‘Prodigal Son’ Season 1, Episode 7 Recap: “Q&A”
This week, the long awaited showdown of Ainsley versus The Surgeon materializes as she heads to his prison to film her interview. Will she get the answers she needs? Or will Martin’s manipulations get in the way? One thing is for sure: sometimes looking for answers just leads to more questions. Check out what happened this week in one very important “Q&A.”
We find ourselves back at the junkyard from the previous episode as Malcolm is searching his father’s car. He hears a noise that indicates he may not be alone in the creepy car lot. Being Malcolm, he immediately looks around with his flashlight. A man silhouetted in darkness appears, and when Malcolm asks him if he owns the junkyard, he pulls out a gun and repeatedly shoots at Malcolm before taking off, leaving a visibly shaken Malcolm behind.
The next morning, Malcolm brings Gil to the junkyard to try to find out who the mystery man was from the night before. He finally tells Gil about the repressed memories and the car, including his belief that the camping trip was connected to the woman in the box he keeps seeing. Gil reveals that he wishes those memories were delusional, but when the police searched the junkyard, they found a body in one of the crushed cars.
Dani and Edrisa are on the scene as Gil and Malcolm join them, with an excited Edrisa demonstrating how to remove soft tissue from the crushed vehicle as the others look on, slightly queasy (Edrisa remains my favorite character on this show). They don’t know much about the victim, who seems to have died a few weeks ago. Malcolm notes that there are fingerprints on the car, showing that the victim was crushed inside it while alive, rather than placed inside after death. JT enters with the news that the junkyard is registered to a person who doesn’t exist. Malcolm is suspicious; who buys a junkyard under an assumed name just to dispose of one victim? He thinks The Surgeon is involved, but Gil points out that Martin has been in jail for 20 years. Just then, news arrives: they’ve found more bodies in the junkyard.
Ainsley and Jessica sit on a park bench, discussing Ainsley’s interview with Martin. Jessica reads the questions Ainsley plans to ask and laments that they’re all “softball” questions. Ainsley tells her mother that those are just the questions she submitted to the prison for review; she plans on changing them at the last minute to throw Martin off his game. Jessica cautions Ainsley on trying to outsmart Martin. since he always seems to be one step ahead.
Back at the lab, the total number of victims has risen, as Gil looks on in shock. Edrisa confirms that all the victims died from crush injuries and go back as far as 10 years. Malcolm theorizes that the killer needs to be at a remove from his victims as a coping mechanism, which Edrisa notes is the opposite of The Surgeon’s M.O. She reveals that results from the lab indicate that the blood in the vehicle Malcolm found didn’t match any of The Surgeon’s known victims. Another body is brought in, bringing the total to eight victims.
At the prison, Ainsley and Jin prepare for the interview. Jin tells Ainsley that if she wants to stop the interview for any reason, he supports her. Ainsley reassures Jin that she’s ready. Just then, Tevin, the inmate with anger issues from the last episode, spots her through the cell door. He recognizes her from her reporting and starts screaming to get her attention, saying that he has a story to tell. He is led away, and Ainsley is visibly unnerved. Jin is concerned, but she brushes him off, telling him to bring in her father.
Back at headquarters, the body count has risen to nine. Malcolm is going over the details of the profile, but he feels that something isn’t adding up, since this type of killer usually moves the bodies to a secondary location. Dani is upset and wants to solve the case since this happened in the Bronx, her neighborhood. Edrisa finds Malcolm to tell him that the lab found one more piece of evidence after going over the car again. It’s a pocketknife, and as Malcolm looks at it, he flashes back to his childhood, running through the woods while holding the knife. He knows that only one person can give him the answers he needs: his father.
Ainsley begins her interview with Martin, who seems happy to see his daughter in her element. Once she changes her questions and starts to confront him, however, he hits back. Calmly, he starts to counter her descriptions of his victims with stories from his career as a doctor, mentioning all the lives he saved. He cites Ainsley’s success as his legacy, and it’s clear he comes off as sympathetic (what Jessica feared all along). Just then, Malcolm arrives, determined to get answers about the knife.
Ainsley leaves to confront Malcolm for interrupting the interview, but admits that Martin is twisting her words and making it hard to portray him as the cold-blooded killer he is. She allows Malcolm to question Martin and turns the cameras off. Malcolm asks Martin about the new serial killer, and Martin claims to have no connection to the murders, since he has been locked up the whole time. Malcolm confronts Martin with the knife, and Martin claims it was Malcolm’s, a souvenir from that camping trip. This revelation catches Malcolm off guard and showcases how easily Martin can manipulate those around him. Ainsley calls for a sidebar in the hallway, and Malcolm obliges.
