‘Prodigal Son’ Season 1, Episode 13 Recap: “Wait and Hope”

18 Min Read
Image courtesy Fox.

Hello Prodigies! This week, we were treated to Malcolm in a white suit, a high society wedding, and many twists and turns in the investigation of a revenge-motivated killer. It turns out that trying to get Malcolm to take a vacation is just a surefire way to ensure murder and mayhem. Read on to find out what happened in this roller coaster of an episode…

The episode opens with Martin and Malcolm meeting face to face once again in the psychiatric facility. But this time, the tone is different. Malcolm yells at Martin, telling Martin he has “destroyed” him and that Malcolm never loved him. He also says he’ll never see Martin again. It is revealed as Martin wakes up in a panic that this is all a nightmare in Martin’s head (although, hey, Dream Malcolm had some good points!). Mr. David enters, saying that Martin’s medical consultation with a client went well and thus his ability to see patients in the prison is being reinstated. Martin, uncharacteristically vulnerable, admits he feels alone since he hasn’t seen Malcolm in a long time.

Malcolm tries to relax. Image courtesy Fox.

It seems Malcolm is also having trouble with bad dreams (what else is new?) as he is unable to clear his head by meditating. Trying to distract himself, he turns on the TV to see Ainsley covering a fancy society wedding for the news in a pivot from her usual dysfunctional serial killer beat. Jessica enters, happily talking about the fact that Malcolm has finally been persuaded to take a vacation. She has brought him a white suit to wear for the trip, and I would just like to personally thank every member of the costume department on Prodigal Son for the gift of this suit. Jessica thinks he looks great in it, while Malcolm is hesitant (listen to your mother, Malcolm). Jessica also emphasizes that it’s important for him to relax and recharge amidst all the attempted murder lately. He wants to stay home, but Jessica has even arranged for a ride to the airport.

Jessica thinks Malcolm looks great in the white suit. Image courtesy Fox.

The ride turns out to be Gil, who is equally excited that Malcolm is finally taking a break. He wants him to be happy and feels that Malcolm needs to have interests other than murder. But Gil receives a call about a case and Malcolm, who has never met a murder investigation that he didn’t want to be a part of, asks to get involved, promising this will just be a quick consult before he goes to the airport. Gil reluctantly agrees, mostly to show off Malcolm’s suit to the team. I agree with Gil here; everyone deserves to see that white suit in action.

JT admires the white suit. Image courtesy Fox.

When they arrive, Dani and JT instantly start harassing Malcolm over the suit, calling him “Miami Vice” as they check out the crime scene. The victim is a former DA and was killed with a weapon from the 1930s. The specificity of that detail indicates to Malcolm that the killing is likely performative. Edrisa enters, and after checking out Malcolm’s suit says she loves “the Colonel’s chicken” too. The victim had strange writing on his arms, and since Malcolm always seems to know every strange pop culture reference, he immediately recognizes the writing as being from his favorite childhood book The Count of Monte Cristo. His father used to read it to him, and he briefly summarizes the plot. He believes that the reference to the book indicates that the killer is a revenge killer seeking justice for past wrongs.

Edrisa, Gil, and Dani react to the bomb. Image courtesy Fox.

Gil, wanting to get rid of Malcolm so he will go on vacation, tells him they have the case covered. But as he says this, Edrisa moves the sheet on the body and uncovers a land mine. Malcolm instinctively covers it with his hand, once again demonstrating his flair for putting his personal safety at risk. Gil orders everyone else to clear the room, but Malcolm notes that the bomb is not stable when they all hear a spring shift inside.

Martin, displaying impeccable timing, chooses now to call his son. Malcolm, displaying some top notch survival instincts, answers the phone despite his predicament. He tells Martin about the situation and says he needs to go to handle it as he hangs up. Martin turns to Mr. David and says he thinks the call went well. However, he wonders if he should have said “I love you”. Malcolm, thinking quickly, uses a gun to trigger the mine and jumps out the window … landing directly on Gil’s beloved car. He looks at a stunned Gil, JT, and Dani and quips, “I think I’m going to miss my flight”. Gil is crushed, but it’s hard to tell if he’s more upset about Malcolm or his car.

Meanwhile, Martin has rejoined his therapy group, which I sorely missed as a viewer while Martin was in solitary. It’s both an opportunity to learn more about Martin while also providing some unexpected comic relief. Martin recounts his conversation with Malcolm, admitting that he was in a dark place when he believed Malcolm was dead. He’s happy he was able to help with an “explosive” situation, but he worries he’s not emotionally equipped to really help his son. In an exercise designed to help him, Martin role-plays with another inmate, Hector, acting as Malcolm. Martin tells Hector that he’s a changed man, that he wants to help Malcolm. Hector, reacting as Malcolm, calls Martin a “dick”. Martin says he loves Malcolm, which he’s never said to him before. Hector refuses to say it back, but Martin is insistent. It’s clearly important to him that his son loves him, and after some back-and-forth Hector says it back.

Gil mourns the loss of his car. Image courtesy Fox.

Back at the NYPD, Gil forlornly watches as his car is towed away. JT tries to comfort him by saying it’s only a car, which Gil does not appreciate. Martin calls, looking for Gil, and Malcolm has to admit that he answered the phone while dealing with the bomb. He wants to call Martin in private, but Gil insists the whole team hear the conversation.

Malcolm and Dani discuss the case. Image courtesy Fox.

Martin shares his theory that the bomb was meant for the police investigating the crime, that perhaps the police had covered for the dead DA in the past. When Martin realizes Dani is there, calling her a “lady cop”, Malcolm ends the call abruptly. Dani remarks that Martin seems nice, and Malcolm immediately retorts that he is not.

