‘Prodigal Son’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 1 — Premiere on Fox

The next submit comprises spoilers for Prodigal Son‘s Season 2 premiere. Proceed with warning!

Prodigal Son is again, and so is the Whitly household’s insistence that every thing is ok, when it most actually just isn’t.

The Fox thriller returned on Tuesday night time after delivering a doozy of a cliffhanger final spring: Ainsley, not Malcolm, is the Whitly sibling most able to homicide, as evidenced by her brutal killing of Dermot Mulroney’s Nicholas Endicott within the April finale.

As revealed within the sophomore premiere, although, Ainsley has completely no reminiscence of her stabbing spree. In a sequence of flashbacks to the night time Endicott was killed, we noticed Ainsley come out of a fugue state of kinds, desperately asking her brother — whereas she’s coated in blood, thoughts you — what simply occurred. Sensing Ainsley’s mounting panic, Malcolm rapidly lied that he was the one to homicide Endicott… and his father later walked him by learn how to dismember and eliminate Endicott’s physique, which has since proven up (in items!) in Estonia. Naturally, within the wake of all that, Malcolm’s nightmares are worse than ever, his hand tremors are again, and he’s typically horrified on the reminiscence of what he did to Endicott. (And even worse, the concept that it might have secretly thrilled him. Yikes.)

Elsewhere within the premiere, Prodigal Son sidestepped the coronavirus pandemic, however did sort out the real-life occasions surrounding police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests, leading to a troubling scene wherein JT was assaulted by fellow cops who thought him to be a prison. After screening the premiere, TVLine spoke with sequence co-creators Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver, who make clear how Tuesday’s episode units up the season forward.

TVLINE | Is it protected to say this premiere is ready in a post-COVID world? The virus is talked about, however it doesn’t appear to be it’s an ongoing concern.
SKLAVER | We’re undoubtedly in a post-COVID world. We had been speaking in regards to the second season, and the subjects that we needed to handle, and we determined that possibly folks had had sufficient of COVID of their actual lives, and so they didn’t must see so a lot of it on display screen. We needed to nod to it, however on this planet of Prodigal Son, there’s been a profitable vaccine rollout, and let’s say COVID has come and gone. It’s talked about that that’s how Martin bought again into Claremont, as a result of he was early on the contact tracing at Rikers Island. There’s a little bit little bit of escapism in our present, and I’m pleased with the choice, in truth. As we watch these episodes, there’s no a part of me that desires to see any of our actors in masks. I wish to see everybody in my actual life in masks, however nobody on display screen. So we’re in a post-COVID world, and we’re just a few months after our finale — possibly two to 3 months. Martin and Vibrant haven’t spoken because the acts of the finale, however life has gone on a little bit bit once we decide up with Season 2.

Prodigal Son Season 2 PremiereTVLINE | Alternatively, you probably did work in a real-life storyline with regard to anti-cop sentiment and police brutality, with JT’s expertise getting assaulted. Why was {that a} matter you needed to include?
FEDAK | Within the lengthy prep time main as much as taking pictures, with the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter tales taking up the information, we knew that as a present that’s part-procedural, and a present that has circumstances and cops, that we must handle this story. Sam and I are two white guys, so we don’t have the depth of data with reference to this story. However what meaning is, we start to analysis, and we speak to our forged. I bear in mind texting with Frank [Harts, who plays JT] early on as we’re watching the information and going, “How are we going to give you what we must say and the way we mirror this on our present?” We go to our writers, we do analysis, we go to law enforcement officials who’re on the market doing the job right now. We do have a various forged, and we are able to speak about this from the angle of what it’s wish to be an African-American cop, and what occurs when one thing goes unsuitable, after which what occurs contained in the NYPD.

We additionally knew this wasn’t one thing you can remedy in a single episode, and we didn’t wish to do a “very particular episode” of Prodigal Son. However we can also’t remedy racism, in fact. So for us, it’s a problem, however it was a problem we knew we needed to handle. We’re excited that the present can do one thing the place you go from a killer attempting to kill Vibrant with an ax, and then you definately go right down to this very searing second torn proper out of the headlines. And by chance for us, we’ve superb writers and a tremendous forged. Everybody needed to step as much as this. There was not a second the place anybody stated, “We shouldn’t do that.” It was like, “We have to do that.”

