Bracing myself after all of the pre-season finale hype for FOX's Prodigal Son, "Like Father…" did not disappoint and lived up to the promises. Granted, now we know the episode could end its title with "Like Daughter" but that would just give it away. Malcolm (Tom Payne) gets a chance to redeem his eight-year-old self and finally save The Girl in the Box. A very exciting, turbulent episode that definitely left a ton to be addressed during what we're assuming will be a second season. One of the best things about this show has been resolutions of cliffhangers and story plots, and "Like Father,…" gave us closure on pretty much everything. Maybe not neatly and a little too completely, but definitely rather quite bloody. A quick reminder: major spoilers ahead.
Malcolm has a dream coming face-to-face with his father, Dr. Whitly (Michael Sheen), screaming at him that they are not the same while being held in a jail cell. Killer's blood does flow through the Whitly family, unfortunately, Bright took after his mother (Bellamy Young). Brilliantly played out is The Surgeon being set up by Endicott (Dermot Mulroney) as trying to escape from Claremont psychiatric facility. That's how he ends up in prison general population waiting to be slaughtered like a lamb when a hit is put out on his life. Dr. Whitly has unbecomingly softened throughout the season: a sociopathic serial killer literally part of a herd of sheep. Weak, and it was almost pathetic to watch, that is until he manipulates his way out of getting killed with support of his loving Ainsley (Holston Sage).
Jessica bails Malcolm out of jail, so of course while on home arrest he loses the bracelet and takes off to track down who framed him. How does one get framed by having their DNA under the victim's fingernails? Being set up by the lab owned by Endicott. Bright ventures out to see The Devil: Sterling, the lawyer who helped Martin get his comfy cell. Sterling really did sell his soul, but it was to Endicott for a very lucrative career until he got shot. A little prediction for the second season: he got shot but we were never told that he was dead, so I', wondering if he will help the Whitly's get out of the bloody mess in Jessica's living room.
Gil (Lou Diamond Phillips) to the rescue. Jessica complies with Endicott's dinner plans at his home but things go terribly wrong when Gil shows up to take her home. So sweet, I love the dynamic between those two – at least until Gil is stabbed by Endicott's goons. There really wasn't a single minute of the season finale I didn't appreciate, especially how Jessica smashes a wine bottle against Nicholas's face and rushes to get Gil to the hospital. The whole family is there to show their support while he's in surgery, as well as the NYPD. I still don't quite understand what was up with Dani (Aurora Perrineau): while the entire NYPD believes Bright is innocent, she completely does a 180 in her demeanor and the way she relates to him. Shouldn't she be the first person to have his back?
Bright runs off to clear his name and find the actual perpetrator and comes face to face with The Girl in the Box. Sophie (Anna Eilinsfeld) killed Eddie for her sister. Apparently, Eve (Molly Griggs) found her and they spent time together before she died so Sophie sought vengeance. Bright finally gets to put his nightmares to rest and walks away pretending like she was never found, but now what? Take a hit and go to jail? Not likely. So what does Dr. Whitly have on Endicott? Allegedly, Sophie had files that prove just how dirty he is, except those files never actually existed. A little clarity is needed here as to why Dr. Whitly let her go. Yes, she gave him the intel on Endicott but how did The Surgeon know it will serve a future purpose?
Malcolm gets a text from Ainsley to "come home" and here is what I have been waiting for all season: vengeance, total loss of control, and a full-blown psychotic break. Endicott is holding Ainsley hostage. Oh, poor Ainsley, with tears rolling down her face. How will this end? Bright, the big brother protector picks up a gun and points it to Endicott as he borderline reads him his rights. This man will not serve a singly day in jail and he knows that, and so does Ainsley: slashing his throat ear-to-ear and stabbing him multiple times. I smell an insanity plea around the corner. Of course, this scene cannot be complete without father calling, with his ominous final words: "My Girl."
Epic and brilliant down to the very last line, Prodigal Son had an absolutely fantastic season finale, probably one of the best season-enders I have seen in quite some time. Endicott is clearly dead, but Ainsley is giving off the vibe that she's "just not sure how it happened." Good news for her? Jessica has about a dozen lawyers on retainer. I was a bit surprised that The Surgeon didn't end up seeing the blue skies, or did he? So what is there to expect in season two? With a time jump expected, will one of Malcolm's children share a cell with him? Let our wait for FOX's second-season greenlight begin.