Prodigies, with this article, we’ve sadly reached the end 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’ve been pressing play to rewatch an episode of Prodigal Son. Last week, we put our rewatch goggles on for the penultimate episode of season 2, “Sun and Fun.” This week, we delved into the events of the season/series finale, “The Last Weekend,” with a new perspective now that we know what events unfold in order to point out some of its most striking moments and features. For the last time, let’s jump into what we noticed in the season/series finale of Prodigal Son.
One Final Crime of the Week
Every week of Prodigal Son we were treated to bigger and more complex stories for the crime of the week. In this final episode, not only is Malcolm part of a crime (and later going to commit a crime, see below), but he and Martin are also hellbent on catching a serial killer. Is there anything more poetic than watching our favorite crime solving father son duo take their show on the road? Malcolm subtly investigates with the local authorities and they even end up abducted themselves, nearly becoming the killers victims. In the end, Malcolm gets to do what he always does best: the right thing. He saves the would-be next victim and dutifully turns his father back in. Well, he almost turns him back in and that’s really what counts.
A Shocking Twist of the Knife
This is perhaps the most shocking moment that came from the season 2 finale of Prodigal Son. As Malcolm and Martin are in the woods alone, Malcolm realizes what his father’s plan has been all along. Martin says that his demeanor has changed, that he was a good father but Malcolm wasn’t a good son. Malcolm figures out that Martin intends to kill him and his father pulls out a knife. However, before Martin has a chance to stab him, Malcolm grabs the knife and strikes the blade through Martin. “I was right. We are the same,” Martin declares as he closes his eyes. Malcolm is shocked, Dani finds them and is just as shocked, and Malcolm is unable to tell her what happened. If there was anything to up the season 1 finale cliffhanger, it would be this. Those writers do not miss one bit.
One of the best parts of the finale was getting to see Jessica and Capshaw go toe to toe — in what turns out to be Jessica’s very own sting operation! Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bellamy Young played off of one another perfectly in this scene, serving as foils for each others’ characters and showcasing the facets of each woman’s personality so easily in such a short scene. The chemistry is off the charts, which can be hard to generate when the characters have had extremely limited screen time together up until this point. And Gil’s quip about being happy that he got there in time “for [Capshaw’s] sake” at the end of the fight after Jessica had gotten things “under control,” was the icing on the cake.
Changing More Than His Hair
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Martin went blonde. The change was an immediate shock to the system at the start of this episode, and it’s definitely the biggest change in personal style we saw on the show. Was it good? Eh … that’s for you to decide. However, it was definitely a change, one that went along with Martin’s claims that he was no longer the same man he was last time he was free.
While Malcolm makes it clear that he does not believe that claim, Martin does truly put his all into proving that he is different. In fact, had circumstances been different and Malcolm had not asked him to do what he did, you have to wonder if Martin might have actually had a chance at playing the changed man in a more long term way. Obviously his narcissistic tendencies would never fully disappear, but perhaps given the chance Martin would have been able to curb the violent moments that got him in trouble in the first place. However, this episode did not play out that way, so we will never know if Martin managed to do more than just change his hair.
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A Final Goodbye (For Now?)
This week, we say goodbye to Prodigal Son. Over its 33 episode run, the show made a big impact by upending the procedural formula. With strong acting, great writing, and a focus on getting into the mind of a profiler, Prodigal Son will be remembered for its inventive storytelling. We here at Nerds & Beyond have covered the series from the beginning, from podcasts to recaps to image releases. While we hope to see the series find a new home elsewhere, it’s important to celebrate the brilliant series we love regardless of whether it will continue in another form. Thank you all for reading and watching along with us from the entire Nerds & Beyond team!
If you’re looking to relive the greatness of Prodigal Son, all of our recaps, rewatches, and listicles are available to read here. To peruse the episodes of our season 2 podcast, including the corresponding commentary for this week’s episode, visit our Twitter account @Call4BackupPod and browse all the options for listening via the link in our bio.