‘Prodigal Son’ Season 1, Episode 9 Recap: “Pied-A-Tierre”
With only one week left to go until the fall finale, Prodigal Son had a lot of questions to answer. It covered almost none of them in “Pied-A-Tierre,” choosing to focus instead on a sexy crime of the week and Malcolm’s inability to function in “normal” life. But hey, being normal is vastly overrated, right? This week, Malcolm tries to gain a social life outside of murder investigations. Is he successful? Read on to find out …
We open on yet another Malcolm nightmare, this time revolving around being stabbed by a samurai sword. Malcolm’s ever helpful therapist suggests that this is a metaphor for sexual repression, since it’s rather hard to have someone over for a romantic evening when you need to handcuff yourself to a bed every night for safety. She suggests putting himself out there socially and doing normal things, like going on dates. Malcolm resolves to have a normal day: no murder or mayhem to investigate. How convenient, then, that Eve lives just around the block from his therapist (and is definitely still into Malcolm). He takes his therapist’s advice and asks her out, and I’m sure this will go really well and Malcolm will experience no complications whatsoever. Eve seems excited to go out with witty and handsome Malcolm, but how will she react to his darker tendencies?
Malcolm’s attempt to have a “normal” day is quickly interrupted when Gil calls about a new murder. He heads to the crime scene, where a man had been murdered just after having sex. The victim is identified as David, who lives with his wife and child in the apartment. We get some more amazing Edrisa content as she and Malcolm attempt to banter with sexual innuendos, which is hilariously awkward.
Jessica calls Malcolm, and he tells her the FBI took him off the serial killer case. But he also lets slip that he is going on a date with Eve. Jessica is overjoyed, but Malcolm hangs up before they can fully discuss it. Gil asks if he has told Jessica that the girl in the box was real, and Malcolm says he hasn’t found the right time, but they are interrupted. Malcolm theorizes that David was involved in an affair and was killed by his wife when she caught him. But this theory is tested immediately as the wife, Beth, arrives home … with her husband David, who is very much alive.
They question the couple, and both claim to not know the identity of the man in the bed. But soon, Beth admits to Malcolm that the man is Caleb, who she had several flings with but nothing serious. They were both part of a sex club run by a mysterious figure named Jasper St. George designed to cater to unusual tastes. She’s never met him in person, since he can only be reached via email. Their apartment was often used for secret trysts, so she has no idea who has been in her apartment. Back at the lab, Edrisa describes the manner of death, and Beth and David are established as having alibis. Malcolm has an idea on how to reach Jasper, which brings us to Nico’s fetish shop (remember him? He lost a hand to Malcolm’s ax a few episodes back.) Nico bought the shop with settlement money from the case.
Malcolm and JT visit Nico and persuade him to set up an undercover meeting with Jasper, with Malcolm posing as a new client. They also discuss Malcolm’s upcoming date, with JT offering the helpful advice of making it as relaxing and low stakes as possible. He mentions that he and his wife regularly make their date night at a pool hall, and Malcolm seems intrigued.
Malcolm then goes to meet Jasper’s representative Simone, who is in charge of screening potential members of the sex club. Dani, JT, and Gil are also staked out in the restaurant watching them. Simone explains that the one rule of the community is that there are no long term relationships. She suggests auditioning him by going back to his apartment and having sex, which is unintentionally funny since Malcolm’s apartment looks like a sex dungeon (swords on the wall, handcuffs by the bed.) Simone is approving, until she takes Malcolm’s shirt off and reveals the wire he’s wearing. They start to question Simone, who reveals she was having sex with Caleb the night he died. But Simone insists she had nothing to do with the murder, and suspicions shift to David when she tells them Jasper received an anonymous message accusing Caleb and Beth of breaking the rules.
David says he had his suspicions about the affair and even went to the apartment that night trying to catch them in the act. But when he saw two people he didn’t know having sex in the apartment, he left — and according to him both were very much alive. So the team is no closer to solving the crime.
But all that will have to be put on hold as Malcolm prepares for his first date with Eve. Jessica invites herself over to help him dress, but Malcolm insists that he does not need help dressing himself (since he’s a fully grown man.) But he also doesn’t want his mother around since he keeps seeing visions of the girl in the box. Jessica wants to know what’s wrong, but he can’t bring himself to tell her. He thinks it might ruin the date, and I tend to agree that having vivid hallucinations of a murder victim might kill the mood. He’s even got the perfect date idea: he’s taking Eve to the same pool hall JT and his wife Tally go to … while they are there. Something tells me this isn’t what JT had in mind when he shared his date spot.
Things go south pretty much immediately as JT’s wife is fascinated with Malcolm’s skill as a profiler and Malcolm fails to impress with his pool skills. Tally asks Malcolm to profile one of them. JT tries to intervene, telling his wife that this isn’t a party trick, but she persists and Eve asks Malcolm to profile her. Malcolm obliges, but it goes badly as Malcolm realizes her work as an anti-human trafficking advocate is personal for her. Eve leaves in tears.
Meanwhile, Jasper’s identity is revealed and JT and Malcolm head to the scene. His real name is Charles Garner, and he’s currently dead in his apartment. He’s also Simone’s husband, and the idea for the sex club came from Charles’ ALS diagnosis. He felt he couldn’t fulfill her sexual needs, so they opened their marriage. But the killer is revealed to be Beth: she fell in love with Caleb and couldn’t handle the detached nature of the sex group. When she tried to convince Caleb to leave with her, he declined, and Beth killed him. Malcolm heads back to the original crime scene, where Beth is holding Simone at gunpoint. Simone slept with Caleb, and Beth wants revenge. But Malcolm is able to talk her down, preventing another murder.
Jessica visits Gil, wanting to know what Malcolm couldn’t tell her. He tells her the girl in the box was real. She’s devastated, upset they denied Malcolm’s pain for years. An angry Jessica vows to ruin Martin’s life the way he ruined theirs (the family’s and his victim’s.) Surprisingly, Eve is willing to give Malcolm another chance. She spends the night, but Malcolm’s hallucinations get in the way again. He sees the girl and begins chasing her around the apartment with a knife. But when he wakes up, he realizes he has been chasing a terrified Eve around with the knife. It’s clear that Malcolm’s issues are far from resolved.
Prodigal Son airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox, with all episodes available on Hulu the day after they air.