TVLINE | How do the aftershocks of this assault have an effect on not solely JT, however Dani, too, since she talked about how troublesome it’s to be a Black, feminine cop? How does this settle with them within the weeks forward?
FEDAK | It doesn’t settle, and that’s the issue. Frank nonetheless has real-world points. We may simply say, for our characters, “That is unsuitable and one thing needs to be carried out about it.” However now you get into the terrible stickiness of what occurs subsequent. And for Frank, he’s bought a child on the best way, and he has a household, and he wants to determine what the appropriate factor to do is, not just for himself, however his household and his child sooner or later. And Dani comes at it from a extra idealistic perspective: a younger police officer who is aware of proper, who is aware of unsuitable, who thinks one thing must be carried out. For us, not solely is it an necessary matter, however it’s additionally a really dramatic matter for our characters to handle, in that they’d have completely different views on learn how to take care of it.

TVLINE | Let’s speak about Vibrant and the way he’s dealing with Endicott’s dying. How a lot of Martin’s closing monologue — the place he means that Vibrant could have loved getting away with this homicide — is correct to how Vibrant’s feeling?
FEDAK | For Martin, it’s a guess. It’s a guess that his son might need been excited by this second, that the endorphins would have been pumping, that his mind might need been opening as much as the concept of, “I’m not going to resolve against the law, I must conceal against the law. I must cowl it up.” It’s an clever guess, and for Vibrant, there undoubtedly was some a part of it the place he felt, “That is very, very thrilling.” However, Martin can be skewed from his perspective as a psychopath.
SKLAVER | There’s additionally a little bit of inception occurring, the place Martin could be attempting to plant an concept. Vibrant is having all of those feelings, and Martin’s saying, “You recognize, a few of these feelings might be good for those who let them be good, for those who stopped with the morality of considering how dangerous they’re and moved previous it.” That’s the earworming that Martin’s in a position to do together with his son. I don’t assume Vibrant is a killer. It’s very fascinating, when folks initially noticed the pilot, they thought, “Oh, and Vibrant’s going to begin killing folks, too!” We had been like, “No, in fact not! How may he begin killing folks?” However his father was a serial killer, and like father, like son, the apple doesn’t fall removed from the tree — there’s a purpose there’s so many of those idioms. It’s as a result of folks have these ideas time and again, and it’s one thing Vibrant has thought of for his entire life. So on this scenario, positive, he didn’t kill Nicholas Endicott, however he did every thing else besides the act. That is the closest we’ve ever gotten to seeing him do this, and it’s a wealth of feelings that he’s feeling, in truth.

Prodigal Son Season 2 PremiereTVLINE | This premiere focuses largely on the psychological toll that Endicott’s homicide is taking up Vibrant — however are you able to say whether or not any precise authorized bother is on the horizon, as nicely, now that the physique’s turned up in Estonia?
FEDAK | To a sure extent, [that storyline has] been tucked away, however I’ll additionally promise you that there’s going to be extra bother.
SKLAVER | After we talked to considered one of our consultants, we requested, “What’s the excellent technique to get away with a homicide?” And our marketing consultant stated, “If there’s no physique, there’s no crime.” So if a physique is fully lacking, there’s nothing the cops can do. But when even a femur is discovered, if even a little bit toe is discovered, you can begin doing analysis. And I’ll let you know, in Nicholas Endicott’s case, they discovered the entire physique. So I don’t know that that is an open-and-shut case simply because he confirmed up in Estonia.

TVLINE | And Ainsley, for her half, is performing like every thing’s OK now, since she doesn’t bear in mind what actually occurred. How will we see that unravel in upcoming episodes?
FEDAK | Ainsley’s at all times been superb at, “All the things is ok, every thing is regular.” She’s at all times introduced herself because the least affected of the Whitlys by her father’s crimes, as a result of she was so younger. However for those who speak to any youngster psychiatrist, she was 5, and he or she was nicely sufficiently old to know that one thing horrible was occurring. It was one thing that, from the get-go, we had been intrigued by, particularly when you’ve somebody like Halston Sage, who’s not solely a gifted comic and a gifted actress, however she loves the darkish stuff. [Laughs] After we instructed her the place we had been going on the finish of Season 1, she was thrilled. We needed to step that out this season, and it’s going to result in two issues: It’ll result in pressure between her and Vibrant, and it’ll result in a necessity for her to ask, ought to she speak to her father? Ought to she have a relationship with him? And from Vibrant’s perspective, that’s a horrible, horrible, horrible concept. However then once more, so many issues on our present are about folks doing horrible issues.
SKLAVER | Unhealthy choices. Individuals make dangerous choices on our present all the time. And I don’t assume we’re carried out seeing Ainsley make dangerous choices.

With that, I flip it over to you! What did you consider Prodigal Son‘s return? Grade it in our ballot beneath, then hit the feedback together with your full critiques!

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