The game is afoot in this week’s episode of Prodigal Son as Malcolm, the NYPD, and the US Marshals race to capture the three fugitives who escaped from Claremont. It won’t be an easy feat and Malcolm knows time is of the essence! Let’s jump in.
The episode begins with a flashback to 1998, Malcolm and Ainsley are playing and Ainsley steals Malcolm’s Batman toy. He takes it back, making her cry in the process which prompts Martin to enter the room. He cheers her up reminding her of a teddy bear she runs to get. Alone with Malcolm, Martin tells him to look out for Ainsley while he’s away for a trip. He also tells Malcolm, “if you ever need me when I’m not around, just know I’ll always be right here,” and points to his temple.
In the present, Malcolm recalls the news of Martin’s escape from Dani amid flashes of Martin running out the doors of Claremont. Alone in Martin’s cell, Malcolm asks where he is, to talk to him. Gil enters and introduces Malcolm to Marshal Emily Ruiz. Malcolm knows she’s taking over the case, but she does want them to consult. Malcolm accidentally reveals that Martin is his father (Gil left that information out for Ruiz thus far) and Ruiz is shocked, or so they think until she laughs at their worried expressions. She insists Malcolm will be an asset in the investigation and asks for his profile on The Surgeon. Malcolm says that Martin won’t make mistakes, the way to catch him is to watch for the mistakes of his accomplices, Hector and Friar Pete. Hector has temper issues so he’ll stick to the plan for fear of ruining it, but Pete thrives on ritual and freedom won’t suit him. He’s the one to watch. Malcolm then plays Martin’s last voicemail for Ruiz and Gil. Ruiz sets to work saying if anyone can find Martin, it’s Malcolm which prompts Malcolm’s hand tremor to return.
Malcolm and Gil find Jessica in the Claremont infirmary where Capshaw is bandaging her injured shoulder. Jessica says she was at Claremont to ask Martin about the key she found and Gil promises to have his team look into it and they are going to add security at her house with Martin out. He squeezes her hand in comfort before leaving. Malcolm turns his sights on Capshaw for additional information on Martin’s last moments at Claremont. Capshaw is evasive and dismissive. Malcolm picks up on it right away and hangs back after Jessica leaves. He tells Capshaw he plans to stay until she divulges what she’s hiding. That’s all it takes for her to confess she untied Martin. Visibly upset, she says Martin used her. Malcolm understands and she thanks him for his kindness though she knows it’s her fault. Malcolm leaves to find Ainsley waiting in the hallway. She asks about Jessica and Malcolm is surprised she’s not prepping “My Father the Fugitive” for her network. She says she can’t think about work right now. Malcolm is suspicious but she reiterates it’s different with Martin out and she’s not ok. Malcolm says he’s fine as Gil rounds the corner, they’ve found the stolen ambulance.
On the scene, Gil, Malcolm, Dani, and JT discuss the two dead EMTs. Malcolm is sure the kills weren’t Martin. Dani highlights he hasn’t killed in 20 years and his MO could have changed and JT thinks Malcolm is making excuses for Martin. Malcolm is short with him, yelling that he’s following the profile and Martin’s delusional belief that he’s not a killer anymore will keep him from killing for as long as possible. JT and Dani set out in search of any missing cars while Malcolm and Gil talk through Martin’s next move. He’ll need quick cash and supplies, and Malcolm realizes the closest place is his own apartment. They arrive to find his apartment wrecked, almost all of his weapons missing and Malcolm reveals Martin and Jessica lived there before he was born. Gil says it’s time to face the fact The Surgeon is back.
At the station, they brief the Marshals. Martin isn’t the average power killer and will improvise, Ruiz says they have about 20 hours to catch him, and JT notes a blue LeSabre was stolen near the ambulance. US Marshal’s begin questioning Malcolm who is short-tempered and tells them Martin wants the focus on Malcolm instead of him. He storms away and Dani follows. He surprisingly tells her he’s not fine, and she assures him that’s normal. He confesses that having Martin in prison gave him a sense of control over their relationship, that’s gone now and he thinks he should have noticed the signs. Dani tells him they will find Martin through old-fashioned investigation, “Stick with me and we’ll figure it out.” Ruiz finds them to say the stolen vehicle’s been located.
At Claremont, Jessica finds Capshaw and asks if she needs to talk. She heard what happened and can understand Capshaw’s situation. “I feel like I’m in hell’s waiting room,” Capshaw says and Jessica agrees she’s been there for 23 years. The thing that keeps her going is waiting for Martin to die… and gin. Capshaw pulls out a bottle of vodka.
At the stolen car, Malcolm and Dani puzzle over why the car is parked by a store but no one went in. Malcolm notices a bowling alley across the road and thinks it’s exactly the place they’d go. No windows, food, and easy cash. Dani says she’ll tell Ruiz and tells Malcolm to wait. Naturally, Malcolm does not wait. He charges into the bowling alley, finding a dead body. Friar Pete is bowling with a bloody bowling ball as Malcolm makes his way over. Pete quotes a philosopher and Malcolm reminds him he’s from Pittsburgh and the alley must remind him of home. Pete divulges that his childhood was a nightmare with a hot tempered father. They lived above a bowling alley and he’d escape his father’s fury by going to the alley. He tells Malcolm to leave him alone, and Malcolm of course steps closer to ask where Martin is going. Pete shows Malcolm’s 1902 Colt in his belt but Malcolm doesn’t think he’ll use it, guns aren’t medieval enough. Pete charges forward throwing the bowling ball at Malcolm who backs quickly down the bowling lane. Pete then draws the Colt screaming that Martin is going to hell along with Malcolm just as Ruiz enters and shoots him dead. Malcolm is furious, Pete was their chance to find Martin. Ruiz however is angry with Malcolm’s apparent death wish (welcome to the club, Ruiz) and Dani backs her up. They have a shouting match resulting in Dani physically forcing Malcolm outside.
