Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 15 Review: Death's Door

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Bless his heart, Malcolm managed to annoy all of the women in his life.

It has to be some form of record for him. But Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 15, was an interesting look at Malcolm's relationships with all of those women as well as his father.

And yeah, complicated feelings aside, aren't we all glad Martin has survived his ordeal?

Guilt - tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 15

It was never a matter of if Martin would die or not. It's doubtful anyone believed he would, so it's partly why the events of Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 14, while shocking, weren't overwhelming.

As a result, put to rest were some of the dubious thoughts about how they would handle the stabbing. They aren't going to gloss over it. It put Malcolm at odds with the main lady in his life, his mother.

Jessica was always going to cover for Malcolm, so he should've known better. He didn't see her decision for the layers behind it.

Partnering with Malcolm - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 14

She's a mother who loves her child, and it's a primal instinct, but it's also laced with guilt for the years she wasn't able to protect him from the effects of Martin's actions.

Malcolm thought his mother would back down from what she said once they caught the Carousel killer, but that was never going to be the case for Jessica.

Malcolm: You can't take the fall for me.
Jessica: So dramatic, darling. Take the fall. Who are you, Al Capone?
Malcolm: It was one thing to buy me extra time to catch the killer, but now he's been caught. We can tell the truth. I stabbed my father in the heart.
Jessica: But I am the one who the carousel killer contacted, and I am the one with the resources. The worse thing we can do right now is change our story. Please, let me be your mother. There's so much I haven't been able to protect my children from, let me protect you from this.

She's committed to what happened and the story they created, and, at least, Gil seemed as though he suspected the truth. He prodded a bit, noticed how cagey Malcolm was behaving, but he didn't say much about it.

No, this hour was squarely about Malcolm's relationship with the women in his life and how they led him to those final moments with his father.

A Malcolm Sandwich  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 15

Jessica is riding it out until she finds out what will happen with the case. While Martin was in a hospital bed fighting for his life, an investigation was taking place. It's pending as they try to sort through what happened in the room leading up to the event.

Jessica thought she had it all mapped out. The evidence shows that the Carousel Killer contacted her, and she can argue the stabbing was an act performed under duress.

Jessica: Stop calling me.
Sterling: Jessica, it's been too long.
Sterling: Are you still drunk and beautiful?
Jessica: Are you still a parasite suckling at the scum of the earth?
Sterling: And damn good at it. 

It's what would have happened anyway. However, if Martin died, she could be charged with first-degree murder.

What was interesting was the introduction of Martin's attorney, Sterling. And I have to ask, does Jessica Whitly have fiery chemistry with everyone, or am I getting too 'ship happy with this series?

Lady in Red - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 4

Jessica and Sterling's repartee had a flirty edge, if you're into that hate-sex vibe. He's like Martin, except less stabby.

Sterling is sleazy, but he's good at his job. He's the person responsible for Martin's cushy sentencing and arrangements. He got Martin a hell of a deal.

Sterling: Let's be frank, your daughter wouldn't have called me if you weren't truly in need of my services.
Jessica: Crazy thing is I wouldn't need you now if you had not so thoroughly screwed me 20 years ago.
Sterling: Oh, I think I'd remember all of that.
Jessica: Martin Whitly should be rotting at Rikers as God and the legal system intended, but you instead made the deal of the decade.
Sterling: Centuries said New York Magazine.

It wouldn't be the best scenario when everyone knows about Martin's public case and Sterling's role in it, but there are advantages to having a successful shark like Sterling.

If Jessica chose Sterling, it wouldn't have necessarily been a bad thing. Ainsley called him for a reason, and she appreciates a shark. She agreed with Jessica in the end, but she probably secretly hoped Jessica would go with him anyway.

The Forgotten One- Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 3

And the fact that they made such a big deal out of it must mean it'll carry on for a bit, right? Either that, or it was necessary to bring Eve back into the fold.

For some reason, I didn't think Eve was a defense attorney because of her focus on human trafficking. She's the person Jessica wants on her side, and the timing of Eve's reintroduction is curious.

Jessica: Can I ask you a question? Are you actually afraid he's going to die? It is not a criticism, I swear, I'm just genuinely curious.
Ainsley: I guess I just don't want him to die like this. You know? How about you?
Jessica: It's no doubt the world would he a better place without Martin Whitly in it, but then again, secretly ...
Ainsley: You still love him?
Jessica: What? No. But thank you for that. I hadn't had a laugh in a long time.

Eve is curious. We haven't seen nor heard from her since her one-night stand with Malcolm took an awful turn for the worst. Jessica hasn't spoken to her much, either.

