Phantom Of The Ballet
Prodigal Son returns this week with another twisted slice of psychological crime, this time with more answers surrounding the girl in the box mystery and a deliciously dark ballet murder to decipher. All of this while keeping the same characterisation and ideas from before while gearing up for a dramatic quartet of episodes to follow to bow out this first season.
Episode 18 of Prodigal Son begins with Bright trying to decipher his Father’s work while finding himself haunted by the ghost of Eve’s sister Sophie. Realizing that he needs to go right to the heart of the issue, Bright prepares to visit Martin in prison with Eve.
Meanwhile, Jessica hosts a party for an upcoming theatre ballet production but while two dancers perform for the crowd, one of them, a man named Javier, starts sputtering blood and collapses on the floor, inevitably calling Malcolm and the others into the room.
Before they can continue with the case however, Malcolm and Eve head in to see Martin. They’re given strict instructions not to cross the red line but as they walk inside the room, Eve defies that and steps up to Martin, slapping him across the face. She goes on to berate him for what happened to her sister and as Martin struggles to keep a grip on what’s happening, Bright and Eve leave the room. It turns out this was all part of the plan to make Martin desperate enough to phone with real answers.
Back with the case, Malcolm and the gang head to the morgue to do the autopsy and study Javier’s body. As they discuss whether this was done by someone inside the theatre, the group head over to interview Joseph Krieg, who admits to being in a bust-up with Javier earlier in the week. He admits to being innocent but does tell them to talk to the divas who are far more unstable and unpredictable.
Good thing too, as Malcolm and the others talk one of the girls in the dressing room who immediately starts screaming in agony when she gets a contact stuck in her eye – a contact that’s been doused in pepper spray. The investigators decide to lock down the theatre and in doing so, find a whole stack of evidence for different dancers being sabotaged.
With the dancers all lined up facing each other, the mass interview begins as we bounce between the different dancers. As it turns out, all of this back-stabbing was orchestrated by Fiona, the prima of the ballet. Only, she’s not the person who killed Javier but they do get crucial information from her regarding her relationship with Javier and his issues performing in the bedroom.
With ties to Cuba and plenty of baggage carried over from there, it turns out a man named Castillo, an alleged dead Cuban from Javier’s home country, isn’t so dead after all and he’s the one who killed Javier. After saving Fiona, Malcolm and the others solve the case and arrest Castillo.
Meanwhile, Eve heads back in to see Martin with Malcolm, imploring him to tell the truth about Sophie. As we cut back in time we see Martin saving Sophie, not killing her, but for some reason her sister doesn’t want anything to do with Eve and left all those years ago. Martin tells Malcolm to stop her as she hurries out the room, pleading with his son but it’s no good, Eve leaves Malcolm as she heads off to try and find Sophie.
As the episode closes out, we cut back to Martin’s vision as Sophie pleads with him. “Nicholas Endicott is a monster”, she says as we cut to the last frame of Endicott’s face as he prepares for a date with Jessica, where the episode ends.
In terms of set-up, this week sees a pretty similar resolution to last week’s episode. The mysterious assailant hiding in the shadows from the past, only to suddenly spring up and attack, feels like a bit of a missed opportunity, especially given the interesting premise and potential psychological profiling of all these ballet dancers at each other’s throats. Seeing Malcolm lining them all up and questioning them in the theatre certainly had the potential to be one of the more memorable scenes of the season but alas, the episode goes a different way instead.
Having said that though, the revelation about the box and what really happened to Sophie is interesting and certainly unexpected, with Endicott likely to be the main antagonist going forward into the remaining episodes. Quite how the rest of this season will play out remains to be seen but Prodigal Son certainly has the potential to end things on a bang after another good episode here.