Prodigies have eagerly been awaiting the Edrisa-centric episode we were promised, and it’s finally here! If you’re not quite caught up on last episode’s happenings, make sure to check out our recap of “Ouroboros”. Without further ado, let’s dive into what happened on “The Killabustas.”
The scene opens with red liquid dripping to the floor around Malcolm, Martin’s haunting/taunting speech from the end of the season premiere playing in the background as a montage of Endicott’s gruesome dismemberment and Natalie’s plummet. Not to fear — Malcolm is just painting with Jessica (“art therapy”).
Malcolm is snippy when she insults his art, pointing out that she should be working on her book. Luckily, Jessica takes it in stride. She’s having writer’s block. He tries to get Jessica to reach out to Gil to get the transcripts of all her interviews surrounding The Surgeon. She conveniently points out that he’s busy as a new case is mentioned on the news. Bright is very offended.
“They didn’t call me? Why didn’t they call me?!?”
Malcolm cajoles Gil into letting him help with the case despite having just lost someone in the field, citing “Come on, trauma’s my middle name.” He asks about the files for Jess, throwing in a not-so-subtle “I know she’d love to see you.”
Malcolm is greeted by an excited Edrisa and teased by JT and Dani as he walks into the crime scene — a giant meat freezer. The body? Dismembered and hung on the hooks like a slab of steak — no head in sight.
Edrisa informs Bright that she believes the victim was still alive before they were accosted with a chainsaw. Malcolm informs the team with a grin that they may be dealing with a budding homicidal psychopath. JT promptly quips “I think I just became a vegetarian.”
Martin is mopping the floors of the infirmary, visibly nervous when a snappy Dr. Capshaw walks in. He pleads with her to listen. She tells him in no uncertain terms that the kiss they shared was a mistake while Martin cheerfully and determinedly disagrees, trying to convince her they’re good together with that special Whitly charm. Despite this, she declares it’s over — though Martin still isn’t convinced.
Gil asks Dani if Malcolm’s talked to her about what’s going on. He’s afraid that what happened is going to eat away at him if he doesn’t talk about it. Speak of the devil, because Malcom excitedly skids around the corner, exclaiming they found the torso.
Bright profiles that the head was taken to dehumanize the victim but that the victim was dressed post-murder to amp up the theatrics. Edrisa opens the shirt and screams as she sees “The Vulture” carved into the chest. Malcolm theorizes the killer’s named himself before Edrisa interjects, “no, I did.”
The team watches a video that The Vulture posted about torturing birds. Edrisa tells them that with the amount of these videos, they were worried about a possible escalation to humans for “The Vulture.” JT questions where her murder board came from as well as who the “we” she referred to were. She promptly informs her about her web sleuthing group, The Killabustas — let it be known that her alias is Kama Sutures … so on-brand for her.
Malcolm visits a far away Martin for insight. Malcolm asks why he’s off. Martin responds he’s just thinking about the case and that he’s not used to having visitors during quiet time. Bright inquires what usually goes on during quiet time, to which Martin responds “Oh, you know, mulling stuff,” as he fantasizes about Vivian. Malcolm, catching on, says “it’s super gross” — and we can’t help but agree. Martin tells Malcolm that The Vulture has finally given into his murderous urges and will strike again soon.
Malcolm and Edrisa chat while staring at the murder board. Telling Malcolm about being a misfit in her youth, Edrisa explains that The Killabustas are her family of misfits. JT ID’s the body as Alex Malone — a member of The Killabustas according to Edrisa. Alex was investigating how The Vulture was getting the birds in his videos.
Outside of Alex’s house, Dani opens up to Bright about losing someone in the field once. Malcolm tries to brush it off, citing he’s fine. Dani plows on, teary-eyed, citing that she pretended she was fine too — if fine meant coping with cocaine, something that led to her OD. She wraps up her speech by saying he needs to face his trauma, but he doesn’t have to do it alone.
Edrisa — having “pulled a Bright — joins the pair at Alex’s house, which seems like the crime scene. A hooded figure runs out of the house and into a car. Malcolm, in the middle of the road, tries to get him to stop, but the car plows right over him. Three people get out of the car. Edrisa recognizes one of them as “Mr. July,” one of The Killabustas.
Icing his head injury, Malcolm hallucinates Martin as his subconscious at his loft. He questions why he doesn’t open up to Dani, who’s “practically begging” for him to talk to her.
Back at the precinct, Bright questions (the attractive) Blaze/”Mr. July”, who blatantly flirts with Edrisa. Dani and JT interrogate the other Killabustas. They were worried about Alex/”Bird Boy,” so they went to investigate. Bright questions how they knew Alex was The Vulture’s victim. The team learns that Alex was supposed to meet Blaze to exchange information he had found, but never showed, prompting The Killabustas to check on him.
Blaze tells Edrisa and Malcolm that Alex sent him an Audubon Society pamphlet with a note on it before he went missing. Edrisa recalls that she threw one in her recycling the day before. The pair depart — but not before Edrisa slips Blaze her number, which he stares at while smirking.
In a great Gilica moment, Gil amiably drops off Jessica’s statements about The Surgeon’s case to the Whitly family mansion. Jessica feels that she’s in over her head and that everyone has made up their minds about her. In a heartfelt speech, Gil recounts that at first during Martin’s investigation, every cop in the precinct thought she was guilty. However, by the end, they had all fallen for her — “some still do,” he says and lets out an embarrassing chuckle.