Eve - Tall - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 9

Eve is willing to help Jessica despite her last encounter with the Whitlys, but did anyone else find her statements about Malcolm odd?

She told Jessica that "deep down" she knows Malcolm is a good man, and it's because of Jessica. The phrasing of that suggests that he's not a decent person on the surface.

Eve: What happened with Malcolm, he has a lot of demons.
Jessica: Yes, he does. More than you know. He saw things that his father did. He went through a hell I didnt know about.
Eve: I was going to say deep down I know your son is a good man, and that's because of you. So yes, I'll help.

His "demons" don't make him bad. Even if you want to take into consideration that the series likes to toy with the idea of him being capable of bad things, Malcolm isn't a terrible person.

Why did Eve need to make such a distinction? She said it like she has a preconceived notion of who she thinks Malcolm is, and it has to be more than her reaction to a mentally ill man having a night terror.

She fights for trafficked individuals. You would think she's familiar with trauma survivors. Eve shouldn't hold it against him that he has traumas.

But we'll discuss Eve again in a moment.

While the hour was about what happened after Martin's stabbing, it also had Edrisa at the forefront.

Finally, the Edrisa Squad can rejoice. Prodigal Son put some respect on Edrisa Tanaka's name.

M.E. Goddess - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 13

Keiko Agena, like Sheen, is the ultimate scene-stealer, but she gets less screentime in comparison. It's a shame.

Fortunately, the case required more of her presence. The embalming case was weird. The best part about it was how it gave us more insight into Edrisa.

Let's go find a killer. Should we high five maybe? No. OK. 

Edrisa

It also showed that she won't take crap from anyone, not even Malcolm.

Once again, they took some liberties. Their victim, Ken, was killed by a professional, so they looked at his partners and associates at the convention.

Wakes and Funerals  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 15

But did anyone scratch their heads when Edrisa somehow got the forensics lab samples of Dev's makeup without leaving and got the results back the same day while they were still there?

Tilda seemed like a better suspect than Dev. She was hilarious, and it was very entertaining when she was hitting on Malcolm while trying to sell him a coffin, not to mention her reaction when she thought Dani and Malcolm were a couple.

Gil and JT: Don't say it.
Malcolm: We may be looking for a necrophiliac.

Dev was squeamish, and he didn't make sense as the killer. It was no surprise when he was the next victim. What followed was unexpected tension between Malcolm and Edrisa, and not any of the fun kind, but maybe the necessary type.

Wakes and Funerals - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 15

Edrisa clammed up when Gil and Malcolm looked to her to save Dev. She's a doctor, but she wasn't in the business of saving lives. Malcolm had to talk her through finding a way to save Dev when she was hellbent on freaking out instead.

It seeme like she gave up too easy, and time was of the essence. But Malcolm disrespected her and her job when he dismissed her field. It was unexpected coming from him.

Gil: You went to med school right?
Edrisa: No. I mean yes, but that's different.
Malcolm: You knew everything about the poison, Edrisa. You can save him.
Edrisa: No, I don't save people. That's not what I do.
Malcolm: Yah, but there must have been a time when you knew how to help people. I mean live people.
Edrisa: No, you're right. I can't do this.
Malcolm: Yes you can! Yes you can. Just forget that he's alive. Ok

The relationship between Malcolm and Edrisa is one of mutual understanding and respect over nerdy, intellectual matters. Part of the reason Edrisa adores Malcolm so much is because of that understanding.

The two of them were geeking out earlier in the hour in their adorable way, so she was visibly hurt and nearly discouraged when he threw those words out there.

Maldrisa to the Rescue - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 15

She pulled it off, and downing the mini-bottle of alcohol from the bar was amusing. But her hurt lingered.

After questioning Tilda, Malcolm knew he had to apologize to Edrisa, and he did, but it wasn't until later that he understood why he needed to apologize.

Malcolm: Edrisa sounded weird.
Dani: What's weird for her?
Malcolm: She didn't want to talk to me just now. Plus her voice sounded shakier.
Dani: She didn't want to talk to you?
Malcolm: Right? I'm going to go check on her.

The standoff between Leanne, Malcolm, and Edrisa was enlightening and told us a lot about Edrisa's character. She takes her job seriously, and she has genuine respect for the dead. She's in her job for the right reasons.

Not even a gun would make her back down. Edrisa was admirable during those moments, and if you didn't love her already, it made you adore her more.

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She had a steely resolve we don't get to see. She's usually so bubbly, and that's something those around her probably take for granted often. Because sunshine characters are still human with a multitude of feelings and depth.

