Previously on Prodigal Son, the show left viewers with quite the cliffhanger when Ainsley visited Malcolm, revealing she may have committed another murder. This week, we finally get answers, and Malcolm and the team investigate a case surrounding plastic surgeons. The episode also marks Lou Diamond Phillips’ directorial debut for the show! Read on for our recap of “Face Value.”
The episode opens with Malcolm giving a lecture on psychopaths and serial killers. While he does, we see flashbacks to the previous episode when Ainsley went to Malcolm to tell him about a murder that she thinks she may have committed. (Thanks, bloody shirt!) As Malcolm ends a brief phone call with Martin, Ainsley walks in. Malcolm receives a text from Gil; they have a case. Ainsley wonders if it could be something she did. Malcolm tells her to stay at the apartment and he’ll try to find more info while he’s working. Later that day, Malcolm enlists Edrisa’s help to examine a sample from Ainsley’s shirt.
Malcolm arrives at the crime scene, where he learns the victim was botoxed to death. Her name was Dr. Zhang, a plastic surgeon. Malcolm figures that the method of killing also indicates torture. They could be looking for someone from Zhang’s past, someone who knew what kind of person she really was, disfiguring her to send a message.
Malcolm looks over the info they have on the case so far when Gil enters. Malcolm tells him how mutilation in murders (like the way Zhang was killed) is oftentimes the killer projecting. Thus, they reach the conclusion that their killer is outwardly deformed or believes themselves to be. A call from Jessica interrupts them. Malcolm answers and quickly gets an earful about Jessica’s sister, Bertie, who’s in town. As if that wasn’t enough, Ainsley calls, too, paranoid because she hears sirens and helicopters. Malcolm tries to calm her down when Dani finds him to tell him about the toxicology report that uncovered a surgical grade paralytic and a neurotoxin from the Lexington collective called Radiance Solution. Meanwhile, Ainsley grows increasingly frustrated. And, despite all of Malcolm’s warnings, leaves the apartment to retrace her steps.
Malcolm and Dani head to the plastic surgeon office where Zhang worked – the Lexington Collective. The moment they arrive, Dani remarks that she suddenly feels insecure, and Malcolm informs her that’s the whole point – to make people feel insecure, “even when they’re as beautiful as you.” They talk to Drs. Donahue and Chabra about Zhang and their dynamic with her. Dani brings up Chabra’s Radiance Solution being used as the weapon, asking if he’s had any stock go missing lately. Donahue tells them a nurse named Summer clears out the stock and they have nothing to hide. Afterward, Dani and Malcolm find Summer. She tells them she’d report any missing stock to Donahue, and they let her go. Dani is ready for Donahue to be their killer, but Malcolm says if they’re going to get any information, they need to talk to Chabra, the “complicitly masculine” complement to Donahue’s alpha nature. They bring in their own alphas, JT and Gil, to question Chabra. He mentions a woman named Francine Depaugh who may fit their profile.
Dani and Malcolm go to talk with Francine, and Malcolm reveals she struggles with body dysmorphic disorder. They knock on the door and a man opens it, wearing surgical gear covered in blood (always a good sign). He says something in what Malcolm presumes to be German before shutting the door in their faces. They knock again and this time, Dani kicks in the door. They look around the apartment, finding another surgeon performing an operation on a woman, but no Francine. A few moments later, a woman dressed in black and covering her face with a veil enters the room, who turns out to be Francine.
Martin begins work in the infirmary, where he’s cleaning bedpans. He meets Dr. Vivian Capshaw (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who tends to a patient, Quentin, suffering from a horrible migraine. When she leaves to get aspirin, Martin makes a diagnosis, and shortly after, Quentin begins to seize and collapses. Dr. Capshaw rushes back in, and Martin tells her Quentin’s suffering from a spontaneous subdural hematoma.
Dani and Malcolm learn that Francine grew to dislike the doctors at the Lexington Collective because they cut her off. Malcolm believes it’s because they thought Francine was attempting to fill a void. Francine, however, responds that it’s not nearly so deep — she just demands perfection. Dani mentions the lawsuit Francine dropped against Lexington. Francine claims it’s because she got over it, but in fact, it’s because she made a deal with Donahue; He would supply her with the Radiance Solution if she kept quiet about Lana Anders.
