Nerds Rewatch: What We Noticed in Episode 8 of ‘Prodigal Son’

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Image courtesy Fox.

This week, we rewatched episode 8 of Prodigal Son, “Family Friend.” From big reveals about The Junkyard Killer and the Girl in the Box to some great character development for Jessica, this episode had a lot to unpack. You can read our original recap here, and read on to find out what else we noticed during #NerdsRewatchProdigal.

Malcolm Learns More About the Girl in the Box

Image Courtesy Fox.

One of the biggest mysteries in Prodigal Son is the Girl in the Box, one of The Surgeon’s victims. Nothing is yet known of her, just that Martin killed her and put her body in a trunk, a trunk that Malcolm found (or thinks he found). He grew up understanding that it was all just a nightmare, but after taking a call from Paul, the famed “Junkyard Killer,” Malcolm wonders if it really was a dream or if it was actually real. He gets flashbacks of the aftermath: Jessica telling him that she doesn’t exist, Gil telling him he doesn’t know what to believe. All his life, people told him the girl was a figment of his imagination, a bad dream. But she’s real, and Paul knows what happened to her. Desperate to find out the truth, Malcolm, in true Malcolm fashion, puts himself in danger and goes after the Junkyard Killer, alone. That night, Malcolm talks to Paul on the phone and Paul tells him that Martin called him afterward. Paul left a bag for Malcolm and inside is a charm bracelet, the same one the girl was wearing. Paul gets into Malcolm’s head, tricking him — he’s not really there, he was at the hospital. Paul gave him the bracelet, he tells Malcolm they’ve made enough progress. Malcolm gives the bracelet to Gil, who tells him that they’re going to search the fort to see if she’s buried there. If she’s there, they’ll find her. Malcolm went 20 years thinking that what and who he found wasn’t real, only to have a serial killer tell him it was. This is only the beginning of finding more about the Girl in the Box.

Eve and Malcolm Get Closer

Image Courtesy Fox.

When a concerned Eve goes to Malcolm to warn him that Jessica is close to breaking down, sparks fly between the two of them when Malcolm opens the door shirtless. This is the first time we see Eve as a potential love interest for Malcolm and not just an associate of Jessica’s. The last time they met, there was witty banter, but Malcolm banters with just about everyone. The chemistry between them here is different and sets up their arc for the rest of the season.

Malcolm and the “Junkyard Killer” Meet Face to Face

Image Courtesy Fox.

The suspense in this episode could cause someone’s heart to go out because there was a tremendous amount of tension and anxiety the audience felt when watching episode eight. Malcolm finally meets the Junkyard Killer but it wasn’t exactly their first meeting. Malcolm and the JYK have history – and lots of it. When Malcolm and the JYK finally reunite, it’s not exactly a warm greeting. As Gil put it, Malcolm was “popped like bubble wrap” when JYK lured Malcolm into underground tunnels and held him between two gates. The JYK taunted Malcolm and made Malcolm do some soul-searching as to why he was able to discover the JYK’s plan. Malcolm admitted again that he is his father’s son and it was his father that taught Malcolm how to get inside the mind of a killer. Not to mention, throughout the episode, the audience is teased with small morsels of the JYK’s face and can only wonder what this new serial killer looks like. Hats off to the show because that small detail of hiding his face makes for a more intriguing mystery. This significant meeting between these two characters worried fans because it seems that the JYK had plans for Malcolm and this is not the last time we would see the JYK. “There may be hope for you yet.”

Ainsley Gets the Story at all Costs

Image Courtesy Fox.

We’ve seen just how career-driven Ainsley is in the last few episodes but this one highlights her almost obsessive drive to get the perfect story. She doesn’t bat an eye when she finds out there is a second serial killer and immediately starts plotting how this can be “the perfect companion piece” to the interview turned surgery with Martin. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a career-driven mind, but to do it in the hospital where your boyfriend is recovering from a stab wound that almost killed him is a little questionable. Jin feels more than a little neglected and the final straw happens when he realizes she filmed his surgery and is adding it to the interview, clearly without even asking him. Her drive to be the first to break the story also nearly costs her life when she discovers that the Junkyard Killer is at the hospital to finish off his last victim. He nearly kills her too, and it’s a tense horror movie moment as she finds a locked room and the cops show up just in the nick of time. It’s another seemingly small moment that adds to the understanding behind that huge plot twist at the end of the season.

Jessica Faces Her Fears

Image Courtesy Fox.

After Ainsley and Malcolm’s … um … eventful interview in the last episode, Jessica is panicking about Martin coming back into their lives via the currently at-large Junkyard Killer. She stubbornly refuses to leave her home for a safe house or accept NYPD protection, believing this will hand a psychological victory to Martin. While this produces some hilarious moments (like Jessica desperately hiding her gun when Eve arrives to see her), it also shows how fearful Jessica is of Martin’s lies and crimes catching up to them yet again.

Malcolm Danger Count: 3 (with bonus danger points awarded to Jessica and her gun as well as Ainsley at the hospital)

You can catch up with Prodigal Son on Hulu and Fox Now. Be sure to check back next week for another #NerdsRewatchProdigal!

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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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