Nerds Rewatch: What We Noticed in Episode 20 of ‘Prodigal Son’


Well, Prodigies, we’ve reached the end of the road. After 20 weeks of #NerdsRewatchProdigal, we’ve reached the finale of season 1 of Prodigal Son. We here at Nerds and Beyond hope you’ve had as much fun reading these rewatches as we have had writing them. Don’t worry, though – we’ve got a ton of new content coming your way to celebrate the new season! Without further ado, let’s take a look at what happened as we see who’s really “Like Father ….”

Malcolm’s Dream Sequence

Image Courtesy FOX.

It’s a classic Prodigal Son maneuver at this point: show us something that FEELS real, but is in fact, one of Malcolm’s vivid hallucinations. But after the final scene of last week’s episode, which featured Malcolm being arrested, this opening dream felt like reality. We see Malcolm joining his father in prison, where the elder Whitly has some questionable advice for his murderous offspring. It quickly becomes clear that this is another nightmare, but the writers definitely kept us on our toes by starting off with this sequence.

Martin Loses His Privileges

Image Courtesy FOX.

We learned last episode that Endicott was not kidding around in his deal with Martin, as he tried to have Martin killed after Malcolm and Ainsley started to suspect the Endicott was not completely on the up-and-up. Not only that, but it was made clear that Endicott has friends in all the right places in Claremont, and after the failed assassination attempt, Endicott makes full use of this power by setting Martin up for an attempted escape. The scene is beautifully staged, as we see a ringing phone in the empty hallway outside of Martin’s cell and watch as Martin pushes open the conveniently unlocked door to his cell to go answer it. Endicott is on the line, and in a rare moment of nerves/fear from Martin, we hear him frantically trying to explain to Endicott that their deal has not been broken and he is maintaining the status quo. Unfortunately, Endicott does not see it the same way and tells Martin that this breach of trust means that privileges must be taken away. As we know, Martin’s life at Claremont was pretty cushy, so taking away his privileges could mean many things, but Endicott has an ace up his sleeve: Martin is outside his cell.

Edrisa Being Malcolm’s Ride or Die

Image Courtesy FOX.

Edrisa was such a real one in this episode. While the team is working on the case of Eddie’s murder (and lowkey doubting whether or not Malcolm was innocent), they must take a trip to Edrisa’s palace the morgue to get autopsy results on the vic’s body. After Edrisa gives them the rundown on the forensics, she instantly comes to Malcolm’s defense, saying that he can’t possibly be the murderer, especially because of the killer’s M.O. (“I mean, where’s the pizzazz in a pillow?!”). Though the team tries to tell her that the profile (an emotional kill) points towards Malcolm, she staunchly refuses to believe it. After the three cops leave, Malcolm comes out of hiding and reveals to Edrisa that he has a new lead to chase down; the lab that processed the DNA results is owned by Endicott, and Malcolm believes that they have been fabricated. In a touching moment, the two hug as Edrisa wishes Bright good luck and tells him that he can’t die. While being Team Malcolm is pretty on-brand for our favorite M.E., Edrisa’s loyalty went to new heights in this episode (especially since Bright was supposed to be on house arrest) — and we can’t help but love her for it.

Sterling’s Murder and Malcolm Plays Detective

Image Courtesy FOX.

We know from Malcolm’s visit with Edrisa he tracked down the attorney for Corbell Laboratories, which leads to Sterling making another appearance. Malcolm urges Sterling to be the guy he used to be instead of the Devil he’s become. Sterling, however, tells Malcolm that he cannot disclose information, but if he wants to help set himself free, he needs to find the files Sophie stole from Endicott and that Martin would know where they are. Another intruder visits the empty office, fires a shot in front of Malcolm, and kills Sterling. Now Malcolm has the blood of two people on his hands: how is he going to get out of this? By switching clothes with Leonard back at his mother’s house and putting his ankle monitor back on, of course! Ainsley and Jessica both cover for him when Gil and the team come knocking, but Malcolm being Malcolm, can’t help himself and admits he was, in fact, in Sterling’s office, forcing their hand to take him with them. Malcolm’s interrogation is memorable, to say the least. Gil and JT both tell him he’s saying a lot of things for someone refusing a lawyer while we also get disappointed-dad Gil. There’s excellent comedic timing in an otherwise tense situation. It’s in this moment the team realizes Malcolm has been telling the truth, and he didn’t kill Eddie … but he did break house arrest and still needs to be kept close. Malcolm wouldn’t be Malcolm if he were to heed that advice.

