Prodigal Son: “Death’s Door” Review

PRODIGAL SON: L-R: Aurora Perrineau, Tom Payne and guest star Ana Gasteyer in the "Death's Door" episode of PRODIGAL SON airing Monday, Feb. 17 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2020 FOX MEDIA LLC. Cr: David Giesbrecht/FOX.

Will Martin Whitly die? Will Jessica take the fall for Malcolm and go to jail for the murder of her serial killer ex-husband? Will Malcolm confess to prevent his mother from serving out his sentence!? Let’s find out on tonight’s Prodigal Son.

We start off dealing with the direct fallout from the cliffhanger of last episode: Malcolm stabbed Martin Whitly in the heart to stop a deranged serial killer. Gil is informing Jessica that if Martin dies, she’s fucked – why? Because Jessica is insisting, she’s the one who stabbed the Surgeon. Malcolm wants to do the right thing and take responsibility for his actions, but a case comes up and for once mommy dearest is all too eager to push her son into the darkness.

Our case is interesting: a necrophiliac who doesn’t want to fuck dead bodies so much as pose them and hang out! We learn that necrophilia isn’t as simple as the media would like us to believe: 10 varieties! The more important take-away? This is Edrisa’s time to shine! Between finding the first body, attending a funeral directors’ convention, and saving a lying man, our favorite M.E. is definitely getting some love this week. Not to mention she gets to be our team-member in trouble!

Edrisa’s threat presents itself in the form of our killer. Ever thought to yourself: Wouldn’t a job in the funeral business be perfect for a necrophiliac? Turns out, not so much. Meet Ashlie Atkinson a character actor that’s been making the rounds. I most recently saw her in New Amsterdam, and before that, Mr. Robot, where the end to her guest run was one of the best I’ve ever seen! But, here and now, she’s your killer of the week: a necrophiliac who just need a little more time to do her bodies justice.

On a side note – we may have some answers about the Girl in the Box! Though, how much can we believe about a dream sequence? And yes, I know Malcolm said coma patients don’t dream per say, but you get the idea. From the fantasy sequences Martin experiences we discover the Girl was a jogger with a sprained ankle who had the misfortune of asking for Martin’s help. He brings her home and when she turns down the easy root of “tea or hot cider” Martin chloroform’s her. However, later in the “dream”, she is not in the Box. Instead, their interaction plays out completely different and Martin is assailed by his would-be victim. It’s at this point that, outside of the hallucination, Martin’s body starts to code.

It’s fun to note that while many medical procedurals have explored the conflict of treating a criminal who is dying, this would be one of the first shows (that I know of at least) to present this conundrum from the other point of view. What I mean is that usually when a medical show deals with this moral question, it’s from the doctor’s point of view. Does he or she do what is right by their patient, or, do they do what is right by society? In this case, the audience is abundantly aware of what will happen if the doctors treating Martin decide to play “hero” and let a killer die.

We get a bit of insight into Martin Whitly – how did he become who, er, what he is? Did Mommy not love him enough, or too much, did Daddy do horrible things to him (my guess would be yes, since this reason gives him pause)? Does it matter? While the ghost of his past may reflect his deepest fears – apparently, losing his family (especially Malcolm, duh), he knows what he is: a predatory psychopath. In his mind, Malcolm is proud of his father for this. Naturally, the moment that brings Martin around is when Malcolm finally goes to see his father at the hospital.

Oh hey, and last but not least: Ainsley gets a little more love tonight. Her weird plan to convince her mother to get a defense attorney by calling their father’s makes no fucking sense to me, but whatever. It’s easily the least batshit insane thing to happen on this show.

Overall, not a bad episode. The relationship between Malcolm and Edrisa is playful and his understanding of her leads to his saving her life. The relationship between Malcolm and Dani hits a bit of a bump, and we discover Dani’s dad died when she was a kid. Oh yeah…and Eve is back – yay (with every ounce of sarcasm I can muster in text).

The next episode isn’t for a while, but there’s a solid test coming up. Whereas Jessica was willing to kill Martin for the sake of saving others, will Martin save his ex-wife’s life by sticking to Malcolm’s story? Or…will he screw her over and stick her ass in jail? Tricky…

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