Gil finds Jessica in her living room and tells her the locks have been reinforced, officers are posted outside, and JT will be keeping her company for now. Jessica says Ainsley is in her room pacing around, but Gil says they’re all on edge. Gil leaves and JT joins Jessica as she sifts through old memories. JT tells her the key she found matches an old safety deposit box at a bank and the account is under Jonas Salk, the man who cured polio.
Meanwhile in Gil’s office, Dani has a hard conversation with Malcolm, pointing out that he almost took a bullet for The Surgeon who has done nothing but make his life miserable. He agrees Martin isn’t worth it and apologizes to her saying being his friend can’t be easy. “I’ve never had a friend like you,” he says.
The phone rings at Jessica’s and JT tells her to answer, they’ll be tracing the call. It’s not Martin, instead, a creepy voice says horrible things and she plays it off for JT and hangs up. He says he’s a detective and can tell it wasn’t just a random call. He gets calls like that, bricks in his locker, and phone calls to Tally because of the racial profiling he faced. Even though he didn’t file any formal charges it still happens. Jessica asks why he never told anyone.
Malcolm finds Ruiz at the station to apologize but she says they found Friar Pete’s phone with only one number in it. Malcolm suggests they call it. After two rings, Ainsley picks up the phone with “Hello, Dad? Dad is that you?”
Ainsley is opposite Gil in an interrogation room as he asks why she was expecting Martin’s call and about her visits to him. Malcolm and Dani watch from behind the glass as she says it was dumb but meant nothing. She tells Gil they didn’t plan a breakout and Martin was the one who reached out to her. In a flashback, Martin calls Ainsley on his old office phone and offers “a sympathetic ear.” Gil says they can take a break and heads to his office where he tells Jessica that Ainsley said nothing helpful. Gil wonders if he should’ve looked out for her more, but Jessica says he couldn’t have protected her. Meanwhile, Malcolm talks to Ainsley. He knows she’s lying and needs the truth. He tells her Martin’s tried to convince Malcolm he’s just like Martin for years, but Ainsley wonders if Martin is right about her. In a flashback, Martin lays out Ainsley’s “psychopathic tendencies” in a way that makes it hard to argue with his point. In the present, Malcolm tells her if she really was like Martin she wouldn’t be so worried. In the flashback, Martin tells her the trick is to make everyone think she’s normal. “Pretend to feel when you don’t. Cry every now and then. If you can master that, the world is your oyster.” In the present, a tear slips down Ainsley’s cheek while Malcolm reassures her. She says Martin told her a story about apple picking when they were children at a particular orchard upstate. Malcolm believes that story is a clue, Martin’s invitation to Ainsley to join him on the run.
Gil and Malcolm arrive at the orchard in Kingston. They find the current orchard owner, Bobby, at the house. Malcolm asks if his now deceased mother had any connections to Martin, and the man is offended at the insinuation. Gil hears from JT that the orchard received several payments from a Jonas Salk, Martin’s alias. Malcolm then asks what’s in the barn. Bobby shows them the crop duster airplane that was purchased in 1994. Malcolm is sure this was Martin’s backup plan should he be discovered. Inside a secret compartment, Malcolm finds passports and the Batman toy from his childhood. Bobby heads back inside, and Malcolm finds Bobby’s lack of concern odd. Malcolm realizes Martin must already be holding hostages inside the house.
Gil begins to call Ruiz but Malcolm wants them to go in alone. However, she calls Gil first and is already there with her team who are prepared to ambush the house. Malcolm wants to go inside to negotiate but Ruiz refuses as she asks Malcolm to at least pretend to care about the family inside. Gil jumps to his defense as the US Marshals prepare to enter the house. They listen to the radio chatter as agents yell “Don’t move!” “Get down!” followed by a gunshot and then “Target’s on the ground!” Malcolm yells asking who is down but when there’s no immediate answer he charges inside with Gil hot on his heels. Inside, they find the family safe and Hector with a gunshot wound to the shoulder. Malcolm frantically asks where Martin is but Hector only laughs, saying Martin was never with them. They split up at the prison. Martin laid out this exact plan for Hector and Pete to follow. Malcolm looks dazed as he realizes they are no closer to finding Martin. Gil calls Jessica to tell her the news.
Later that night at Claremont, Malcolm finds Capshaw in the hall and he tells her Martin is still at large. Malcolm confesses he thought Martin wanted Malcolm to find him, and then notices the box she’s holding of her belongings. She’s been fired. Before leaving she says she thinks Martin will “get exactly what’s coming to him.” Outside, Capshaw throws her box in her car and hears a banging in the trunk. She walks to the trunk, caressing it softly as she whispers, “Quiet now. Here we go darling, we’re almost free.”
Prodigal Son airs Tuesdays on FOX at 9 p.m. EST/ 8 p.m. CT.
Malcolm Danger Count: 2