Ainsley can see that Malcolm’s presence causes Martin to speak more honestly. She suggests they team up, using Martin’s connection with Malcolm to help the interview. She’s giddy, and we finally get to see her reporter instincts. Malcolm agrees to stand in Martin’s line of sight as Ainsley asks her questions.
Ainsley picks up the interview, but this time asks about the impact the murders had on Malcolm. She describes his PTSD, nightmares, and his inability to hold down most jobs. She keeps pushing, and it’s clear she’s struck a nerve. Martin rises to his feet and screams at Ainsley, telling her to stop calling him a terrible father. Ainsley looks to Jin to make sure he got that on camera. It’s damning and finally shows Martin in a negative light. But they don’t even get a moment of triumph as alarms start flashing. The body of a guard is shown being dragged down the hallway…by Tevin.
Malcolm calls Gil to find out what’s going on. Gil and the team know that an inmate stabbed a guard and put the facility in lockdown. The inmate’s record is sealed, since he was arrested as a juvenile, but they are going to try to get the records unsealed so Malcolm can profile him. David, the guard working with Malcolm and Ainsley, assures them that they are safe behind the locked door. Ainsley realizes that the escaped inmate is the man who yelled at her earlier. Both Ainsley and Malcolm receive calls from Jessica, which both siblings ignore. Ainsley tells Jin to go in the hallway and film what he can from behind the door while she continues to interview Martin. Martin admits that he was a mentor to someone else, but before he can say who, Tevin appears at the door, again screaming for Ainsley. But this time, something’s wrong: Tevin has a key to get in. As they frantically yell for Jin to get away from the door, Tevin unlocks it and stabs Jin. They are able to block the door with a crowbar and drag a badly hurt Jin into the cell.
David says SWAT and EMS will arrive in 15 minutes for Jin, but Martin states that he will be dead in 10 from his injuries. He reminds the group that he is a surgeon and could save Jin’s life with a knife and a makeshift breathing tube. Malcolm is set against giving his father a knife, despite Ainsley’s plea. Malcolm says he could do the surgery as Martin talks him through it, but it’s clear Malcolm’s shaking hands could kill Jin. He reluctantly gives a satisfied Martin the knife. Ainsley films the whole thing, asking her father questions about the surgery itself and inadvertently giving him a hero’s role. He discloses that Tevin killed his parents by hacking them to death, and this gives Malcolm the idea to use Tevin’s desire for fame to track him down. He takes David’s taser and Jin’s camera and ventures into the hospital, looking for Tevin.
At headquarters, Gil and the team are looking for a way to stop Tevin. Jessica arrives, nervous since Ainsley and Malcolm aren’t answering their phones. Gil reassures her that her children are adults who can take care of themselves and won’t do anything stupid. Meanwhile, Malcolm runs into the dark hospital alone to take on a homicidal escapee. Maybe Jessica is right to worry.
Malcolm finds Tevin and distracts him by turning on the camera light and telling him he is being interviewed. Tevin doesn’t have time to react as Malcolm tases him, successfully stopping him. Meanwhile, Martin has saved Jin just in time. Ainsley reacts appreciatively as a wary Malcolm looks on. The EMTs arrive and take Jin away as Jessica runs to Ainsley. Ainsley tells her that Martin saved Jin before going to the hospital with him. Jessica watches her leave sorrowfully; she knew Martin would make himself the hero somehow.
Gil and Malcolm discuss the situation, with Malcolm believing that his father speaking about being a mentor was a clue. He says that it may have been someone who worked at the hospital where he did his residency, but it wouldn’t have been an equal, like another doctor. It suddenly dawns on Malcolm that Tevin fits this profile. Malcolm realizes that his father orchestrated this whole lockdown and Jin’s injury so he could play the hero on national television. This is confirmed when Malcolm calls David, who says that Tevin admitted to the plot. Martin is in solitary confinement, which means that he can’t talk to Malcolm. Malcolm desperately needs answers, but David doesn’t budge.
Back at Jessica’s house, she and Malcolm discuss the events of the day. She has a great line when she sarcastically tells Malcolm, “so you’re saying that my children went to see their serial killer father in serial killer prison, and it didn’t go well?” Suddenly, the sound of a phone ringing in the distance is heard. Malcolm and Jessica are spooked; it’s coming from Martin’s lair, which Jessica boarded up years ago. They cautiously make their way downstairs as the phone continues to ring. Malcolm picks up, and the voice on the other end expresses that he is happy to hear Malcolm’s voice…and to see him again at the junkyard. It’s the mystery figure from earlier. Malcolm asks how he knows him, and the voice asks if he remembers the camping trip they took with his father. As Malcolm processes this shocking revelation, the screen cuts to black.
What did you think of the episode, Prodigies? Let us know in the comments!
Prodigal Son airs Mondays at 9 p.m ET on Fox.