Tonight on FOX their new crime franchise Prodigal Son airs with an all-new Monday, September 23, 2019, episode and we have your Prodigal Son recap below. On tonight’s Prodigal Son season 1 episode 1 premiere called, “Pilot,” as per the FOX synopsis, “MALCOLM BRIGHT (Tom Payne) knows how killers think and how their minds work, because his father, DR. MARTIN WHITLY (Michael Sheen), was one of the most notorious serial killers, called “The Surgeon.”
Alongside his longtime mentor, GIL ARROYO (Lou Diamond Phillips), and detectives DANI POWELL (Aurora Perrineau) and JT TARMEL (Frank Harts), he helps the NYPD solve crimes by profiling killers, while also dealing with a manipulative mother, JESSICA WHITLY (Bellamy Young).”
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Prodigal Son begins tonight in 1998 where a young Malcolm is asked to remember by his father, Dr. Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen) that he is his son and that he will always love him and they are the same. His mother orders to get them out of there as they escort Martin out of there in handcuffs and the media announce that the serial killer known as the surgeon may finally be behind bars.
Special Agent Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) is with the Sheriff’s department when they surround an abandoned building where a serial killer is hiding inside. Malcolm is tasered by him as he lays on the ground and sees the killer’s face he remembers visiting his father in prison and asking him why he killed all those people, and he suggests they can figure it out together as he has time on his hands. He denies being a monster and there is no such things as monsters.
Malcolm wakes up, saying he found the hostages and they are alive, although he finds several heads in glass jars. The killer points his gun at Malcolm, demanding to know how he found him, saying he chose his victims for their smooth skin and he must have worked in a slaughter house, explaining that he was a ward of the state and was a sander and this was were he was made there; no was was born broken, someone breaks them. He asks him to put down his gun and he will explain it to him; but before he can tell him the agent shoots him through the head. Malcolm is furious that the Sheriff murdered him.
Special Agent Bright is forced to sit through a hearing after he punches the Sheriff and he is fired as they believe he is psychologically similar to his father. He suggests the next time they call someone “crazy” they should ask for his gun first as he lays his badge and gun on the table.
2009 Claremont Psychiatric Hospital
Malcolm is a student at Harvard, where he is sitting in his dad’s cell at the hospital, talking about Jeffrey Dahmer. Martin loves when they talk “shop” but Malcolm insists he is very intrigued by the criminal mind, but his father believes it is far more than that. He notices that Malcolm’s tremors are back, wanting to know what Malcolm has to tell him and he blurts out that he applied to the FBI, even though his father is a serial killer. He announces that his visits to his father are over.
Martin pleads with him, saying this is what he needs and wants, as he is Martin’s only connection to the outside world and he cannot do this. The cell locks out and Malcolm demands to be let out. Martin touches his shoulder and says that they are the same person as Malcolm lets out a scream and jumps up from his bed and turns on his music, unlatching himself from his bed and taking his medications; grabbing a card and reading, “I’m willing to let go and trust myself.”
Malcolm walks with his sister, Jessica Whitly (Bellany Young) who feels it is unfair he got fired because of their dad but she feels it is a good thing and a fresh start. He should take a break from murder. Her phone rings, reminding him that he is taking a break. He continues on his walk when Gil Young (Lou Diamond Phillips) stops him; he quickly reveals that he knows his sister is lying to him and is covering a murder but Gil says he needs a profiler. He is with the NYPD so he doesn’t care about the FBI.
Dani (Aurora Perruneau) meets them at the crime scene and Malcolm takes the file immediately. JT (Frank Harts) is introduced to Malcolm who is more interested in the scene. He tells them she was waiting for her lover but the wrong man showed up and the fight was contained, she threw her champagne glass as soon as he arrived. He realizes whoever did this required medical skills and he has seen this before. Her killer is a copycat, mimicking Dr. Martin Whitly. When asked how he knows this, he says he knows the serial killer, almost like he is family; slamming the file on Gil’s chest before he storms out of the room.
Malcolm promises to start on the profile, but doesn’t want to return to his father. He comes home to his mother doing his dishes. She has Luisa (Deborah Unger) change his sheets and clean his apartment. She offers him medications, giving him a tea, but he questions what it is laced with. He gets to work instead when she leaves; retrieving a box of all his dad’s victims.