Ainsley is busy talking with Jessica, who has been invited to the Taylor wedding that Ainsley has been covering. Jessica is excited to attend but is also nervous. She has been exiled from high society for so long because of Martin, and this is her chance to get some of her old life back.

A new victim has been discovered, and the team rushes to the scene. The man, William, is still alive but trapped by swords that will fall and kill him if he moves. Malcolm quickly makes a plan, sliding under the wires that will trigger the trap. He tells Dani and JT to cut each line individually and he will catch the swords before they can harm William. As this is going on, Malcolm talks to William, looking for clues. William says it was his gun that killed Connor, the DA, but he knows it wasn’t Connor who set up this trap. Malcolm says that William knows who set this trap, and William reveals that it was Kyle Taylor. He thinks it has something to do with a boat crash but doesn’t think he can talk about it now (since, you know, his life is still in imminent danger). The last sword falls and JT catches it just before it hits William.

William starts to talk. He tells the story of the “Isabella situation”, which he and Connor “handled” for the Taylors. Isabella was the cook’s daughter who was in a relationship with Kyle. One night, the two stole a boat while drunk and high. The boat crashed and Kyle was able to escape, but Isabella drowned. The cook, Isabella’s father, was then deported back to Ecuador. Malcolm theorizes that the father is their “Count”, avenging the death of his daughter. Even worse? Kyle is the Taylor who’s wedding Jessica is attending and Ainsley is covering, and the wedding is tonight. The team also learns that the father, Ernesto, illegally entered the country five days ago, and their theory seems confirmed.

They head to the wedding as Jessica calls Malcolm, assuming he’s on vacation as she tracked his flight. She asks how the beach is, and Malcolm deflects, saying he’s having fun and doing what he loves (which isn’t technically a lie). Jessica is happy, saying she can hear the relaxation in his voice. Malcolm cuts her off as he spots Kyle. They approach, asking if they can talk to Kyle about Isabella. Kyle’s father George enters and asks if they can talk later since Kyle is nervous about the wedding. He’s heard from the family lawyer about the Ernesto situation and feels that they will be safe here. Malcolm reminds George that two people have been attacked already, but George is confident the Taylor estate has the security necessary to handle it. Malcolm points out that Ernesto worked there for years and knows all the hidden doorways, not just the public entrances where security will be.

Gil and Malcolm go to search the hidden tunnels and find Ernesto. He tries to escape, but Gil is able to arrest him. But when they go back to the precinct, Gil expresses concern that Ernesto hasn’t confessed. Malcolm thinks he doesn’t fit the profile, but Gil insists that Malcolm leave and take his vacation. He pulled strings to get Malcolm a new flight and Dani is driving him to the airport. As they drive, Malcolm confesses to Dani that he is scared to relax; the more time he has to relax, the more time he has to think about things he’d rather forget. Dani asks where they’re headed, and Malcolm responds that he has a terrible idea.

They go to the prison to see Martin, who is excited to see Malcolm and intrigued to see Dani. Malcolm cuts to the chase, revealing that John told him that Martin was going to kill him on the camping trip. Martin admits to Dani that if he had wanted to kill Malcolm that day, he would have done it. Uncomfortable, Dani pivots to the current case as Malcolm tells his father the details. JT and Gil are interrogating Ernesto, who swears he didn’t kill anyone. Martin says he doesn’t think Ernesto did it. Killing requires passion because it is not easy, and Ernesto seems to lack it. Martin also reminds them that Kyle and George Taylor seem to have a contentious relationship. Kyle also has military experience that could explain the land mine. They realize that Kyle is going to kill his father in public at the wedding. Dani and Malcolm rush to the wedding, calling Gil to tell the cops to let them in. Dani puts on a dress to blend in, and Malcolm tells her she looks amazing. The show seems to be teasing more chemistry between the two, which would be interesting to explore.

When they arrive, Jessica spots Malcolm. She’s angry he lied, saying she should have been suspicious when he mentioned he was in a conga line. She’s worried he will embarrass her at this important event and asks that whatever they do, they try to leave her out of it. Malcolm and Dani find Kyle and pull him into a room to talk. Kyle reveals that the night of the accident was the worst night of his life. He wanted to call the Coast Guard, but his father stopped him. Isabella was underage and Kyle was high, and George knew it would ruin Kyle’s life if he was caught. George told Kyle that his life was worth more than hers, and they didn’t save her. Malcolm realizes the truth: that Isabella didn’t really die that night since her body was never found. Ernesto was trying to stop his daughter from enacting her plan. Malcolm also realizes an antique pistol he noticed earlier is missing from its case.

Malcolm gives a toast. Image courtesy Fox.

Jessica is fending off questions about her serial killer husband from the other guests as Dani is showing guests Isabella’s picture. Malcolm thinks Isabella will go after George during his toast and thus grabs the microphone to improvise a toast. Jessica is mortified by this as Malcolm waxes poetic about fathers in an awful speech. Isabella picks up the pistol and starts moving to the stage as Malcolm starts talking about the accident. He appeals directly to Isabella, telling her she doesn’t need to kill to find peace. Isabella appreciates the concern, but shoots anyway as Dani takes her down. Jessica runs to Malcolm. George thanks Malcolm for saving his life, but Malcolm retorts that he should be in handcuffs today. Malcolm is seen as a hero by the party-goers, and he admits he’s Jessica’s son. Triumphant, Jessica asks her son to escort her out. She’s happy he looks happy, even if it wasn’t her idea of a vacation. Ainsley, who is covering the wedding outside, remarks that murder really does follow Malcolm everywhere as she prepares to report the story. From prison, Martin and Mr. David watch the coverage as Martin jokes that this was one heck of a show.

Prodigal Son airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox. You can catch up on old episodes on Hulu.

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By Jules
I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.
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