Welcome back to our Nerds Rewatch Prodigal event! Last year, we launched a season-long rewatch of one of our favorite shows, Prodigal Son. With the end of season 2 having aired, we’re reviving our series! Every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, we’ll be pressing play on Twitter to rewatch and live-tweet an episode of the show. Last Tuesday, we launched the event with the season 2 premiere, and once again, we were struck by how many amazing moments there were. From acting choices to set design and moments between characters that are even more significant now that we’ve seen the full season, we’ll be revisiting the most striking moments every week. Here are just a few of the things we thought about while rewatching “It’s All in the Execution.”
Malcolm’s Sex Dungeon Antics
It’s an understatement to say that the season opener went hard from the moment it began. That being said, perhaps the most memorable moment was Malcolm Bright’s unorthodox interrogation techniques inside a sex dungeon. With the victim (and yes he did horrible things, but he is still a victim) still chained to the walls, Malcolm cranks up Izzy’s sex dungeon tune “I Feel Love,” grabs himself a weapon, and proceeds to jam. Dancing around with first a whip, then a nail gun, and finally a saw, he thinks aloud, putting himself in the shoes of the killer and interrogating Boyd. From Malcolm’s messy hair, the creepy set dressing, the amazing song choices, the scene is simply iconic. We’re with Dani, Bright is acting more “Bright-ish than usual” but we’ll gladly take it if these are the kind of delightfully unexpected antics we get.
JT’s Racial Profiling Encounter
Watching JT go through this experience again was so heartbreaking, especially since we know that this incident sadly doesn’t get the concrete resolution that it deserved — much like what often happens in the real world. Frank Harts delivered a phenomenal performance, pouring so much emotion into such a short and charged scene. While it was tough to watch JT be forced to navigate this atrocious encounter driven by hate, this scene was the beginning of the story’s arc addressing the concept of racial profiling. While uncomfortable to watch, this poignant scene was the show’s way of starting the conversations that so desperately need to be had about race and discrimination on screen and in media as a whole, making the unabashed statement that Black and brown lives matter. Additionally, seeing the team (rightfully) rally behind JT really emphasized the almost familial dynamic that major crimes has, managing to warm viewers’ hearts despite the serious subject matter.
In this episode, it’s clear that the writers had a lot of pent up witticisms to unleash during the writing of the episode. They came out swinging with some of the best one-liners the show has ever produced, making what can be a serious show into a comedy for 45 minutes. A few highlights:
Malcolm: Sorry, this ledge is taken.
Edrisa: I went through a light bondage phase back in Hoboken, I’m great with a knot!
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Martin: I have sensational news!
Malcolm: Please say it’s cancer.
Jessica: Save some pills for mommy!
Dani: Global pandemic, systemic racism … perfect time to be a young black woman and a cop.
JT: I can fire these people, right?
Martin: GOOD STUFF JER — I’m in hell.
Mr. David: What happened here, Martin?
Martin: A miracle!
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Malcolm: That’s the third time this week! I must be giving off murder-y vibes, is it my hair?
The killer to Malcolm: ALL YOU DO IS TALK!
Martin “I’m a Changed Man” Whitly
The latter half of season two is filled with Martin constantly claiming that he’s no longer a murderer. He’s a changed man. He swears it up and down until he’s basically blue in the face so much that we can see Malcolm start to question it himself. It’s interesting then to recall that just a few months before he started saying this, he very deliberately tried to kill his roommate, Jerry. Malcolm leaves in a hurry after Jerry throws a shoe at his face (smacking him square in the jaw, no less). This one act cuts Martin’s time with Malcolm short and that’s a deadly offense in Martin’s eyes. He rigs up a wire at night while Mr. David steps away, and electrocutes Jerry. Though it didn’t have the intended effect (death) it did actually cure Jerry. In a roundabout way Martin still got what he wanted: his cell to himself and more one-on-one time with Malcolm when he visits.
Dani Finds Malcolm: Season Finale Parallel
Now that we have the retrospective view of watching the full season, we have to commend the creators on the excellent parallels they created between this episode and the season finale. While it’s not the final shot of the episode, Dani arrives to Malcolm’s apartment alone to discover he has disarmed the murderer and has the man pinned to the ground with a scimitar in his hand. She says to drop the weapon and he responds that the man isn’t armed. Dani clarifies she’s talking to Malcolm, not the killer. He pauses before backing off. We couldn’t have known that we’d be seeing an eerily similar shot in the finale, only this time Malcolm followed through and stabbed Martin. Dani arrives once again to find Malcolm holding a hunting knife, covered in scratches and blood, with Martin laying at his feet. It’s a shocking way to both open and close an amazing second season.
There we have it, Prodigies, the five things that struck us most about the season opener. The show definitely upped the stakes in season 2, and we loved every second of it. Join us next Tuesday for our live tweet event under the tag #NerdsRewatchProdigal and the Twitter account @Call4BackupPod. We’ll be pressing play at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on episode 2, “Speak of the Devil.” You can also listen to our original thoughts on the episode on our podcast Call For Backup here.