In the morning he goes to see Edrisa (Keiko Agena) in the morgue, with Gil, JT and Dani. He is impressed with the suture work, but he begins to explain all he believes in the profile. All 3 victims have bruising consistent with BDSM, they were all waiting for a professional dom. They follow the payment and go to his apartment, but wait to a warrant; Malcolm calls him, but he doesn’t answer the phone. They barge in, only to find that he is creating his own drugs and Malcolm is forced to admit his profile is wrong. They pull down the plastic to reveal someone bound up and shots are fired. Nico is the one tied up and Dan is in pursuit as Nico pleads to be let out but there is a bomb underneath the chair. Malcolm decides to chop off Nico’s hand as there is no other option and tells JT to grab lots of ice, Dani still in pursuit. Gil and Dani see the explosion and Malcolm runs towards the ambulance to give them Nico’s hand.
Malcolm says their killer’s motive is revenge is to inflict as much pain as possible. As he is continuing with his profile, his sister insists that he goes to their mother’s house, which he does for dinner; which ends up only being her trying to set him up with a woman. Ainsley ends up ratting him out and that he is working for the NYPD. She is furious that he is not done with this murder business and Malcolm reveals that he is working on a case that is copycatting his father. She cautions him not to go back to Martin as he is a cancer and will take from all of them.
Malcolm returns to review the case, and sits with memories with his father before he was arrested. Malcolm bolts from his chair as he remembers opening a chest with a body inside and runs attacking Dani, who insists to the police around her that he is asleep and she holds him while calming him down. Malcolm sits with Gil who explains his night terrors, but is told there is no way he hurt Dani as she is from the Bronx. Gil feels he is out of control but Malcolm says he will do whatever it takes to find the fourth victim, but that is what Gil is afraid of.
Gill shows him sketches that Martin has drawn, they don’t know how the killer got them since Martin is still locked up in the facility. Gil feels there has to be another way and won’t let Bright go there but Malcolm feels he has to go back to the facility and he does return to his dad, who is thrilled to see him after 10 years. He skips the chitchat and tells him that Martin has a copycat and tells him he is going to help him. He shows him the drawings and that he knows he is helping the killer, but his dad says they are stolen and the journals have not left his cell. Malcolm says the suspect is one of his patients and starts going through the files.
Martin is excited and wants to know as Malcolm is down to two files; but Martin says helping the police goes against everything he stands for, but Malcolm insists he is going to tell him. He says his father is afraid of him so if he helps him, he will come back to see his father. He tells him Carter Berkhead (Michael Cerveris) is the one who had a heartattack as he was whipping a submissive. They see a photo of Carter and Blair Berkhead (Brette Taylor), but once at the party they are forced to split up because Malcolm’s mother is there.
Dani heads upstairs with Blair who says Carter is out of the country but Gil calls Malcolm telling him that Blair was cheating on Carter with Nico while he was out of the country so Blair is the 4th victim; just then Dani gets knocked out by Carter. Carter fills his syringe with fluid as Malcolm walks in, asking him what is he going to do as a gun is too loud and not enough drugs for both. Malcolm is unarmed and says he is a profiler and knows this is about controlling yourself. Dominating himself and when he was weak she betrayed him, so now he needs to make her feel the worst pain imaginable. Dani is almost able to stab him but he steps on her hand, forcing her to drop the knife.
Carter is about to shoot Dani so Malcolm takes the needle to inject himself, infuriating Carter as the needle is meant for Blair. He says he deserves the needle because he is the Surgeon’s son, something Dani didn’t know, admitting his real name is Malcolm Whitly, feeling he was always afraid of his father and what he told him, but he was afraid of himself. Now is his chance to kill him, his prodigal son. Dani pleads with him not to do it, Blair reaches for the needle abut Gil rushes in and shoots Blair. Dani asks if Malcolm was going to let him do that, but he says of course not as that would be crazy.
JT is furious with Gil and Dani wants to know who Malcolm is to him. Gil says he worked the upper Eastside, he was offered tea at this surgeon’s house and his young son told him to take out his gun as his father is going to kill him. Malcolm saved his and many people’s lives that night. He is a little odd but he is one of them. He told a young Malcolm he was a real hero and he is to never forget it.
Malcolm returns to see his father, who can’t figure out Carter Berkhead knew which pages to take out of the journal and wants to know if his father orchestrated all of this just to get him back to see him. His father scoffs at the questions. He shouts that Malcolm cannot leave, apologizing for the outburst and for being stubborn about him joining the FBI and he could help him, and so much more he could teach him about murder and together they could solve cases. Malcolm says, “Goodbye Dr. Whitly!” as Martin, says “My Boy!”