Prodigal Son 2×09, “The Killabustas” shifts the focus back to the dynamics between the characters, and let’s be honest. That’s really what keeps us watching from week to week. The mysteries are often interesting, of course. But it’s the characters that keep us invested, and several had some stand-out moments this week.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
Martin & Vivian Capshaw
I can’t say this is my favorite romance – or even interpersonal dynamic – on the show, but it certainly is one of the most interesting. Last week, Martin and Dr. Capshaw exchanged an illicit kiss. In my review, I speculated that there was more going on – on both sides – than meets the eye. I still stand by that suspicion. However, more happened this episode than the audience saw, as well.
This episode, it appears, at least, as though Martin’s interest in Dr. Capshaw might be real. At least, it might not entirely be an act. I have to admit, I also watch Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, and when he started to fantasize about her during Malcolm’s visit, I expected him to burst into song. (For the record, I would have been willing to roll with it.)
Martin and Capshaw seem to be genuinely drawn to each other, but I’m not so sure. I still feel like one or both of them are playing a long game. And not just because Michael Sheen’s line delivery sometimes come off as a combination of flirtatious and threatening. I can guess his end game, but hers is still a mystery to me. I don’t doubt that she was telling the truth when she said she’d been fascinated by him. But I still think there’s more to her story.
She wasn’t wrong about their love being the stuff true crime podcasts are made of. And I would know, because I listen to a lot of them.
Dani & Malcolm & Edrisa & Blaze
It isn’t exactly a love square because Edrisa’s crush on Malcolm is indisputably one-sided. However, things grew somewhat more complicated this episode, as Edrisa finds potential love of her own. And, personally, that makes me glad. I quite like her character, and it hurts to see her repeatedly kicked in the teeth in the romance department.
Her chemistry with firefighter Blaze is also really good, so if there’s more in store for those two, sign me up. And Blaze seems to feel the same way, not needing even a moment’s pause at her confession that she’s into more than just a little “light” bondage. Or being interrupted by two cops bursting through the door during a sexier moment. If a guy isn’t willing to let an accusation of murder cool his ardor, only to finish up the date with the discovery of a decapitated head, that’s when you know that it’s real.
But on the subject of Edrisa, was anyone really surprised that she heads her own team of online sleuths (the titular Killabustas)? Or that she apparently has several “murder boards” at her house? I know I should probably be a little creeped out, but honestly? I kinda just want to be her friend. So I’m glad to see her happy, even if her crush on Malcolm isn’t quite gone just yet.
Speaking of Malcolm, he’s a bit of a mess at the moment. But when is he not? Telling Gil, “Trauma’s my middle name” isn’t exactly the winning argument he thinks it is. Then again, Gil at one point tries to reassure Jessica with, “You’ve overcome enough for a dozen bestsellers,” so they’re both pretty bad at this.
But while Malcolm has always dealt with a lot, now he has an added stressor: He’s hallucinating his dad. (I would say at inopportune moments, but is there really an opportune time to hallucinate a serial killer?) As an aside, it’s actually interesting to see Martin “outside” of the hospital, even if he’s just a hallucination, a delusion, or the product of head trauma. I find myself hoping to see more of it, although it wouldn’t take much to go from “intriguing” to “contrived.”
The Martin hallucination encouraged Malcolm to confide in Dani. Making shippers of that pair particularly happy, I’m sure. And to his credit, he did turn to her for support in the end. Until he slipped and referred to Nicholas (Endicott’s) murder, which sent him into a panic and caused him to push her away. This is likely going to come back and haunt him, because she’s no fool. For someone who was so cunning about getting rid of the body, he’s not that great at the overall coverup. Maybe he should be relieved by this realization – if he manages to stay out of jail. It turns out he’s not entirely like his father, after all.
It seems he may not be able to keep this secret from his friends forever. But the revelation may well cause a rift between these two. Dani is understanding of his night terrors and mental quirks, but covering up for murder? That would take a lot of understanding.
Jessica & Gil
Speaking of couples that may face rocky times ahead, if the truth behind Nicholas Endicott’s murder is ever revealed…Gil and Jessica seemed to take a small step forward this week. With a little nudge from Malcolm, of course.
Jessica told her sister she was going to write a book about her life with the Surgeon, and it seems she’s as good as her word. But she needs the statement she made to the police after Martin’s arrest. Malcolm is naturally eager to play matchmaker. He asks Gil for his help in Jessica’s scheme – while being unsubtle in his encouragement that she’d love to see her would-be flame.
Jessica is less enthusiastic about his machinations. But it works. Gil brings her the files and offers her his help. He even reassures her of her ability to change the minds of those who would pre-judge her. Their final scene, as they flirt and dance, was sweet. It’s hard not to ship these two, and if anyone deserves a little happiness – and a good person in her life – it’s Jessica.
If only that one, tiny, pesky secret wasn’t between them: That her daughter committed murder, and her son covered it up. But what was it Shakespeare said? “The course of true love never did run smooth.”
Prodigal Son airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Fox.