  The name on the prescription bottles is Charles Garner. Malcolm puts two (the meds) and two (the wheelchair) together and tells us that the dead man had ALS.

Malcolm looks at the major computer setup (the hard drive or server is smoking lightly), the degrees on the wall in computer science and articles about Charles Garner. The articles talk about Garner creating earlier match dating software. Malcolm announces that Charles Garner is also Jasper St. George.  Dani finds a bunch of pictures that feature Simone and Charles, in love. Kissing. Gil wonders aloud why she’d not mention the relationship with Jasper and Malcolm guesses that she didn’t want her man to spend his last days in an interrogation room.

Malcolm continues his on the fly profile. Simone and Charles were in love but his disease robbed them of their intimacy. Malcolm posits that Charles built the whole sex match community to give Simone an outlet for her desires, a chance to find intimacy and an escape from her real world of Charles and his ALS.

Romantic … from a certain point of view.

JT pulls up security camera footage from the building. Simone was seen leaving the apartment an hour ago. This kind of blows up Malcolm’s theory. He’s confused because Simone’s femme fatale act was the fantasy to escape from her normal life here in the apartment. Gil says that he respects Malcolm’s profile but the fact remains, Simone is their best lead. They call her on the phone.

Simone is walking down a dark, wet, empty cobble stone street when she picks up Gil’s call. She thinks this is about the sex community again and starts to refer him to her lawyer but Gil cuts her off, tells her that Charles is dead. Simone stops walking. She can’t believe what she’s hearing, she just spoke to Charles an hour ago.

As Simone is speaking to Gil, a woman is approaching Simone from behind. The woman is all in shadow.

Back in the apartment, Gil is putting the pieces together and tells Simone to head to the police station.

On the street, Simone has turned around and sees the woman approaching her. She asks what is going on as the shadow figure bangs her in the face or stabs her in the face. It’s unclear with all the shadows. Simone falls to the ground in a heap.

Back in the apartment, Malcolm realizes the killer has taken Simone. He starts to head out and The Team is like, “?!?” Malcolm clarifies that he knows who the killer is, so let’s go!

The Saverstein Pied-A-Terre. The Team barges past an upset David Saverstein. The pied-a-terre is a mess and David explains he and Beth had a fight. She went back to Greenwich, he says. Gil explains that a woman is missing and they need to search the apartment.

Malcolm is just staring at the sex bed of death. David asks what he’s doing.

Malcolm turns to David and starts to walk him through David’s story from the park bench. There are too many windows and mirrors in the room to support David’s story. If David entered the space enough to see that the woman in bed wasn’t Beth and then froze, as he said, there was no way that the people having sex didn’t see David (as he alleged).  Malcolm guesses that David watched a bit, that David likes to watch.

JT and Dani come back and confirm the apartment is empty.

Malcolm continues his theory, David didn’t come to the apartment that night to confront Beth and Caleb, he came to watch them. When Malcolm says the name, “Caleb,” David makes a flinching movement. Malcolm calls him on it and says he did the same thing back in the park. What is David hiding that relates to Caleb?

Malcolm bounces around a bit and settles on that David knew Beth was in love with Caleb, it just wasn’t sex like David was otherwise okay with.  Malcolm walks past David to the other side of the room, the far side away from the bed where a giant mirror hangs.

“Tell me David, did Beth break the rules? Did she fall in love? Did she kill Caleb?”

Malcolm is right up against the mirror, we’re on the other side of it now, looking at him. A hand holding a gun raises up and is pointed right at Malcolm’s head.

Commercials.

We came back from break and the gun is being held steady on the other side of the two way mirror.

Back in the apartment, Malcolm is confirming that David used to watch Beth have sex from the other side of the mirror, that it was two way glass. The view gave David the best vantage point. Malcolm goes a step further and says that David saw Beth kill Caleb. David is all stammering and Gil takes out his gun, guessing there is someone on the other side of the glass. At the last minute, Malcolm tells them all to get down as the glass shatters from a gun shot. David takes a bullet in the belly as Beth is revealed to be standing behind the two way mirror with a bound and gagged Simone, sitting in a chair. Beth is also wearing a black haired wig.

Beth, holding the gun to Simone, villain monologues that Simone kept taking Caleb to bed. Beth’s bed. And when Beth told Caleb to stop it with Simone, he wouldn’t.

Malcolm guesses that it was Beth that wrote the anonymous complaint to Jasper, trying to get her and Caleb expelled from the community. And when that didn’t work, she came to her own apartment to confront Caleb.

Beth says that Caleb was never going to leave the life and worse (from her point of view), was going to tell Jasper and Simone what she’d done and how’d she felt about him.

Malcolm fills in the blanks and says that Beth killed him in a rage. And then, feeling paranoid after she talked with Malcolm and The Team, turned to killing Jasper to cover her tracks. And then killing Simone, the woman Caleb couldn’t give up.

