The following post contains spoilers for Prodigal sonSeason 2 premiere. Proceed with caution!
Prodigal son is back, as is the Whitly family’s insistence that all is well, when it most definitely isn’t.
The Fox thriller returned Tuesday night after delivering a dozen cliffhangers last spring: Ainsley, not Malcolm, is the most murder-capable Whitly brother, as evidenced by his brutal murder of Dermot Mulroney’s Nicholas Endicott in the finale. ‘April.
As revealed in the sophomore premiere, however, Ainsley has absolutely no recollection of his stabbing frenzy. In a series of flashbacks to the night Endicott was killed, we saw Ainsley come out of a runaway state, desperately asking her brother – while she is covered in blood, mind you – what just happened. Sensing Ainsley’s growing panic, Malcolm quickly lied that the was the one who murdered Endicott… and his father then taught him how to dismember and dispose of Endicott’s body, which has since appeared (in pieces!) in Estonia. Understandably, as a result of all of this, Malcolm’s nightmares are worse than ever, his hand tremors are back, and he’s generally horrified at the memory of what he did to Endicott. (And even worse, the idea he may have secretly ravi his. Yikes.)
Elsewhere in the premiere, Prodigal son bypassed the coronavirus pandemic, but tackled the real-life events surrounding police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests, resulting in a disturbing scene in which JT was assaulted by fellow cops who took him thought they were a criminal. After the premiere screening, TVLine spoke with series co-creators Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver, who spoke about how Tuesday’s episode sets up the season ahead.
TVLINE | Is it safe to say this premiere takes place in a post-COVID world? The virus is mentioned, but it does not appear to be a permanent concern.
NEGRIER | We are definitely in a post-COVID world. We were talking about the second season and what we wanted to cover, and we decided that maybe people were fed up with COVID in their real lives, and that they didn’t need to see so much of it on screen. We wanted to give a sign, but in the world of Prodigal son, there was a successful deployment of the vaccine, and let’s say COVID has come and gone. It is mentioned that this is how Martin returned to Claremont, as he was at the start of the contact tracing at Rikers Island. There’s a bit of escape on our show, and I’m happy with the decision, honestly. As we watch these episodes, no part of me wants to see any of our masked actors. I want to see everyone in my real life in the masks, but no one on the screen. So we’re in a post-COVID world, and we’re a few months after our final – maybe two to three months. Martin and Bright haven’t spoken to each other since the acts in the finale, but life has changed a bit when we pick up with Season 2.
TVLINE | On the other hand, you worked in a real-life scenario when it came to anti-cop sentiment and police brutality, with JT’s experience being assaulted. Why was this a topic you wanted to include?
FEDAK | In the long preparation time leading up to filming, with the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter stories taking over, we knew that as a partly procedural show, and a show containing cases and cops, we had to tackle. this story. Sam and I are two white people, so we don’t have the in-depth knowledge of this story. But what it does mean is that we start doing research and we talk to our actors. I remember texting with Frank [Harts, who plays JT] right from the start, as we watch the news and say to ourselves, “How are we going to find this we have to say and how we reflect that on our show? We’re going to see our editors, we’re going to do research, we’re going to see police officers doing the job today. We’ve got a diverse cast, and we can talk about it from a point of view of what it’s like to be an African American cop, and what happens when something goes wrong, and then what happens. inside the NYPD.
We also knew this wasn’t something you could fix in one episode, and we didn’t want to make a “very special episode” of Prodigal son. But we also can’t solve racism, of course. So for us it’s a challenge, but it was a challenge that we knew we had to take on. We’re excited that the show can do something where you go from a killer trying to kill Bright with an ax and then go down in that very scorching moment ripped off the headlines. And luckily for us, we have some amazing writers and an amazing cast. Everyone wanted to go further. There wasn’t a time when anyone said, “We shouldn’t be doing this. It was like: “We to have to do this. ”
TVLINE | How do the aftershocks from that assault affect not only JT, but Dani as well, since she mentioned how difficult it is to be a black police officer? How will that work out with them in the coming weeks?
