This week episode of FOX's Prodigal Son had psychological intrigue, missing limbs, Bright (Tom Payne) finally getting confirmation for the 'girl in the box' and unfortunately no Dr. Whitley (Michael Sheen) who is conveniently (while mayhem ensues) locked up tight in solitary. The "family friend" serial killer has his body count up to at least 16, hard to tell since there are so many severed body parts, the ME is doing her best to puzzle them together. Jessica (Bellamy Young) is starting to come undone a little since the phone calls behind the cement walls, and Ainsley (Holston Sage) unfortunately is broken up with after her camera man boyfriend finds out she caught his surgery on camera.
Paul (Michael Raymond-James) aka the serial killer begins to taunt Bright with frequent phone calls, their relationships that stems back twenty years, and his current mission. Paul urges Bright to leave him alone and let him continue his quest in peace, not really a sound argument when talking to someone who works for the NYPD, but clearly Paul is not very sane. Bright profiles Paul as a missionary killer cleaning up the streets of hookers and junkies.
One of the greatest scenes of the episode is when Bright and the NYPD return to the junkyard to find Paul's hiding place and Bright discovers the trap door in the floor. The door leads to a Winnebago, which as typical of Bright he takes initiative to jump into. Discovering the newest victim tied up and blindfolded, the man appears to have been psychologically traumatized, counting down the days to his death.
Eve (Molly Griggs), the lawyer Jessica is donating to against human trafficking shows up on her door step with concern and finds her waving a loaded gun around. Jessica is refusing to leave her house and go stay in a hotel. The flash back to Martin that Jessica has consistently had throughout the season, really don't paint her as someone who 'hates' her husband, but on the contrary, she seems to genuinely still love him.
Eve even goes as far as coming over to Bright's apartment to express her concerns – again I'm thinking slow creeping love interest. Eve strikes me as someone who has a lot of skeletons in her own closet, she is just way too accepting of the Whitley family.
The NYPD investigate the latest victim which leads them to a church. Upon interviewing the priest who is drinking and seems like he has given up on life, they learn that many of the victims were plucked from his place of worship. The NYPD return back to the precinct and receive a special delivery, a severed hand. Bright instantly realizes that the hand belongs to the "Father" who may or may not be still alive.
The killer calls Bright angry that his mission has been interrupted and his latest victim saved… was the hand a peace offering? Paul does confirm that the "girl in the box" was real – Bright loses his composure, after years of being told by everyone that he is crazy and imagined her, this is his first real lead, and the possibility to get answers. A fatherly/mentor moment takes place between Gil (Lou Diamond Philips) and Bright, and such a moment of Zen for the viewers to watch Gil offer his support in looking into her murder.
Apparently, Paul is quite the voyeur as Bright spots him across the street from the precinct, and in typical reckless fashion follows him on foot, into a tunnel. Paul ends up trapping Bright in a turnstile crushing his rib cage. Bright is able to talk his way out of it but convincing Paul that they are much alike. Paul hands over a burner phone and tells Bright to hold on to it for a meet up date and time so they can talk more about his past. In that moment I wondered if Bright would tell the NYPD or venture out on his own personal quest. I was pleased to see that he offered Gil full transparency, so he's not completely damned.
Bright with the NYPD meets Paul only to be outsmarted by him and realize he is a no show, and the man in the dark in the distance is the Priest. Paul leaves Bright a bracelet worn by the "girl in the box" – why hold on to it for all those years? My prediction is that Paul did not, Martin did and that Paul is merely a puppet doing The Surgeon's bidding. The entire meet up was a mere diversion for the serial killer to slip away and kill his latest victim in the hospital, and he does so successfully, lucky for Ainsley who just so happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, she gets petrified, but is saved by police sirens.
Paul is still out on the loose and the FBI comes in to take over the case, throwing the NYPD to the curb. Malcolm is clearly off the case and has to be as far away from it as possibe. I doubt that Bright and Gil will idly stand by and allow the Feds to butcher up their case. In the meantime, Gil will most definitely hold up his promise and help Bright find the 'girl in the box'. Will finding her lead them to capturing the serial killer, or will the answers – and possibly the participation that Malcolm had in her murder – lead him to sharing a cell with his father?
Here's a preview of next week's episode of FOX's Prodigal Son, "Pied-A-Terre":
"Prodigal Son" season 1, episode 9 "Pied-A-Terre": When Martin is locked away in solitary confinement and the FBI takes over the Junkyard Killer case, Malcolm uses his spare time as an excuse to try out a normal lifestyle; the NYPD tracks a new homicide that's linked to an elite underground sex club.