Back at the precinct with Malcolm, Gil, and Dani, Malcolm shares that Lana was a med student from the UK who studied with Drs. Chabra, Donahue, and Zhang. Donahue told Lana she’d never have a career unless she “looked the part” (ew), and performed a botched cheek lift on her that left her face disfigured. She then fled the country. They decide Donahue fits the profile, and Zhang’s guilt for her past with him left her wary of covering everything up, which would give Donahue motive. Dani heads out to track down Lana, and Gil says he’ll wait for Donahue at this place.
Dr. Capshaw performs an ultrasound on Quentin, while Martin explains that she needs to relieve the pressure by creating burr holes. She’s opposed to the idea at first, but eventually agrees. After getting the supplies she needs, she successfully drills a hole into the back of Quentin’s head, Martin also feeling accomplished.
Malcolm heads to his super awkward family dinner with Ainsley, Jessica, and Bertie. Before it’s barely started, Malcolm pulls Ainsley aside and scolds her for not answering any of his calls or texts, but she was busy retracing her steps. Gil calls, telling Malcolm there was no sign of Donahue at his place, but JT is keeping watch and Gil is putting out a BOLO. Malcolm says he needs to question Chabra. As Dani was planning the same, the two of them head to Lexington together. When they arrive, they find Chabra lying on the floor, impaled by needles, dying. Malcolm asks if Chabra saw who it was, Chabra saying he didn’t see but it could’ve been Donahue because he felt betrayed. Malcolm and Dani begin to panic, trying to figure out a way to counteract the neurotoxin in Chabra. Malcolm says they need a stimulant, and soon, he’s injecting Chabra with cocaine (Donahue’s stash) and saline solution. After a suspenseful moment of uncertainty, Chabra gasps awake.
Gil scolds the duo back at the precinct, then informing them that Donahue probably fled, as his bank accounts had been cleared. However, he’s a renowned surgeon who’s highly recognizable. He’s probably getting himself a new face, which leads Malcolm and Dani back to Francine.
When they arrive at her place, they find one of the surgeons from earlier blocking the door with his seemingly dead body, but he’s still alive. Malcolm finds Francine lying on the ground with a bloody nose, and she tells him it was Donahue’s nurse, Summer. He and Dani hear screaming. They rush to the source to find Summer in the middle of disfiguring and attempting to kill Donahue. Malcolm wants to understand why she’s doing it, so he appeals to her, saying, “Oh, and by the way, it’s nice to finally meet you … Lana.” He continues to talk her down, learning that Donahue’s surgery on her created a neuroma in her face, so she is in constant and intense pain. She wanted Zhang, Chabra, and now Donahue to feel that same pain. Malcolm suggests that instead of killing him, she should get even – make him live disfigured and in pain, too. Lana drops the needle she was holding and turns herself over.
Martin continues his cleaning duties. Dr. Capshaw informs him that Quentin will recover, and says Martin underestimated her skills when he mentions being surprised by her savvy. Just before she leaves, she sneaks a butterscotch into Martin’s hand.
Ainsley finds Malcolm and asks about the case. He confirms they got their guy … and he also got the results back from her bloody shirt sample: the blood was porcine, pig’s blood. Ainsley was pranking Malcolm. He’s deeply hurt and on the verge of tears, because he gave up so much to protect her. However, Ainsley doesn’t think what she did was totally uncalled for; Malcolm never told her she killed Endicott, and he should have. She says he needs to lighten up, because they got away with it. Malcolm tells her she doesn’t know that, but Ainsley thinks otherwise.
“We’re Whitlys. No one does this murder stuff better than us.”
The episode closes out with a scene at Lake Peipus, Estonia (HMMM), as three men examine something. An agent with Europol, Simon Hoxley (played by Alan Cumming), shows up. He finds the men examining the head of Nicholas Endicott that was pulled up in a fisherman’s morning haul (they found Endicott’s body a few months earlier). Hoxley confirms that the markings on the head indicate his theory was correct about Endicott not being killed in Estonia, which means he is going to take a trip to New York City (oh boy).
Prodigal Son will return from hiatus on Tuesday, April 13. Meanwhile, catch up on season 2 on Hulu and FOX Now. Find the rest of our coverage here.