Prodigal Son S01E11 Review – Alone Time

This episode was interesting, and some questions did get answered but first, some background.

Malcolm figured out the identity of the Junkyard Killer as Mr. John Watkins and at the end of the last episode, he and Sean Pertwee ended up at Watkin’s granny’s house where Sean Pertwee got his throat cut and Malcolm was kidnapped.

Spoiler alert. I will be talking about the ending soooo… yeh.

The first thing I’ll say is that this kind of episode in a detective show is not new. You know what I’m talking about. The ‘team member gets kidnapped and held by that week’s psycho and tortured both physically and psychologically until they’re rescued’ episode. Usually, that team member will struggle with PTSD for the next episode and then be healed by the end and the incident will only be mentioned sparingly. When it inevitably happens to one of the other members of the team when the ratings start to fall, the person will offer help because of what they went through. It’s pretty good as a mid-season cliff hanger because it ensures that people return, and it looks like it’s done its job.

Remember when Spence was kidnapped on ‘Criminal Minds’? Does anyone still watch ‘Criminal Minds’? Is it still on? I heard it was finishing but I can’t remember when. Or how about when Patrick Jane was kidnapped in ‘The Mentalist’? Or Castle in ‘Castle’? I’m not sure about that last one but that must have happened, it’s a detective show. You see my point?

Where was I?

Oh yeh. It seems that Watkins went on the camping trip with Martin and Malcolm and emerged a serial killer and apparently, we have Malcolm to thank for that because Malcolm stabbed Watkins in self defense as Watkins was going to kill him. To be honest, Watkins should have seen that coming. He knew Malcolm had a knife because he showed the knife to Watkins before they left.

Regardless, Watkins wants Malcolm to go through the same experience and so stabs Malcolm in the chest but rest assured, Malcolm’s ‘main character invincibility’ is protecting him to obviously, he’s not going to die. And we all saw that promotional picture from this episode that showed Malcolm screaming and I think he was holding a hammer so obviously (two and two together) he’s going to break his hand towards the end in a desperate means to escape.

Meanwhile, the police have found out that Sean Pertwee is dead and Malcolm’s missing so the asshole FBI agent (she isn’t important enough for me to remember her name) wants to interview the granny and of course they get nowhere and when Gil gets frustrated that the killer’s own grandmother who assisted him in the murder of Sean Pertwee and Malcolm’s kidnapping didn’t give him any information as to his whereabouts, the FBI agent says ‘I didn’t think we’d get anything out of her’… no one wants you here. Except Danni because she’s a girl and it’s all girls together.

Having said that though, it’s usually the case that character’s who are introduced and then go on to act like pricks generally turn out to be alright by the time they leave, usually by dying in some kind of self-sacrifice to save the main (and therefore more important) character. Or their job is finished and they just sod off which is what could happen here given the ending.

Elsewhere, Jessica is visited by Gil and told that Malcolm is missing which goes down as well as you’d expect but it’s OK though because Gil has a plan. He needs to find out information on this serial killer and so takes a leaf out of Malcolm’s book and goes to visit the one person who knew Watkins.

That’s right, Michael Sheen found a window in his schedule to do a bit more filming and here he is. Out of solitary confinement, he and Gil have a bit of a back and forth about how Martin is bitter that Gil got to spend more time with Malcolm and bla bla but when Gil tells Martin that his son has been kidnapped by Watkins, Martin becomes convinced that Malcolm is dead and has what looks like a panic attack which requires him to be sedated.

Back at the precinct, Dani and J.T. are looking through pictures from Watkin’s house and they see this picture from the place of the infamous camping trip and so deduce that this must be where he’s holding Malcolm… of course it’s not. They find out when they get there and by then, it’s already too late for them to do anything.

So out comes the big secret. Watkins and Martin were going on the trip to do some murdering and taking Malcolm along not because they wanted to teach him about murdering… but to murder him. Originally, it was his father’s idea because Malcolm had started to remember things but when they got up there, he couldn’t do it and so Watkins offered to take over hence him getting stabbed by Malcolm.

To complete the ‘trials’ for Malcolm, he has to go through one more and now we find out that somehow, Watkins has brought Malcolm into the walled off basement of his mothers house and he’s going to kill both Jessica and Ainsley who by some incredible good fortuned (for Watkins… and me at this point) was called in by her mother to tell her about Malcolm.

Long story short (my hands are getting cold), Watkins heads off with an axe to hack apart Malcolm’s mother and sister, so Malcolm breaks his hand and takes a crowbar to save his family. He succeeds by (off camera) trapping Watkins in a gigantic wooden and open trunk that happened to be there and with the danger boxed away, Malcolm embraces his mother and sister whilst the camera stops on his clearly psychologically scarred face which could say a number of things.

Will Malcolm give in to his homicidal thoughts just like Watkins? He already admitted to having those thoughts. One of the people involved in production (possibly a writer or a producer) said that Malcolm will not walk away from this encounter physically or psychologically undamaged and I don’t doubt it. Him dealing with the PTSD from this encounter on top of the PTSD that he’s already got will be the subject of the next episode and possibly the rest of the season.

All in all, pretty good episode. Some of the performances were a bit embarrassing, especially from Jessica but who am I to complain? I’m only a fan. Sadly. See you next week.

Patient 187

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