Prodigal Son season 2, episode 4 recap – “Take Your Father to Work Day”

February 3, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Take Your Father to Work Day” continues this season’s focus on Martin, as a killing at Claremont brings him and Malcolm closer together than ever.

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3.5

Summary

“Take Your Father to Work Day” continues this season’s focus on Martin, as a killing at Claremont brings him and Malcolm closer together than ever.

This recap of Prodigal Son season 2, episode 4, “Take Your Father to Work Day”, contains spoilers.


I know he has killed a lot of people, but I really, really like Dr. Martin Whitly. If anything he’s much more compelling, charismatic, and interesting than his son, Malcolm, who the show is ostensibly about. And there is no better reminder of all this than this week’s episode, “Take Your Father to Work Day”, which leads Malcolm to the Claremont Psychiatric Hospital and teams him up with his father after a fellow prisoner, Jerry, takes a fatal nosedive.

Martin’s excitement over being involved in the case as the primary witness is the energy that powers the whole episode. Since Jerry was on the cusp of freedom, suicide seems unlikely, and when Edrisa – who is giddy about Martin’s involvement – finds three of his fingernails bent back, a struggle and thus murder is confirmed.

Elsewhere in Prodigal Son season 2, episode 4, Jessica is on the warpath about the missing rug that’s integral to Malcolm and Ainley’s cover story, which Ainsley herself is potentially going to unravel with her ceaseless questioning. Malcolm’s attempt at a distraction for her is letting on about the case he’s working, giving her an excuse to cover it, and also, by extension, be closer to her father. All roads lead back to Claremont, just as Martin’s road, if it’s anything to do with him, is going to lead out.

One of the things that makes Martin compelling is that he’s genuinely useful. Yes, he has a unique window into the serial killer psyche, since he is one, but he’s also a brilliant physician, so he makes himself useful in multiple ways during the investigation, which Malcolm can’t help but admit. In a staged therapy session that accidentally doubles as a real one, Malcolm tries to work through his daddy issues, aware that he’s only playing into Martin’s hands by allowing him to work the case but also aware that he probably won’t solve it if he doesn’t. The audience also knows that all this is only furthering Martin’s escape plan, which runs up against a new wrinkle when he learns of the gold keycard that Jerry must have had access to in order to get up on the roof.

Martin’s obvious fascination with the gold keycard – which turns out to have been loaned to Jerry by the head of the group therapy sessions, Dr. Marsh – isn’t lost on Malcolm. But it leads them to the women’s ward first and foremost, where Jerry’s girlfriend, Rhonda (Sarah Hunt), explains how Jerry was terrified of a notorious inmate known as The Surgeon.

Thanks to several turns, though, Martin becomes the next potential victim of Rhonda’s rage, after she brutally assaults one of the guards and steals his keys and keycard. It’s a chance for “Take Your Father to Work Day” to put Martin in a position to choose between his freedom and his son, and as we’ve discussed in previous recaps, Malcolm is genuinely important to his father. Thus, he sticks around to help, but not without trying to swipe the coveted gold keycard, which Malcolm removes from his clenched fist.

With Rhonda in custody, there’s just enough time in Prodigal Son season 2, episode 4 for the latest swerve in the Ainsley-murdered-someone-and-Malcolm-covered-it-up subplot, since Jessica figures out something is up and Malcolm is forced to admit the truth that Ainsley killed Nicholas, he covered it up, and she can’t remember any of it. Given Jessica’s blabbermouth tendencies, this isn’t good news. But what’s more worrying is Ainsley poring over Martin’s journal, specifically the bit about being exhilarated by seeing your victim’s blood. Is she going to follow in his footsteps?

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