FEDAK | It doesn’t fix it, and that’s the problem. Frank still has real world issues. We could easily say, for our characters, “This is wrong and something has to be done.” But now you get into the terrible stickiness of what happens next. And for Frank, he’s got a kid on the way, and he’s got a family, and he’s got to figure out what to do, not just for himself, but for his family and his kid in the future. And Dani does it from a more idealistic point of view: a young policeman who knows well, who knows badly, who thinks something has to be done. For us, not only is this an important topic, but it’s also a very dramatic topic that our characters have to tackle, in that they would have different perspectives on how to handle it.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about Bright and how he deals with Endicott’s death. How much of Martin’s closing monologue – where he suggests Bright might have appreciated get away with this murder – is Bright’s sentiment accurate?
FEDAK | For Martin, that’s a guess. We suppose that his son could have been turned on by this moment, that the endorphins would have been pumping, that his brain could have opened up to the idea of: “I’m not going to solve a crime, I have to. hide a crime. I need to hide it. That’s a smart guess, and for Bright, there was definitely a part of it where he was thinking, “This is very, very exciting.” MoreMartin is also biased from his perspective as a psychopath.
NEGRIER | There’s also a bit of creation going on, where Martin could try to crash an idea. Bright has all these emotions, and Martin says, “You know, some of these emotions might be good if you let they are good, if you stop with morality to think how bad they are and walk away from them. It is the dewormer that Martin is able to do with his son. I don’t think Bright is a killer. It’s very interesting, when people first saw the pilot they were like, “Oh, and Bright is going to start killing people too!” “We said to ourselves:” No, of course not! How could he start to kill people? But his father was a serial killer, and like the father, like the son, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – there’s a reason there are so many of these idioms. It’s because people have these thoughts over and over again, and it’s something Bright has thought about all his life. So in this situation, of course, he didn’t kill Nicholas Endicott, but he did everything except the deed. He’s the closest we’ve ever been able to see doing that, and it’s a wealth of emotions he feels, honestly.
TVLINE | Much of this premiere focuses on the psychological toll the Endicott murder puts on Bright – but can you tell if any real legal issues are on the horizon as well, now that the body has been found in Estonia?
FEDAK | In a certain way, [that storyline has] been hidden, but I also promise that there will be more problems.
NEGRIER | When we spoke to one of our consultants, we asked, “What is the perfect way to get away with murder? And our consultant said, “If there is no body, there is no crime.” So if a body is completely missing, the cops can’t do anything. But if even a femur is found, if even a little toe is found, you can start researching. And I’ll tell you, in the case of Nicholas Endicott, they found the whole body. So I don’t know that this is an open and closed case just because he showed up in Estonia.
TVLINE | And Ainsley, for her part, acts like everything is fine now, since she doesn’t remember what really happened. How will we see this in the next episodes?
FEDAK | Ainsley has always been very good at, “Everything is fine, everything is normal.” She always presented herself as the least affected of the Whitlys by her father’s crimes, because she was so young. But if you talk to a child psychiatrist, she was 5 years old and she was old enough to know something terrible was going on. It’s something that, from the start, intrigued us, especially when you have someone like Halston Sage, who’s not only a gifted comedian and a gifted actress, but she loves dark stuff. [Laughs] When we told her where we were going at the end of season 1, she was ravi. We wanted to make that go away this season, and it’s going to lead to two things: it will cause tension between her and Bright, and it will lead to a need for her to ask, should she talks to her father? Should does she have a relationship with him? And from Bright’s point of view, it’s a terrible, terrible, terrible idea. But then again, so much on our show is about people doing terrible things.
NEGRIER | Bad decisions. People make bad decisions on our show all the weather. And I don’t think we’re done watching Ainsley make bad decisions.
With that, I’ll turn it over to you! What did you think about Prodigal sonthe return? Rate it in our poll below, then hit the comments with your full reviews!