Gil vs. Endicott and Jessica’s Rescue

Image Courtesy FOX.

A showdown for the ages. While Malcolm is on “house arrest,” he tells Gil that Jessica is at Endicott’s to hear him out and see if he can help Malcolm. Gil confronts Endicott at his house and tells him that he is taking Jessica home. Gil stands his ground, but not for long, unfortunately. One of Endicott’s men stabs Gil in his abdomen, and he falls to the ground (insert screaming “NO” here). Our hearts are shattered but not to worry, Jessica is not a damsel in distress. She comes to Gil’s rescue with some action-packed moments to save Gil. She breaks a glass plate in Endicott’s face and initiates a crash to save Gil from being taken by Endicott’s man. It’s a valiant effort by both Gil and Jessica. All we can say is, Malcolm and Ainsley might want to take a *stab* at him next (we’ll just see ourselves out).

Martin’s New Life in Gen Pop

Image Courtesy FOX.

Claremont is no more. Thanks to Endicott, Martin is transferred to Rikers, a gen pop prison, and Martin comes face-to-face with criminals far scarier than himself. They know The Surgeon. He’s told that someone wants him dead, and people are floating cash to whoever gets to him first. When Malcolm and Ainsley visit their father in order to get more information on Endicott, it’s clear to them that Martin is scared of the place. He says he’s sitting there with a target on his back, he misses his cell, he misses Mr. David, and he does not like it there. Martin doesn’t have anything on Endicott, which is why he’s so scared. It’s one of the few times Martin has genuinely been scared since he’s usually the one doing all the manipulating and scaring. It’s also a foreshadowing of what was to come later on in the episode and what could happen in the upcoming season.

Malcolm and Sophie Finally Meet

Image Courtesy FOX.

Perhaps one of the most pivotal moments in this season, Malcolm continues to look for information about who actually killed Eve’s murderer to clear his name. The hunt for clues ultimately leads him to the one thing he’s been trying to find for so long: the girl in the box. He goes to a veterinary office and discovers that it’s Sophie using an alias “Dr. Sarah”. This moment is important because it proves once and for all that Sophie is, in fact, alive and well. Malcolm gets a sense of closure as he apologizes for what happened to her, and she tells him it wasn’t his fault. This moment was huge for both characters and featured great performances from Tom Payne and Anna Eilinsfeld.

Like Father… Like Daughter?

Image Courtesy FOX.

It’s safe to say that Prodigal Son is known for throwing wild, unpredictable plot twists into every episode. The finale was no exception, with Malcolm being framed for murder and Gil getting stabbed, but the most shocking of twists came in the final moments of the show. While we all thought Malcolm would be the one to rid the world of the monster known as Nicholas Endicott, Ainsley Whitly came out of nowhere, slicing his throat and proceeding to stab him several times over. The shocking twist was masterfully executed as Ainsley slowly fades into the background while all our attention is focused on Malcolm, seemingly moments from shooting Endicott. We almost forget she’s even in the room, and the stress of it all proves to be too much for her. After she finishes the deed, her trance-like state makes it clear she is completely disassociated from the moment. It’s the height of the drama; the peek of the rollercoaster, so to speak, before reality crashes down on them and fans are left with the cruelest (read: best) cliffhanger! Will Ainsley remember? How will this affect her and Malcolm, who just witnessed his sister murder a man? Will Jessica find out? Will Gil? This one act raises many questions, and we can’t wait for season 2 to start answering them!

Prodigal Son is available now on Hulu and Fox Now. The new season premieres on January 12 at 9 p.m. ET only on Fox!

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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