Malcolm has a habit of assuming he's the smartest person in the room, and he flubbed when he dismissed Ken as a body. To people like Leanne and Edrisa, they're people who deserve care in the after death, too.

Leanne: Go get him.
Edrisa: I'm sorry. I'm not going to do that. You're just going to have to shoot me.
Malcolm: Let's just do what Leanne says. It's just a body.
Leanne: No, he is not just a body!
Edrisa: She's right. I'm sorry, these aren't just dead bodies. They're people, who share their final moments with me. It's the ultimate privilege to be their last witness, and I won't let anyone dishonor that.

Malcolm realized the error of his ways, and it's nice that he wasn't so much the hero in this situation, but Edrisa was. He got too much into his head trying to connect with Leanne.

It is a bit disturbing how makes connections with killers; he even made Leanne's necrophiliac diagnosis sound relatable, much to everyone's chagrin.

Nerd Buddies - Tall - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 2

The scene was also fascinating because of how Edrisa responded to it. Up until this point, her crush on Malcolm was surface level. And while endearing, ir was played too much for laughs.

Edrisa didn't know all of the things the others do about Malcolm, and she never saw his darkness. It's something Malcolm probably enjoyed the most about their relationship (and took for granted), and that's one of the reasons it matters so much to him.

I get it. I do. Real relationships can be hard as hell. Life is full of surprises and death is messy, but we can't run away from it. I can't run away from it. We need to face it. Maybe we can both face it together.

Malcolm

But Edrisa was forced to see Malcolm as the flawed person he is. And Malcolm was compelled to recognize and treat Edrisa as more than the bubbly, nerdy coroner with the crush on him.

Edrisa needed dimension and validation, Malcolm needed to treat and see her as more than an admirer who amuses him, and we needed to see that. In a way, it probably deepened their friendship.

It's been a recurring theme for Malcolm to acknowledge that he isn't the best at relationships and learn how to be a better friend, and it was refreshing.

The Night Life - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 5

Malcolm is a sympathetic character, but an unfortunate byproduct of characters like him is that everyone is expected to sympathize with them to the point of excusing their behavior.

Everyone around Malcolm cares about him, but he has to be mindful of their feelings, too, and that point hit home.

Dani: Only you would find it therapeutic talking to a killer.
Malcolm: You're the one I like talking to, and I promise I'm going to do better.

Dani made him aware of it, too. Their relationship is another one of the highlights of the series, and it's better the deeper it gets.

Dani was trying to be a good friend and make sure Malcolm was OK. She knew that regardless of how complicated his relationship is with his father, he was entitled to conflicted feelings.

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Nothing was wrong with Malcolm feeling scared of losing his father. He was trying to keep all of his feelings inside and act like nothing was happening. He snapped every time Dani would check on him.

She shared her experience losing her father, and it's not often Dani shares pieces of herself. She didn't like talking about things like that either, but she knew the importance of it when you care about someone.

Malcolm: You're mad at me.
Dani: A little bit yeah. Do you think that I enjoy talking about this anymore than you do? I buried my dad when I was 16, Bright, and they put him in that wooden model right over there. And no, I didn't want to tell you that, but I did because that's what friends do. And you wanted to be friends remember?
Malcolm: Dani..
Dani: I think that we should split up.

Malcolm is still learning how to be a good friend. Fortunately, he made it up to her later. He can't push people away all the time, and he has to learn not to be so self-absorbed.

It makes you crave the inevitable moments when Malcolm can be Dani's rock and support. She's always there for him when he needs it, and she keeps him grounded.

It's wonderful.

Funeral Directors Convention - Tall - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 15

It'll be better when there's more reciprocity, though. She's like the Malcolm whisperer, and it was evident during the brief moment when Gil, once again, told her to check on Malcolm. 

It's fine, and she cares about him, so she doesn't mind. But at some point, it has to work both ways. 

Dani, keep an eye on our boy.

Gil

Maybe he's at a turning point with the bonds he has cultivated.

Maybe he's at a turning point with his father. The final scene as he stood outside his father's room felt like the show was embodying its name. He went to Martin after a long day of ignoring Ainsley's calls and texts, and he worked up the nerve to see his dad.

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Because, no matter what, Martin is his father, and he felt things about losing him.

And he was rewarded with Martin opening his eyes and uttering those words that admittedly make a girl smile: "my boy."

