Save Prodigal Son! Then Consider These 5 Season 3-Saving Ideas

If you've been following our coverage of FOX's Michael Sheen and Tom Payne-starring Prodigal Son since it was officially canceled by the network, then you know that we've been on this drive to get the series a third season at a new home. Along with Sheen and Payne, the series boasts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Bellamy Young, Halston Sage, Lou Diamond Phillips, Aurora Perrineau, Frank Harts, and Keiko Agena– each offering well-rounded characters that could carry their own episodes, a claim not many other shows could make. And then there's the writing, which twisted and turned the rules by which broadcast networks run to offer some truly disturbing and thought-provoking adventures. But much like Lucifer before it made the move to Netflix, there was always this sense that the series could truly thrive in a much bigger creative sandbox and the investment a platform like a streaming service would provide to promote the show properly.

Prodigal Son
Prodigal Son (Image: FOX TV)

Thankfully, some glimmers of hope remain- with series creators Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver as well as Warner Bros. TV Group head Channing Dungey revealing that conversations were still underway for a possible return. In addition, the folks behind the #SaveProdigalSon campaign (Twitter: @ProdigalSaviors) continue looking for fans to add their voices to the cause as they continue pushing for a third season. In fact, you can swing over to their website (here) to learn how fan efforts continue to be organized and sign the petition to save the series (right here). So as the wait continues, we are humbly offering our thoughts on where things could go if a new season becomes a reality. Again, just some thoughts/observations were spitballing off the tops of our heads- let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

1. Netflix vs. Amazon Prime? Before we even take a look at the third season's possible storyline directions, let's start off with where the series should go. Now while any new home would be appreciated, for the show to be able to expand upon its mature content we have to look at streaming. So with that in mind, it comes down to Netflix and Amazon Prime. Netflix jumps out first because they have a track record for rescuing quality shows from shaky homes (Lucifer, Cobra Kai) and the money to give the series an even better look than it has (which was already impressive). Our biggest issue with Netflix? Prodigal Son is a series that would benefit from weekly episode drops and not a binge dump- it's a "water cooler" show that could really grow depending on how it's promoted not just prior to its premiere but throughout its season run. That's why I'm leaning towards Amazon Prime- the upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel and The Wheel of Time series show Amazon's willingness to spend money, and The Boys and Invincible have proven that staggered episode drops can build one helluva fanbase.

2. Martin on the Move: We understand completely that Sheen wants to work on other projects (Good Omens 2, maybe?), and that in the past that's required a lot of shifting of the filming schedule to make it work. Want to make it easier and still keep Sheen active in the series? Give us a season where a secondary storyline focuses on an on-the-loose Martin and the experiences he goes through trying to figure out his next big step. Could still have him checking in with Malcolm and helping out while still accommodating Sheen's overall schedule.

3. Malcolm Goes "Dead Poets Society": Yes, I have How to Get Away with Murder in mind but I think having Malcolm teaching a class of graduate students could open up a whole world of possibilities. And no worries because he would still be able to assist with case-solving- probably even more so as an academic professional. Imagine a season-long storyline where Malcolm suspects one of his students is a serial killer? Maybe a class trip to visit dear old dad if Martin is still locked up?

4. Let's Add a Little "Dexter" Contrast: So for two seasons, we've had Malcolm fighting to keep from becoming the monster that his father became as "The Surgeon"- but what if we had a character in Malcolm's universe who was also a serial killer but kept it controlled to only eliminate the really bad folks? It would be interesting to see what kind of influence a character like that could have- thinking a parental figure who Malcolm has learned to like and trust before the reveal. Would probably go with a maternal figure to contrast Martin. Even better? Let's have Ainsley (Sage) in the role of "killer who needs their urges kept in check" with Martin and Malcolm as the mentoring "devil/angel" on her shoulders.

5. Another Whitly? Yes, I know. Bringing in the "long, lost relative" is usually the death knell for a show, but for Prodigal Son it could not only work but actually makes a lot of sense. Not to be blunt and as much as a "family man" as he claims to be, I don't buy into the idea that Martin may not have had a one-nighter here and there. And let's be honest? As dysfunctional as Malcolm, Martin, Jessica (Young), and Ainsley are, adding a wildcard family member into the mix is killer (sorry for that). Are they telling the truth? Can they trust someone with Martin's genetics as well as someone else they have no idea about?

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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