So, this time, things are getting a little bit more interesting. I’m pleased with this episode. Without further delay, let’s jump in. Spoilers ahead.
This week’s case is four people murdered in an apartment. They are a family and they’re all sat at a dining table. They correctly assumed that they’ve been poisoned.
Malcolm receives a phone call and its Daddy from the asylum. Martin says something very interesting. He tells Malcolm that he’s using his ‘phone time’ that he used to use for his ‘medical consultations’. Can we just unpack that for a second?
So, ‘medical consultations’. What does that refer to exactly? Presumably, Martin’s not still practicing medicine. He could be talking about ‘medical consultations’ with a psychologist since he’s in an asylum but why would they be doing that over the phone? Wouldn’t it be face to face? I’m also skeptical about all this because in the last episode, Malcolm found the killer because he sifted through Martin’s old patient files which he was allowed to keep? What’s happening? I sort of understand that Martin is allowed to keep his journals, but to keep files of his old patients? I don’t understand. That should not be allowed.
Anyway, Martin wants in the whole ‘solving murders’ thing that his son is into and there are a lot of questions hanging over why he wants to do this. I seriously doubt that it’s because he wants to redeem himself because in the last episode that he didn’t want to help the police because ‘it goes against everything he stands for’. So, why now? Is it because he wants to get closer to Malcolm to do a bit more mind-fucking? A touch of manipulation? I’ll discuss some more theories at the end. Malcolm is wise to Daddy’s game because he starts ignoring Martin’s calls.
This quadruple murder gets sinister very quickly. That dad, whose sat at the head of the table, had his mouth sewn shut and once the stitches are clipped, a snake crawls out. Question. Where was the snake hiding inside the body? And how did it get in? It couldn’t have been in the stomach because it surely would have been cooked by the juices. Also, if the snake was just chilling in the neck, wouldn’t Edrisa have seen the neck moving before it popped out? Instead, it looks like the snake is moving up the esophagus from beneath. That snake is shit hot at ‘hide and seek’. This murder scene is both elaborate and dramatic. This murderer went to great lengths to make a point.
I wonder if one of the writers is a fan of ‘Kill Bill’ because the snake that comes out is a Black Mamba. Probably not. That’s a bit of a stretch. But it’s because of ‘Kill Bill Vol. 2’ that I know that a bite from a Black Mamba can kill someone in 4 hours if they are bitten on the ankle or thumb but if bitten on the face or torso then death from paralysis will occur with 20 minutes. Keep that in mind. But also bear in mind that this information is based on a Quentin Tarantino movie so… who knows if it’s true?
Medical examiner, Edrisa is deathly afraid of snakes and is frozen solid just as a snake is swirling its way up her leg. But, it’s Malcolm to the rescue because he had snakes as a child as so knows how to deal with them, even poisonous ones somehow. Malcolm calms her down, saying that as long as she doesn’t give the snake a reason to bite her then it won’t hurt her. He inches closer with a napkin in his hand and pulls the thing off her.
The running theory is that the killer is someone who wants to be a part of the family but has been rejected and so the team discover that the father (who had a snake inside him) has another son and the son is a black marketeer who specializes in exotic animals. Like snakes. The son doesn’t want to get into trouble over his ‘black-marketing’ and so runs away. Malcolm is in hot pursuit but the son has the ultimate ‘fuck-you’ counterargument to being chased by throwing a snake at Malcolm. Dani turns up and sees that there is a snaking hanging off Malcolm’s wrist.
I’m guessing that since a Black Mamba has already been established then it is a Black Mamba that has been thrown at Malcolm. Maybe. Whatever snake it was, it’s a snake whose venom causes an instantaneous collapse for the victim which is what happens to Malcolm. He’s bitten and he’s instantly down and struggling to breath, then he starts convulsing. That could be artistic license because with a quick Google search, I could find a snake whose venom causes an instant collapse. With a Black Mamba, it’s about 45 minutes before someone collapses and begins experiencing respiratory issues.
Regardless, Malcolm is taken to hospital and treated with presumably an anti-venom and he is also sedated. While he is unconscious, he has a significant dream. He dreams about box with the woman in it which he dreamt about in the last episode and at the beginning of this episode but this time, he remembers more. He recalls seeing the woman and then Martin comes behind and grabs him whilst holding a cloth over his face. So that’s another question to add to the list. Was he drugged?