At Edrisa’s apartment, Bright finds Alex’s note. He had found out that someone under the username “Save the Sparrows” provided The Vulture with the birds. Edrisa recognizes them as one of The Killabustas — the killer invaded the group.
While mopping in the infirmary, Martin covertly disconnects a patient’s IV to get Dr. Capshaw’s attention. He makes a scene, which Capshaw promptly shuts down by ordering the guard to restrain Martin.
Edrisa brings Blaze back to her apartment after their date. Blaise gives the same smirk as before.
Dani tells Malcolm that Save the Sparrows sent Alex threatening messages online, but that they can’t trace him. Malcolm profiles that Save the Sparrows is an outcast who killed birds to gain attention from The Killabustas, seeking to find a place where he belonged. Alex’s murder was to preserve his status in the group, as he was going to be outed for his unsavory activities. Figuring out that The Killabustas already knew Sparrows, and that Blaze had been the one organizing all of the meetups between members, they put together that Blaze is their culprit.
They rush over to Edrisa’s apartemnt where they interrupt a romantic romp between the pair. Embarrassed, Bright revokes his profile, stating “our killer would never order takeout”… except, they didn’t order takeout. Bright opens the bag; it’s Alex’s head.
Capshaw tells a still-restrained Martin that they’d met before at a lecture at her medical school. She wanted what he had, and was on the way to it as top of her class before it fell apart in residency. Capshaw claims she has a penchant for not playing by the rules, which is how she ended up at Claremont. The two slip back into a flirtatious banter, tiff seemingly forgotten. Martin tells her she needs to forget him and find someone who can help make her dreams come true, to which she responds, “You have no idea what I dream about.”
Vivian then proceeds to unshackle Martin and begins untying his sweatpants, saying they’ll need to be quick — of course Martin quips back “well I can’t make any promises.”
Malcolm, Dani, Blaze, and Edrisa go back to Malcolm’s loft where Edrisa will stay until its safe. Dani recommends shutting down the group, but Malcolm cites they need to see what they do next. Edrisa excitedly discovers Malcolm’s restraints, sparking talk about her love of bondage once again (to Blaze’s interest).
A knock on the door signals the presence of the other Killabustas, “Lululemom”/Sasha and “Deadhead”/Ashton, come to keep Edrisa company. The web sleuths have found surveillance footage from a warehouse.
The footage shows a van with Arizona plates on the night of the murder, relevant because the birds for The Vulture’s videos came from Arizona. The Killabustas leave after Dani tells them the NYPD will take over; Ashton asks for a ride back to his truck rig. Blaze gives Edrisa a knife for protection. Malcolm isn’t convinced the van is a real lead (which Edrisa attributes to what she thinks is jealousy over Blaze being “jacked”). Officers report the van is still there. The plates are stolen from a truck depot, pointing to Ashton, who Gil discovered has driven through Arizona multiple times on his route; Ashton is The Vulture.
Dani finds Ashton’s van locked with blood on it. Edrisa and Malcolm corner Ashton and try and lure him back to the apartment. Ashton sees through the sham and pulls a gun on Malcolm, apologizing to Edrisa and admitting Blaze is bleeding out in his van. Edrisa asks how he could do this, and he explains that everything he’s done was to preserve the group — his family. Bright’s profile fits to a T.
Malcolm, with a haunted look, tries to talk Ashton down from his plan to escape and keep up the charade.
“Ashton, it won’t work. Family will only go so far. ‘Cuz once they know the truth, who they’re really after, they’ll give up on you. And no…more…family.”
Edrisa stabs Ashton in the shoulder and Malcolm punches him, successfully subduing him. Edrisa rushes to save Blaze, who is thankfully still alive.
Gil, elbow deep in a car, is approached by Jess ,who asks if his offer is still on the table. The two flirt playfully before Jessica seriously reveals that she feels like she worked so hard to forget her past that she barely remembers how she was back then. Gil says he remembered her strength and how time slowed down every time she walked in the room, how it still does. He turns the radio up and the two sway to Bryan Ferry’s “Slave to Love.”
Malcolm asks Dani back at his apartment if she thinks you can ever know someone, relating it back to Ashton. Dani asks if he’s talking about Ashton or what he’s been avoiding talking about. Bright questions if he did enough to save Natalie and if he’s not really who she thinks he is. Dani assures him that he did and vehemently tells him he’s a good person. Bright’s hand trembles.
Malcolm has a slip of the tongue, saying “ever since Nicholas died” before cutting off, citing a long week for his verbal mistake. Dani steps closer, tenderly touching his arm, and says that she knows, it’s okay, and she’s here. All the while, Martin’s hallucination taunts him. Malcolm rushes her out of his apartment, to Dani’s confusion and irritation.
Friar Pete (long time, no see) gets on the elevator with Dr. Capshaw, creepily commenting on her apparent reek of sex before launching into an unsettling rendition of “Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord).” Capshaw, panicked, storms out of the elevator while the haunting tune continues before the screen goes black.
The pervading theme of found family permeated this episode — but not more than that of romance. Many ships seem to be progressing, though if that’s for the better or worse remains to be seen. We’ll have to tune in to next week’s episode to find out what’s on the horizon.
Malcolm Danger Count: 2
You can catch Prodigal Son on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m ET/8 p.m. CT on FOX.