Prodigal Son: “Scheherazade” Review

Tonight’s episode finds Malcolm tangoing with a black swan…OK, puns aside, this episode really does feature a dead ballet dancer.

If you watch enough network TV, especially crime procedurals, you notice certain case-types are inevitable. You have the murder at the psych ward, the murder at the (insert sexual fetish) gathering, the murder at the high culture event, etc. Prodigal Son is no different. Tonight, is our ubiquitous murder at the ballet episode.

Between the crime is the personal drama we’ve come to expect care of the Whitly family. Malcolm’s dreams of Eve’s sister direct him to get the information he seeks straight from the source (she’s a lot less murdery than last we saw her). Jessica’s got another rich Daddy (Dermot Mulroney) interested in her (though he might be a murderer, poor girl – she really knows how to pick ‘em), which, unless I’m blind made Gil jealous! And, Martin is none too pleased about having his son’s expert profiler skills turned against him (I mean, there’s got to be some fatherly pride in there though, right?).

The murder has symbolic ties to Malcolm this time around. Our victim was already a victim once before, forced to witness the deaths of his ballet company family at the hands of someone he loved and respected. Malcolm can relate – kind of. I mean, Martin was stern in his conviction to never go after his family. Sure, he may have thought about killing his son, but in the end he didn’t actually go through with it. He may be a malignant narcissist, but he does love his family (in as much as he can). But still, learning the man you love and look up to, who has always treated you with kindness and compassion, is a cold-blooded killer? Oof. It’s gotta be a hard thing to come to terms with. And, much like Martin can’t live without his family, our killer can’t seem to escape his either. He follows our victim to the world they both love, with tragic results.

Things we’ve learned this episode:

Still not JT’s first and middle names. I commend the writers on a strong running gag.

Based on its representation on network TV, I would NEVER want to be a professional ballet dancer. Not sure how realistic the cut-throat underbelly of professional dance may be, but if it even comes close…no thanks!

Malcolm studied ballet for five years, he also appears to have taken in a lot about it. I mean, most people they take ballet as a kid, dance for a bit, and then give it up. I took it, I know maybe one term from it. This guy takes it and he knows everything about how the company hierarchy works, the different terminology, you know…the usual unimaginable collection of knowledge TV profilers always have about subjects that happen to come up as murders. This is a staple that’s always bothered me about high concept procedurals lead by some eccentric specialist. I’ve met a good number of people in my assuredly short life, but none of them came even close a Holmes style photographic memory for random shit. Sure, Malcolm grew up in high society, but do you expect me to believe he took everything he learned and internalized it??? But, I get it…suspension of disbelief should be this show’s tagline.

More importantly: Sophie, maybe, isn’t dead (remember, we don’t actually see Martin not kill her). But searching for her might kill Eve, and definitely inspired Martin to drive Malcolm away from her case. It’s intriguing.

And lastly, Jessica has really, really bad taste in men. Though, the preview from the next episode does promise a kiss between her an Gil – finally! Gotta wait 3 weeks for it…Boo!




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