Also, Malcolm’s mother is not convinced that there was actually a woman inside the box and that her appearance is a nightmare. Malcolm believes that he is remembering things when he is asleep rather than having dreams/nightmares. BUT, it’s assumed that this was the event that led Malcolm to call the police but if the woman didn’t exist, then what was it that caused Malcolm to call the police?
The next morning, Malcolm checks himself out of the hospital. They gave him something that made him sleep and he doesn’t like that because he needs to be able to wake up otherwise, he’s stuck in his nightmare with his father. His sister, Ainsley comes to visit him since she’s his emergency contact. She steals his phone and sees that Martin has left him a lot of voicemails and she’s officially pissed that Malcolm has been to see their father.
What they need is a resolution to the case and Malcolm thinks he has it. Dani and Malcolm visit the family lawyer and his daughter has a genetic condition that the father also had which proves that he is the illegitimate son and also the killer. But it’s too late, the guy has already poisoned his whole family and also himself. Luckily, Dani has the antidote to the poison in a first aid kit in her car. That was lucky. Remember folks, ‘preparation’ is not ‘convenience’. 😐
They save the two kids and the wife and Malcolm goes to the lawyer and he begs Malcolm to let him die but Malcolm doesn’t give him the satisfaction and gives him the jab.
Later at the office, Malcolm has a glass of scotch or whiskey and the alcohol mixes with the medication still in his system, so he becomes unsteady on his feet and by that, I mean totally wasted. Gil asks Dani to take him home and I totally think that this was put in just to reinforce the fact the Dani is the love interest.
She takes him back to his apartment and helps him into his room and she has a little nose about his apartment. She does see a display case that’s filled with knives and blunt weapons and since they’ve been mentioned and therefore established, we’ll totally be seeing those again. Since they’ve been mentioned in the second episode, I’m guessing the season finale. Malcolm will be accosted in his apartment and one of those weapons will be used by either him or the person accosting him. That’s a tiny prediction.
Anyway, Dani helps Malcolm strap himself into bed and then leaves him to sleep. Whilst asleep, Malcolm remembers a little bit more. After Martin drugged him, he put child Malcolm to bed and his mother came in and they both tucked him in. But she’s acting totally weird in this scene. She says, ‘You know you can’t go into your Dad’s hobby room’. Why not? Unless she knew that room was actually his murder room? There’s something shady going on with her.
Only one person can answer these questions, Martin. So, Malcolm goes to see Daddy and asks him about the woman in the box. Martin is adamant that woman doesn’t exist, and Martin opens the field to a broader question. Why didn’t Malcolm call the police after ‘finding the girl’? (Which I thought he did) If not, how much longer did he wait? Why can’t he remember big chunks of time? All of this implies that Malcolm may have had a hand in some of the murders… but what evidence do we have for this?
The show is called ‘Prodigal Son’; Malcolm likes to walk through a crime scene as if he were the killer, he has a large collection of weaponry, he seems to be having nightmares about half naked women in boxes who may or may not have existed, he straps himself to his bed every night which could be for the ‘night terrors’ which have been shown to get violent. Could Malcolm have been manipulated into ‘sleep murdering’ by his father and so his subconscious tells him to strap himself down every night? Speaking of, remember earlier on in the episode with Edrisa and the snakes? Malcolm told her that the brain has a kind of ‘defense mechanism’. I know that in the scene he was referring to the brain shutting down motor functions in the presence of a predator, but we also know that the brain can block out horrible memories from childhood to protect the individual. What if a bit of that was going on?
Anyway, the ‘orderly’ guy, David, who’s been sat with Martin when he’s been making his phone calls, he calls Malcolm’s mother to tell her that Malcolm has been visiting and when she hangs up, she throws her phone to the ground. Malcolm’s going to have to answer some questions next week.
So yeah. Some really interesting questions were posed in this episode and I’m really looking forward to them being answered.
The whole ‘father and son solving crimes whilst Dad’s in a Psych hospital for murder’ was a concept that could have carried the show but it feels like the whole ‘murder cases’ is just a load of filler content and the meat of the show is Malcolm and the mysteries surrounding his missing memories. That can also carry a show. That’s probably the way it should be. Detective shows can get too bogged down in the relationships of people who we’ll only see for one episode and therefore don’t give two tenths of a toss about but the recurring characters who we’ll see every episode, those are the people that matter and so focusing more on them isn’t such a bad thing.
See you for Episode 3.