Martin: I just realized something. This might be a nightmare, but it's my nightmare, and I'm not a regular person, am I?
Young Malcolm: No, you're not. You're a predatory psychopath.
Martin: That's right, and what does that mean?
Young Malcolm: That you're always in control.
Martin: Yes. I am. You know I once told my son monsters don't exist, but that was a lie. You know the truth, don't you?
Girl in the Box: What are you going to do?
Martin: I'm going back to my family, of course. They need me. My boy.

Martin's dreams seemed like he was on a path toward facing his sins, but then the ending was a reminder that a leopard like him doesn't change its spots.

But more importantly, it introduced us to the girl in the box. She doesn't have a name yet, but we got to see how Martin met her.

Martin Holds Her Captive  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 15

If we're to believe the nightmare followed what happened up until she disappeared out of the box, then he pounced when the opportunity presented itself.

You never want to blame the victim, but you wanted to yell at the woman for going back to a strange man's house. It didn't matter if he was a doctor!

Girl in the box: You don't have long now.
Martin: Just kill me.
Girl in the box: No, you don't get off that easily. I'm inside your head, Martin. I know your worst fears.

The craziest part was Jessica missed it. She came home, and she had no idea a woman was lying on the floor of the den after being chloroformed. He distracted her by getting handsy and lovey-dovey, and the whole thing was sad.

Jessica was none the wiser, and she was excited that her husband was showing her attention.

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Was Martin overconfident? What made him take people to his house? Why risk someone catching him?

The girl in the box was haunting him in his nightmare, and for a moment, he believed he was getting his comeuppance. She kept saying she had all of these plans for him.

Girl in the box: You know exactly who I am, Martin, I am a very real person and I'm coming for your family. Your boy dies first.
Martin: No, please!
Girl in the Box: Funny. I'm pretty sure I said the exact same thing to you.

She knew how to destroy him, and that included killing Malcolm.

For a narcissist, Martin's obsession with Malcolm is enthralling. Malcolm is his kryptonite. He lost his mind in the real world when he thought Malcolm was dead or that he wouldn't see his son again.

Surgeon Suits Up - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 4

And he lost it in the dream world when he thought the girl in the box would kill Malcolm or do something to him. It took him realizing that he has the upperhand in a dream before he relinquished any pretense of remorse.

The girl in the box wanted an explanation for why he killed her, and he didn't have one. He knew he could blame his parents or something like that, but he's a monster, and he knows it.

Dani: What are those?
Malcolm: Uh, apparently my father listed me as his health care proxy and made me power of attorney. God knows why.
Dani: Sounds kind of important. 
Malcolm: Well I don't want it, and I don't want to talk about it. Sorry. 

He went from thinking he was getting punished to getting excited when he realized Malcolm came to see him. Malcolm's appearance after stabbing him convinced him that his family needs him.

But what if there is something more to what the girl in the box was saying to Martin in his dream? He behaved like she posed a threat in some way.

Dangerous Dad - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 14

What if there's credence to our ongoing theory that she's connected to Eve? Eve's reappearance, along with this information about the girl in the box, can't be coincidental.

What if Eve was scoping out the Whitly family when she entered Jessica's life? What if she was impressed by Jessica, so she doesn't have an issue with her?

Dani: You guys OK?
Edrisa: Yeah, yeah. We're good. I handled it.
JT: I see you.

Then, maybe she thought Malcolm was OK, too, but it changed when she slept with him, and he had an episode.

Eve liked Malcolm, and she said that he's a good person deep down inside, and that's due to Jessica.

It also implies that she thinks something is wrong with Malcolm and that he may be like Martin. Is that something to renew a potential mission to get to the bottom of what happened to the girl in the box and execute a vendetta against Martin?

Time to Ponder - Tall  - Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 7

What if she thinks she has to stop Malcolm before he does something like his father?

What are your theories? Did you love this hour? How much fun was it having more Edrisa?

What's your impression of the girl in the box? Hit the comments below.

You can watch Prodigal Son online here via TV Fanatic. 

Death's Door Review

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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Prodigal Son Season 1 Episode 15 Quotes

Malcolm: You can't take the fall for me.
Jessica: So dramatic, darling. Take the fall. Who are you, Al Capone?
Malcolm: It was one thing to buy me extra time to catch the killer, but now he's been caught. We can tell the truth. I stabbed my father in the heart.
Jessica: But I am the one who the carousel killer contacted, and I am the one with the resources. The worse thing we can do right now is change our story. Please, let me be your mother. There's so much I haven't been able to protect my children from, let me protect you from this.

Dani: What are those?
Malcolm: Uh, apparently my father listed me as his health care proxy and made me power of attorney. God knows why.
Dani: Sounds kind of important. 
Malcolm: Well I don't want it, and I don't want to talk about it. Sorry.