The Chinese Peacock
After a brief hiatus, Prodigal Son returns this week with a pretty good episode, one that certainly subverts expectations with a nice twist at the end while allowing more screen-time for Martin to bleed through after the shocking climax to the previous episode. While this doesn’t come close to the tension felt around the Junkyard Killer all those weeks ago, Prodigal Son continues to deliver a decent enough slice of crime drama.
Episode 16 of Prodigal Son begins with Martin waking up and beginning to manipulate Malcolm, telling him to visit every 10 days or he’ll tell the police it was Malcolm that stabbed him.
Meanwhile, Jessica convinces Malcolm to speak to Eve and patch things up, before Malcolm heads to another crime scene involving jewellery being taken and a woman named Angela Santi dead after being shot at close range. It turns out Malcolm’s old friend Vijay, who works as an insurer there, is also working on the case.
As they study Angela’s body, they notice it has been turned over to face the killer, making Malcolm realize this murder was committed by someone who’s addicted to the thrill of this act. Back at the station the group discuss how impressive the bikers were, and the possibility it could have been staged. Vijay arrives and tells them they’re looking for a motorcycle group that could be linked to this, aligning both cases together.
Malcolm and the others are taken to another crime scene where they find a woman has been shot in the head and a recording on the stereo of the attack used to throw them off. However, the woman survives the attack and as they bring her in to surgery, Malcolm decides to interview the woman while she’s being operated on, thanks to Martin’s words of wisdom beforehand. Piecing together crucial clues, he learns the attacker had a Chinese Peacock tattoo on his arm.
Gil and Malcolm work together and question whether Vijay may be part of this entire operation but in over his head. Malcolm finds him down by the docks and implores his old friend to be careful and vigilant, as they meet the Chinese gang leader Cooper. He takes them both to a warehouse where he’s selling guns.
Once there, Malcolm realizes that the right-hand woman Sheila is the one with the tattoo. As he keeps asking questions, one of the gang members figure out Malcolm is a cop and begin beating Vijay down for information. As Malcolm talks to the gang about which one of them is the murderer, Vijay is released with Alex, Cooper’s close family member working for him. As tensions reach fever pitch at the warehouse, it turns out the killer is actually Pete, and he’s in love with Sheila.
This leads to a stand off between the four gang members and as they all fire at the same time, Malcolm falls to the ground and begins hallucinating, seeing Martin in his subconscious mind. He tells Malcolm he injected fear and anger into the gang members; just the right amount to make for a volatile cocktail to consume the group.
As Malcolm awakens, he finds Sheila and Pete both still alive, the former with a gun to her head. With Pete momentarily distracted, suddenly the garage doors open and Vijay drives his car in, running the gang member over. The “bad seeds” save the day and prevent Pete from killing someone else.
Back at Jessica’s house, it turns out Eve knows about the girl in the box and asks Malcolm’s mother if she needs help. As she leaves the room, Eve sneaks down to the basement and opens the box; sobbing as painful memories come flooding back. She takes her shoes off and lies in the box, closing the door as the episode ends.
Is Eve the girl in the box from the past? Does she have familial ties to Malcolm and Martin? It’s certainly an intriguing proposition but alongside this is the standard case of the week, which does well to subvert expectations at the end. For most of the episode it seems apparent that Vijay was the ring-leader but it’s nice to see this switched up in the third act.
There’s a pretty tense stand-off at the end too, although the incredulous way that everyone seems to be surviving bullets to the head in this episode is a little disconcerting. Despite that, Prodigal Son delivers another good episode but quite what the rest of the series has in store for us, remains to be seen.