When Prodigal Son first graced our television screens, we had no idea just how perfect this show would be or how fast we’d be sucked in week after week. With fast-paced action, intriguing crimes, and witty writing, it’s no wonder the show has quickly gathered an ever-growing fanbase. Anyone who watches the show will know exactly what we mean when we say that we find ourselves worrying about profiler Malcolm Bright and his questionable decision-making skills. Throughout season one, Malcolm puts himself in danger so often that a Malcolm Danger Count easily hits double digits.
In anticipation of the season 2 premiere, we’re looking back at some of the most memorable times Malcolm exhibited questionable decision-making skills.
Chasing down the Junkyard Killer Alone
In the words of Gil, call for backup! Following the Junkyard Killer into an abandoned subway alone was probably not the way to go — proven by Malcolm getting banged up in the turnstiles. While Malcolm’s dedication to putting the bad guys away is admirable, we would much rather he not put himself in grave danger like this so much.
Puts Hand on a Live Mine/Throw Himself Out a Window
Heroic? Yes. Stupid? Absolutely. This was definitely not Malcolm’s brightest (haha) moment. Of course, putting his wellbeing well below everyone else’s on the totem pole, he quickly convinces the team to evacuate the building, citing he has a plan to get himself out of this sticky situation. Once everyone is clear, Malcolm proceeds to throw himself out of a window multiple stories high, releasing the pressure trigger and causing the building to go kaboom just in time for him to land on Gil’s precious car. While everyone ended up being okay, this was definitely a moment where some self-preservation was desperately needed. Can we also talk about him answering Martin’s call in the middle of all this? Get it together, Malcolm.
Taunting the Junkyard Killer
There is a time and place for heavy sarcasm in the face of grave danger, but it is perhaps not when you are chained to the floor against your will while being tortured by a mentally unstable murderer. But naturally that’s exactly what Malcolm does as the Junkyard Killer aka Paul Lazar aka John Watkins kidnaps and tortures him. It’s clear the man is dangerous and yet Malcolm chooses this moment to sass him several times!
Catching Falling Swords
Honestly, this was just as much an ethically questionable interrogation tactic as it was a stupid Malcolm moment, as the neurotic profiler took advantage of the charged situation to extract information from a sketchy witness who wasn’t being compliant with the investigation. Please don’t let that distract you from the fact that Malcolm literally stood there while swords rained from the sky and caught them. Does this man have a death wish?!?
Charges in Alone to Save Edrisa From an Armed Woman
Malcolm… Call. For. Backup. Although charging into a room that has a perp with a gun while you are sans backup or a weapon is not behavior to encourage, everyone knows that Malcolm couldn’t just leave his girl Edrisa hanging. Literally right after telling Gil that he would wait for the rest of the team after reporting the situation to him, Malcolm runs in, guns blazing (metaphorically), to save his favorite M.E. — though Edrisa proved to handle the situation quite well herself.
Exhibits Poor Weapon Choices
Season 2 definitely needs to involve Gil having Malcolm outfitted with some sort of weapon. A gun. A stun gun. Mace. Anything really, because as we see in this moment, and others, Malcolm chooses some odd weapons like lamps when he finds himself in danger which is more often than not.
Burns His Hand Intentionally
Hallucinations cannot be fun, but there have to be better grounding techniques than literally setting yourself on fire. If I started hallucinating my serial killer father, I can’t say I wouldn’t do the exact same thing, but maybe we pick something more controlled than an open flame?
Holds a Loaded Murder Weapon to His Head
Malcolm often gets lost in his thoughts when processing a crime scene, but this time was particularly dangerous when he picked up the murder weapon and held it to his head. It was shot to kill a person, Malcolm, of course it’s loaded! Luckily Gil is there to quickly remind him of that fact. It’s moments like these we worry deeply for our favorite profiler.
Gets Bit by a (Very) Poisonous Snake
Is there anything more Malcolm Bright than chasing a bad guy, without a weapon, through a warehouse filled with illegal, wild, and poisonous animals? We were already very concerned while he chased the guy, and those concerns were heightened tenfold when Malcolm ends up with a highly poisonous snake dangling from his hand. He collapses almost immediately and it’s thanks to Dani (we get to say that more than a few times) that an ambulance was called quickly and Bright was alright.
Undergoing Questionable Shock Therapy
When Malcolm goes all out, he goes all out. While undercover investigating a cult, Bright lets himself be subjected to questionable shock therapy “in the name of the case.” In reality, Malcolm had been having vivid hallucinations of himself dead as a child after finding out Martin planned to kill him as a child. While he definitely wanted to crack the case, Malcolm was definitely not in the best state of mind when he made this questionable decision — but then again, what’s new?
Malcolm has a proclivity for putting himself in harm’s way in the name of solving crimes throughout season 1. We can’t imagine what season 2 has in store for him, but we’re sure it’ll have us saying “Malcolm, no!” multiple times.
Prodigal Son returns to FOX on January 12 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. C.
Authors: Brianna, Kenedi