Nerds Rewatch: What We Noticed In Episode Five of ‘Prodigal Son’


This is an episode our rewatch group has been waiting to get to as we make our way through season one of Prodigal Son. “The Trip” has everything you could want from an episode of this series: a crime with no clear cut suspect, more revelations about Dani’s past, new clues in Malcolm’s quest to revisit his past, and even an extended dream sequence. But by far the best thing about this episode is Malcolm accidentally getting high at a crime scene, with Dani left to babysit him as he waits for the drugs to make their way through his system. Read on to find out several of the things we noticed during our rewatch (and you can find our full recap here).

Malcolm vs. Malcolm Scene

Image Courtesy Fox.

We have to take a moment to really appreciate the artistry that went into making this incredible scene. First, we have Tom Payne’s incredible ability to act not one but two versions of Malcolm with such precision. He perfectly plays the smooth-talking Martin (a.k.a. Malcolm’s subconscious) of his hallucination which stands in stark contrast to the panicked, still high Malcolm fighting against the calm reasoning of his id. From here the production team’s brilliant ability to perfectly cut together those moments coupled with flashbacks of Jessica and Martin from both young and college-aged Malcolm elevate the tension of the moment. Finally, we arrive at the tense, horror movie-esque score created by Nathaniel Blume that ties all the elements together into this final moment before Malcolm is completely overwhelmed by his hallucination.

Dani’s Past Is at the Forefront

Image Courtesy Fox.

This is the first episode where we truly get a look into Dani’s past, and the beginning of truly understanding her character. We quickly learn she worked undercover in narcotics when Malcolm uses his profiling skills and figures it out. It clearly hits a nerve with her when he does this, and she tells Gil what they need to do for the case. Malcolm isn’t the expert here, Dani is. It’s personal for Dani, and she defies everything (including Gil) to find out the truth. Dani is such a strong, brave character, but this case shows her vulnerability. She even admits to Malcolm (while he is high as a kite) that she has trust issues, and later that she got hooked on drugs during her time undercover. She even overdosed. There is a loyalty with her, to the people who care about her, too. She would do anything to return that favor. This was absolutely Dani’s episode, and brilliant at that.

Brightwell’s Vulnerability and Friendship

Image Courtesy Fox.

This is really the first episode where we also get an indication that Dani and Malcolm’s relationship goes past work partners. While working the case, we start to learn more about Dani’s past working undercover in narcotics. Malcolm wants to help Dani, trying to get her to understand and open up more. Later on when Malcolm gets high (by accident), Gil assigns Dani to “babysit” him. She takes him home and watches over him, whether she likes it or not. But this is where they show their vulnerability and open up more. Malcolm confesses he’s out of practice with friends and Dani admits she doesn’t have a lot of friends either, that she has issues with trust. She opens up about her past and working undercover, even disclosing her overdose. She tries to comfort Malcolm after he has hallucinations. While staking out a place, the two talk more about their past with Dani noting, “I always thought we were so different. Turns out Gil saved us both.” At the end of the episode, Malcolm brings Dani a peace offering by way of Earl Grey tea. He tries to make her feel better about what happened. It’s one of the first times they acknowledged their friendship and not just partnership. They really opened up to each other and it’s clear that they trust each other enough to do so and lean on one another.

Malcolm Is High (And It Is Amazing)

Image Courtesy Fox.

In this episode, Prodigal Son gave us what we didn’t know we needed: a scene featuring Malcolm Bright accidentally getting high. It is this aspect of “The Trip” that had our entire team excited to rewatch the episode. Unlike most people, Malcolm has some interesting ideas about what to do with himself, whether it be throwing axes or making an amazing grilled cheese with his expensive cheeses. This gives Tom Payne a chance to show his comedic side, something he doesn’t always get to do given the dramatic scenes on the show. He’s hilarious, and his delivery makes these scenes some of the most memorable of the series so far.

Disappointed Dad Gil 

Image Courtesy Fox.

We love our “everyday dad” version of Gil, but a disappointed dad Gil? Everything we could’ve hoped and dreamed for. Arriving to the scene after the shootout at the club, Gil is reprimanding his work “children” Dani and Malcolm for disobeying his orders. Gil sees that Malcolm is not his usual self, which is saying a lot. He finds out that Malcolm is as high as a kite and a hilarious scene ensues. He assigns Dani to watch Malcolm for the night and sends them to Malcolm’s house for another hysterical scene mentioned above. We know that Gil cares deeply for all of his team members as we’ve seen throughout the show and we appreciate his care and concern. Wouldn’t it just be easier if they listened to him? Poor Gil.

Malcolm Meets Eve

Image Courtesy Fox.

We love Malcolm, and we want him to be happy, or as happy as someone with his mental state can be. In this episode, we meet Eve Blanchard for the first time, who has bypassed the Whitly security to approach Jessica regarding a partnership to fight against human trafficking. However, it’s the unsaid flirtations between Malcolm and Eve that are a bit questionable and uncomfortable at first. We know from the beginning that she is up to something … a person doesn’t ask Jessica Whitly for anything without a motive after all, and the storyline for the rest of the season reflects that.

Malcolm’s Total Danger Count: 6 (this time aided and abetted by Dani)

What else did you notice in “The Trip”? Let us know in the comments!

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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