A Bad Trip
With another stand-alone case this week, Prodigal Son returns to its rigid structure as Bright grapples with his own inner demons. With a little more history behind Bright’s troubled past and some good investigative work, Prodigal Son continues to offer up compelling drama.
We begin in 1998 with Martin being visited by Jessica, telling him she’ll never forgive him for what he’s put their family through. We then jump back to present day with Bright suffering from bad dreams, so bad in fact that he jumps out the window and clings to the balcony for dear life. Gaining his composure, he lets Jessica in and speaks to his Mother about his mental state, promising he has everything under control. As it happens, he most certainly doesn’t, as we’re introduced to a new crime scene while he continues to be haunted by flashbacks.
The victim this week is a drug-induced male with a note attached to his chest. As Gil reads the scrawled writing, Bright thinks out loud about possible meaning behind the letter, discussing the calligraphy. As they keep investigating, it turns out the brain has been removed from this man too.
As the investigation continues, with the team talking to Dr Brown who happens to be at the centre of this issue, Jessica confronts Ainsley about her brother seeing Martin again. While they talk, Bright tries talking sense into another doctor who appears to be high on LSD, culminating in him pushing the man off the roof onto a balcony below. He had more than the 50x the normal dose a recreational user would have too and the killer is using this drug as a way of combating fear.
As Bright continues to dive deeper, he pieces together different letters he’s collected from the different victims, arranging them in such a way that the writing paints a mosaic outline of a face. As he begins piecing it all together, he calls for police reinforcements as the lights go out and Dr. Brown reveals herself to be high on LSD – she’s been spiked. As Bright heads upstairs, Brown shoots the killer before Bright talks her out of losing control completely and allowing the drug to consume her fears. JT arrives soon after and manages to stop her from shooting Bright and eventually our protagonist manages to calm the situation down.
With the case solved, Jessica heads in to visit Martin in prison. She tells him to stop seeing Malcolm but he smiles coolly in response, telling her he’s thankful she raised their kids. As he reaches out his hand to touch her face, she panics and jolts back, calling him a monster. As we flash back to the past, we see Jessica talking to Malcolm as a child about the box, grabbing him by the wrist hard and clearly hiding a big secret. Quite what that is, remains to be seen as we leave the episode on a cliffhanger.
Much like before, Prodigal Son continues to drip feed its troubled past for Bright whilst allowing each episode to stand as its own single case. It’s a pretty easy show to watch because of this too and while I doubt Fox will be in a hurry to renew this one, Prodigal Son is a decent offering nonetheless. While the show still has echoes of Hannibal woven through its narrative, there’s enough originality with the weekly cases to make it worth sticking with for now. Quite where this one is likely to go next remains to be seen but the cases are interesting enough to keep you coming back for more.