Prodigies, welcome back to the second installment of Nerds Rewatch Prodigal! If you’re not familiar with this 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 Prodigal Son. Last week, we put our rewatch goggles on for the season 2 premiere. This week, we delved into the events of the season’s second episode, “Speak of the Devil,” with a new perspective now that we know what events unfold in order to point out some of its most striking moments and features. Without further ado, let’s jump into what we noticed in episode 2!
Case of the Week
From beheadings to death by botox, the cases of the week on this show are always exceptional. However, there was just something about this one that took it to the next level. Continuing with the season opener’s momentum, this case gave us everything: drama, deceit, dramatic reveals, action… we could go on and on. The religious aspects of the case were tied in very well with the crime itself, and the references had us wondering if we were watching one of our other favorite shows here at Nerds, Supernatural. The excellent scenes from the supporting characters (you know you jumped when “THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU” was screamed) combined with an interesting and lore-steeped case made for an episode with some truly unforgettable moments — from not staying inside the salt circle to the horrendous painting reveal, among many others.
The Introduction of the Infamous Friar Pete
Friar Pete was one of the most interesting additions to the cast of Prodigal Son‘s season 2, and rewatching his character’s introduction in this episode gave us plenty of reasons to remember why. Not only did he bring the creep factor (as one must if they’re going to be a resident of Claremont), but he quickly proved his intelligence — which was just about on par with Martin’s. The easily established dynamic between the elder Whitly man and the religious zealot (psychopaths or not, them being chess buddies was cute) set up the later events of the season perfectly by exhibiting how well the pair worked together and played off of each others’ knowledge. That’s not even mentioning the ominous promise of “Exodus” that kept us on the edge of our seats for the better part of the season.
The Gilica Ship Sinks Once More
One of our favorite ships, Gilica, hits a iceberg (so to speak) this episode and it’s painful to watch. Previously, Jessica overheard Dani and Gil talking about his relationship with Jessica, and now she’s been avoiding him. Towards the end of the episode, Gil confronts Jessica at her home, and it’s heartbreaking and downright sad. She states that she’s cursed, and that everyone who comes into her life gets “cut.” In only a way Gil can, he tries to reassure her, but she’s unfortunately made up her mind. He pleads with her that his stabbing wasn’t her fault because she saved him, but she wants to save him again by letting him go (cue the tears). As Douglas Horton said, “If you love something, let it go free. If it doesn’t come back, you never had it. If it comes back, love it forever.”
When Prodigal Son decides to lean into their darker side, they do so with a flourish that sends chills up our spine. As Malcolm wrestles with his guilt over disposing of Endicott’s body, it manifests in a particularly chilling nightmare involving Ainsley and the catholic church. Malcolm has always struggled with his mental health, but it’s clear that this is taking an even deeper toll. With no one (healthy) to talk to and no certainty of actually getting away with the crime, Malcolm is on edge even more. The depiction of mental health is one of the reasons we love this show, and exploring that through Malcolm’s guilt with stressful night terrors gave the episode an extra layer of suspense we couldn’t get enough of!
Night(mare) In Shining Armor
One of this episode’s best callbacks to season 1 came in the form of Dani donning body armor because Malcolm fell asleep in the precinct. You really can’t blame the girl after what happened last time he did that and she basically got ran over in his panicked state after waking up. However, it makes for a nice moment where we see that Dani actually has been paying attention to Malcolm and his quirks/issues. Also, it is a great comedic moment when Malcolm wakes up and asks Dani, “Why are you wearing body armor?” and her only response is, “You fell asleep,” which he accepts as a completely reasonable answer. Not only that, but the rest of the officers in the precinct also seem to think that Dani’s response is completely reasonable. It seems like they are all getting used to Malcolm and his unique issues and personality traits, for good or bad.
JT and the Backup That Never Came
One of this season’s most poignant storylines was that of JT’s battle against the racism of his fellow police. In the pilot we saw JT being roughed up by fellow cops who refuse to listen when he identifies himself, and here it escalates when JT radios for help and the officer who answers refuses to acknowledge that JT is a member of the police force and fails to send backup. Gil was already upset about the first incident, and this episode shows Gil blasting someone about this over the phone. It is the first time we have ever seen Gil truly angry, and the fact that we see it in the face of someone coming after his team reminds us why we love Gil, especially since his anger is completely understandable.
With the events of the past year here in the U.S. regarding race and police, the story really hits home. The way the writers handle it is beautiful because as tragic as the whole thing is, it is a story that needs to be told. There is not sugarcoating of the issue or dancing around it, but they also manage to tell the story without it becoming the entire story for the episode. Earlier in the episode, before JT’s failed call for backup, Dani has a line where she says,
“It’s always bad. Difference is people are paying attention. It’s like they just realized that the world is racist and cops target Black people. JT and me don’t get a pass.”
The show’s handling of this issue is spectacular, and as terrible as the reality of this is, it is too important to ignore.
Malcolm and Martin Gain a Consultant
Malcolm and Martin have a difficult relationship, and it’s a constant power struggle that plays out beautifully episode after episode. This week, Martin seems to have the upper hand as he brings in his own consultant, Friar Pete, to help with the case. Malcolm doesn’t have the same medical knowledge as the two killers which gives Martin a moment of superiority he practically flexes in Malcolm’s face. We see it again at the end of the episode as Malcolm calls Martin for advice while facing down the poisoned murderer made with delusion. We couldn’t round out this article without calling attention to the fantastic ongoing dynamics between father and son as well as the rotating camera work as Martin and Friar Pete coach Malcolm through an exorcism. Their powerful dynamic drives the show and this episode gave us a new side to the ever evolving relationship.
Episode 2 easily maintained the heightened-stakes feel and phenomenal quality that the season 2 premiere introduced — something that would carry through the rest of the season. Make sure to join us next Tuesday for our live-tweet event under the tag #NerdsRewatchProdigal and the Twitter account @Call4BackupPod as we press play at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on episode 3, “Alma Mater.” Additionally, you can listen to our corresponding commentary for this week’s episode on our podcast Call For Backup here. Make sure to stay up to date with all of the news concerning Prodigal Son and the campaign to save the show here. Until next week, Prodigies!