Beth claims that Simone had everything and Malcolm is all, nopers. He explains that Simone’s husband was dying and that Simone’s femme fatale act was just a fantasy. That it isn’t who Simone really is just like being a killer isn’t who Beth really is.

Beth catches sight of herself in the shattered glass. She takes off the wig and drops the gun as she begins to sob. JT moves in to handcuff her as Malcolm nods reassuringly to Simone.

The Police Station. Jessica is waiting for Gil in  his office. She wants to know what Malcolm is “avoiding” her.  Gil tells her that the Girl in the Box was real, that Paul the Junkyard Killer confirmed it and even handed Malcolm the girl’s bracelet.

Jessica is shocked and starts to spiral about all the years that they told him it was imaginary. Gil stops her by grabbing her face and then pulling her into a hug. It’s very intimate. Gil says that the blame lies with Martin, the man who manipulated Malcolm and Jessica.

Jessica breaks from the hug and says that she thought it would get better, that they would get through what Martin did. But it’s always getting worse. Steeling her resolve she goes to leave Gil’s office. She turns with one final thought.

“Martin destroyed the lives of my children, myself, and every one of his victims. Maybe it’s time that I find a way to return the favor.”

Malcolm’s Apartment. Eve arrives at Malcolm’s door and he apologizes for earlier that night, for making her feel “dissected.” Eve says that was she trying to be “sexy and brave” and Malcolm confirms that she is both. He apologizes again for not being able to turn off that part of himself.

“I’m never going to be normal.”

He continues that he’s probably crazy for thinking any woman would want to be with him and confirms that he scares her. He replies that she scares him too, though probably for different reasons.

Malcolm kisses her. Eve kisses him back. They kick the door close, make their way deeper into his apartment (past the parakeet that twitters with approval) and the clothes come off. The camera soft dissolves to black.

Focus comes back and it’s sometimes later, post-coital. Eve is asleep on Malcolm’s chest. They are on the floor. Malcolm checks his hand and there is no tremor. He rolls Eve off of him and makes his way to the kitchen for some water.

Shadow Girl is back and she approaches him, scolding Malcolm for not finding her, for not even remembering what she looks like.

Eve stirs on the rug.

Shadow Girl appears on the other side of Malcolm and begins to choke him. Malcolm grabs a big kitchen knife and begins to slash wildly at the empty air. Eve is there, she’s screaming for Malcolm to wake up as she falls backwards to the floor.

Malcolm sees her and drops the knife, point up into the floor. Sharp knife. He breaks down, apologizing as the camera pulls back to show us how very close he was to her, to knifing her to death. Eve on the floor, Malcolm close to collapse, and the knife sticking out of the floor in between them … it’s a stark image. And I can’t help but wonder if it’s not a prophetic image?

And Scene.

***

Thoughts.

“I’ll never be normal.” That was the lesson of tonight’s morality play – Malcolm can pretend, he can put on a show but in the end, he is who he is. He’s been through what he’s been through. And those events, all of them, have shaped the man that he is. Gifted and guarded. Broken and alone. Can Eve really ever understand, does she run the risk of getting gored by a knife for her troubles?

I completely suspect Eve of being, or being related to, the Girl in the Box but, until that eventual reveal, I am excited for us to watch Malcolm navigate a romantic relationship with her. This is a part of Malcolm’s growth that has maybe been neglected the most in his life, as Dr. Gabby points out at the beginning of the episode. An exploration of Malcolm’s loving, romantic, sexual side will be a nice counterpoint to all of the other things we have come to learn about Malcolm Bright over this first season. Watching him try (and fail and succeed in fits and starts) will be a nice season ending bookend to this tale of mystery and woe that otherwise defines his whole life.

What is normal? I don’t know that anyone can really answer that question. I think normal is the most subjective of terms, because what is normal for you, may not be and most likely is not, the same as what is normal for me. Tonight’s main storyline was an interesting look at normal, especially when juxtaposed against Malcolm’s B plot attempt at having a normal day and date with Eve (and JT and Tally).

Maybe a no strings attached sex club is not normal for you or for me, but it was certainly normal for Simone and Caleb, and Beth even … until it wasn’t.

I don’t know that anyone is qualified to say, “this is normal.” Something to think about anyway.

Thank you for reading! Join us next week for the Fall finale of Prodigal Son!!

***

Prodigal Son airs on Fox on Monday nights at 9pm (ET/PT). We’ll be Live Tweeting this show so please, join us! 

***

Make sure to follow PopCultureReview on social media so you never miss an update on Prodigal Son or any of our television coverage.  Follow us on Twitter @popcultureview and Instagram at pop_culture_view! And thank you for reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *